E-resource access for international students

Hey all,

I’m Callan from Cohort 3 and I’m dropping by to see if the collective hive mind has any insight into making it easier/possible for international students to access library e-resources. This is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with this at work (I’m at a small college in the Boston area), so I’m eager to see if anyone has run into access issues for students in other countries, particularly in China, where the majority of our international students live. Most of them were planning to come to campus before that ICE bullshit.

We use OCLC Hosted EZproxy for access to most of our e-resources, excluding Overdrive, which students just access via their library credentials. What I’d like to know is: have you run into international access issues before, and/or have you found any workarounds, and if you have found workarounds, what are they?

Thanks so much for any insight you have on this topic. :two_hearts::two_hearts:

Back in March I was working at UPenn and they were sending international students VPNs to use. However, with China they were concerned this would cause an International Incident so it got forwarded up to higher management, but after four months or so we never heard back and then I was laid off so I don’t know what happened with that.

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My immediate thought was the one that @shelley shared – using a VPN puts Chinese people at risk. Tor doesn’t reliably work in China, and brings up the same issues too. I would look into what VPNs actually function reliably in China, while making sure to give all the caveats about how risky this is. In other countries, a VPN or Tor probably would function better, but each place will come with its own attendant risks.