Database Help Page (for Borrowers with a "P" Card)

Access to the Databases

Licensing agreements for these databases require that the New York State Library limit access to:

  • current employees of the State Library,
  • our registered borrowers, and
  • onsite researchers.

We use a process called IP authentication to restrict access to eligible users. This means that users must access these databases either from onsite, using the Library's computers, or remotely, through the Library's proxy server. The proxy server authenticates a user ID and password (in this case, a State Library borrower's number and PIN) and, if the user ID and password provided are valid, connects the borrower to the appropriate database provider.

Troubleshooting Specific Databases

We subscribe to many databases, from a variety of different vendors. We try to keep up with any changes made, but at times you may have trouble accessing some databases.

We list any known problems with specific databases below, followed by some general areas to consider when troubleshooting. If you encounter a problem not described here, please let us know about it by completing our brief online form. Please include any error messages you may have received.

America's Newspapers 

  • Personal Logins: In order to create an alert or log in to your personal account in America's Newspapers, you must log in from the main Newsbank page (rather than the America's Newspapers page).  The Login button on the America's Newspapers page does not work when you are accessing the database remotely.

    Once Americas Newpapers opens, click on "Other NewsBank Products" in the upper right corner. You will see links to both the Archive of Americana (America's Historical Newspapers) and New York News Sources. Click on the Log In button on the right hand side in the blue sidebar labeled Personal Accounts. Once you have created an account and/or logged in, you can do a search and set up alerts. (September 2010)

EBSCO

  • MyEBSCOhost: When you are using features available through My EBSCOhost (such as alerts), you will be asked to login with your "User Name" and "Password." This login page is on the EBSCOhost site. The user name and password were set by you when you set up your "My EBSCOhost" account. (They are not the same as your NYSL borrower's card number and password.) If you cannot remember them, click on the link for "I forgot my user name and password" on the "Sign in to My EBSCOhost" page at EBSCO.
  • "System Error has Occurred" message: Clear your browser's cache and cookies. With newer versions of Firefox, you may have to do this twice. (August 2012)

FirstSearch WorldCat (OCLC)

  • E-mail: When e-mailing records, you need to have the holdings record up on screen. If you just e-mail "detailed record," the e-mail will not include the holdings. (July 2010)

HeritageQuest Online:

  • Printing Census Page Images: If you'd like to print a copy of the census image you are viewing online, you can use the standard Print button in your Internet browser. However, you may obtain better results by selecting sections of the image and printing from within Adobe Acrobat Reader (Version 5 or higher). For information on how to do this, including how to print a section of the census image or how to make it larger and more readable on paper, please see HeritageQuest Online's What's New pageexternal link (scroll down to "Getting Started").

Loislaw:

  • The database asks for a username and password: Delete the cookies and clear the Temporary Internet files. (November 21, 2007; July 2010)
  • My Saved Searches: Loislaw does not provide individual accounts for saving searches. Therefore, the "My Saved Searches" button on the blue bar near the top center of the screen contains the saved search strategies for every user on the New York State Library account who has saved their search strategy. The New York State Library account can save only 100 of these search strategies. Therefore, it is better to save your search strategy only if it is not confidential and if it is a more complicated strategy such as (automobile or motorcycle or vehicle or car or truck) and dr?nk*, which could be hard to reconstruct. Also, the LawWatch settings go to one e-mail account at the State Libraryand we have no way to forward the searches to you as they do not come with any indication as to who originated the search. (July 2010)
  • Print/E-mail/Save: For remote users, once you have done a search and are looking at citations, a technical glitch within the Loislaw system causes their Print Selected, Download Selected or Email Selected buttons to redirect to our login screen. We have contacted the vendor, but they have not yet found a solution.

    For the time being, we recommend that, instead of using the Print/Download/E-mail buttons, you click on the link of your citation title (under "Document Title" in the list of checked documents). This will open the document up in a new window, where you can use your browser's controls to download or print it. Alternatively, you can copy the text you need and paste it into a word processing program to save it. (updated July 2012)
  • Chrome: One user reported trouble using the LoisLaw database in the Chrome browser. Switching to Firefox solved the problem. (July 2012)

New York Times - Historical:

  • Opening PDF files of articles in Firefox: Some users have reported trouble opening PDFs in Firefox. Per the vendor, ProQuest, the PDF issue is typically caused from one of two things:
    • the adobe reader plug-in is not being updated properly, or
    • FireFox is out of date in comparison to the plug-in being used.

    As a general recommendation ProQuest suggests:
    • visiting the Mozilla siteexternal link to download the latest Adobe Reader plug-in for FireFox, and
    • if possible, upgrading your FireFox browser to a more recent version.

    More information on how to re-install and adjust your plug-ins within FireFoxexternal link. (March 2011)

General Troubleshooting

To use these databases, you must:

  • have a Library borrower's card issued by the New York State Library, with a card number that begins with "P";
  • know your card number (it's on the back of your borrower's card) and PIN;
  • be a permanent New York State agency employee, a legislative employee, or an otherwise eligible borrower

If you meet these criteria, but have been unable to access our remote databases, here are some possible problems:

Typos. You may have mistyped your borrower's card number or PIN. Please try again.

Forgot Your Borrower's card number or your PIN? If you are not sure that you are using the correct borrower's number or PIN, contact the Library, and we will look up your borrower's card number and/or PIN number for you. Please use the Borrower's Card Number/PIN Request Online Form or contact the Reference Desk by phone at (518) 474-5355.

No longer eligible. If you have a borrower's card, but have not used or renewed it in some time, your card may have lapsed. Please call the Circulation Desk at (518) 473-7895 to check on your status.

Firewalls. If you are accessing our Web site from behind a firewall, you may not be able to use our proxy server. You can check with your firewall administrator to see if your firewall is preventing access

Other Proxies. If you have another proxy (e.g., in order to use college or university resources) set up on your browser, it may interfere with use of our proxy service.

Cookies. If you currently have the "cookies" option disabled in your browser, you will have to enable it in order to access the subscription databases through our proxy server. Once you have been validated by this system, a cookie is sent to your browser as an ongoing indication of your authorization to access these databases. It will only need to be set once during login. (Although as you access specific databases, they may also use cookies. Your ability to use those databases may depend on whether or not you allow those cookies to be set.)

Last Updated: November 20, 2013