Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay to access TEL?

How is TEL funded?

What is the true cost of TEL if my library had to pay for subscriptions to each of the TEL databases?

Can my library contact the database vendor directly?

Where can my library get their usage reports?

I click on an article, but all I get is a blank page. What do I do?

When I click on a resource, it is requesting a password.  What do I do?

I am not from Tennessee. Can I use TEL?  


Do I have to pay to access TEL?

No, TEL is provided at no charge to libraries or residents of Tennessee.

How is TEL funded?

The Tennessee Electronic Library is made possible through funding provided by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. TEL is administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, a division of the Tennessee Department of State.

What is the true cost of TEL if my library had to pay for subscriptions to each of the TEL databases?

The following are averages of subscription costs for small, medium, and large-size libraries and schools for all of the databases in TEL. For a more precise cost figures for your library, please contact the TEL Administrator at tel.tsla@tn.gov.

Public Libraries - $133,518

Academic Libraries - $124,697

High Schools - $ 44,777

Elementary School -  $23,357

Can I contact the database vendor?

Yes, if you are having trouble with any of the TEL databases, please feel free to contact the vendor to inquire about the problems. You can find the contact information for each TEL database vendor under Librarian Support

Where can my library get usage reports?

Information about how to access usage reports are found under Usage Reports

I click on an article, but all I get is a blank page. What do I do?

Sometimes articles and other content take a minute to load. If you cannot seem to get the page to display, click the refresh button in your browser next to your address bar.

When I click on a resource, it is requesting a password.  What do I do?

Occasionally browsers get confused.  

  • Clear your browser's cookies and cache. 
    • Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
    • Select cache, cookies, temporary internet files, history (exact wording varies) – and click delete.
    • Close and re-open your browser. 

If that does not work, contact the TEL Administrator

I am not from Tennessee. Can I use TEL? 

TEL is only available to Tennessee residents. Our system looks at your computer to determine if you're in Tennessee. See what resources your state provides. If you are looking for Tennessee records, contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives