Finding Information

Before starting to research, think about the types and format(s) of information needed. Different tools are used to search for books, for articles and for other types of information. Review the categories below to choose the right place to start.

From off campus, access online content, like ebooks, database articles and streaming video through the Library's website by logging in with a CCSF ID card barcode number.

Books and Other Library Materials

Use CityCat, the library catalog, to find books, CDs, DVDs, streaming videos, ebooks and selected websites in all CCSF center libraries. Newspapers, magazines and journals available in print at CCSF libraries are also listed in the catalog, but the individual articles in them are NOT found using CityCat.

Periodical & Reference Articles via Databases

Subscription databases provide access to citations and full-text articles from magazines, newspapers and journals, as well as reports, country profiles, encyclopedia articles and radio and television broadcasts. Periodicals are often the best type of source for the most recent information. Periodical databases are the primary tool used to find academic and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Electronic Books

One advantage of electronic books (ebooks) is that the entire text can be searched to find specific information. The library provides access to more than 140,000 ebooks through EbscoHost and eScholarship. These collections contain many of the most recent titles, as well as many books in the public domain. 

Reliable Web Sources

Information found on the Web must be evaluated to ensure it is authoritative, accurate, timely, and appropriate. On the Web lists search engines, subject directories and websites of special interest.