About Databases

Databases available through the West Florida Public Library are web-driven collections of published information presented in a wide variety of formats.  They are restricted to certain users because of intellectual property and copyright agreements and cannot be searched using Google or other search engines.  Library card holders in good standing have free access to these databases through the library’s web page.  Databases contain magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, automotive manuals, and other articles from printed sources.
 
For example, you can use the PowerSearch to read the same articles from the New York Times that appeared in the printed newspaper 1980-present.  Databases are great for research, allowing users to search information from trusted publications.  Many databases are available 24/7 from your home computer, providing citations for research papers, sharing through Facebook, e-mail and Twitter and instant updates through RSS feeds. 
 
When you use a search engine like Google, you are searching the unrestricted areas of the Internet.  Unlike databases, these websites can be created and written by virtually anyone. Because you cannot just assume information from the Web is accurate, you should never use a website for research without evaluating it first.
 
For more information about library databases, contact the Reference Department.