Answered By: Jennifer Connor
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018     Views: 621

If you're having trouble with one of the Library's databases, first go to the database's information page by clicking the database name from the full database list. Currently known issues and potential workarounds will be listed.

If there are no known issues, see the below tips: 

  • Be sure that you enter the databases through the Austin Public Library's Virtual Library, which will activate the page where you need to enter your Library Card number to authenticate your Library membership. Do not try to access the databases through links saved as favorites or bookmarks.
  • Be sure your Library Card is active. See the expiration date in My APL > My Settings or call 512-974-7400, Option 1. Expired cards are blocked from using the Virtual Library.
  • Have a recently renewed card? If you see the error "The card number you entered is not valid" but you are sure it is entered correctly and you recently renewed your card, contact 512-974-7400, Option 1. We can restore your access. 
  • Refresh your browser.
  • Clear your browser cache and cookies, and be sure that cookies, Java and Javascript are enabled.
  • Be sure your browser is up to date, or try a different one. Some databases are more compatible with Firefox or Chrome than with Internet Explorer, Safari or other browsers. For maximum compatibility, download and install the latest stable version of your browser, or try the latest version of Firefox or Chrome. Browsers should have cookies, Java, JavaScript and frames enabled and caching turned on for optimal use. Check the individual database's help screen for other requirements.
  • Check your firewall settings. Some firewalls, proxy servers and security software block the ports that the Library uses to provide remote access (ports 2048 and above). Reconfigure your personal security software to allow these ports or check with your Systems Administrator. You can also try a different network, such as public WiFi or your home internet access, rather than change your workplace firewall settings.
  • Disable pop-up blockers if you can't download files. Pop-up blockers may interfere with downloading some documents.
  • Turn off any ISP accelerators, such as the Google Web accelerator.
  • Turn off your VPN (Virtual Private Network).
  • We have a limited number of concurrent users allowed for some databases. If you get a message to this effect, please try to access the database again later. See the database's information page to learn if concurrent users are restricted.
  • TexShare Cardholders must access the databases through their home libraries.

‚ÄčIf none of the above helps, try to access the database again later. Most technical problems with databases are resolved within an hour or so. If you have recurring problems, call Ask a Librarian at 512-974-7400, Option 1, or email us detailing the issue.

We will want to know what kind of device you are using (PC, tablet, etc.), its operating system, what browsers you've tried and whether you are on a home, public or work network. Also please share any error messages that you receive.