Answered By: Priscilla Coulter Last Updated: Jun 13, 2023 Views: 3025
First, it's important to understand what a "library database" really is! Databases are subscription search engines that are specialized for college-level research. Unlike Google or Yahoo, they are not freely available. The library pays for APUS students to access them (which is why you must be logged in to campus to search). Click here to read more.
Why do we need so many?
Each database is unique, both in terms of what's inside it and how it looks. Librarians are most concerned with what's inside them -- our goal is to make sure we have plenty of articles, journals, books, etc. to support each class at APUS. Unfortunately, there is no single database that can get the job done. So, we carefully purchase a variety of databases to ensure that we have the topic coverage that our students need.
Does that mean that we have access to every single journal or book in existence? No...there isn't a library out there that can claim that. But, with more than 683,300 ebooks, 121,900 periodicals, and over 100 individual online databases, our library has a lot to offer you.
How to avoid getting lost.
Since different databases are designed by different vendors, they'll often have a completely different look and feel (in addition to searching different articles, etc.). Switching from database to database can initially be disorienting and confusing. But, as with any website, you will learn your way around with practice!
- View this helpful library video tutorial: Finding and Using Library Databases
- Try using the Everything tab in the library search! The big search box on the library homepage searches many of our databases at once.
- Learn which databases are most relevant for your major or course. Find the library's research strategies guide for your area of study. The subject pages are a good place to look, too.
- Find a database tutorial. Click here for links to database-specific tutorials. Our librarians have also created general search tutorials...take a moment to explore!
- Ask a librarian for help. We will be happy to point you in the right direction.
A note about database personal accounts: you'll notice that some databases (those from ProQuest and EBSCO, for example), allow you to create/sign in to a personal account. You do not have to do this to search the databases. But, personal accounts will allow you to save articles or books for later, make notes, highlight text, etc., within that database. Just remember that this account will be separate from your APUS log in -- keep track of the username and password that you create for each database!
Need personalized help?
Librarians are available 365 days/nights per year!
See our schedule.