A quick bookmarklet for off-campus library access

Tue 17 December 2013

I have been doing a fair bit of research off-campus lately, and as usual, have been having trouble accessing research materials (mainly academic publications) from home. Fortunately, Hunter College provides off-campus access to all electronic resources available to Hunter students, faculty and staff via their Library proxy server. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a huge pain to use anything other than the library search facilities (like Google Scholar) through the proxy server*. In fact, when working off-campus, you actually have to preface each URL address to licensed resources with http://proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login?url= in order to be able to access it. Not very handy…

Bookmarklets to the rescue! This problem is actually something that bookmarklets are perfect for. A bookmarklet is (usually) just a small piece of JavaScript that resides in your browser and provides additional functionality to a web page. With that in mind, I decided to create a simple bookmarklet to automatically reload a given page with the above prefix prepended to the URL; giving me access to the material via the library proxy server, while still being able to use whatever search tools I want. In this case, all the bookmarklet contains is the following JavaScript code:

javascript: location.href="http://proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login?url="+location.href

So that the whole link is simply:

<a href="javascript: location.href='http://proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login?url='+location.href">Library Proxy</a>

Installing’ a bookmarklet is as simple as dragging it onto your browser’s bookmarks toolbar (I think on some versions of Internet Explorer, you might have to right-click and select “Add to Favorites…”). If you drag this Library Proxy link onto your bookmarks bar, you’ll have a handy little tool to automatically access the current page via the Hunter College library proxy (note that you’ll need Hunter College credentials for this to work), instantly increasing your productivity by 12.45%… or so.

* I might just be missing something, in which case, hopefully someone will correct me.

Helpful Tip

Helpful Tip HTML Research How-To


recent visitors