MS Access isn't free and it's the only program that can read and work with .mdb files.

I'd export the list from MS Access to a format that you can read and write with a free program. Let me suggest that you export to .xls format (that's a spreadsheet) and use it in LibreOffice Calc (that's a spreadsheet program).

Java is free, but only install it if you need it. Most people don't. But maybe you're the exception to the rule. Anyway, you're the only who knows, so we can't answer the question if you "have to" install it.