Search Tools

Internet-Based Research Tools

 Online Databases:

The Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) has many online databases that members of the general public can easily access.  In order for you to access these databases, you will need to have a public library card.  In addition to using your library number, you will also need to use a password, which usually is the last four digits of your phone number.  Access to these databases are FREE and we can't thank the public library enough for allowing us to provide links to them on our site.
Databases are located on the WCLS homepage. First, select the "Research" tab and then choose "Alphabetical Databases." Here you will be able to see a brief description of each database.
WCLS databases include:
  •  Bellingham Herald Online
  •  Biography in Context
  •  Business & Company Resource Center
  •  Consumer Reports
  •  CultureGrams
  •  eLibrary
  •  Gale Virtual Reference Library
  •  Health & Wellness Resource Center
  •  Heritage Quest
  •  History Study Center
  •  Job & Career Accelerator
  •  LearningExpress
  •  Literature Resource Center
  •  Mango Languages
  •  NoveList
  •  OneFile
  •  Powerspeak
  •  Proquest
  •  Proquest Learning Literature
  •  Reference Center Gold
  •  ReferenceUSA
  •  SIRS Discoverer
  •  Small Engine Repair Reference Center
  •  TumbleBook Library
  •  US History in Context
  •  World Book Online
  •  World History in Context


Search Engines:


Metasearch Engines: 

(You can search many search engines at once.):


Subject Directories:


Resources Defined:

Database:  a usually large collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer)
Search Engine:  computer software used to search data (as text or a database) for specified information; also: a site on the World Wide Web that uses such software to locate key words in other sites.
Metasearch Engines: Metasearch  engines search several search engines at one time.
Subject Directories: These directories are created and maintained by people.  Typically these sites focus on more specific subject areas.