Technical Update: Proxy Server (aka Electra) Upgrades

Throughout the summer, we have been making incremental upgrades to our proxy server. These updates will improve the speed at which LMU students, faculty, and staff can get access to our online resources from off-campus.

However, some users may still have difficulty connecting to our online resources if they are accessing our e-books, journals, databases, and streaming resources for the first time in a few months or from a new device.

If you encounter any problems, please see the “Action to take” section below for a possible fix. If that does not work, there is an additional “Nuclear option” (deleting all your browser’s saved files), but some users may not want to try this unless absolutely necessary.

What is the proxy server?

In order to access many of our online resources, we need to first verify that you are a current LMU student or employee. We do this by using your MyLMU login credentials. When you access, say, a database from off-campus, you should first see this login screen:

Proxy server login screen

This passes your MyLMU credentials through our proxy server and, after confirming your status as a student, faculty, or staff member, allows you to access our online resources. As long as you keep your browser window open (and assuming you are not in “private” or “incognito mode”), you will only need to enter this information once. Once you close your browser, the “connection” is cut and then you will need to log in again the next time you try to access one of our resources.

Why do we have a proxy server?

Our electronic resources are provided to the LMU students, faculty, and staff through license agreements we establish with publishers, vendors, and distributors. These licenses (and their costs) are based on the campus FTE: the total number of people needing access. For financial reasons, we are not able to offer access beyond LMU students, faculty, and staff. Thus, we need to verify who is accessing our resources. NOTE: Even though we ask for your login credentials, the library never tracks what you access or how you use it. #Privacy

Action to take

In most cases, setting your browser to allow cookies from “electra.lmu.edu” will solve the problem.  Here’s how to do that for Chrome and Firefox. Unfortunately, we don’t have a solution identified for Safari quite yet.

For Google Chrome:

  1. From your Chrome browser, open the Chrome Menu (three vertical dots, upper right)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Go to “Cookies and other site data”
  4. Under “Sites that can always use cookies”, click Add
  5. Type in “electra.lmu.edu”, check the box that says “All cookies, on this site only” and click Add
  6. Close all Chrome windows and restart chrome

For Firefox:

  1. From Firefox menu (hamburger, upper right), select Options
  2. From left-hand menu select “Privacy & Security”
  3. Under “Cookies and Site Data” select “Manage Exceptions”
  4. In the Address of website box enter “electra.lmu.edu” and select Allow
  5. Select “Save Changes”
  6. Close all Firefox windows
  7. Restart Firefox and try accessing the e-resource as you usually would

The nuclear option

If the above doesn’t work, clearing all your browser’s cookies and site data should also solve the problem. However, this may remove any form or password information you have previously saved in your browser. Please only do this step if you have tried the options above! You can always re-enable your settings after completing this step.

For Google Chrome:

  1. From your Chrome browser, open the Chrome Menu (three vertical dots, upper right)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Under “Privacy and Security”, select “Cookies and other site data”
  4. Set the “Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome toggle” to ON
  5. Close all Chrome windows
  6. Now open Chrome and navigate to your e-resource as normal

For Safari:

  1. From your Safari browser, select Safari menu
  2. Select Preferences
  3. In the General tab, go to “Remove history items” and select from drop-down menu “After one day”
  4. Close Preferences
  5. Close all Safari windows and restart Safari

For Safari (alternative):

  1. Go to”Preference” under the Safari menu.
  2. Click on the Privacy tab.
  3. Select “Manage Website Data”
  4. Select “Remove all” and confirm you selection. Hit Done.
  5. Close all Safari windows
  6. Now open Safari and navigate to your e-resource as normal

For Firefox:

  1. From your Firefox browser, open the Firefox menu (three line hamburger menu icon, upper right)
  2. Select Options
  3. Select “Privacy & Security” from the left-hand menu
  4. Under “Cookies and Site Data”, make sure the “Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed” is checked
  5. Close all Firefox windows
  6. Now open Firefox and navigate to your e-resource as normal

We are confident that these steps will solve most situations in which the proxy server login doesn’t resolve (i.e. your browser just “spins” endlessly) or produces an error. Again, if you continue to experience a problem, please contact us and we can take a closer look at your browser settings to identify the issue.