MeL Databases FAQ

This FAQ is intended for library staff, if your question is not answered here, contact  MeL Support at MCLS, 800-530-9019 ext. 402 or email or check the MeL Databases Help page. If you are a library patron, please contact your home library for help.

1. What databases are included in the statewide databases subscription?

There are over 35 databases in MeL. For the complete listing, visit the MeL Databases page.

The MeL Databases are purchased through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered by the Library of Michigan and through state appropriations. 

2. Can my library have access to all of these databases?

Yes! Any library in the state can have direct access to all of the MeL Databases.

3. How can I find out which magazine articles are available in full-text?

The MeL Electronic Journal List contains full-text information about each database.  There is a link to that from the MeL Home page ( in the box on the left hand side of the screen titled Full Text Magazines and Newspapers. There is also an Electronic Journals List button on the top right corner of the alphabetical list of MeL databases (see #1 above).   

The Gale website contain lists of all of the titles indexed in those databases. These lists also indicate which titles are available in full text online. See the Gale title lists for more information.

4. How long will funding last for the databases?

The Library of Michigan has extended contracts with the current vendors to provide access through September of 2014, contingent on continued federal LSTA and state funding. The Library of Michigan intends to keep supporting MeL databases in the future.

Please refer to the Library of Michigan announcement for information about the new three-year database contract.  The current contract is in effect from October 1, 2011, until September 30, 2014. To see the list of databases that expired October 1, 2011, please click here.

5. How do I keep current with information about the MeL Databases?

The best way to stay current is to come to this web site frequently. Another way to receive information is to subscribe to the MeL Databases electronic mailing list.

6. How can I contact MeL Databases support staff?

MeL Database staff are at the Library of Michigan and at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. Administration and marketing support are located at the Library of Michigan. The Library of Michigan contracts with the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services for library training and support for MeL.

Libraries/Library support staff - please email or call 800-530-9019 ext 402 for technical support and questions.
Patrons/End Users - please contact your home library for help.

7. How can my library sign up for access to the databases?

If you would like to register for the MeL databases, please fill out the MeL Databases Registration Request.
8. Is access by IP address recognition possible?

Yes. Any participating library can arrange for IP address access by contacting MeL Support at MCLS. 

To report any addition or change in your library's IP address, please use the IP Reporting Form.

9. I see something on the form that asks for IP numbers. What's that all about?

Most database vendors use the Internet Protocol (IP) numbers assigned to your local area network when you were connected to the Internet. These numbers tell the vendor that you are authorized to have access to the databases. Because the vendor authenticates users by IP number, you will not be asked for a password or account number when you access the databases. This means that library patrons and staff can connect to the databases by simply clicking on an icon or hyperlink on your library's home page.  Please note:  your library's IP must be static (does not change) and dedicated (is used only by your library, no other location in your community). For more information on IPs, please click here.

To report any addition or change in your library's IP address, please use the IP Reporting Form.

10. Our library doesn’t have an IP range because we use dial-up for our Internet . Can we still participate?

Yes, you can. Your access will, however, be authenticated using passwords and not recognized by the IP address registered. To receive more detailed information, please email or call 1-800-530-9019 ext 402. We encourage all libraries to have static, dedicated IP addresses to use MeL databases.

11. How are these databases chosen?

Approximately one year prior to the expiration of a contract, the Library of Michigan issues a Request for Proposals (RFP). Vendors who are chosen to participate provide trial access to their products for a team of librarians across the state and from all types of libraries who test and evaluate the products. These evaluations are considered by the Library of Michigan staff who make the final determination, negotiate contracts and implement the projects.  Please refer to item #4 above. To see a list of databases that expired October 1, 2011, please click here.

12. What about Training?

The Library of Michigan uses LSTA funds to contract with the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services to offer free MeL training for library staff members and those who model use of the MeL databases.