How do I find out about online databases at the library?

All of the Library’s online article and research databases can be found on the Databases page, found under Research Resources on the main menu of the library's website.

All databases can be accessed from any computer in the Library that isn’t designated as “catalog only.” Inside the Library, you'll need a Library Card to use computers.

Some databases are only available within the Library - they have a note next to their name. All others can be accessed remotely, so you can be at home and use a database as long as you have a valid library card. If you access a database from a remote location such as from home, you may see a box appear asking for your Library Card number and PIN number.

Types of Databases

The Library selects online databases on a wide variety of subjects. Below are some examples with brief descriptions:

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

We provide databases that index magazine and newspaper articles, with abstracts and full text included, of a general nature such as ProQuest, EBSCOHost, and Readers’ Guide Retrospective. We also have specialized databases for articles such as Alt-HealthWatch that covers alternative medicine and Academic Search Elite that provides full-text articles from strictly scholarly journals.

Business Information

There are business databases such as ReferenceUSA that lists basic statistical data on over 12 million businesses and 120 million residences in the U.S. and Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage that provides financial data on U.S. publicly held companies.


If you’re interested in automotive repair there’s ALLDATA, containing detailed repair information on domestic and foreign automobiles, light trucks and vans back through 1982.


In the area of literature there’s Books in Print, which covers publishing information on over 3.5 million titles, plus extensive full-text reviews. NoveList is a readers’ advisory database for fiction readers. Literature Resource Center has biographical information on over 120,000 novelists, poets, journalists and other writers.


For genealogy there’s Ancestry Library Edition, a database with more than 1.2 billion records, including digitized images of the U.S. Census from 1790 forward and the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.


Each database has its own unique way of searching; however, you will notice that there are some basic similarities for most of them. There are boxes to fill in for your search queries. There are often drop-down menus that help narrow your search. Many times there are Basic and Advanced search options. And there’s always a Help button on all pages if you get stuck.

Help from Central Reference

If you have trouble searching for or using our online databases, please call the Central Reference Department at the Central Library at 816-701-3433 or drop by the Reference Desk on the third floor of the Central Library.

Remember, when in doubt - ask a librarian for help!

Kansas City Public Library Beta