A Reference Database is a collection of published articles from magazines, newspapers, academic journals, health resources and encyclopedias. Many databases offer full-text articles you can view online. Additionally, you can e-mail, print and save the articles. Databases are paid for with your NYS tax dollars and provided to public and educational libraries. The cost to use them at the library or from your home is FREE!
Websites and Wikipedia entries can be written by anyone and may be biased or outdated. Search engines will display almost anything published on the web whether accurate or not. Library databases contain indexed, edited, and published material and are based on scholarly books and articles. Databases will always carry articles that are current. This assures you that the information you are getting is the most current and relevant for research.
Databases are available free on our website and accessible online using the barcode from your Florida Public Library card. Under the tab Find Books / More, choose Reference Databases to open the complete list available. Choose the appropriate radio button next to each database for library or home access. Enter your library card number and begin your research!
Before you begin, you are welcome to contact FPL and set up an appointment with a librarian who can give you a lesson in effective use of databases. Additionally, each database has a Help feature. To begin, type in a keyword for your topic or search by publication or subject. You can refine your search by date, type of document, reading level, etc. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for. Try different search words to broaden your results. Someone is always available at FPL to help you in person or by phone.