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Research Databases Q&A

Research Databases Q&A

What are research databases?
Research databases are electronic resources that contain an organized body of related information from a wide range of well-known, authoritative sources. Although they are distributed via the Web, traditional search engines such as Google or Yahoo cannot easily retrieve the content (magazine and newspaper articles, reference books, television and radio broadcast transcripts, maps, photographs, pamphlets, etc.) in these resources. The scope of coverage varies—some databases such as EbscoHost are very broad, others such as Heritage Quest are more specialized.

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What is the difference between using a database and doing a search on Google?
The information in databases has been reviewed and edited and comes from reliable, authoritative sources. Google returns results from public websites. Although there is an enormous volume of information on the Web, no oversight exists to guarantee the information retrieved is accurate, objective, and current.

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Is there any charge for using them?
No. The Library has purchased subscriptions to these databases, so they can be provided free of charge to our patrons. Anyone can use them for free in the library and Library cardholders can also access the majority of the databases from home.

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Why can't I log in? / What does this error message mean?
If the error message is about your Library card number or PIN, call Circulation Services at 714-842-4481. If your card number and PIN are accepted, but the database asks you for another username and password, use the tabs above to check your settings for your firewall or pop-up blocker.

Access HBPL Databases from Home
Even if you aren't at the library you can take advantage of the great information that our databases provide.  Logging on is simple.

1. Our Explora and NoveList K-8 Plus databases require library card login from home. To get started, click the "Login Here" button below.

3. Enter your library card number and PIN (last four digits of your phone number) into the boxes and click "Login".

4. Choose your database from the list of options on the left side of your screen.  The database will open up in a new window and you can use it as you normally would within the library.

Not all of our databases are listed in the "Login from Home" menu because many of them request your library card number for access even if you are using them within the library.

If you have any questions, contact the library at (714) 842-4481.

Pop-up Blockers

Our remote database site uses pop-up windows, and if you are using utility software that blocks such windows, these functions will not work. Please temporarily disable such software while accessing our databases.

To turn off Internet Explorer pop-up blocker:

Click on Tools, Pop-Up Blocker, Turn Off pop-up blocker

If you don't want to turn off Internet Explorer's pop-up blocker, you may try adding website exceptions to pop-up blocker:


Click on Tools, Pop-Up Blocker, Pop-up blocker settings, type in the list of sites above and click Add after each one.

If turning off your pop-up blocker doesn't work, try adding the list of sites to your trusted sites in Internet Explorer.

Click on Tools, Internet Options, Security Tab, Trusted Sites icon (green checkmark circle 3rd one across)
Click on Sites.. button and type in the list of sites above and click Add button after each one.
Uncheck the box that says "Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone.

If turning off the pop-up blocker and adding the trusted sites doesn't work you should try adding the list of above sites to the firewall exceptions or turn off/disable your firewall while accessing the databases. 


Some Firewall settings can secure your computer so well that certain features of our databases will not work. If you experience problems, try configuring your firewall to allow you to verify blocking manually, then permit access from our web site as you access these features. 

Other programs that may cause the message of authentication failed for Heritage Quest would be Zone Alarm Firewall, Google Web Accelerator, and other Firewall programs. Temporarily exit out of these programs by right-clicking on the program icon located next to the time in the lower right hand corner of the screen. When you are finished using the databases, you can resume using those protective utilities.

Instructions to disable Norton Internet Security

Locate the Norton Internet Security icon in the system tray located next to the time clock in the lower right corner of your screen. This is also how you can disable it temporarily. You may need to disable it temporarily to discover if it is a source of your problem.

To disable it:

Right click on the icon 
Choose Disable from the menu 
Choose 30 minutes or however long you need to use Heritage Quest. 
Go back to and access Heritage Quest again

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Huntington Beach Public Library
7111 Talbert Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone 714-842-4481