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Research Basics: 3. Finding Books/eBooks/Articles

Library catalogs allow researchers to search the collection at their college library. The catalog is a useful way to find print books, ebooks, films, and other materials. A library catalog allows users to search by author, title, subject, and often by ISBN and call number as well. A catalog may search all these fields at once, or only the fields you have selected to search. Note that when searching in library catalogs, you are usually not searching the full text of the books and other materials that are indexed by the catalog. 

Library databases are an important resource for researchers. Understanding how they work will make your library research in the future easier and more productive. So what is a library database? A database is just a searchable collection of information. We use different kinds of databases every day. Apple’s iTunes is a database of songs, movies, and tv shows you can purchase. is a huge database of products for sale. Even your cell phone includes a database of family and friends’ names and phone numbers. Library databases are collections of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and other kinds of digitized research material. 

You must log in to use library databases and eBooks. When prompted to log in, enter your Passport credentials. If you have trouble, try resetting your Passport pin, sending an email to, or calling the Help Desk at 863.292.3652. You can also get help from Ask a Librarian.

Adapted from: Information Literacy Concepts: An Open Educational ResourceAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BYNC-SA 4.0)  Adapted from Mastering Academic Research developed at Florida Institute of Technology. Adapted from Research Foundations from Seminole State College of Florida Library.

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