This week we are looking at a database rather than a reference book. African American Biographical Database is up for renewal at $1120 for a year. It's main purpose is to provide biographical information on lesser known African Americans from lesser known sources. There is little comparison or overlap with African American History Online section of Facts on File, which has far fewer entries from much more widely available sources (but which is much easier to use).
The database can be searched for profiles of specific persons (a nice feature here is to use the occupation limiter to generate a list of, say, all African American artists or athletes). The full text of each (or all) publications can be searched as well. It can be tricky, and it is best to do a broader search (for example, using only last name) when there are no results for a particular search.
So far in 2008 (Jan-June) it has been accessed 32 times or an average of 5.3 times per month. That means each search costs $35.
That is low for our databases. For example, in the same time period JSTOR was accessed an average of 177 times per month and Academic Search Premier 111. However, looking at it from another angle, if a reference book was used 32 times in six months, we would probably consider it heavily used. Hmmm... Check it out and let me know what you think.