Searching Tools

In this module, we will discuss the four most common tools for searching for information. Check out the chart below to learn a little more about each one.

Search Tool What It Does
Catalogs A catalog tells you what a particular library or resource center houses in its collection. In short, it tells you which books, journals, videos, CDs and other materials a library owns.
Databases In libraries, databases are stores of articles and essays on a particular topic from a particular set of journals and books. Databases index articles and essays from journals to help you find articles on a particular topic. This keeps you from having to look through magazine after magazine for an article on your topic.
Search Engines Search Engines search the internet for webpages that contain the words or phrases you are looking for.
Bibliographies Bibliographies are lists of books, articles, websites and other materials on a particular topic. Bibliographies can be found anywhere -- in reference books, at the ends of books and articles, on the web and published as entire books on their own.

While you may have heard of these tools before, let's take a look at each one in-depth.