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Library Access browser extension

Home Services for you Library Access browser extension

Do you want to access library resources directly from publishers’ websites? If so the Library access browser extension is for you.

The Library Access browser extension makes it simple to access academic articles, journals and databases licensed by The Open University Library, wherever you are and whenever you need it.

How does it work?

After downloading, the extension will notify you when you’re on a website that The Open University Library has a subscription for. Then, it’s just a single click to open the site through the library’s systems and get access to all licensed material on that site. Install the browser extension once and enjoy a simpler, faster way to get access.

The browser extension shows an icon in the bookmarks bar. It works almost like a traffic light. If the icon is green, then you have access. A grey icon means that access is denied. If the material you’d like to use doesn’t seem accessible, Library Access will automatically check for open access versions of the article.

Getting started with the Library Access browser extension

The browser extension can be installed by following the simple steps below.

  1. Go to https://www.leanlibrary.com/download
  2. Install the extension for your browser.
  3. Select Open University (UK) as the institution.
  4. Search for articles and journals.
  5. If you're not already signed into The Open University, sign in with your OU computer username and password.
  6. Enjoy quick and simple access to all licensed resources!

What about my privacy?

By using the Library Access extension you will remain completely anonymous. The Library Access browser extension doesn’t collect any personal information unless you actively share it. And it doesn’t collect your IP address or your device’s unique device IDs.

Do you want to know more? The privacy statement for the extension contains the information you need.

Library Access browser extension accessibility

Keyboard-only users

If you navigate using the keyboard only (no mouse) there are a couple of ways to quickly access the browser extension pop-up when it appears:

  • Skip link: when you tab forwards from the top of the page a skip link will appear called “Quickly Access Lean Library Popup”. You can use this link to get access to the browser extension pop-up.
  • Shortcut keys: you can also access the browser extension using SHIFT+ALT+L

Screen reader users

Currently there is no automatic notification for screen reader users that the Library Access browser extension has opened a pop-up to alert users that the resource is available via a Library subscription. We are working with the supplier to resolve this issue. In the meantime, the following work-around may be helpful once you have installed the browser extension:

  • When you visit the website of a resource (article, journal, or database) that the Library has a subscription for, there will always be a hidden skip link at the top of the page called “Quickly Access Lean Library Popup”.
  • If you want to check whether or not the Library subscribes to the resource, you can look for the presence of the skip link (e.g. by bringing up a list of links on the page). If the “Quickly Access Lean Library Popup” link is present, the Library subscribes to the resource, and you can use the link to gain quick access to the resource.
  • If the skip link is not present, you may assume that the Library does not subscribe to that resource.

About the Trial

The Open University Library is trialing an internet browser extension tool to support access to academic articles, journals and databases licensed by the library. A browser extension is a small piece of software that you can add to your internet browser, for example Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. The Library Access browser extension makes it simple to access academic articles, journals and databases licensed by The Open University Library, wherever you are and whenever you need it.

We would love to hear feedback about the Library Access browser extension. Please let us know what you think as it will help us when deciding if we should continue with this service after the trial.