SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 12: Rich’s Online Directory

Posted on: June 17, 2010

Rich’s Online Directory – California includes over 30,000 firms in Northern and Southern California. Access over 75,000 contact names, 16,000 websites, and 12,000 email addresses. Includes high technology, financial services, manufacturing, distributors, transportation, wholesalers, and business-to-business services.  Search results may be viewed, but downloads are not available to SJPL users.

Search Selection Criteria includes:  Contacts, Company, Counties, NAICS, SIC Product Codes, States

No Help screens are available.

This database is accessible from SJPL public computers and outside of the library with a San Jose Library card number and PIN. 


1.  How many company records are there in Rich’s database for Santa Clara County containing the name “Varian”?

2.  Can you find an email address for any executives of Nvidia?

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to register your participation, and then go bid on a prize!


168 Responses to "Week 12: Rich’s Online Directory"

It’s a bit confusing since their home button brings up their company’s info – not the home for SJPL users. That said, the data it contains is useful to many customers.

this is pretty cool! I can see the different type companies that we have in CA, their revenues and such; but to be honest, I’m not sure what I would use this for.

Some people use it to get leads for marketing, sales, and even to look for jobs; HR folks are also included in the listings so you can target your cover letter to a specific person for a company. Often, getting these sorts of name listings can be pretty costly so it’s a great free service for our customers.

Yes Mana! This is great for helping folks with the resumes and cover letters:)

I found 49 results for question #1
Battled with question #2. I will try to find an e-mail later. I am finding myself coming back, to get the right answers. I wish I could find the answers on the first try.

This data base has to be one of the more confusing ones we’ve had. Since there is no tutorial you are pretty much on your own to guide yourself and learn. This first question was pretty simple and easy to find. The second question has had me a bit annoyed with the web site. I don’t like if you click home it takes you to the companys website and out of our data base. All in all I don’t really see myself using this data base in the future. I would not feel comfortable enough trying to explain it to a customer! But it was really cool learning another new thing!!

The vendor is actually developing a online video tutorial, and will have 24/7 chat reference help too, soon! So it should be more user friendly with those features…

It’s good news that there will be more enhancements.
I find Rich’s in its present form not very user friendly!

I completed the exercises and found it simple to use if you use the “modify search criteria” link on the right. Clicking on the link will show all contact information on executives. Very important database, as we often have people looking for this type of information.

This database helps people who are looking for job and stock investors.

Although the information is invaluable, I found navigating the database confusing. I happened to luck into searching for Varian, then limiting it to SCCo. (answer: 3 companies)

I like it, a little confusing at first but I figured it out. The home button needs a fix. The data base is a helpful resource for job hunters. Im usually asked questions that are related, so this has turned out helpful.

Intresting database. Was often slow and had errors. Following the previous warnings about the home button, I tried using the back button, and no matter where I was, it brought me back to the search starting point. Very frustrating when you just wanted back to the last page you were on. Also, a lot of the information for the companies was generic, rather than the contact information for the person that you wanted. For example you could do an e-mail search, have all the members of a company show up, only to see that they all have the same e-mail of Not a bad idea, but with limited information and difficult navigation, I don’t think I would use it again.

Can be useful for looking for company names, addresses and company executives, but seems lacking in regards to more in depth information. I looked up an uncle’s company and found the information quite outdated, so I’m not sure about the currency of this database.

Thank you for that insight; I’ll have to ask the vendor about it… Supposedly the database spiders the content for accuracy ‘regularly’ but because it’s a contact database, such problems can be problematic…

This was a pretty simple site to navigate. Useful information too.

Not a bad database. Useful if you or a patron are looking for some basic information/contact info for businesses in Cali. Easy to navigate once you learn not to use the “home” link OR the back button on your browser.

I found it confusing, I finally found the information to the questions..

This database is quite straightforward. Useful, but the only e-mail address I was able to find for Nvidia was a general customer support one, not one for specific executives.

One of the cool functions of this database is that you can limit your search to companies of a certain size, which is useful information for job hunters/sales people.

This is an interesting database. It could be quite useful in job hunts when you want to get information on who your potential bosses might be and such. Great for personalized cover letters.

I found 30 for question #1. For the second question I ran out of time, leaving me puzzled. This database is a bit confusing and I think a help area would be good.

I found 40 for question #1. Didn’t get question #2. This database was confusing for me. 😦 sorry

This one is confusing for me and I don’t have the time to figure it out. I keep looking up ” Nvidia ” and it says not found??

