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CEN100 Introduction to Engineering

Lecture objectives

After today's lecture, you will:

  • Know what is a library database
  • Be able to formulate a search strategy
  • Understand how to search a library database leveraging your existing skills
  • Know where to ask for research help

Using the library

Everything you need to know about using the library including answer to your most pressing questions:

  • How long can I take out a book?
  • How much does it cost to print?
  • Can I eat in the library?
  • And much more!

Everyday databases

You actually are already quite familiar with using databases in your everyday lives. We just want to make sure you learn how to use research databases in your time at university.

What are examples of everyday databases you might have used?

  • www.google.ca

  • www.amazon.com

  • www.netflix.com

  • www.flickr.com

  • www.pinterest.com

What are some common features of databases?

  • Information organized by groups such as subjects, or genre
  • You can search using keywords
  • Results of a search are shown as a result set
  • Results items have metadata
  • You can sort the results
  • You can limit your results set

Library databases

How is Netflix like the library?

Think of library materials like Netflix content

book/monograph => movie

book series => movie series

journal => tv show (collection of smaller stories)

article => tv episode


Netflix and Amazon are aggregators website, bringing together content from a variety of sources, of producers into one platform for you to gain easy access.

Many Library databases are also aggregators of content, bringing together research resources from many sources, disciplines, formats into one interface.

While there are vendor websites for consumer products, think www.apple.com. We also have publisher websites within our collection where you can get resources directly from the publishers like Wiley, or Elsevier.