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Remote Access Problems

Proxy Service Issues

Browser Setting Issues

Adobe Connect: Remote Conferences (Webinars) and Desktop Support (draft)

CUNY-wide Databases via CUNY proxy server (in case GC Proxy server is down, use your 14-digit CUNY Library barcode number as login and pwd)

Most problems accessing resources reflect either:  PROXY SERVER – or – BROWSER SETTING issues.


Proxy Server Issues

Most GC databases are provided by commercial vendors. The vendors license databases to us provided we observe certain restrictions, primarily restricting access to Graduate Center staff and students and to onsite visitors. In the Graduate Center building, access is restricted to the IP address range. The Library Proxy Server used with your GC network account allows users off campus to use GC  licensed resources with a web browser.

Report remote access problems  (212) 817-7077 and email the Reference Desk and CC the Systems Librarian.


Troubleshooting The Graduate Center Library Proxy Server:

Most proxy service issues are due to expired GC network passwords. 

To use the Proxy Service:

  • Graduate Center computer network account username/password are required.
  • Network Accounts are for Graduate Center students, faculty, staff and recent graduates (1 year) only.  If you are a GC faculty member and do not have a network account, you need to request an account with IT (212) 817-7300 or
  • Your network account is the same login as your Graduate Center email account.
  • All network users are required to reset their account password every 180 days.  To check to see if your password has expired, login to GC mail at: and enter your username and password.
  • Click here for instructions on how to reset your password.
    • To reset your password:
      • If at the GC while logged into a GC Windows PC, press ‘Ctrl’, ‘Alt’, ‘Delete’ at the same time.
        Click on ‘Change Password’.
      • Log onto OWA ( from your browser. Click the ‘Options’ icon. Click ‘Change Password’. Enter your username, old password, and new password (twice). Click ‘Save’ on the top. 
      • Register and use the Account Self Service feature here
      • Visit the Help Desk with a valid GC ID and ask a technician to change your password
      • Fax (212)817-1618 or email a copy of your valid GC ID to the helpdesk.

 Note:  If your password has expired, you may now reset it yourself via Citrix or OWA, provided you remember the correct password. It will accept your old password one time only and allow you to change it.



Follow these steps if you have any problems connecting to a database:

  1. Retry your Graduate Center Username and Password by attempting to login to GC  mail  If unable to login to mail,  your password has expired. See instructions below to reset your password.
  2. If able to login to GC mail, go back to the database page. Try to remotely access a database. If the second database works, the problem is with the first database. Commercial databases occasionally have technical problems that restrict access. Report problems to the library reference department during reference hours (212) 817-7077 or send an e-mail to, and we will contact the database vendor.  Please include your graduate center username, the name of the database you were trying to access, and the time and date the problem occurred.  
  3. If the second database also does not work, then your GC network account is experiencing issues; please proceed to the next step. 


GC Network Accounts

  1. New users must login and  and set password.
  2. Click here for detailed instructions on how to set,  reset and retrieve your forgotten password.  Use the remote access option “Account locked or forgotten your password?” via Citrix.
  3. Longtime students,faculty,and staff with suspended accounts,please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at (212) 817-7300 or Suspended accounts require in-person Help Desk application with current GC ID card. Or scan/fax current photo ID to 212-817-1618.




Also note:

  1. The Graduate Center Library proxy server runs on two Internet ports that firewall software occasionally blocks. These two ports are 80 and  443. If you are running personal firewall software and have problems accessing the proxy server you will need to open these ports up to Internet traffic for the proxy server to work. If you are working in a workplace or campus setting where a firewall may be blocking these ports you will need to consult with your local IT department to see if they might grant you access to this service.
  2. The Graduate Center Library proxy server is periodically rebooted, and access is unavailable for three or four minutes when this occurs. If you cannot log on, please try again in five minutes.
  3. Some PCs have firewall software that prevents access to some resources, particularly EBSCO databases.






Browser Setting Issues

Recommended Browser Settings:

 The following settings are recommended:

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.* Firefox 7.* or the most current version of other major browsers.
  • JavaScript enabled: Yes
  • Cookies enabled: Yes
  • Java enabled: Yes
  • Popups enabled: Yes for pages in the the library web site.


