For help on using our database resources, stop by the Reference or Youth Services Desks. We also offer instruction sessions at the library or in your classroom. Contact the Reference or Youth Services Desk for more information. 

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Reference Desk

  • 815-725-1715

Youth Services Desk

  • 815-725-4368

Database (Homework Help) FAQs

What is a Database?

A database is simply a collection of books, encyclopedias, academic journals, newspapers, and magazines that can be accessed through the library online. Similar to reading an ebook on your iPad, a database lets you access legitimate, credible information from your computer. 

Is this an internet resource?

NO!! Most articles available from a database are also available in printed books and journals. Rather than purchasing and shelving all of the books necessary to get this information, the library purchased a database subscription instead.

Can I cite a database?

YES!! Each article you access will have a full MLA citation or a "Cite this article" link somewhere on the page. This is usually located at the beginning or end of the article.

The MLA citation says Web. Doesn't that mean this is an internet source?

No. With a print book, your teacher can see when your source was published based on the publishing date. In a database, information is updated immediately. So an article that was published in a book a few years ago might have a publication date of 2010, but has been updated with recent information. By indicating Web, your teacher will know that you accessed the article with updated information.

What type of information can I get?

You can access thousands of articles from books, encyclopedias, academic journals, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Can I use this for my homework assignment or research paper?

Yes. Databases are great for homework and research papers. You're more likely to find the information you need, you can access it from any computer with your library card, and the citations are ready made for you. 

Do I need a library card to access a database?

You will use your Shorewood library card number to access most of our databases. If a pin is required, it is either the last 4 digits of your library card number, or the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you do not have a Shorewood library card, you can still access the databases from the library's public computers (with parental permission if under 18).