I’m not sure what was meant by company records, but I got 20 results when I limited the search to this county. I would prefer that all the limiters be on one page, as I was confused until I discovered that it stores the limiters. I chose the contacts button searched for the comapny and found no individual email contacts.

Rich’s Online Directory seems static and less flexible than other databases we have viewed. However, I have fielded more than one reference question in which Rich’s Directory would have helped.

Completed exercises.

1-I found 39 company records in Rich’s database for Santa Clara County containing the name “Varian”

2- Only email address I was able to find was:

Useful site.

I wish this database included information from more fields! Still, the directory has useful information for many people living in Silicon Valley.

I agree it could be more user-friendly, but it’s not difficult or time consuming to show someone how to search more effectively. The 24/7 chat reference will be a nice addition when it is implemented, and I bet usage will increase as a result. Those sneaky rascals at Nvidia have perfected the art of flying under the radar when it comes to personal contact emails! I tried RefUSA and the company’s website, but still came up empty handed.

I really don’t care for this latest incarnation of their interface. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to clear the form or start over. And the page was giving me errors in IE.

The big strength of this database is the level of refinement you can get with product “code” searches; as opposed to the broader “yellow page” headings that Reference USA does.

This was a confusing and very slow database, that offered little in the way of guidance and information. Once an online tutorial is made, I’m certain that searches for info will be easier but until then, I would probably just Google.

Hmmm. seems like it has mostly larger companies.

Rich’s Online Directory is a little challenging to navigate. In my opinion, the names, the websites and the email addressess of the firms are public information. It would be less time-consuming and more results yielding by googling than using ROD.

The Online Directory is interesting. It seems have a lot of information, but at the same time not enough. Also, it doesn’t seem to list arts/craft businesses, or at least you can’t seem to search for companies that are in the arts/crafts field.

The first question was fairly simple to find the answer but had to play around for a few minutes to figure out the second one.

I can see how this would be incredibly helpful for job seekers. A lot of times you can get a good foot in the door by contacting HR people directly!

I don’t think we will have questions about this database. I found the Varian companies, and for the Nvidia email there is only one.

I find the information in this database to be very good, but the user-interface is not very user-friendly.

This is an easy way to obtain names needed for cover letters to gain employment opportunities or for people in sales looking for contacts.

I didn’t like the navigation of this database. It took some time to find the answer to the first question.

I found this database more confusing than the other 11 databases. I feel that this database is a great resource just not as user friendly as it should be. I’m sure in the future this data base will be easier to navigate and therefor more helpful to others. i just need to use it a bit more and get the hang of it.

I have never used this database and so I’m glad for the introduction. Count my vote with other staff that it is not user friendly and I too dislike not having a functional ‘back’ button. There seems to be limited information available to researchers and may only meet minimal expectations.

Couldn’t find an e-mail for question #2. Didn’t find this database very interesting.

Not very user friendly! Only one week left people =)

I got 39 contacts at 4 companies for the Varian search. Not sure if I did this correctly.

In any case, cool database.

I’ve always thought Rich’s was a good source for directory information in California, especially for smaller companies, but I’m not sure that this database reflects it, especially since it is not downloadable. The email and the names of important titles in the company is very useful information.

There needs to be a button or link for “New Search” or “Clear Form.” Question #1 was easy, Question # 2 not so much… I couldn’t find a personal email for any Nvidia executive.

Pretty confusing database for people to use. I’ll try again though.

I could find only a generic info@ address for Nvidia executives, but the first question was no problem. Pretty easy to use, but a bit confusing too.

I don’t like this database. It’s not user friendly and I don’t really understand the point of it.

This database provides company’s briefly history.

Week 12 database about Rich’s Online Directory was interesting, but I did not see it to be as one of my top databases to obtain information.

If I was interested in working for a particular business, I would utilize this source to reach out to some individuals, etc. However, since I am interested in HR employment law compliance and legal issues, I could see myself researching information based specific industries to see how factors like protected classes, diversity, location, organizational hierarchal chain of command, etc., is set.

However, I do not see myself realyl doing that or using this source.

Pretty simpy database. The information about the companies are brief and not so extensive. This could be a good resource for those who need to look for company contact and location information.

This could be somewhat useful info if you’re preping for a job interview at a company listed in this database. (Getting a little more info about a company, key leadership in the organization, etc.) And as others mentioned, a foot in the door when addressing resumes to individuals.

It took me a while to realize that I needed to use the words in red as the link to hit to get to information. At first I was distracted by the large turquoise colored arrows and tried selecting them with no result. I may have missed some link in this site as I was able to locate an email address for the company in the exercise but not for a specific executive although I was able to see some sames of individuals.

