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Linking to Library Content in Course Materials: Linking Introduction

Linking to Library Content

This tutorial is designed to help you understand how library links work, to use them accurately and effectively in course materials, and to troubleshoot when they are not working properly.  Didn't find what you were looking for?  Email us at for personalized assistance! 


The URL which appears in the address bar of your browser is normally not a persistent or permanent URL.  It normally contains dynamically generated session information which will expire shortly thereafter.  That means that if you use this link in your syllabus, or online course it likely will not work for your students when they need to access the content, leading to stress and frustration all around.  

Here is an example of an expired URL from an EBSCOhost database:


A permalink is a web address that will consistently point to a specific information source such as an ebook, an article, a record in the catalog, a video, or a database. The use of persistent or permanent URL's offers two advantages: 

  •  It omits the temporary session information that will expire and render the link unusable thereafter
  • It includes the address of the library's proxy server to ensure that you take a quick detour through the library to sign in through our subscription before landing on the desired resource. Essentially - this makes it look like you are on campus to our content providers. 

Here is an example of an permalink from an EBSCOhost database:

How do I know if a link will work from off campus? 

When on campus, the library systems work quietly in the background to make sure that you get logged in properly, even when you don't realize it, because we recognize the campus' IP addresses.  When you go off campus, the library's proxy server allows us to recognize and authenticate University of Lynchburg students and employees.  In order for the library's paid subscriptions to work from off campus, traffic must either: 

  1. Originate from the library website (where we will intercept you to log in);
  2.  OR include the library's proxy in the URL or web address, which will detour your browser through our login. 

What does the proxy look like?

Take our EBSCOhost permalink below - you can see that the proxy URL is already included there for you. 

Permalink with proxy highlighted

Some databases place the proxy address in the middle of the URL - that's okay too! 

Start of Term Checklist

The library's subscription databases work much like Netflix.  While we pay to have access to the content, we normally don't have any control over what that content is, and databases frequently make changes to what content is contained within.  This means that a title that was available through a given database the last time you taught a course, may not be there the next time you teach it.  Use the checklist below before the start of term to make sure that your course materials still work properly. 

  • Test each link in your syllabus and/or Moodle course before the start of term
  • Got broken links? Use the Journal Search to see if the library has alternative access in a different database
  • Missing important content? Is an important title now no longer available through the library's subscriptions? Contact your liaison librarian to discuss options moving forward.