MeL - Michigan eLibraryMeL - Michigan eLibrary

MeL Databases Help

Finding Articles in Magazines, Journals and Newspapers

See here for video tutorials on a variety of MeL databases

Database Tutorials

MeL Databases is where you go to find full text articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers, as well as ebooks, tests, maps, and much more.  They cover all topics and offer research and life-long learning information for all ages.  These are articles and ebooks you will not find through a general Internet search. They are subscription based resources which are provided at no charge for Michigan residents through state and federal funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and state of Michigan through the Library of Michigan.  MeL offers many different sets of these resources (databases), so how do you know which one to use?

On the MeL Database list page, there is a title and description for each set of resources.  Interest level and audience are generally indicated for each and can help you decide which to start with.

Next, read the description which tells about the types of topics covered in this set of resources.  If it seems like this fits your question, click on the link and try a search.

Below we highlight some of the databases in MeL. The following will give you a good idea of the scope of MeL, as well as some of our specialty products.

Logging In to View the Databases

Access to MeL databases is generally via a Geo-IP URL assigned to each subscription resource. In the event that this link does not automatically connect you, it may be necessary to demonstrate your Michigan residency by entering your driver's license or State ID number or your name and library barcode (your library must be a MeLCat participant). Entering this information will not track you in any way - MeL is not tied in to the Secretary of State's office or any other state or local governmental agency. Michigan residents need to log in because the databases are purchased specifically for Michigan residents.

Non-Michigan residents can check for resources similar to what the Michigan eLibrary offers by contacting their local library.

Commonly Needed Topics

MeL has pulled together Portals to help you find resources on some of the most commonly needed topics including:

If you're looking for information on one of these topics, check out the Portal and use the Key Resources. Descriptions of each database can guide you to the one that will be most likely to meet your needs.

Early Literacy

The MeL Kids contains several resources that are excellent tools for introducing reading, comprehension, and research skills to young learners. BookFlix, Britannica School – Learning Zone, and Early World of Learning are three examples to be found in the Homework Helpers section. Others offer ebooks and bilingual resources too.

General Sources

If you need a good place to start a general search, General OneFile has information on almost any topic.  It contains magazines, journals, newspapers, travel guides, and video files on a wide variety of topics and more than 25 years of backfile. The articles are generally full text, not just summaries, and are updated daily.  The reading level is for the general public.

News and Current Events

You can use InfoTrac Newsstand to find over 1,100 major United States regional, national and local newspapers and leading titles from around the world.  It includes the New York Times, which you can also access directly from the database listing. 

Online Practice Tests

Whether you need to prepare for the S.A.T., A.C.T., a Civil Service exam, a licensing exam, a graduate school entrance exam, or are preparing to become a U.S. citizen, LearningExpress Library is the place to go.  There are hundreds of tests for all ages and topics.

Because your test scores are saved for you, you create a free account. Instructions for doing so are provided in LearningExpress. Once you have created your account, you log in as a returning user to continue with practice tests or exercises already in progress.  If you have taken tests, you can review your answers.  Explanations of why your answer was correct or incorrect can help you increase your skills and do a better job on the upcoming test.

Parents, there are tests for school age children to practice important skills.  There are also tests with the directions in Spanish.


Special interests, homework, life, reading, and college are topics of interest for all young adults/teens. MeL Teens can help. Subscription databases and select websites to assist with completing homework assignments, career planning, finding a great read, and dealing with growing up are there and include InfoTrac Student Edition, LearningExpress Library, and Health and Wellness Resource Center.

Vehicle Repair

Whether you want to work on your own vehicle, check a warranty recall, or just learn more about a vehicle problem so that you can be informed when talking to your mechanic, ChiltonLibrary is a great resource. 

Select a year, make, and model on the left side of the screen, then choose from Labor Estimating, Bulletins/Recalls, Maintenance, or Repair.  Continue to select from available options until you find what you need.  Many of the articles include pictures, wiring diagrams, and illustrations which can be printed for ease of use.

ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Test Preparation quizzes are available in ChiltonLibrary. Each test is a demonstration version that includes about 15 questions covering topics including automotive engine repair, transmissions and transaxles, and exhaust systems.

Very Academic

If you need peer-reviewed journals and highly academic sources in all disciplines, go to Academic OneFile.  This database content is useful for research libraries, graduate schools, universities, and community colleges and may be presented in the language of the original research report.