Although there’s a wealth of information in this database, I found it difficult to use. When I searched on Varian under companies, I found 38 hits with a Santa Clara County location. When I tried a search under counties, I only found 8. I was not able to find a personal e-mail for a Nvidia executive–only a general company e-mail. As others have commented, it’s very annoying that you can’t easily return to the page for starting a new search.

Not very user friendly. I found the answers, but it was far from easy!


I found 28 companies for the first question. I saw different numbers from the answers above. It is very interesting. I am able to find the names but no email or phone number.

This was very confusing. It took me a while for me to find the answers. Overall it was difficult to navigate.

1. It was easy to get the answer, I found 39 companies containing the name “Varian”. 28 located in Palo Alto, 10 in Milpitas and 1 in San Jose. An excellent resource to get company information to search for jobs.
2. I only found one general e-mail :
I found the Executive Profile with names but no e-mails. I was
curious and I called the company and the receptionist told me
they are not allow to give their e-mails because of the
high volume they got in the past.
After all, it was a nice experience getting this information. I appreciate that.

The Modify Search button is not prominent enough to alert this user. It’s slow to search on this platform. Otherwise it’s fine.

Not very user friendly and confusing!

I counted 38 sites for Varian in Santa Clara County, and found I was hoping it would be faster. Looks like tons of useful information.

Great site if you’re in or interested in the business world.

This site is ok. The search could have more options. Good if looking for a business or organizations info.

I found the site confusing at first, especially when the link on this page directed me to a different site than the one on the actual “articles and databases” site. I found a lot of the information useful (once I figured out how to search for it). Very rarely, I will have people come up to ask for a list of companies that are in California, so this will be something I will keep in mind in case I get asked again.

It is a very useful business resource, but definitely is not user friendly enough. It is very hard to clear the data and start a new search, or to be back to a previous page. The tabs on the top somehow still have the former data, even you already searched for a different informaiton using another tab(s). Or maybe there is away to create a custom type search using different tabs (limiters) and clicking on Search once at the end?

very interesting to find differnt companies through out California, although I dont know when I would use this…

I got a page like this “Congratulations! You have 39 contacts at 4 companies” for the first questions?
2nd question, I got “You search resulted in NO SALES LEADS. You should review your selections, remove some restrictions and try again”
Maybe I did not search correctly.
I will try more this database because if we have this information, it will be good to recommand to customers, and also ourselves in the search of jobs.

An interesting database.

This is a really useful resource.

I originally commented on a different database– I actually find this one disappointing. And I question its completness since it had nothing on one public company that I looked up.

It’s fun to learn different databases.

Difficult to use and information is limited.

This database is not user friendly.

I could see how this database is really important to investors, but it was really hard to work my way through the exercizes. I liked how we have this information available for customers but the layout was really hard to get through overall.

It was tedious to navigate and difficult to find the answers.

Although this information may be important to some people, I think it’s just not very interesting. Navigating the database was fairly easy but they should still include a tutorial.

The database used to be much easier at searching. Its too bad the company ruined the database’s search interface. … I still wonder why the company would make such a large mistake.

I found it a bit confusing….i didn’t get any info for the last question.

This might be a useful database if one is looking for a list of companies when applying for a job. I found the contact info for a tech company I used to work for as a teenager that I thought didn’t exist anymore.

I totally dislike this database training activity in particular because I AM LOST! sorry, but when it comes to business related stuffs, I am not really interested. However, I am pretty sure others might found it helpful and appreciates it for what it has to offer more than me 🙂

This site can provide a wealth of information if you are involved in the sales side of business. It is also a great a job search site. It quickly outlines the size and basic operation of each company.

confusing, boring and not a lot of information. overall a great time.

A great resource to share with job hunters. I’m planning to promote it to AB’s Job Seeker’s support group.

Great for customers who are in marketing or looking to set up their own companies and get an idea of what is out there.

It took me forever to find the answers because under the run count tab it stayed at “performing count….”. However, I think it is a very nice concept. This database could possibly help out people who are interested in finding a particular company or contact near their desired area. I see this being very useful for some people but definitely not for me.

i was totally confused and disliked the database this week. I guess it is good if you know what your looking for but if you just want to browse its confusing and dificult to use.

I did not like this database and probably won’t be using it.

Not the most powerful or easy to use database. It actually seems like the database is still in it’s testing phase; it looks unfinished. Anyway, I think it would be useful for those looking for marketing contacts but I imagine you can find just about the same info on the company’s website.

