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Overview of Library Online Databases

page from a telephone directoryMost databases are organized, searchable collections of information that are authoritative and updated regularly. 

Have you ever used Netflix or Amazon to find movies or TV shows to watch? If so, you already know a lot about searching databases. These services use databases to organize information about their collections of TV shows and movies available to their customers, and to generate lists of TV shows and movies to watch. 


Databases in the Library

EBSCO database vendor logoLibraries help their users find information and conduct research by providing specialized research databases. Most library databases are electronic and available online. 

Library databases are organized by fields or units of information such as title, author, subject, etc. When you want to find something in a library database, you search the database by one or more of these fields to retrieve the information you need. 

SIRS database logoOne database that almost all libraries have is an Online Catalog, which you learned about in Chapter 2. The online catalog is a database of books and other resources the library owns in their collection. 


Important: Research databases typically include authoritative, copyrighted information from published sources, such as newspapers, magazines, journals, and essays from books. In most cases, the library pays a substantial fee to use these high-quality resources, which cannot be found for free on the Web. 


Chapter 4 — Page 2