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Library subscription databases have transformed how people do research. However, the number and range of database products and features can intimidate library users and make keeping up with all their search options feel like a full-time job for library staff. In this workshop public service library staff will learn the essentials of a variety of database products and vendor platforms, and will improve their ability to help the public get the most from these valuable resources.

You will learn efficient ways to:

  • Assess the essential features of an individual database
  • Help users choose between database products
  • Assist library users with searching techniques so they can get the results they want

Workshop Description: This all-day, hands-on workshop is designed for library staff who work with the public using licensed library databases. Through classroom discussions, as well as hands-on individual and group exercises, attendees will learn techniques for helping the public use your library's existing databases more efficiently. The course will focus on features, strategies, and techniques that are useful across a range of databases rather than proprietary training in a single vendor's product.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Database Basics
    • Article, reference, and ebook databases
    • Helping users choose a database
    • Printing, emailing, and saving
  • Training Essentials
    • Which features customers need to know how to use
  • Advanced Features
    • Limiting searches
    • Narrowing results
  • New Developments
    • Linking services
    • Federated searching

Workshop Instructor: Glenn Johnson-Grau