Online Databases

The San Bruno Public Library offers a number of online resources for learning and research. Some of the online databases on this page require a library card number for access. Don't have a library card? Apply for one online!

Not sure which online database to use? Try the following databases which cover a wide variety of topics:

General Databases

  • Academic Search Complete
    The world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 6,400 full-text periodicals, including more than 5,700 peer-reviewed journals. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.
  • General Research
    This multidisciplinary database provides full text for nearly 1,600 periodicals with full-text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also contains full text for nearly 440 reference books and over 73,000 primary source documents, as well as an Image Collection of over 1.7 million photos, maps, and flags.
  • Explora
    The database contains full text for more than 550 popular high school magazines. MAS Complete also provides more than 430 full text reference books, 85,670 biographies, 73,000 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of 1.7 million photos, maps and flags, color PDFs and expanded full text backfiles (back to 1975) for key magazines.
  • Britannica
    Quick facts and in-depth information on a wide variety of subjects.


  • Alexander Street Performing Arts
    A collection of music, dance, and theater content spanning hundreds of genres and a wide range of subject types. Enjoy instructional videos, performances, and more from leading providers such as the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Qwest TV, Smithsonian, L.A. Theatre Works, and Broadway On-Demand. Access provided courtesy of the California State Library.


  • Auto Repair Source
    Auto Repair Source provides the most accurate, authoritative and up-to-date service and repair information for thousands of domestic and imported vehicles. All content comes from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and includes step-by-step repair information, diagrams, maintenance schedules, parts and labor estimates, service bulletins and recalls.


  • Biography Reference Bank
    Collection of biographical profiles, feature articles, interviews, essays, book reviews, performance reviews, speeches, or obituaries. It covers over 500,000 people and includes over 36,000 images!
  • Biography Reference Center
    Biography Reference Center provides thousands of reliable full-text biographies, including the complete full text of Biography Today and Biography, plus narrative biographies not available in other databases. In addition to keyword search, users can locate biographies by subject occupation, nationality, activity, gender, lifespan and more.
  • History Reference Center
    Biographies of historical figures.
  • Literary Reference Center Plus
    Biographies on authors.
  • TeachingBooks
    Author interviews, book trailers and school resources at your fingertips!


  • Business Source Complete
    The world's definitive scholarly business database, providing the leading collection of bibliographic and full text content. As part of the comprehensive coverage offered by this database, indexing and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals back as far as 1886 are included. In addition, searchable cited references are provided for more than 2,000 journals.
  • Data Axle
    Ten unique databases for job hunting and business research, including corporate/business data, market research, building sales leads, and general directory information. Directories include U.S. Jobs/Internships database (employment and internship listings), U.S. Businesses, New U.S. Businesses, U.S. Historical Businesses, U.S. Standard White Pages, U.S. Healthcare for physicians and dentists, U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles, U.S. New Movers/Homeowners, and more.
  • O'Reilly Safari
    Provides electronic versions of a broad range of technical books such as technology, digital media and business books for programmers and IT professionals.


Explore our curated list of Job & Career Resources.


  • Brainfuse HelpNow
    Prepare for the U.S. Citizenship Test with practice tests and resources to help you prepare for the exam. Available under the Adult Learners section of Brainfuse. Supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. 
  • ProCitizen
    Preparation for U.S. citizenship. Learn all about democracy, how the government of the United States works, the history and geography of the United States. Learn by watching videos, practice with drills, and take quizzes to find out when you are ready to take the exam.


  • ERIC
    This database provides access to education literature and research. Content includes journal articles, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, dissertations and theses, and books dating back to 1966.
  • Teacher Resources
    Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of nearly 460 high quality education journals, including more than 300 peer-reviewed titles.
  • TeachingBooks
    Author interviews, book trailers and school resources at your fingertips! Resources for teaching and learning available to California schools and libraries.

En Español

  • Britannica Escolar
    Información rápida e información detallada sobre una amplia variedad de temas.
  • ProCitizen - Español
    Preparación para la ciudadanía estadounidense. Aprenda todo sobre la democracia, cómo funciona el gobierno de los Estado Unidos, La historia y la geografía de los Estado Unidos. Aprenda viendo videos, practique con simulacros y realice cuestionarios para saber cuándo está listo para tomar el examen.
  • Referencia Latina
    Un recurso completo en idioma español que ofrece 49,000 entradas de enciclopedia, 50,000 imágenes, 2,500 informes de salud, un diccionario español-inglés y el texto completo de más de 100 cientos de libros de referencia y docenas de revistas de interés general en una amplia gama de áreas temáticas.


