Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Library Systems Alert: Server Replacement, May 27th, 2009

Time of Latest Update: 11:25 am

Status: All Library Systems Are Back Up on the New Server. Our testing indicates we are back to normal. Please advise if you have any issues with the Online Catalog or Database Access. And thank you for your patience!

As we previously warned through the University Email, Library News, and this blog: The Suffolk University Libraries are replacing our systems server TODAY, May 27th.

This process will NOT affect any other University web services (like Blackboard or email). This will ONLY affect library functions. During the server switch library users will not be able to access library databases OFF-campus through the proxy. Nor will they be able to access the online catalog or their circulation records online.

We hope this process will not take too long and we apologize for any inconvenience. And we will try to update this page with information, as we learn it.

For most of our users, the most practical approach to this outage of service is to simply avoid doing research during this time period. However, for those who wish to pursue a "work-around" during the down time, here are a few detailed notes on two major library research functions.


We are sorry, but OFF-campus use of databases is not possible during the server replacement. However ON-Campus, our databases can operate through IP recognition. But you cannot go through the proxy server for access. So, you will need to capture the shortcut and remove the proxy parts of the URL.

First, go to our database list as you normally would, but instead of left-clicking on the name of the database you want, right-click on it and on the box options that display, choose to "copy shortcut." Then paste this shortcut in, say, Notepad (or directly into your browser address bar, if you are very comfortable with web manipulations)

For Academic Search Complete, the shortcut we copy would look like this:


To make the database recognize our IP WITHOUT going through the proxy server we would remove the bolded parts (a leading 0- and the .library.law.suffolk.edu from the first part of the address) :


which leaves us with a URL that reads


If I copy and paste this stripped-down URL into my browser address bar and hit enter, the database will pick up on my valip IP address (if I am ON CAMPUS) and allow me into the database.

If you are here at the Suffolk Boston campus, you can de-proxyize any of our database links and you should be able to get at the database. But, again, this will unfortunately NOT work if youare at a non-Suffolk (Boston Campus) location.


Here is an alternative to our Archer Online Catalog (OPAC):

Go to http://www.worldcat.org/account/?page=searchItems

On campus, WorldCat will pick up our Suffolk IP and will enter a 02108 "location" and indicate on the search results pages that "You are connected to the Sawyer Library network." If this does not happen, you can "enter your location" by zip code when you see the appropriate box. For Suffolk, enter 02108.

When you search for an item, the links to libraries will appear below the book information. With a 02108 zip, Suffolk will come up first if we own the book. However, you will not be able to click on "Sawyer Library" to get the call number (since the server is down and the OPAC is non-operational). Therefore, if you wanted to try to find the book in our stacks, try clicking on the next library listed and look for a call number.

For example, I search for Panic : the story of modern financial insanity

and click on the book in results list. I see that Sawyer Library owns the book, but I cannot click into our OPAC by clicking on the Sawyer Library link, so I click on Boston Public Library (BPL), the entry below Sawyer, instead.

I see that BPL owns the book--although all of their copies are checked out or on hold. I also see that they assigned the book the call number of HB3722.P36 2009, which happens to be the same Library of Congress (LC) call number our copy was given. (The fact is that most academic and large public libraries will assign the same LC call number to a book.)

With that call number and the knowledge that Sawyer owns the book, I should be able to find it in our 4th floor stacks. (With one caveat: If the book is checked out or at a secondary location like "New Books" or "Reserve", it would not be on the normal stack shelves.)

NOTE: WorldCat might try to get you to create an account and sign in to create a bibliography, but you do not need to do this to use the service.

If you do not wish to "wait out" the server change, give these work-around techniques a try. And if you need additional assistance, please come and see us at the reference desk. Although we will also be inconvenienced and frustrated by this systems outage, we will try our best (as we always to) to provide research assistance to Suffolk researchers.

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