Should I use Lean Library or ProxyGU?

What's the difference between Lean Library and ProxyGU? Do I need to install both extensions? 


Both Lean Library and ProxyGU have the same core function: taking an e-journal (or e-book, or database) webpage and giving you Library access without having to go back to the Library's website. Some pros and cons of both:

Lean Library is a browser extension that automatically detects if you're on a page with Library access.

  • LL can automatically run in the background, and can be sent to automatically reload pages -- no more clicking ProxyGU on multiple sites/pages
  • In some cases, LL will also alert you to other access options, such as Open Access alternatives or alternatives from other Library sources
  • LL makes it easy to place ILL requests for articles the Library doesn't have
  • LL has a (slightly) more complicated download and install process
  • LL is available for most major browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge)
  • LL can bes used in incognito/private mode, but this must be manually enabled
  • LL can be used on iOS-compatible mobile devices, but not on Android

ProxyGU is a Javascript bookmarklet that (when clicked) reloads your current page through the proxy:

  • ProxyGU isn't automatic -- you need to click it to work
  • Because you need to click ProxyGU, you have more control over whether pages are reloaded
  • ProxyGU won't check to see if your page has Library access -- it will just give you an error if it fails
  • ProxyGU only reloads pages, and doesn't check for OA alternatives or have ILL integration
  • ProxyGU works with any browser and works in Incognito mode

If you are choosing between the two, we recommend installing Lean Library. However, if you already have ProxyGU installed, or prefer a solution where you have control over whether pages are reloaded through the Library's proxy, feel free to use and keep using ProxyGU.


  • Last Updated Aug 16, 2021
  • Views 70
  • Answered By John Kimbrough

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