Academic librarians -- Firefox and Zotero upgrades

I am very frustrated. At the request of faculty, most of whom use Zotero, I have started teaching Zotero rather than EndNote, which is licensed by my university. I was wondering if other university librarians are struggling with IT departments who are not concerned about immediately upgrading browsers. They installed 32 new computers in the last two weeks with Firefox 24.4ESR loaded, and when I tried teaching Zotero today we discovered it is no longer compatible with that version of Firefox. And of course, they have disabled the upgrade feature, so we cannot do it ourselves. Any university librarians out there dealing with this?
  • edited October 16, 2014
    See my response here, where I suggest a limited workaround. But note also the caveats.

    (And for others, there are more details in Robsbib's earlier thread.)
    IT departments who are not concerned about immediately upgrading browsers
    Note that "immediately" here does mean "in the three months since Firefox 31 ESR was released".
  • edited October 17, 2014
    You could try and see if you could get Zotero Standalone installed, though you'd still have to deal with getting browser add-ons working (though, if all else fails, there's always the bookmarklet). While that also should be updated regularly, old versions will at least continue to run.

    Beyond that, I'd like to restate perhaps more strongly than Dan has that your IT department is not fulfilling its most basic job description and you should escalate that. If your campus security forgot to lock buildings and put people's physical property at risk, I assume you wouldn't just accept that as a fait accompli. Having people use (significantly!) outdated browser versions is the IT equivalent of that. It's dangerous and irresponsible. 24.4 isn't even an up to date ESR version of Firefox: 24.5, a security update, came out in April this year, so those browsers haven't seen a security patch for more than half a year.
  • Believe me, I agree completely about the university IT department. The library, unfortunately, does not have its own image, and so we are in constant -- well, let me call it communication or negotiation, to be polite -- with the university IT department about things we need. I did send an email today, with a copy of the ERS schedule from the Mozilla site, to point out that we no longer had acceptable security, and asked when they were going to upgrade. What really gets me is that this is the NEW image for our computers, and the apparent lack of knowledge about Firefox updates is appalling. My latest message is part of an attempt (happening on library discussion sites as well) to see if this is widespread (there were issues with IT at my last university as well) or a more localized weakness. And since the university licenses Endnote, and that is part of the image, it would be tough to get Zotero Standalone there as well. Though, of course, we do not have licensed access to the latest version of Endnote either.

    Thanks for the info.
  • best of luck. That sounds like a very unpleasant situation.

    One last idea that could serve as a workaround in an emergency (like having a workshop and no working Zotero) is that old Zotero versions remain available to download and they all follow the same download URL pattern--so, since it sounds like campus computers do allow installing add-ons--you could provide that link to participants and have them downgrade.

    So the current version is at
    the last version (which still worked with Firefox 24) is at
  • Excellent! Thanks for the link. I can make use of that until we get an upgrade.
  • Also Firefox Portable (newest version) with Zotero on a usb stick (or several sticks) may be a temporary solution.
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