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Why Use Library Databases

Why not just use Google search?

Library Databases include a lot of information and resources that you cannot access on the free web:

  • eBooks
  • articles from academic journals
  • news articles
  • reference books
  • essays
  • indexes

Other databases can help you with language learning or art appreciation.


Library databases provide more scholarly results than a Google or Bing search. Databases are great for research, showing you not only full-text content but also citations and abstracts for materials that are not available full-text (but might be available through interlibrary loan).

Google vs. Library Databases
  Google Library Databases
What they search All of the "free" web Scholarly materials only available through library databases
How they search All the text of a document Fields such as title, author, subject


EBSCO Search searches not just our catalog of books, ebooks, dvds, and other media but also most of our online databases as well!


  • the search will yield results from many sources
  • you don't have to select a database to get started.


  • fewer options for focusing your results
  • sheer number of results may be overwhelming

Our list of databases allows you to choose the database you wish to search.


  • more options to control and narrow your search
  • some databases dedicated specifically to certain topics


  • you may not know which database to choose
Journal Articles
  • Depending on the database you are using, articles may be displayed in different formats:
    • Index: Includes only the article citation (i.e., author, title, date, etc.). Neither a summary, nor the full-text of the article are available.
    • Abstract: Includes the citation and a summary of the article's content. It does not include the full-text article.
    • Full-text: Includes the citation and full-text article. This may be in HTML, .pdf, or both formats.
  • EJournal Subscriptions


News Articles
  • CIU has many databases that allow you to keep up-to-date on current events and news items as well as controversial and opposing viewpoints.
Finding Books

When you search for a book in the catalog, you'll find a record with all the bibliographic information. Below the bibliographic information will be the holdings information:

Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Circulating Book (checkout times vary with patron status) G Allen Fleece LibraryCirculating Collection - First Floor Non-fiction BS2675.3.A12 1984 Available
  • Item type shows whether it can be checked out or only used in the library.
  • Current location shows where to find the book.
  • Call Number will indicate where it will be located on the shelf. We use the library of congress cataloging system.
  • Status will indicate whether it will actually be on the shelf. If the status is available, it should be on the shelf. If the status shows missing or lost, the book will not be available. If the status shows a date, the book is checked out and you can place a hold if you would like the book after it is returned.


The materials in the G. Allen Fleece Library are organized by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System so that materials on similar subjects are shelved together. Each item is given a subject heading that corresponds to a call number which identifies the location of the item on a shelf. 

Items are arranged on the shelves from left to right, top to bottom, according to call numbers. Call numbers are read in this format:

  • The Reference section with books that can only be used in the library is in the front section of the library, with the Biblical Studies (BS) section on the right.
  • The Circulating books are on the shelves at the rear of the library.
  • The Faculty Authors section contains books written by CIU faculty members.
  • The Commentary section contains Bible commentaries from series recommended by CIU professors.
  • The Thesis and Dissertations section contains thesis and dissertations written by CIU students.
  • The Juvenile section can be found upstairs.
  • The Media section, containing DVDs and CDs, both educational and for entertainment, can also be found upstairs.
Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries across the country. Please check that the book or article is not available at the CIU library. ILL book requests can take 1-3 weeks to arrive, though articles usually arrive within a week if they are sent electronically. You will receive an email when your item(s) are available for pick-up at the Circulation Desk (located on your right as you enter the library) or if they are unable to be borrowed.

This service is available to current students, faculty, and staff.


As a student, you are considered a Richland County Resident and can sign up for a card at the Richland County Public Library. The card will expire after a year and you will need to go back and renew it, but there will not be a fee. You will need to bring proof of residency, such as mail that has come to your box, or other official paper that you live in the dorms/on campus.