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University Library

Electronic Resources Training

Database Basics

What Is a Library Database?

  • A library database is an electronic collection of articles, index/abstracts, artworks, videos, datasets, primary sources, and more.
  • Library databases are searchable.
  • The library subscribes to over 350 databases covering all disciplines taught on campus so that the Cal State LA community has access to these resources for their teaching and learning needs. 
  • When you're searching a database, you are not searching "the web".

What Types of Resources Are Covered by Library Databases?

  • Articles in Journals/Magazines/Newspapers
  • Reference Information (i.e. entries from Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)
  • eBooks
  • Documents including primary sources
  • Media including streaming videos, streaming music, images, and art works
  • Data, data sets, and statistics 
  • Open Access journals, magazines, and ebooks that you can access without login  

How Do Library Databases Differ in What They Cover?
Some library databases index items from many subject areas. If you're not sure which database to choose, OneSearch is always the first place you should start, and also some comprehensive databases, such as, the Academic Search Complete is a good place to start.  Many library databases index items from a specific subject (i.e. academic discipline). To locate a database by subject, go to the Database page, select databases by subject, or do a topic search using OneSearch, and identify databases for that topic under Collection in the Facet area.

How to Access Library Databases?

The University Library subscribes to over 350 electronic databases.  These databases cover scholarly journal articles in a variety of subject disciplines, and streaming videos, streaming music, reference material, such as encyclopedias, statistical data, artworks, images, as well as primary sources.  

All of these databases are accessible both on- and off-campus.  If you need to access the library databases from off-campus, you can either launch the VPN or via EZPorxy login using your MyCalStateLA Identity ID and password when prompted. 

To access library databases, go to the library homepage (, and click the Databases link. 

You can select a database by name, subject, type, and vendor, or search database by keyword

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300