The library subscribes to databases to provide access to periodical articles. The content contained in these databases are typically not freely available on the internet. You have to pay to get access to them. But with an article database, the library is paying for that access for you. That's why you have to go through the database to get the articles.
Don't ever pay to download an article from the internet--talk to a Reference Librarian, and we can more than likely get you a copy of the article at no charge to you. That's what libraries do!
While many databases contain the full-text of the article right there, sometimes this won't happen. You may conduct a search and get results that only give you an citation and an abstract. So how do you get from the citation to actually getting the article?
Here's where IUCAT comes in. IUCAT is the library catalog, and it tells you what books we own and what journals we subscribe to. You can conduct a Periodical Title Search in IUCAT to find out what the library's holdings are for any journal. You will search for the journal title, not the name of the article, because all IUCAT knows is whether we have the journal or not. It doesn't know what's contained in the journal.
If you cannot locate the journal you want in IUCAT, or if library's holdings do not include the specific issue you need, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request for the article. We will ask another library that does have that specific issue to make a copy of the article and send it here for you in PDF format.