What are databases?
These databases are commercial products for which the Library pays a subscription for in-house and remote users. They contain articles, photographs, maps, and other kinds of information. Depending on your research need, it may be very helpful to use both the library catalog and the information databases.
Why should I use the databases instead of free websites?
In a word: accuracy. Free websites can be useful information sources, but they can also contain information that is inaccurate, one-sided, or out-of-date. The information in the Library’s databases has been thoroughly and carefully chosen, reviewed and fact-checked. The majority of the databases are updated on a daily basis, making them essential for the most current research information. Using the databases will also save you time from sifting through thousands (or millions) of free websites that result from a search engine. Once you get to know the Library’s variety of databases, you can select the right one that exactly fits your needs.
What kinds of databases are available?
The Library subscribes to about 100 different databases, and they cover everything from newspaper articles to encyclopedias (even one in Spanish), from online reference books to car repair, from American history to statistics. Use the subject list to find the right database for your research needs.
How do I get started using the databases?
Select a topic from our Online Research page or a database from our Premium Search Database page. For general information and high school projects, a good place to start is with the Magazines & Newspapers topic page.
Can I use the databases from home, school or office?
The majority of databases do allow remote access. To access databases outside of the Library, you need a computer with an Internet connection and a St. Charles Public Library card. When you click on the name of a database, it will prompt you to enter in your Library card number (located on the back of your card) and your PIN number.
Why are some databases only available for searching at the Library and not remotely, too?
Some database publishers do not permit remote access to their databases. Whenever possible, the Library offers remote access.
Is there a charge to use the databases?
No, there’s no charge to use the databases – they are all paid for by the Library. There is a $0.10 per page fee for printing from one of the Library’s computers, or many of the databases have the ability to email articles to you for free.
How can I print articles from a database?
Before you put your mouse pointer on the Print function in your browser, take a look within the database itself for a print link or icon. Using the print function within the database will clean up the page by removing unnecessary icons and menus, and saves you paper.
How about e-mailing the articles?
Yes, most of the databases will allow you to email the articles. This is especially useful if you’re using the databases within the Library, and have the ability to print them out somewhere else. Look for the e-mail option in many of the databases and follow the instructions.
Can I download my results?
Many of the databases allow downloading of articles, reports, and other data. Please note that some of the databases may limit you to downloading a certain number of records at one time.
Where can I find help with troubleshooting the databases?
Contact the Information Services department at 630-584-0076 ext. 1, EMAIL , or through our Ask a Librarian-Live!