Database Searching

Mediated Database Searching

Mediated Databases Requesting a Search Fees Current Awareness Service Obtaining Material Cited in a Search

Mediated Databases

Some databases that the New York State Library subscribes to are not available for customers to search themselves. Searches must be conducted by a New York State Library librarian. This is because of agreements with the vendors.

  • Dialog: Dialog offers one of the most comprehensive sources of online information.┬áThis vendor offers over one hundred different databases on business, education, humanities, medicine, science, and more. Dialog bluesheets provide information on the scope, nature, and content of the many Dialog databases. Before requesting a Dialog search, you may want to check Databases available: New York State Library to see if the same or comparable information is available for you to search yourself.
  • Westlaw: The State Library has limited access to Westlaw database files. See New York State Library: Law Collection: Selected Resources for more details.

Requesting a Search

Database search requests may be submitted in the following ways:


New York State government employees and Legislative staff members are eligible to receive work-related searches without charge. State government employees requesting searches not directly related to work and members of the public are charged a basic search fee, usually $40 a search. There is an additional charge if more than the basic number of citations is wanted. The basic number and the cost per citation vary with the database.

Rush search service is offered for an additional fee of $25. Searches will be completed within 24 hours; however, only half of the basic number of citations will be provided. Regular searches may take about a week to complete. Note: If a search yields no results there will still be a charge for the search.

Current Awareness Service

A search will be repeated automatically each month, providing new information as it becomes available. This service is available only for certain databases.

Obtaining Material Cited in Database Searches

Instructions provided with database search results indicate how to obtain materials cited. For those in State government, the fastest way may be to come to the State Library to use or photocopy materials or (if eligible) to borrow circulating items.

State employees may also submit requests electronically, by phone (limit-three items), by e-mail, or by mail on the New York State Library State Government Patron Request form. Items needed for StateMarch 19, 2014ted through interlibrary loan, if the form has been marked to show that interlibrary loan service is wanted.

Members of the public should obtain cited items from their local library. (If the local library doesn't have the item itself, they may be able to obtain it through their library's interlibrary loan department.) The public may also search for cited items and use them onsite at the State Library.


Last Updated: March 19, 2014