Answered By: Stephanie Gillespie
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2022     Views: 751

A library database is a collection of pre-paid articles, ebooks, reports, statistics, images, videos, etc. that you can search by title, author, subject, keyword, and more. Some databases cover many academic fields (ex. Academic OneFile) while others cover only one (ex. Health and Wellness Resource Center). You can easily limit your results to a specific source (like articles), full-text, and scholarly sources. These limiters allow you to find the right results quickly and easily. 

A library database is like iTunes: You buy music and add it to iTunes. iTunes organizes it by artist, genre, etc. You can create playlists. Every time you click on a title, the song plays, because iTunes just organizes the music you've already bought.

It is important to remember that the databases are unforgiving about misspellings, and they search for exactly the words that are typed in. Unlike Google, which offers “Did you mean…” and results for similar searches. Along with spelling you can use quotation marks around words you want searched together. For example, the keyword dog house could have quotation marks around it, within the search bar ("dog house"). Otherwise, you will get results for dog and house, giving you way more non-beneficial information. 

Google (and other search engines) search for free and do not require only keywords to search. Entire sentences and questions can be typed into these search engines with following results. You do not have as much control though when limiting your results. You can only limit by date and a few specific sources (like images), so you will have to go through hundreds of thousands of results. A lot of information through search engines has not been evaluated, so it could be wrong or biased. Top search results in Google do not necessarily mean the best sources for your information need. When searching with Google and other search engines note that sources are often sorted by who has paid the most money to be on top, so, evaluate thoroughly.

Search engines are like YouTube: Other people create content, and YouTube searches for it with keywords. You can create playlists here, too, but if the person who uploaded the video deletes it, it's gone. Also, with search engines, it might ask you for money before giving you the content.

The library's databases are accessible through the Library homepage OneSearch feature.

Ask a Librarian if you have questions or run into problems!