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Integrating Intersectionality into Library Instruction & Programming: Option A: Selecting Databases

Presented at Library Instruction West 2018, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado

For LIW 2018 Attendees

This is the bounded option.

I start by asking if anyone knows where they would go to find all of the library databases on the homepage of the library website (we currently have a tabbed search box at the top-right of every library webpage), and I then I demonstrate how to find all of the library databases. I show them the A-Z list, and how they can select certain subject areas, such as sociology. When students select a subject, the results will typically provide 2-3 "best bets" at the top of the results list. In this case, one of the recommendations is Sociological Abstracts.

Next, I then have students list two databases, beyond Sociological Abstracts, that seem helpful into a Google Sheet. I ask them to think about their topic and select two databases that are pre-loaded to the guide. They also have to tell me why they seem helpful. After class, I go back in and provide some more suggestions if needed.

Databases to Get Started

Behavioral & Social Sciences

Business & Economics

Finding Databases at UC Merced

Learn how to find databases and how to narrow down by database subject area, full-text availability, etc. (1:14)

How do I choose a database?

It can be overwhelming to choose a database to search, but using the subject filter and database type filter to find databases related to your topic and the type of information that you need will help. Reading through the database descriptions is key.


Please fill out your assigned row on the Google Sheet.

  • Explore the databases listed here. Which potentially relate to your topic/question?
  • In Column F, list the names of two databases that could be helpful to search in.
  • In Column G, briefly explain why these seem helpful to search in.


History & Humanities



Political Science

Intersectionality is Interdisciplinary

Many of the topics you are interested in don't fit into neat discipline categories. Because different databases subscribe to different content, you will want to search in a few to get the most out of your search for information.

For my sample topic about black women and the black power movement, I should also search in history and political science databases to see what else I might find.

Ethnic Studies & Gender/Sexuality Studies