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Troubleshooting e-resources: General tips

Tips and tricks for accessing Camosun Library e-resources such as e-journals, e-books, databases, streaming videos on or off campus.


IMPORTANT: If you have difficulty accessing library resources while connected to Camosun's VPN, disconnect from the VPN, refresh your browser, clear cookies, and try again. You should be prompted to authenticate via the Camosun secure login (EZproxy) page.

If you continue to experience problems, please submit details using our online form and library staff will follow up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I access library resources off campus?

A. When you select a link to one of our electronic resources (articles, e-books, streaming videos etc.) and you are off campus, you should see a "Secure Login" screen (see screenshot below). Enter your current Camosun domain account information and you should be connected through our proxy server.

Q. What if I don't see the Secure Login screen?

A. If the screen is blank or you see an error message, contact the library with a detailed description of the problem.

Q. I'm confused. I have several accounts. How do I know which one to use?

A. Camosun students have a number of different computer accounts. Use your domain account to access licensed library resources from off campus. Use your library catalogue account to place holds on books and videos or renew library material. (These accounts are not linked, so if you change your password on one account, the other will not change!)

Q. I'm getting a message that my username and password do not match. What should I do?

A. Try resetting your password. If that doesn't work, contact the Camosun ITS Service Desk.

Q. I found an article online but it's saying I need to pay to access the full text. Should I get out my credit card?

A. If an article is not available in one of our databases, chances are we will be able to get a copy for you through interlibrary loan. This service is available to registered students, faculty and staff. Contact the research help desk or email your request to

Q. I am trying to open a link and when I click on it, I am prompted to login to Outlook webmail. What's happening?

A. This is apparently a known problem with Microsoft Outlook (see​​ ). When a link is copied & pasted into a document from an Outlook email account there is additional code added which prompts the Outlook mail login page to display. If you right click on the malfunctioning link and select edit hyperlink you can see what is happening. The text to display is different than the actual link address which has the Outlook email code. ​​If you hover over the following link, you will see the extra code in the pop-up on the bottom of the page:

Additional tips

Connection difficulties may have a number of root causes, including issues on the user’s end, issues with the network, or issues on the provider or vendor’s end.

Depending on the specific nature of the problem you are experiencing, here are some basic things you can try:

  • Try a different browser – for example, if Chrome show errors, try Firefox or Safari
  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Update your browser.
  • Check that you have cookies enabled.
  • Avoid using the browser’s “Back” button; use the internal navigation options provided
  • Check your firewall or security settings – ensure your computer and network settings support the use of secure connections via https


When you select a link to one of Camosun's electronic resources from off campus, you should see this login screen:

Screenshot of secure login to Camosun Library

You can access Camosun's Single Search Discovery Service off campus, but you must log in to view results. For the optimum search experience, we recommend that you log in as soon as you see the yellow "Hello Guest" banner:

Single Search guest login page - offcampus access

Connection issues?

If you are having difficulty accessing Camosun Library databases or other electronic resources off campus and you don’t think it’s a password-related issue, please contact library staff, providing as much of the following information as possible:

  • Type of device.
  • Operating system (name and version).
  • Browser & version.
  • Name and type of resource you are trying to access.
  • Which specific path you are following.
  • The exact error message. (Include screenshots and/or URLs if possible!)
  • Do you see the Camosun secure login page?
  • Is the problem limited to one specific resource or is it all electronic resources?

NOTE: help request response times will vary, especially when the library is closed.

If you are seeing an error message, try searching it in Google, along with the name of your browser and operating system name/ version.

Access from home

The off campus login for library resources is the same as your Camosun domain account login (also used for D2L).

If you can't access e-books or article databases from home and you think this is a password problem, please go to to reset your password or contact the if you are unable to reset your password.

When you are emailing about your account, please provide:

  • your student number
  • your full name
  • the service or resource you are trying to access
  • a description of the issue with resetting your password using the password reset site
  • put "Library Access" in your Subject Line

EZproxy overview

Camosun Library uses a proxy server and a program called EZproxy to enable authorized users to access e-resources off campus. Want to know more? View this 15 min. overview (requires Adobe Flash).

EZproxy uses cookies to communicate with your browser. If the browser blocks this cookie, then you may see an error page. Read more about EZproxy's use of cookies.

Opening PDFs

If a PDF isn't opening, try these other methods:

  • Ensure your browser is up to date
  • Disable browser's pop-up blockers
  • Hold down CTRL while clicking the PDF link
  • Right click on the PDF link and either 
    • Save it to your desktop by choosing "save target as"
    • Or open it in a new tab or window
  • Use the most recent version of Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat
  • If you're using Chrome, disable the built-in viewer

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