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The Long Distance Library: Accessing Falvey’s Resources Off Campus

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The library is anywhere you are! (Photo from

By Susan Turkel

If you’re a Villanova researcher, you know that Falvey is your go-to source for articles, e-books, and much, much more.

It’s easy to access these materials online when you’re on the Villanova campus because the publishers and database vendors recognize your VU affiliation via your computer’s IP (Internet Protocol) address.

When you’re away from campus, however, you may need to take an extra step or two to ensure smooth access to our millions of pages of subscribed content.

Here’s a quick rundown of tips that will keep you connected!

Start at the Falvey website

The easiest way to ensure success is to use the library website as your portal to databases, articles, e-books, streaming video, and the other resources.

We authenticate Villanova users via an online service called a proxy server. The links on the Library website and in the Library catalog run through the proxy server; if you are coming in from a network that’s not on campus, you’ll be asked to verify your VU affiliation by entering your Villanova username and password. Once you’ve logged in that first time, you will have seamless access to the library’s subscription resources for the rest of your login session.

You’ll use your regular Villanova username and your email password to log in to the proxy server; there’s no need to enter your WildCard number. It’s simple!

Install a browser bookmarklet

If you’re poking around on the web without having visited the library website, you can still take advantage of the library’s many subscriptions to journals, magazines, and other sources.

We offer browser bookmarklets that allow you to instantly access subscribed content that you come across in your internet travels. You’ll drag a little bit of code to your Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge bookmarks toolbar—that’s the bookmarklet.

Then, when you find an article that asks you to pay for access, simply click the bookmarklet. This will rewrite the URL and ask you to authenticate through the library’s proxy. If our subscriptions allow access to the item, you’ll get right in!

(If that doesn’t work, it’s still worth a try to copy the article’s title and paste it into the library’s main search box; we may have access to the same item through a third party database rather than directly through the publisher’s website.)

Using Google Scholar? Set up your Library links

Are you a Google Scholar fan? If not, you might want to give GS a try! Google Scholar is a powerful, free search engine that indexes scholarly articles, books, theses, dissertations, pre-prints, reports, and patents across disciplines, time periods, and languages.

Anyone can search Google Scholar, but many of the items in its results lists are locked behind a paywall. You can bypass the paywall by customizing your Google Scholar Preferences. This instructs Google Scholar to provide links that will work for Villanova students, staff, and faculty members on or off campus.

In this image, you’ll see a “linked up” list of Google Scholar search results. Since I adjusted my settings, Google Scholar has displayed “Click here for full text” links next to each item.

Google Scholar Results with access links highlighted

Unfortunately, Villanova does not have subscription access to every journal or e-book. Never fear! Once you’ve set up your preferences, Google Scholar will provide you with a shortcut for placing an interlibrary loan request for any non-subscribed item. It’s a win-win situation!

Still have questions?

If you still have questions, we have answers! Visit our troubleshooting your off-campus access problems page.

If you still need assistance, ask a librarian! There are lots of ways to find us:

– Contact your subject librarian directly
– Reach out to Falvey via Live Chat
– Fill out our Ask a Librarian form, or
– Email

Librarians and staff are available 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday, during the semester, and we are always happy to help.

Susan Turkel is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. 




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Last Modified: November 16, 2020

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