  • PubMed
    More than 25 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.
  • MedlinePlus
    Authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government agencies.
  • Merck Manuals
    Medical reference aimed at the average person interested in health and disease.


  • America: History and Life
    Database of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.
  • Archives Unbound
    Covering topics of importance to U.S. and California history. Archives Unbound addresses students and scholars' pressing need to see primary, unpublished archival documents.
  • Historical Abstracts
    An exceptional resource that covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and much more.
  • History Reference Center
    Offers full text history periodicals, historical documents, biographies of historical figures, historical photos and maps, and historical video.



  • CliffsNotes
    Ace your tests and get homework help with summaries, character analyses, glossaries, quotes, essays, filmography and more.
  • Literary Reference Center Plus
    Full-text literary reference books/works, literary journals and magazines, plot summaries/synopses, author biographies, and articles/essays of literary criticism.
  • SparkNotes
    Study guides and discussion forums offered on various academic subjects. Literature section includes brief analyses of characters, themes and plots.
  • TeachingBooks
    Author interviews, book trailers and school resources at your fingertips!


  • New York Times
    Breaking news, world news, reviews, opinion and multimedia.

    To get started with New York Times, register for a free account. Once registered, you will be able to enjoy your 72 hour access pass from anywhere by logging in with the same email and password entered during registration. After expiration of the 72 hour access pass, you may activate a new pass by visiting the New York Times link on this page to obtain a new pass.

    Read the New York Times on your computer, iOS or Android device.
  • Newspaper Source Plus
    Includes more than 1,200 full-text newspapers, providing more than 83 million full-text articles. In addition, the database features nearly 2 million television and radio news transcripts.
  • OverDrive Magazines
    Full-color downloadable digital magazines for anytime, anywhere reading on desktops, mobile devices, and apps. The collection of popular digital magazines includes both new and backlist titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limits.

Product Reviews

  • Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook
    Consumer information to help people get high quality services and products at the best possible prices in the Bay Area.
    Note: Due to licensing agreements, Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook is for in Library use only. Please come into the San Bruno Library for access.
  • General Research
    Database providing access to Consumer Reports magazine.


  • Gale in Context: Environmental Studies
    Explore topics and events within Earth systems, global change, pollution, populations, and more.
  • Gale Interactive: Science
    High-value, rich-media digital content paired with interactive 3D models to deliver a virtual laboratory simulation experience for students. Students can entertain their curiosity and inspire grade improvement through an experience that allows zooming in, rotating, or pulling models apart to explore and experiment with complex scientific topics.
  • Science Reference Center
    Topics covered include: biology, chemistry, earth and space science, environmental science, health and medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science and society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife.

Social Issues

  • Points of View Reference Center
    Contains resources that present multiple sides of an issue. This database provides rich content that can help students assess and develop persuasive arguments and essays, better understand controversial issues and develop analytical thinking skills.



  • GetSetUp
    Live classes focusing on wellness, lifelong learning and social connection. For older adults. Available through September 30, 2024. Supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.

***Let the California State Library and Pacific Library Partnership know what you think about the CAreer Pathways online learning resources offered through your public library! Complete this short, 3-minute survey (available in English and Spanish) to share your experience. Thank you for your time and feedback. 

CAreer Pathways resources include: Coursera, GetSetUp, Job & Career Accelerator, LearningExpress Library Complete, LinkedIn Learning, Northstar and VetNow. Not all libraries offer all resources.   

¡Deje que la Biblioteca Estatal de California y la Asociación de Bibliotecas del Pacífico, tengan conocimiento sobre lo que piensa acerca de los recursos de aprendizaje en línea de CAreer Pathways que se ofrecen a través de su biblioteca pública! Complete la breve encuesta de 3 minutos (disponible en inglés y en español) para compartir su experiencia. Gracias por su tiempo y comentarios.

Los recursos de CAreer Pathways incluyen: Coursera, GetSetUp, Job & Career Accelerator, LearningExpress Library Complete, LinkedIn Learning, Northstar y VetNow. No todas las bibliotecas ofrecen todos los recursos.