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Google & Library Resources

Up until this point you probably have used Google or other search engines to answer a multitude of questions. Questions like, "What restaurants are around Crawfordsville?" "What was George Washington's birthday?" or "Which movies did Tom Hanks star in?" can be answered in seconds (depending on your internet speed) thanks to Google's robust search algorithm. However, what if your questions are a little more complicated? Or perhaps you need highly credible sources on a student budget.

That's where the Wabash Lilly Library is here to help! We provide access to subscription content that you can't get on Google alone. Below are some of the many pros and cons of using Google and library resources.

Comparing Google to Library Resources



  • Searches the entire surface or indexed web
  • Searching is free
  • Google algorithm ranks relevance for you
  • Useful for primary sources, such as government websites and data
  • May retrieve open scholarship and public digital projects


  • Scholarly sources may include a paywall
  • Does not search deep or unindexed web
  • Google algorithm may privilege some resources over others
  • Hard to determine the credibility of sources


Wabash library search


  • Full-text articles are available at no cost to student and faculty
  • Can refine searches with a variety of filtering options
  • Easy to identify peer-reviewed journals
  • Provides access to specialized databases
  • Provides access to licensed and copyrighted materials


  • Not as easy to navigate for new users
  • Not as flexible with natural language searches
  • Need to choose appropriate database to search
  • May not discover materials available outside of the library's collection


Advanced Google Searching

You can use these techniques right in the Google (or most other search providers) search box:

OR between related words or synonyms, e.g. women OR gender

- to exclude words, e.g. the search Hunger games -book would return results that don't include the word book. This is great for excluding irrelevant results

site:[website], e.g. would search the entire Wabash website. Also useful to search only .edu or .gov sites

Lilly Library is a founding member of PALNI, ALI, and The Oberlin Group

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301 W. Wabash Avenue
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
(765) 361-6100