What is an Online Database?

What is an Online Database?

Posted on Friday March 16, 2007 at 12:17PM

I think it fitting to begin this first entry with a blurb on NLLS’ online databases. You may be scratching your head at that term or yawning. Nonetheless, it is obvious to me that these valuable resources are simply not being used by our member libraries as much as they ought to be.

What are they already!

Well, simply put - they are large repositories or gateways to journal, magazine and newspaper articles, images, maps, videos, the works.

Wait a minute - that sounds just like what the Internet is - Can’t I get all this information through Google?

The difference is that these “databases” store and direct you to copyrighted materials which are very unlikely to be available free on the web - the old adage rings true here, “you get what you pay for.” The web is free - hence the quality of information you often find - databases are expensive. But don’t worry NLLS and TAL pay for them for you.

Unlike the web the information in our databases has gone through the typical publication process and in the case of many academic journals that process can be rigorous. The info on the web does not have to meet those standards.

Did you know that through our online databases every library has access to the full-text of:

  • National Geographic Magazine
  • The Edmonton Journal
  • The Calgary Herald
  • Time Magazine
  • Chilton auto repair manuals
  • And literally thousands of other popular and academic publications

Unfortunately, we hide all this great information under the term “databases” and then we give those databases obscure names like “MasterFile” and “Electric Library.”

You can access these databases by clicking on the “databases” link at our website.


Once you log in with your library barcode and pin number you’ll have access to our entire list of databases.

I have put together some cheat sheets or reference guides for these databases. You’ll find them on the Training Resources page of NLLS’s website. I hope to add more as time goes on. Feel free to print the PDFs or customize the word document and then print them.

Feel free to use this blog as a place of discussion. Ask questions - leave comments. We’ll see if anyone uses this page….

Author: Northern Lights Library System


Comment on our article:

Popular Posts