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Authentication and Off-Campus Access Help

Authentication FAQ

What is my User ID and password?

Admitted and enrolled students: use your Z-ID and password 
Active NIU employees (faculty, staff, student employees): use your A-ID and password. You already use this ID/password combination to access MyNIU, Blackboard, and to sign on to your office computer. The ID is a combination of letters and numbers unique to you (e.g. c60lml1 or a123456). 

I don't know / need help with my User ID and password.

For help with your ID and password, please call the IT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or see: Password Self Service

I've spoken with the IT Service Desk and my ID and password are fine, but I'm still not able to login.

Several things can prevent you from authenticating, or from even accessing the authentication page. The most common obstacles are security measures, in particular firewalls. Our method of authentication uses a proxy server that generates a random port every time. Try lowering your security settings from "High" to "Medium" and temporarily disabling your firewall. Your computer will not be at risk as long as you are using the library's electronic resources. You can return your settings to "High" and enable your Firewall when you're out on the free internet. 

Some places of business (school districts in particular) use system-wide firewalls that will prevent you from authenticating via one of their computers. The work-around for this will require your System Administrator to hold open a specific port in order to accommodate our random port generator. They may or may not be willing to do this, but you can ask. Please call 815-753-2500 for additional information regarding the port. 

Why can't I use the VPN?

The University Libraries used VPN for our authentication method for a while. However, it became incompatible with more and more of our databases, ejournals and other electronic resources. We therefore had to find an alternative. We are currently using a combination of Shibboleth and EZProxy for authentication.

Off-Campus Access Help

I am unable to access databases linked on the Libraries homepage.

Solution #1:

Clear Web Browser Temporary Internet files (Cache), and Cookies

Solution #2:

If you are connecting to the Libraries website via the NIU VPN, disconnect from the VPN. Close web browser and then re-launch the web browser. Navigate to the Libraries website.

Solution #3:

Try a different browser. Sometimes we have modified the browser to our own preferences, or have inadvertently done so with a combination of keystrokes. Try a different browser, or reset this one back to the original settings.

If you continue to have a problem connecting to the Libraries' databases, please email or call the IT Service Desk (; 815-753-8100) or email Ask A

Password Assistance is available at Forgotten Password.

Contact Us

Chalermsee Olson, Interim Dean

Phone: (815) 753-1995


Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

Business Hours