Most browsing problems occur after you have accessed a web resource. Typically they prevent you viewing or logging into a resource. Often these problems are caused by security restrictions on the end user’s web browser or firewall.

Security Settings

Because of concerns about spam, spyware and adware many user’s have set the security settings on their browser at the highest levels. This may help prevent some of the security problem associated with web browsing, but very tight security will often interfere with the proper functioning of online resources. In general the higher a security setting the lower the functionality of a web browser.

For example if the security settings in Internet Explorer are set to high you will have trouble using WorldCat. What happens is that WorldCat is viewable, but your ability to select records is blocked, as a result you won’t be able to email or view a block of search results. If the security setting is set to medium you will be able to use WorldCat without problems.

Consult the help files on your browser to find how to adjust the security settings. Adjust the security settings to give the right mix of security and functionality.


Likewise many users have concerns about cookies and restrict the use of cookies on their computers. Without cookies enabled some of the resources offered by the library will not work. Eres Electronic Reserves in particular must have cookies enabled to work.

Cookies do not act maliciously on computer systems. They are merely text files that can be deleted at any time – they are not plug-ins nor are they programs. Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive. This does not mean that cookies are not relevant to a user’s privacy and anonymity on the Internet. Cookies cannot read your hard drive to find out information about you; however, any personal information that you give to a Web site, will most likely be stored in a cookie. A cookie will only contain information that you freely provide to a Web site. If you are concerned about private information being spread over the Internet do not enter it on your web browser. Here at the Mina Rees Library you will not be required to enter any personal information in order to use our databases.


JavaScript is a programming language that adds to a site’s functionality. JavaScript can be a security risk if you happen to encounter a malicious web site. For that reason some users choose to turn the JavaScript functions off in their browser. If you have difficulty accessing certain features, you may need to enable JavaScript on your browser. In general for assistance enabling JavaScript, check your browser’s help file.


Web Browsers

Older versions of web browsers are often the cause of browsing problems. Try to use the most recent version of whichever browser you use. Usually browser upgrades are free. Keep in mind that the newer browsers not only have newer features, they often fix browser vendor bugs, especially those dealing with Internet security.


Security Software:

Many Internet users now use software to protect their computer from outside interference. In some cases this software interferes with the operation of some of our web resources. We cannot offer instructions on how to configure your security software, there is simply too many options available. The following information will explain some common problems you might encounter.

    1. Virus Scanners:

      All computer users should have an up to day virus scanner. We have had no reports of a virus scanner interfering with any of our databases.

    2. Personal Firewalls:

      It is a good idea to use a firewall on your home computers. You may however need to adjust the settings of you firewall. Firewalls work by blocking traffic moving in and out or your home network. Depending upon the firewall you use the default settings may be very restrictive or permissive. If you install or upgrade a firewall you may suddenly notice that a web resource is unavailable. Fortunately most firewalls allow you to specify what can pass through to your network. Consult the documentation that came with your firewall software.If you are using the VPN you must shut off your firewall. While you are connected to the VPN you are protected by the firewalls here at the Graduate Center.

      If your firewall restricts http traffic not on port 80 you will not be able to use CUNY+, which uses a non-standard port (83) for http traffic.

    3. Workplace Firewalls:

      Your workplace may be running firewall software that blocks restricts Internet traffic on ports other than 80. You will be unable to use the Graduate Center Proxy Server, CUNY+, or the CUNY SFX Link Resolver. Your IT department may be able to open the ports for you depending on their policies.

    4. Anti Spyware Software:

      Software should not interfere with any of the library’s web resources.

    5. Popup Blockers:

      Pop Up Blockers are increasingly found on home computers. They are good for blocking annoying pop up ads, but can also block legitimate windows. Some databases, for example, use pop up windows to display extra options or even to display the results of a search. Fortunately most pop up blockers can be configured to allow pop ups on specific sites. If you feel a pop up blocker is affecting your searching turn the blocker off. If the search then works properly turn the blocker back on and configure it to allow pop ups on that site. Consult the help files on your pop up blocker for instructions.