UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

How do I access a URL that begins with https?

Browsers configured to use the proxy will give an error message such as "Proxy Server Refused Connection" or "Internet Explorer unable to open webpage" when you try to access a resource URL that starts with "https". If you encounter this error, please try accessing a different resource whose URL does NOT begin with "https" (such as the Oxford English Dictionary). You will be asked to log into the proxy. After you've logged in, please access the resource with the "https" URL again. Subsequent access to "https" resources within the same browser session should not trigger this error.

Alternative: use the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Who is eligible to use the proxy server?

Eligibility is governed by our license agreements with the vendors of electronic resources. These typically stipulate that the Library can permit off-campus access to authorized users only.

Authorized users:

  • Current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff
  • Continuing UC Berkeley students who, although unregistered, are in good standing and working towards a degree
  • UC Berkeley emeritus professors and retired academic staff
  • UCOP (University of California Office of the President) staff with valid UC Berkeley library cards
  • UC Extension students with valid UC Berkeley library cards (must be a California resident and apply for the card in person)
  • UC Extension faculty with valid UC Berkeley library cards.
  • Visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows who are registered with the Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs office.

Off-campus access via the proxy server is not available to:

  • alumni
  • former employees
  • retired non-academic staff
  • persons unofficially or only loosely affiliated with UC Berkeley
  • associates of other University of California campuses
  • those who have purchased a UC Berkeley Library Card
  • the public at large

Please see our guide Freely Available Resources for Research for an introduction to some of the many free resources for research available online.

Please see the Library Proxy Server page for details.

If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Library services, please contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library (510-642-3403).

However, anyone may come into the Library and use these resources through the "Research Access" option on our public computers.

What should I do if I believe my credit/debit card was charged twice?

Check your credit card or bank account to make certain. If your account was debited twice contact the Library Privileges Desk at (510) 642-3403 or privdesk@library.berkeley.edu

After making payment online, how long does it take before my library account is cleared?

Bills are cleared immediately after the PayPal transaction is approved. Close the confirmation window and return to the fines to be paid page. Refresh the page to have the payment reflected on the screen. Please note that the fines to be paid page does not refresh automatically.

Do I have to set up my browser to use the proxy server every time I surf the web?

No. Once you've set up your browser to use the proxy server, the setting will be saved until you change it.

How do I turn off the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting?

If you no longer need to use the proxy server, you can easily disable the the Automatic Proxy Configuration setting.

To do this, go to the setup instructions for your browser and follow the instructions for turning off the setting.

Once you do this, you will be unable to use the proxy server until you turn the setting back on.

What if I need to use another proxy server?

You would need to reconfigure your browser each time you want to switch proxy servers. There may be extensions available for your browser to facilitate this, such as FoxyProxy for Firefox.

How will I know when to use the proxy server?

Once you set up your web browser to run the Automatic Proxy Configuration, it will be engaged automatically when needed. You will not have to decide when the proxy server is to be used.

When I try to access a website, I'm prompted for a username and password. What do I use?

To ensure that only authorized people use the proxy server, you will need to "authenticate" yourself by logging in before you use a licensed resource.

The proxy login screen will present two options for login:

  • CalNet method: This uses the CalNet ID, the campuswide identifier for UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. The login requires a personalized ID and "passphrase" chosen by the user. For more information, visit the CalNet website.
  • or
  • Patron/PIN method: This uses the number from the person's Cal 1 Card, or Library card issued by our Privileges Desk. The login also requires a Library PIN (Personal Identification Number), which can be set within OskiCat, the UC Berkeley Library catalog, and the email address associated with your patron record.

If you have access to both kinds of login, choose whichever you prefer. Once you're authenticated by either method, the proxy's behavior is the same.

Your authentication will automatically expire after 4 hours without any use of the proxy.

If you see a screen with a vendor's logo and a prompt to log in or to subscribe to the database, this indicates that your proxy setup is not configured correctly, or in effect. Double-check your settings, and see our Library Proxy Server page for more help.

If I have two browsers installed, do I have to configure both of them to use the proxy service?

No, but you will need to set up each browser that you plan to use with the proxy server. Configuring one browser will not automatically configure the other one.

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