Nancy Buckles – Edenvale
This database definitely has lots of company information, but I found it difficult to use as did others. I’m happy to hear that a tutorial may be on the way.

Interesting database, could definitely be useful to the right type of patrons. Very specific.

I didn’t get it the first time. It took me quite a while to know how to use all those funtions. To be honest, this assignment was quite hard, and is not user friendly.

This week assignment is kind of confusing. It doesn’t get you to the answer right away.

Looks like about 39 different ones,
I like Stradivarian Group the best because the name sounds great and rolls off the tongue. I was a bit confused at first but then I realized that the counties tab alters the search as a whole.
I was kinda excited that this database might actually have the work email addresses for each executive at Nvidia but instead it gave me the list of their names but a general email address.

The site seems useful enough for certain situations and I’m glad I know about it for that obscure patron coming in and asking about it.

I was also disappointed with the layout but it seems that will be addressed and a online help will be added. It is definitely not beginner material and you really need to know how to use search engines to use this database.

This was very confusing. I clicked the link in the blog, and ended up at their home page, not our database. Took me a few minutes to figure that out, I’m ashamed to admit.

It’s very clunky, one of the more unwieldy databases we’ve had.

I looked up various companies like Apple Computer Inc. that is based at Cupertino. I found decent information about them such as their contact information, job titles and their names. There is a little history about them too like the year the companies were established and how much moolah they made.

I don’t really know how this resource is valuable to our customers. I just see this as a way to look up a company’s contact info. Maybe if they were interested in investing their money on the stock market and they wanted to research a company they want to invest their money into?

I don’t know why some staff members are confused about this database. It was pretty simple to navigate I thought!

Has a lot of interesting company information. Helpful for job search.
Look like it would take a while to do detail searchs on it.

The database was difficult to navigate and not very intuitive. However the information provided was very useful for people looking for a person to contact within a business.

The database has useful information about companies and within the companies, has the names of the department heads. I found the interface confusing, as it seems easy to get out to the Rich’s site. Great for local high tech business searches. For the first question, does Stradivarian count?

I agree that it was confusing that the home link went their company home page and there wasn’t an easy way for me to start a new search. Also, I didn’t find emails for the executives of Nvidia…was I supposed to be able to? I couldn’t find emails for any of the company contacts aside from the generic company email…

The information is hard to find. I found the answer, but I don’t know if that is right answer…

I see how this database could be potentially useful for job-hunters, other than that, I can’t see an application for it. It’s fairly user-friendly, yet it supplies a lot of answers for one question. It may be difficult to sort through the onslaught of information.

-Sarah Thornton, RG

The website isnt very intuitive but i can see the potential in the valuable information available to our public inquiring into business related reference questions.

As a business major, I have a feeling I’ll be using this in the future. Awesome! The link to the homepage is a bit confusing at first. Is this a private company’s provided service?

Great resource if your trying to plan a hostile takeover of neighboring companies. I thinks I really neat but can’t imagine patrons researching SIC Codes for companies.

although this database was a little difficult for me to navigate i was still able to find the answer to # 1 (49) however i couldnt answer question 2

the website was difficult to navigate, I feel that not many patrons will inquire this information.

Like most others I found it somewhat difficult to navaigate the web site. I think it would come in handy for someone looking to get a hold of business email’s.

This was a little confusing for me but I figured it out. Don’t see myself using this database that much.

I like the one we did last week. can we do that one over again?

This database is pretty ill.

A very simple tool to use for people who need information on buisnesses.


1) I found 43 under Varian. I am not sure if it is correct consider the various results a few others got.

2) As for number two I got

Was able to find #1, but not #2. Not a bad database though. Seems a bit sparse on information. Seems more like something one would use for finding an executive level job or to campaign for some venture capital.

Binh Tran is from Edenvale! 🙂

well……since the unfriendly UI … that lead to confusing, and … bad product. !!!!!!

Rich’s is o.k, but I prefer Reference USA because it offers greater detail in terms of latest news, graphic historical data, and many other fields to narrow your search.

very nice feature for company records informations. I found 38 company records for question#1 and for question#2 i just found only 1 e-mail contact, overall it is useful for people in business, sales and marketing, very easy to use.

I tried some searches and did not get the results that I expected. Sometimes I did not even get any results.
Almost all databases will have Help menu.
But I could not find it at Rich’s. Does anyone see it?

The database was ok. I guess it would help the job searchers in the library system.

