FAQs



What is "El Portal"?

El Portal is a collection of databases that provide free access anytime to resources that are otherwise unavailable for free on the Internet. This includes newspapers, magazine and journal articles, and reference books such as encyclopedias. Materials are available for all age ranges and interests. "El Portal" is administered by the New Mexico State Library.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ACCESS

Who can use "El Portal"?

The New Mexico State Library licenses these resources for all New Mexico residents through funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

What does this mean for New Mexico residents?

New Mexico residents can freely access El Portal from any internet connection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Note: Selected newspapers may have restricted access. For information about newspapers, click on the "Newspapers" link on the main El Portal page.

How does El Portal recognize that I am a New Mexico resident?

El Portal uses a technology called Geo-IP authentication. Geo-IP authentication checks the IP address of the device you use to access the resources and compares it to a database of all IPs known to originate within New Mexico. Once your IP address is validated as an IP address within New Mexico, you can access El Portal online resources without being asked for any logon or password.

I am a New Mexico resident, but I am traveling outside NM. Can I still access the resources?

Yes, you can still access the resources. However, because you are located outside the automatic access geographic range, you will need a special password. You can get your password from the New Mexico State Library. "ASK a Librarian" provides contact information for State Library staff. Staff members will be available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 5:00.

I am within New Mexico but I am still being asked for logon and password to use El Portal resources. Why?

While Geo IP should work anywhere in NM, there are a few exceptions. If you feel you should have open access and are being asked for logon and password authentication, please contact Cengage Gale Technical Support at:
gale.technicalsupport@cengage.com

To find the nearest public library where you can ask for help, click here:
http://nmstatelibrary.org/directory/.

You can also ask for help from the New Mexico Stat Library by using the "ASK a Librarian" form anytime or by calling 505-476-9702 Monday through Friday from noon until 4:30 pm.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SEARCHING

How do I search for information on El Portal?

From the opening page you have four ways to search:

  • You can use the top search box to search almost all of the available databases at once. Please note this won't search everything. Some resources, including Chilton Library (auto repair), Newsbank Newspapers, Small Business Resource Center, Business Insights: Essentials, and Kids InfoBits -- must be searched separately.
  • You can select a special entry point from the list on the left. For example, students can select the proper school level entry point and they will then search only the resources appropriate for that school level. You will be able to see exactly which resources are included after you click into the entry point.
  • You can use the list on the right side of the screen to choose to explore one of the "favorite" and most-used resources.
  • You can click on Advanced Search (under the main Power Search box) to go to a page where you can enter complex search options. You might use this if you want to search for an article on a particular subject and also limit the dates, for example.

If I need help searching El Portal where should I go?

We recommend that school children ask their teachers or school librarians for help if school is in session. Otherwise, try your local public library. Anyone can ask for help at a public library. If you don't know the nearest public library, you can find it using the directory at http://nmstatelibrary.org/directory/. Also, anyone can ask for help from the New Mexico State Library by using the "ASK a Librarian" form anytime or by calling 505-476-9702 Monday through Friday from noon until 4:30 pm.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Parsons, Michael R. Swigart, Hugh Smith, George Hecht and Jo Runny.