Tools for Finding Information
In the library, there are two main tools we use to find information.
Library Catalogs are what we use to find books, videos, CDs, and any other physical item that sits on our shelves. They don't provide the actual information itself, but just point to something that the library physically owns.
Library Databases make up the library's online resources. On a web page, they give you the full-text of articles from published magazines, journals, newspapers, and reference books.
What is a Catalog?
If you used a library 15-20 years ago, you might remember using a card catalog. Today those have been replaced with online catalogs, but they still do the same thing the old card catalog used to do: point you to physical items (books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks) that sit on the library's shelves.
Many online catalogs are part of a library consortium, so when you search it, you're not only looking through your local library, but the collections of hundreds of other libraries in the system.
Librarians love their online catalogs so much they like to give them names. Some examples of catalog names are Millinet, WorldCat, Mirlyn, and ORCA.
Lake Land College Library uses a catalog called SHARE. This catalog is used by the entire Illinois Heartland Library System, and includes more than 400 libraries in Illinois.
What is a library database?
A library database is an online resource that the library subscribes to that contains articles and information from print sources such as magazines, newspapers, journals, and reference books.
Databases are not "internet" sources
Although you access our databases from the internet, the articles you find in them are reprinted from real live print sources. Most of the things you find in our database cannot be found by searching Google or Yahoo. These are subscription services that the library pays for. They are every bit a part of our library's collection as the books on our shelf, and unless you want to buy your own subscription, you must go through the library's website to access them.
You must login to use these databases from off-campus
Because these subscription services are paid for by the library, you can use them from any Lake Land computer on campus and you won't have to login. But if you are trying to access these from an off-campus computer (from home, or work, or Iceland), you will have to log in to prove that you are associated with Lake Land college. You do this by entering the same login and password that you use for IRIS.
Ask a Librarian
Information Services Librarian
Lake Land College Library
Types of Articles
Articles in a database will be available in:
Full Text: the entire text of the article (sometimes with pictures) reproduced on a web page in the database.
PDF Full Text: An actual photocopied image of the page exactly as it appeared in the original source.
Abstract: a short summary of an article. You can read this to see if it's worth trying to get the full-text.
Citation: Information on how to find the article somewhere else. A citation includes things like the title, author, source, date of publication, and page numbers.