Penn Library Databases Available

Through Any Internet Provider

If you've tried to use a Penn Library database from home, and been denied access through America Online or some other Internet service provider, the Library has solved your problem. Thanks to a Web device called a proxy server, Penn students, faculty and staff can now connect to ABI/Inform, the Britannica Online and scores of other files using any Internet account.

What is special about the Library proxy server is its ability to identify valid Penn users wherever they are on the Internet. Why is this important? All companies that license databases for Penn Library use need a means of admitting authorized users and turning away the general public. The majority of database providers make this distinction using the Internet address domain. In Penn's case, the providers admit only users who enter their bases from an address containing "". If your Internet address lacked the necessary domain identifier, you were turned away-until now. The Library proxy server validates you before you connect with a third party database by matching your identification information with Library patron records. Once the proxy server completes the match, it becomes your surrogate, connecting you with any database available to the Penn domain.

To use the proxy server, follow the instructions given on the Library Proxy Server page at It includes a guide for configuring your Web browser, and important information about your Library patron record.

--Office of the Vice Provost, Director of Libraries

Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 27, March 31, 1998