"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."
The beauty of Google Scholar is that it is performing a federated search of all of your libraries' databases to provide full-text results on one screen. You do not need to search the library catalog or individual databases. Google Scholar is doing it all for you!
The major benefits of Google Scholar include:
- Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place
- Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications
- Locate the complete document through your library or on the web
In fact, some libraries getting rid of their catalogs and discovery layers altogether in favor of using Google Scholar.
It's a beautiful thing to go to one database that uses the strong functionality of Google searching to search across all of your library's databases for pertinent results. If you are on campus, your computer will generally be set to search the correct library system through Google Scholar to pull up full-text results.
If you are off campus, you should go to Settings, Library Links, and search for your particular library. You can set up to five libraries to search. In my case, I have Google Scholar searching my law library, the undergraduate library, and the health sciences library because I have access to all of those libraries individually. Now, though, I can just search in Google Scholar to find resources from all three libraries instead of having to search each one individually.
For more information on using Google Scholar, see the University of Illinois's handy LibGuide.