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What is a library database? There is a wealth of information available to you from library databases accessible from SAPL.

Is Google a database, too?

Google is a search engine. It searches through websites and content in databases.

Here are some quick points to help you decide where to start looking when doing research.

  • Google will sometimes show you items from databases or behind a paywall that won't allow you to access the text of the article.  You can check the library's collections to see if you can access the item you found on the web.
  • Be sure to evaluate the sources you find on Google, because anybody can put up a website.  


What is a database?

Databases are research resources that contain a wide range of authoritative, credible sources that are not available through Google. Although they look like a search engine, they have extra features that allow a high degree of precision in searching.  Databases contain a mixture of text, audio, image, and video files.  They are sometimes narrowly focused on a particular subject area or field.

What can you do with databases?

Take a look at the SAPL Databases Page and browse the databases available to you!


You may encounter different types of sources while using databases and even Google.  It's good to know the basic types of sources to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Here is a list of types of resources you might encounter during your research.

  • Journals & Magazines

Published periodically and covers current topics or specific fields.  Can be in both print and online formats.

  • Newspapers

Usually published daily and covers news and current events. Can be in both print and online formats.

  • Books

A published work focusing in-depth on various topics. Can be in both print and online formats.

Check out these interesting databases selected from SAPL's database page.