Catalog Help & Troubleshooting Tips

Getting Started

Have a question? You may find the answer in these FAQ's and Troubleshooting Tips. If not, please Ask a Librarian.

Connect from Home 4 Easy Steps

  1. Visit the Tompkins County Public Library’s database portal:
  2. Select the database you wish to access.
  3. You will be prompted for your library barcode and password. Locate your library barcode on the back of your TCPL card.
  4. Type in this barcode number on the back of your library card (include the D, no spaces) and your password (default is the last 4 digits of phone number that we have in our records for you.

Q: Definition - What is PowerPAC?
PowerPAC is the online "card catalog" that allows you to search for materials we own in our library, and materials owned by the Finger Lakes Library System.

Q: Definition - What is the difference between Polaris and PowerPAC?
Polaris is the Integrated Library System (ILS) that controls almost everything we do here in the library. It is the system we use for registering your patron information, keeping inventory of our materials, linking these materials to your patron file, searching this inventory, controlling the ability to access our databases from your home, and allowing you to renew items.

PowerPAC is the catalog that you see when you search for a book, check your account, and renew your items. PowerPAC is just one part of Polaris.

Q: Browsers - Which browsers can I use with PowerPAC?
The library catalog software has been tested with common operating systems and browsers. If you have problems using the online catalog, contact your library. (from Polaris PowerPAC Guide 3.6 Getting Started" pg. 3)

Q: Cookies - I'm having difficulty searching the catalog and am getting errors about cookies. What is the problem?
A: You need to turn on cookies in some manner to search PowerPAC. Polaris PowerPAC uses non-permanent memory cookies to track things such as the session activity, account information when logged in, and to assist in searching. When you close the session (browser), the cookie is gone.

Please note: Due to the wide variety of browser versions, these instructions may not be exact.

Internet Explorer (version 7.0): Go to “Tools” menu at the top of your window. Select “Internet Options,” "Privacy," and select the "Advanced" button. You can have both First-party and Third-party cookies blocked and check "Always allow session cookies" and still use PowerPAC.

Firefox (version 3.6.13 - Mozilla/5.0): Go to "Tools" menu at the top of your window. Select "Options" and "Privacy." Check "Accept cookies from sites" and click "OK."

Opera (version 7.54u2): Go to "Tools" menu at the top of your window. Select "Quick Preferences" and select "Enable cookies."

Page last modified May 3, 2012