I think this database required extra work to find the same information that you can google.

Not bad if you are searching for company info…but you might have an easier time googling it if you are looking for contact info.

Very confusing like others have mentioned. It will be great if we can put more than one limitor at a time for the practice questions. And if do not have to go back to the starting point when we just want to go to the last page.

This is a useful database and easy to use. It has some basic information about a company.

I need to go back to this database, I found it confusing and not user friendly.

Not the most fun…
However, a useful tool.

Can be helpful for people looking for a job to target their resume. Their web page isn’t very user friendly.

I don’t really like this one. It’s too confusing.

I had a little trouble navigating the database but it’s interesting and useful. I would still prefer using google though.

I had trouble navigating the database. I was entering information to do the search and the answers never came up.

This is a great resource for business reference questions. I think I do need to spend more time digging through the database though. There are a lot of elements and search field to navigate through.

Good resource for resume building!

It was a little confusing at first, but I figured it out.

One more to go yeah!

Great! very useful. Thanks!
Nhan Huynh @EB Week #12

When customers come to me with California business in mind, I tend to go with Rich’s Online. However, I show them the Reference USA since it contains more information.

I do not get many business related questions at my current branches so it is good to have these training exercises.

This one was a little clunky, but it’s one more tool in the toolbox!

It might just be me, but this database gives me the same feeling that I get when I’m on a very commercial website that allows me a limited peak at things for free but requires that I get out my credit card to see the full information. This might have something to do with the shopping cart graphic in the upper right corner of the page. This impression plus the rather cheesy interface and primitive search (what, is there no way to combine criteria?) result in a rather challenging database. Yes, the contact information (assuming that it is up-to-date) is helpful to job applicants and the “Proximity” (read: ZIP code) search is useful. Of course, anyone who can prove to a company that he/she successfully searched this database should probably be hired by default.

This is a very useful website. It helps look for company names, adresses, and company executives. Overall the the navigation of the site is kind of confusing.

Very useful website. One more week to go!

I loved this website. It was easy to use. I had fun with it.

Not too user friendly, but I’m sure it’s helpful to some.

This program was so simple to use.

Nice and very useful website.

I found the company e-mail only, but not for the individual exec. Perhaps others had similar difficulty on exercise #2.

Looking forward to sharing this resource with customers job searching!

Helpful information esp. re: contacts at companies in certain industry areas. I like the county, zip code and phone area code searches.

Good information but awkward to use.

1. I found 42 company names with the name VARIAN.
2. An e-mail adress for Nvidia is

This is good resource for our customers to use when exploring local or California companies. However, it doesn’t cover companies outside of California (U.S. or abroad). Do we have a equivalent to this resource that would handle inquiries on companies in other states, cities, counties outside of California and abroad?

I tried out the database; however it was difficult to navigate and filter the results. When I was searching for the email I didn’t find a way to sort by company name which I thought would be nice.

Yeah!!! I am back… It’s getting easier for me this time, compared to my first try doing this assignment.. Still, in general, I think this assignment is kind of hard to follow.

A good resource for California business information.

Very useful

1. I found 28 companies that containing the name Varian.
2. I could not find an email address for the Nvidia. I think I need more time to look for it.

1. I found 28 companies that containing the name Varian.
2. I could not find an email address for the Nvidia.
It is helpful but I need more time to learn.

Easy to navigate. Local info d/b is useful.

Finished this assignment in two tries. I found it not so easy but I kept trying. My answers were a bit different. I found 39 contacts with the name Varian and e-mail address for 12 executives at Nvidia.

Definitely a database for those who have very specific business searches. Not as user friendly as Reference USA, but definitely a good source for those who are business searching.

This database is similar to Hoover on a smaller scale. I’m always curious on how often they update their database so you can give the most current information to customers. Other than that, this is a great database – a lot of business data.

Pretty neat database, I’ll keep this in mind for the future.

I think I’ll be forwarding people to Reference USA instead.

I didn’t find this easy to use, but I did find 39 companies with the Varian name. I wasn’t terribly excited about this information, but I know some people find this a useful tool for ratings and contacts.

This is a great source in our stressed out economic times. This has been a standard resource that I have come to love. Helpful in resume writing, interview questions and seeking out effective HR contacts.

Excellent resource, but I could not find the answer to question two. 😦

I found 51 listings with the company name Varian. I also found an email address that was, but there was a list of names of execs and their titles, so I could put the person in the subject line in order to email them. This is a helpful database for getting more information on a company when applying for a job you can show them that you know something about who they are and what they do.

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