Access to vast array of free digital resources

This month I’d like to remind folks of the vast array of resources the library provides that are digital. Most of these can be used from home with a valid library card.

Our newest service is called Overdrive and contains Ebooks, Audio Books, Movies and Music. OneClickDigital contains thousands of audio books to download to your Ipod or MP3 player. Both of these can be accessed through our library website at www.cityofcortez.com/government/public_library_0.

The library pays for subscriptions to a variety of databases. Reference USA is touted as the premier business database. This can be used if you are thinking about starting a business, if you are looking for a job, or even if you are just planning a trip. The website for ReferenceUSA says it “offers verified details on 14 million U.S. businesses and 210 million U.S. residents.”

EBSCOhost is a collection of databases that contains magazine articles with a variety of subjects (medical, business, health, environmental and academic articles) and for a variety of audiences (primary school to graduate work). All students should know about this service. New this year to this collection of databases is Auto Repair Reference Center and Small Engine Repair Reference Center. If you are a patron, just ask at the front desk or call us and we can give you the secret passwords for this great resource.

To give you a sense of the depth and variety of these databases, I have copied some of their descriptions from the EBSCOhost website. Some of the databases have citations only, but we can usually obtain the articles for you through Interlibrary Loan. Many have full text which means you can download the entire article immediately.

In Kid’s Search you can choose Primary Search which provides full text for more than 70 popular magazines for elementary school research. All full text articles included in the database are assigned a reading level indicator and full text information dates as far back as 1990.

TOPICsearch contains full text for over 60,000 articles from 399 diverse sources including international and regional newspapers, EBSCO’s unparalleled collection of periodicals, biographies, public opinion polls, book reviews, pamphlets, and government information.

Middle Search Plus provides full text for more than 140 popular, middle school magazines. All full text articles included in the database are assigned a reading level. Full text is also available for thousands of biographies and historical essays. Middle Search Plus also contains 84,774 biographies, 105,786 primary source documents, and a School Image Collection of photos, maps and flags.

Newspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 U.S. and international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for 389 regional U.S. newspapers. In addition, full text television and radio news transcripts are also provided.

Points of View is a great database for kids looking for a topic to write about. It has many controversial topics and the research to go with them.

Novelist Plus and Novelist K-8 Plus can be used to find books on subjects you may be interested in, plus you can find a book you especially enjoyed and you can explore their recommendations, called “read alikes” to find recommendations for similar books.

In Student Research Center for Grades 1-12 you can choose what grade level of reading you want to use for your research.

Business Source Premier provides full text for more than 2,300 journals, including full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed titles. This database provides full text back to 1886, and searchable cited references back to 1998.

Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary college and postgraduate level database providing full text for more than 8,500 journals, including full text for more than 4,600 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable, cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles. This is the best college research database.

There are also specific databases for certain areas of interest like Consumer Health Complete, Legal Information Reference Center, Psychology and Behavioral Science, and Greenfile for Environmental Research.

If you’d like to try any of these services and you do not have a library card, you can get one by applying at the library checkout desk. All you will need is a local mailing address where we can send your card.

We also have online access to the Consumer Reports database and the Colorado Grants Guide. These two have to be used within the library, so just ask at the front desk and we’ll sign you in.

Colorado Historic Newspapers (www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org) is a state project that has been going on for about a decade. As implied by the title, it is old newspapers from around the state that have been digitized. The software it uses will do word searches for you, so if you have an unusual name or an event you’d like to look up, try it! It is great for historians, genealogists and of course, students. It is available to everyone with Internet access. No library card is required.

I hope everyone reading this will give at least one of these a try, and please share this information with students you know.

Joanie Howland is director of the Cortez Public Library, 202 N. Park St. She can be reached at 565-8117.

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