StaffGuide: User Services

About Troubleshooting

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Big changes coming to remote access in January 2020! 

Read more about OpenAthens authentication

There are two main ways for remote patrons to authenticate to use library resources:

  • via the library's proxy server
    The majority of our remote traffic is via the proxy. 
    This method involves URLS that are rewritten to send a patron through a login/validation screen.
  • via the special campus VPN connection
    This method is used by a small number of dedicated researchers who are willing to set up the software. 

The troubleshooting steps below are designed to help you assist users of the proxy server

For help with VPN connections, refer questions to the Web Services Librarian,, 479-575-4665.

Step 1: Patron Account

Step 1: Check the patron's record in Sierra. 

If you are not able to see patron records, as the Circulation supervisor on duty to check. 

  1. make sure the account is current
  2. make sure there is no manual block (mblock=former employee is most common)
  3. make sure that the patron type (ptype) is one that is allowed remote access (0-4,7-8,11,13,15,24,25,26,28,32)
    Remember that alumni (5), Spring International students (33) and community borrowers (10) do not have remote access

No library account or lapsed library account but the person thinks they should be current?

  • The Circulation manager on duty can work with the patron to resolve the situation.
    • Check UAConnect Student tab for current enrollment status and update the patron record, if our expiration date is incorrect.
    • Hourly employee? The staff member will need to complete an application form and return the application with a picture ID scan or verification to the Circulation Manager.
    • Continuing (non-enrolled) student? The student must go through their college. See the "Continuing Student" section on our privileges page.
    • Affiliate individuals may be verified in UAConnect and may need to complete an application form.
  • The Web Services Librarian ( has a temporary account that can be used for short-term access while a patron record problem is resolved. 

Patron Account Okay?

Proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: One Database or All?

Step 2: Is the patron able to connect to other resources or is the issue with just one resource?

  • No, the patron cannot connect to any subscription resources.

Proceed to Step 3.

  • Yes, the patron can connect to other resources, just not this one.

    • Can you connect to the resource from the library catalog or home page?

No: The problem is with our link or the vendor. 

  • Take the patron's contact information and send it to or call Beth Juhl at 479-575-4665. 

  • Try Google.  You might find the right link! 

  • Ask the patron if there is a specific article / book chapter or other resource ILL can obtain for him or her.

  • You are done. Thanks for reporting this issue.

Yes, you can connect with no problems.

Proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: What Link is Being Used?

Step 3: What Link is the Patron Using to Access Library Resources? 

Sometimes, patrons Google information or use links sent to them that do not contain the proxy information necessary to be authenticated as a U of A student, faculty, or staff member. 

Answer: Walk the patron through the links on our website or library catalog to obtain the item he or she needs. 

If the patron is already using library links, proceed to Step 4. 

Step 4: The Patron's Technical Environment

Step 4: Check the patron's technical environment

Can the user try a different web browser? 

If the resource works in a different browser, this may be a caching issue, proceed to Step 5 to fix the original browser.

Can the user log in to My Library Account? ( )

If Yes, this may be a caching issue, proceed to Step 5.
If No:
  • Make sure the user is omitting the
  • Make sure the patron is only completing UARK username and password or last name and ID number (not both).
    • Most students, faculty, and staff must input UARK username and password
    • Only certain affiliated patrons will use the last name and ID number
  • Ask if the user has changed their UARK password recently. Is the login form set to remember an old password?
  • Can the user access his or her UARK email? 
    If the user has not changed his or her UARK password in some time, there may be a need to reset that. Go to to change the UARK password.


Still no access?

Proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: Clearing the Cache

Step 5: Clear the browser cache

Often, a patron's web browser may cache a bad error page.  90% of the time, clearing the browser's memory of that page this will solve the issue.  But you want to be careful about urging folks to empty their cache because they may have passwords or other form inputs saved that they don't want to erase.

In both Chrome and Firefox, it is easy to delete only those cached items related to

Instructions for clearing the browser cache

Still no access?

  • Take the patron's contact information and send it to or call Beth Juhl at 479-575-4665. 

  • Try Google.  You might find it! 

  • Ask the patron if there is a specific article / book chapter or other resource that you or ILL can email to him or her.

  • Tell the patron where to find connection information via the campus VPN connection