One of the points we covered in the podcast interview with Sally Taylor was the importance of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. I’m not sure, but I suspect that the importance of this type of connection is not well understood. This seems to be particularly relevant to the advantages for online access to libraries.
Along the way I discovered the link with Google Scholar was more accessible when linked into a VPN. The behaviour is slightly different for Firefox and Explorer (I think — at least that is how is worked for me!) – but essentially, if I am linked into a VPN, Google Scholar searches provide information contextualized to UBC – with library catalogue links, etc. Very cool.
I took a bit of time yesterday and through together a quick overview of VPN connections. I uploaded it into my course. Not sure if others will find this useful, but I thought I would share it here:
Last year I actually found that is was not only library resources this applied to. One of my students was in England, and she had difficulty accessing a required movie resource from the a public site. Turns out these films were only available to North American web sites. Once she accessed via a VPN she was good to go.
Hope this is useful to others!