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Databases - FAQs

( If you do not find the information that you are looking for on this Database FAQ page, please visit the other database related FAQ pages, from the links above.)

  1. What do I need to access the online databases from home?

    Most of our remote access databases are available directly from our links. Some databases need to be authenticated and may prompt you for a password or library card. For those databases that are authenticated via our library catalog you may also need your telephone number (this number should match the telephone number in our records).

  2. Will I need a password to access a database?

    While most databases need only user authentication, some databases require a password for remote access. Databases that are password protected -

    • CultureGram
    • Login: pgcmls

    • Facts for Learning
    • Login: pratt

    • Ready Reference Shelf;
    • Pulications & Broadcast Media Directory
    • Username is larg70913
      Password is

    • Washington Post;
    • Washington Times

      Login and Password are the first five numbers on your library card

  3. I cannot access one of the databases that I used in the library?

    Not all databases are available for home access. Some databases can only be used inside our library branches.

  4. Which Internet browsers are best for accessing the databases?

    We recommend that you use the latest version of either Netscape or IE. Some databases will not be supported in Netscape 6 because of a number of non-standard features that make it perform badly with some products. Proprietary browsers like Compuserve[CS] and America On Line [AOL] are not recommended browsers for database access.

  5. Are there any specific browser settings needed to access the databases?

    For most databases you will need to configure your browser to accept cookies and javascript will have to be enabled.

  6. Will a personal firewall or Antivirus software cause a problem when accessing a database?
  7. Yes. If you are using a personal firewall or Norton Antivirus software, there may be some interactivity problems. Turn off these services when accessing the databases.

  8. I am using the AOL Internet Service and having trouble accessing the databases?

    Even though the AOL services is supported, proprietary browsers like Compuserve[CS] and America On Line [AOL] are not recommended browsers for database access. If you are using the AOL browser, it is recommended that you download, free of charge, Netscape or Internet Explorer directly from the manufacturer's web site.

  9. Why are my database bookmarks not working?

    Bookmarks, shortcuts and favorites are not recommended to access databases, results will be unpredictable. Typically, remote access to databases is offered via a secured host that authenticates/validates users prior to allowing access. Accessing a database via a bookmark, that you have created, sidesteps the authentication process and breaches security.

  10. I cannot see all the text in the database how do I fix this?

    Most databases are optimized for viewing on a screen with a resolution of 800 x 600 or better. Check your display settings to make sure that they meet the minimum display requirements.

  11. Do I need to install any special software on my computer to use the databases?

    Some databases like, ProQuest, provide article page images in Adobe PDF (Portable Article File) format. To view these articles, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system. If you do not have it, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  12. What are cookies and how do I enable cookies?

    Cookies are a general mechanism that allows the server side of a connection and the client side of the connection (your computer) to maintain information about a particular session. By using cookies, the database server can keep track of your pending article retrievals and your display and search options for the current session.

    The steps below will walk you through checking or enabling cookies on your browser. If you are unsure of the browser version you're using, please go to Help>About on your browser menu bar.

    Internet Explorer 6.0
      • Go to Tools
      • Choose Internet Options
      • Choose Privacy
      • Move lever down to Accept All Cookies
      • Click OK to save

    Internet Explorer 5.0 or 5.5 for Windows
      • Go to Tools
      • Choose Internet Options
      • Click Security
      • Click Custom Level
      • Scroll down until you see cookies and change both to enable all cookies
      • Click apply then OK

    Internet Explorer for Macintosh
      • Go to Edit>Preferences
      • Click Receiving files>Cookies
      • Set When Receiving Cookies to Never Ask or Ask for Each Site
      • Click OK to save

    Netscape 7.0 or higher
      • Go to Edit
      • Choose Preferences
      • Click Privacy & Security
      • Click Cookies
      • Click Enable all cookies

    Netscape 6.x

    • Go to Edit
    • Choose Preferences
    • Click Advanced
    • Click Cookies
    • Click Enable all Cookies
    • Click OK

  13. Netscape 4.x

      • Click on Edit
      • Click on Preferences
      • Click on Advanced
      • Choose Accept all cookies
      • Click OK

    The FAQ feature is designed to help you find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about access to our databases. For help in using the databases, please visit the help section on the databases web site. If you need any further assistance please Contact Us


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Prince George's County Memorial Library System
Administrative Offices : 6532 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782-2098. Tel:301-699-3500 TTY:301-808-2061