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Using AOL, CompuServ, Gateway, etc. with Library Databases
Off Campus Library Services


AOL (America OnLine), and some other national ISP's present some new challenges for easy access to library databases, especially our WebSpirs access to ERIC, PSYCHInfo and CINAHL. With a slight modification in how you normally access the world wide web, you can work around this challenge. If when you type in the appropriate name/barcode or Username/Password to access these databases and you get an error message, something to the effect that you are an "invalid user," blank screen, or nothing happens then you need to keep reading.

Go ahead and use your ISP to connect to the internet per your usual dial up connection. When connected, you will need to minimize the default  browser that typically will load when you make a successful connection. Click on the minimize icon, usually in the upper righthand corner of the screen. It looks like a dash. See illustration below.

Then you can load an independent browser, such as  MSIE (preferred) or Netscape Communicator. One or both of these often come preinstalled on new computers. In AOL, you can also do a keyword search on NETSCAPE.  Be sure that the version you are using/download is 6.0 or higher of either program. This is important for other features, too. To know which version you have you can look for the version number as the program loads or go ahead and load the program and then click on HELP from the toolbar and then "About Netscape" or "About Internet Explorer."

Once you have the independent browser ready to use, go ahead and connect to our library web page, the database searching page and the database that you would like to search. Now when you enter your name/barcodee or the username/password that you have been given in class or from OCLS you shouldn't have any trouble connecting to the database. If you need further assistance, please email OCLS.