Having trouble accessing library electronic resources?
Use the following checklist as a guide to troubleshooting some common issues.

Apps: If you have an Apple iOS or Android powered device, refer to the following link for detailed information on applications for your portable device: http://www.pbclibrary.org/mobilelibfaq.php

Browser and Security Issues: Personal computers often have several layers of protection installed on them. Having firewall and antivirus program installed on your computer is a good practice when using the Internet. Occasionally firewalls and antivirus programs, along with other settings, may prevent you from gaining access to the library's electronic resources and other sites. If you are unable to access Library resources, you may need to adjust the settings for these programs.

Authentication: Several of the Library databases require you to enter your library card number for authentication. The Palm Beach County Library System uses a proxy server for this process. Corporate and personal firewalls can sometimes block access to a proxy server. If you enter a valid library card number and get an error displaying the page; your firewall settings may need to be adjusted.


The following information may help you troubleshoot common browser and security issues. You should fully understand the implications of making any changes to your personal computer prior to making any changes.

Accessing the Library's Web Catalog (Enterprise) & Other Databases

Most databases are available from home. Only those with the In Library Only icon require you to be within a library branch for access. When you are accessing a database from home, you may need to supply your Library Card Number. Our databases typically do not require you to enter a Username or Password (PIN), just your Library Card Number. If you have discovered a database that is asking for a Username and PIN, there is the possibility that the vendor is having problems with their server, or that the product is unavailable for maintenance. Another cause may be a setting in your Browser - specifically refer to our help section dealing with Cookies (below).

Certain functions of the Library's Web Catalog (Enterprise) may require you to Log In. You can log in with the Library Card Number and PIN that has been assigned to you. If you don't know your PIN, call your local branch of the Palm Beach County Library System.

You should enter your Library Card number without spaces. Example D123456789

Other useful links about your your Library account:

Troubleshooting for specific database products

  • FAQ & Troubleshooting regarding Reference USA.
  • Reference USA - Take A Tour

  • Bookmarks and Favorites

    The best pages to save in your Favorites are PBCLS Web Catalog (Enterprise) and the PBCLS Home Page.

    Does your browser have Cookies and Javascript enabled?

    Many databases require your PC to accept cookies, and to have Javascript enabled.

    One program that is known to cause problems is 'CookieCop'. This browser plug-in manages cookies and has been identified as causing problems when accessing certain database products. If you have CookieCop installed, you may want to disable it while accessing the library web site.

    Adobe Acrobat Reader

    Many databases offer text in Portable Document Format (PDF). This means that you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC to view these documents. This is a free viewer from Adobe. Don't have Adobe? Download Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

    Firewall Issues

    Network Firewalls are an important part of networks today. They help to protect users from malicious attacks coming from the Internet. They do this by opening and closing ports. Some databases require certain ports to be open to work properly. If you get an error like "Page cannot be displayed", or "File cannot be found", this may be a Firewall issue.

    Working Around Firewall Issues:

    Home users: You can determine if your Firewall is causing the problem by temporarily turning your Firewall off. Information on how to do this can be found with your Firewall's documentation. If the Firewall in question is the built-in Firewall used in Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 you can follow the instructions offered by Microsoft.

    If you are at work: You will need to contact your network administrator and have them determine if access to the library databases can be permitted.

    Clearing the Cache, History and Cookie Files

    Clearing your computers Cache, History and Cookies may often resolve issues accessing certain products. Please refer to the the Help area of your web browser for specific information on how to accomplish this task.