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Troubleshooting Online Library Resources: A Guide for Users

Information on troubleshooting problems with access to the library's online resources.

Login to our Resources

Access to the Mercyhurst Libraries information materials, computers, network, and building resources is a privilege granted to Mercyhurst University students, faculty, and staff.  

On Campus:  While in the library and on campus, you will only need to login in the one time to access the campus network. All the Mercyhurst community I.T. services utilize the same username and password to access the Library Resources, Self-Service, Blackboard, Email and the Hub.  

Off Campus:  In order to comply with licensing agreements and/or copyright law, access to many of the Mercyhurst Libraries electronic resources are limited to current students and employees of Mercyhurst University. If you click on a link to one of our databases, electronic journals, or electronic reserves from an off-campus computer, you will be prompted once to enter your University email and password. If you are already logged in to your email off-campus you will not be prompted to login again. Your username and password for accessing library resources are the same as the username and password used for your Mercyhurst email account.

New OpenAthens Off-Campus Authentication

Starting in the Fall 2022 semester, the Mercyhurst Hammermill Library will be changing our off-campus authentication server to Open Athens. The sign-on process will remain the same, but the URLs to our resources will change and the process might look slightly different.

We will update the links on our library website and library catalog, so you will not need to do anything different. However, the previous authentication server will eventually be taken offline and older "EZproxy" links you may have bookmarked or copied will stop working eventually.

OpenAthens is more secure than our previous means of authentication, but this also means that logins might be required on campus as well as off campus for certain resources that require it. Some links to resources may show you a login screen that asks you to choose your institution or requires you to look for a link marked "Institutional Login".


If you need any further assistance or experience any issues with database access from on or off campus, contact Reference and Technology Librarian Karen Niemla at or use the "Report an Online Resource Problem" form on this page.


Contact us here!

Problems with Login?

Mercyhurst  passwords need to be reset every 90 days to improve the network security.  Passwords can be reset by using the Password Management Tool.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Clear Cache / Cookies

What browser are you using?  Have you recently downloaded an updated version of your browser?  Sometimes new versions will reset security settings such as cookies and firewalls that you might have changed on the old version.  Your best bet is to start fresh.  Clear the cache and cookies from your browser using the directions on these pages:

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Apple Safari on iOS, MacOS

After clearing, you will have to set your browser to accept cookies. If not, your computer will not be able to "remember" that you have logged in with your user name and password. Some resources might require that Cookies are enabled in your browser. Sometimes there is a problem using a certain browser for some databases.  We recommend switching to another browser and trying again.


Firewall and security software may prevent access. If you get a message that the connection has been refused, or you see a “Page Not Found” error, your computer's security is the likely explanation. Off campus, try temporarily disabling security software such as Norton Internet Security, Norton Personal Firewall, Symantec Desktop Firewall,etc. If you gain access to the databases when the security is turned off, you have found the problem. Adjust your security settings to allow access to the proxy server and turn your security back on.

Note: If you are on a workplace computer or another institutional network not associated with Mercyhurst, you may need to contact your company's help desk or IT staff to see if the firewall can be adjusted to allow you to access the library's proxy server.

Pop-up blockers

Pop-up blockers may interfere with some resources. Turn off your pop-up blocker and click on the database again.


Java is a programming language and computing platform. There are some applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed and enabled in your browser.