May 20, 2022

New Research Article: The Status of Statewide Subscription Databases in School Libraries

The following article appears in Volume 15 of School Library Research. A link to the complete 23 page is found below.


The Status of Statewide Subscription Databases


Karla S. Krueger
University of Northern Iowa


School Library Research (Vol 15)


This qualitative content analysis presents subscription databases available to school libraries through statewide purchases. The results may help school librarians evaluate grade and subject-area coverage, make comparisons to recommended databases, and note potential suggestions for their states to include in future contracts or for local purchase. All states had similar periodicals‘ indexing vendors; therefore, this study‘s focus was online subject reference databases. Results portrayed seventy-nine unique databases across thirty-three states analyzed. Most states studied (81 percent) had a wide variety of online reference subject content; twenty states (61 percent) included one or more general reference databases; seven states with no general reference had a range of titles in health, literary criticism, science, history, biography, and/or art. However, not all content areas were equally represented: examples: health (61 percent), literary criticism (55 percent), science (42 percent), history (39 percent), biography (33 percent), and arts (15 percent). There was disparity in six states with no general reference and gaps in subject coverage. In one state, the only secondary reference tool available was NoveList for readers‘ advisory. Another state‘s only secondary subject reference title was HeritageQuest. Additionally, pro/con databases, readers‘ advisory, and elementary general reference online databases were available in just over half of the states (51 percent); access to general encyclopedias online was offered by only 48 percent of states surveyed.

Direct to Full Text Article (23 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.