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How To Use the Digital Reading Room (DRR)

  1. Accessing your course DRR page
  2. Components of your course DRR page
  3. Accessing required and supplemental readings
  4. Searching the digital reading room
  5. FAQs and troubleshooting
  6. Contacting library

1. Accessing your course DRR page

To access the digital reading room for your course, click on the 'Index of Digital Reading Files' link in the left-hand column & find your course under required subject of Undergraduate Program, for-example Anthropology (ANTH) subject or find your course under required Graduate Program, for-example Heritage Resources Management (HERM) Program.

Figure 1.1 Index of Digital Reading Files Page

screenshot of index DRR page

screenshot of index DRR page

Clicking on the 'ANTH 499' link, for example, will bring you to the digital reading room page for Anthropology 499, in which you may access and search the required and supplemental readings for that course.

Figure 1.2. Course Digital Reading Room Page

screenshot of index DRR page

2. Components of your course DRR page

Once you have accessed your course digital reading room page, you may wish to get acquainted with Course Description.

Main Menu Links

'Program link' refers to the Centre or Faculty of your course, 'other resources' link refers to additional resources in any.


Also along the left-hand column is the DRR search box that allows to search within all DRR resources.


The Course DRR content consists of Required &/or Supplementary Readings.

Top menu underneath the Course Title allows you to view the Course DRR by the Course Structure (by Unit, by Lesson, etc,) or by all Course DRR content ("Show All" link).

3. Accessing required and supplemental readings

Course readings will be displayed in the required readings or supplemental readings sections as a link with a description of the reading underneath. To access this reading, click on the link for the reading.

Once you have clicked on the link to the reading, if it is accessible via the Internet, you will be redirected to that reading through your Web browser. The reading will appear in a new browser window, and you may read it online.

If the article is accessible via the Athabasca University Library database, you will be redirected to a page in which you must enter your name and student or library ID, as per the figure below.

Figure 3 AU User Authentication Redirect Page

If a reading material is not available online through the AU Library database, but is available to borrow as a print copy from the AU Library, you will be redirected to the AU Library page in which you may request the item.

If the reading material is availabe as an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file, then you must first download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

4. Searching the DRR

To use the search feature, type a keyword into the 'Search' box, and then click the 'Search' button.

Figure 4. Searching

The list of search results that will be displayed are ranked according to how relevant the item is to your keyword. This is shown by the number of Athabasca University icons that appear after your search results. So, for example, a search result with 11 icons underneath it would indicate a high relevancy, and would be the first item displayed in your search results. A lower relevancy would have only 6 icons, etc.


5. FAQs and troubleshooting

FAQ's Regarding Remote Access to Databases

Q. How can I access the Databases from home?

A. It is possible to access the databases from home, including readings in the Digital Reading Room, by going through an authentication process that allows us to ensure that users are members of the AU community. The authentication process requires users to enter their username (First name and Last name) and password (student or library ID). See Help Center: Remote Access to Databases

Q. Why can I access the databases from home, but not from work?

A. Many workplaces employ "firewalls" to control network/Internet access. This may prevent you from connecting to the library's proxy server. If you believe this is the case, contact your workplace system administrator.

Q. What is the Digital Reading Room?

A. The Digital Reading Room (DRR) is an online course reserves system that provides students with access to course readings and supplementary learning resources. These resources have been selected by faculty and are organized by course. They include online journal articles, Web sites, electronic books, video clips and audio clips.

Q. Why do I sometimes have to fill out a form to order material from the Library?

A. As you use the DRR you will find that some resources are freely available on the Web, some are stored in online databases, and some are available in print form from AU Library. The course writer has selected the resources that he or she feels best meet the needs of the course. It may be that some key resources are simply not available in an electronic format. The course writer has worked with AU Library to ensure that these print based resources (e.g. books, photocopies of journal articles) are available in the Library. The online form provides you with a convenient method of ordering these resources.

Q. Why do I get asked for a database login and password?

A. The contents of databases are licensed and therefore available to a community of users on a subscription basis. In order to access readings that are stored in the online Databases you will need to be authenticated as a user associated with Athabasca University. The authentication process requires users to enter their First name and Last name and Student ID or Library ID number.

Q. How do I view readings that are available in "PDF"?

A. To display PDF (Portable Document Format) files you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not already have this program installed on your computer you may download it from:

Q. Who do I contact for help using the Digital Reading Room?

A. Contact library@athabascau.ca



Problem: Solution:
My browser version isn't listed You must use at latest version Internet Explorer or Firefox. To upgrade your browser, download a more current version of Internet Explorer or FireFox.
Browser is already set up for a different proxy server You can replace your current settings. Be sure to note your original proxy, so you can revert after using the Databases.
Can't connect Make sure that the correct URL is in the correct place in your browser's settings.
Can't open PDF file in DRR View PDF files in Firefox without downloading them
Display PDF in browser | Acrobat, Reader XI
Security Certificate Warning Security Exceptions – Instructions for trouble shooting
Settings are correct, but still no connection If you have been denied access after entering your name and membership number, you must close your browser, reopen and wait 10 minutes before attempting to access again.
Connection problems at work but not at home Security measures (e.g. firewalls) on your workplace network may prevent use of a proxy server. Consult your network administrator.
"Sorry, patron record not found" message To rule out typos, try entering the information once more. If you still can't access the Databases, contact the Library to check your status.
"403 Forbidden" message Your patron status doesn't match the eligible category of users: AU students, staff, faculty, and tutors. Externals and alumni are unable to access these databases, because of the licensing agreement. If you are a valid user, please contact the Library for help.
Problem not listed above

Contact the Computing Services Helpdesk. Please have ready your browser and version number, location you are trying to access the databases from, the name of your Internet Service Provider, the name of the database(s) you are trying to access, and a description of the problem. (Please copy down any error message(s) you receive and include them in your description.)

Contacting the Library

There are many ways to contact the library for help with using the DRR or questions related to obtaining materials from the AU Library.

E-mail: library@athabascau.ca

Web: http://library.athabascau.ca/

Calgary: (403) 263-6465, ext. 6254
Edmonton: (780) 421-8700, ext. 6254
Canada/US: (800) 788-9041, ext. 6254
Other: 011 (780) 675-6254

Fax : (780) 675-6477

Hours: Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm (MT)
Voice mail is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mailing Address:
Library Information Desk
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB Canada T9S 3A3

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