Librarian's Guide to Online Searching
Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction, 6th Edition
by Christopher C. Brown
June 2021, 371pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7873-2
$100, £77, 87€, A137
Paperback: 978-1-4408-7823-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7824-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

An indispensable book for learning about databases.

Updates the premier textbook for students and librarians needing to know the landscape of current databases and how to search them.

Librarians need to know of existing databases, and they must be able to teach search capabilities and strategies to library users. This practical guide introduces librarians to a broad spectrum of fee-based and freely available databases and explains how to teach them.

The updated 6th edition of this well-regarded text covers new databases on the market as well as updates to older databases. It also explains underlying information structures and demonstrates how to search most effectively. It introduces readers to several recent changes, such as the move away from metadata-based indexing to full text indexing by vendors covering newspaper content. Business databases receive greater emphasis.

As in the previous edition, this book takes a real-world approach, covering topics from basic and advanced search tools to online subject databases. Each chapter includes a thorough discussion, a recap, concrete examples, exercises, and points to consider, making it an ideal text for courses in database searching as well as a trustworthy professional resource.


  • Helps librarians and students understand the latest developments in library databases
  • Looks not only at textual databases but also numerical, image, video, and social media resources
  • Includes changes and trends in database functionality since the 5th edition
Christopher C. Brown, professor, is reference librarian and coordinator of government documents at the University of Denver, Main Library. He is author of Harnessing the Power of Google: What Every Researcher Should Know, Librarian's Guide to Online Searching: Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction (5th edition with Suzanne S. Bell), and Mastering United States Government Information: Sources and Services, all published with Libraries Unlimited. He has served on the Depository Library Council through the U.S. Government Publishing Office and is active in the American Library Association's Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT).


“This is a wonderful introductory textbook for undergraduate and graduate students aiming to learn the art of searching library databases and using search engines on the open Web. It is also very valuable for practitioners seeking to brush up on their searching skills. As someone who has used each prior version of this textbook for many years, I highly recommend this extremely useful book to students and faculty as well as to practicing librarians and information professionals more broadly.”—Beth St. Jean, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park

"This book is a comprehensive and essential tool for students of library and information science. It is a wonderful text for online searching for the LIS classroom and for librarians to keep on hand in the field. My students use this text their first semester of class and keep it throughout their careers." —Melissa Villa-Nicholas, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, University of Rhode Island
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