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MS 51 Library: Databases

Library homepage for MS 51 William Alexander Middle School

Best Databases for Research

As an MS 51 student, you have access to many databases for research directly and with your MyLibraryNYC card from Brooklyn Public Library. Here are some great places to start your research before you Google widely!

Remember as you do research to collect your sources and cite them properly! is a great tool for making citations and a works cited page for a research project in ANY subject. You can make a free account with your Gmail account and save your citations directly to Google Drive and share them with your classmates for group projects. If you'd like a thorough video tutorial to get you started, you can watch this presentation from Ms. Laverde at Townsend Harris High School... replace "Townsend Harris High School account" with " accounts" and "New York Public Library" with "Brooklyn Public Library" and everything will work the same for you!

MS 51 Database Passwords

Quick Search Tools

EuropeAsiaOceaniaNorth AmericaNoneAfricaAfricaNoneSouth America

Why Databases?

Google Differently!

Try these sites & tools to get a fresh perspective on your online search.

Google Tips:

Need a specific word or phrase to come up in your search? Put it "in quotes."

Want to look only within a particular site? Google "site:" and then the URL for the site you want to search. (Ex:

Want a specific file type? A JPG, a GIF, a PDF? Include file:filetype (ex. file:jpg) and your search terms. 

Need something very recent? Use the "tools" dropdown menu to select a time range for your results. 

Use Control+F to find specific words or phrases within your results document. 


Database Tools to Look For!

Most databases have tools within them to help you organize your research. Look for these common features to get you started:

  1. Accessibility tools: Look for controls to make the font size larger or smaller for easier reading. Many databases also have a text-to-voice option so that you can listen to the article being read aloud. 
  2. Print & email buttons: Use the print-friendly option if you need hard copy of the article or, even better, email yourself the link to save it for later.
  3. Citations: Most databases will either provide a citation for the article at the very bottom or give you a link in a side bar to create a citation in a variety of formats. 
  4. Definitions: Double click a word or highlight a word within a student database and often a definition will pop up!