Monday, April 25, 2011

eLibrary: A Great All-Purpose Database

The Terrebonne Parish Library System offers dozens of research databases that are available through any computer that can access the internet. Full-text databases are virtual libraries that contain thousands of additional materials such as books, magazines, newspaper articles, and images that would never fit within the walls of a public library.

A great first stop for your database search is eLibrary. This full text database offers basic and advanced search options covering resources in the following categories (a few examples are given):

· Newspapers (Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe)

· Magazines (National Geographic and Newsweek)

· Books (World Almanac, Compton's Encyclopedia)

· Maps (political, historical, and demographic)

· Websites (Federal Government websites)

· Pictures (Getty Images, Library of Congress photos)

· Audio/Video (CBS Evening News)

· Transcripts (network and cable news, National Public Radio)

By checking or unchecking the boxes next to the various sources, you can search for materials in one or more of these categories. This feature can be helpful when your teacher requests that you use multiple kinds of sources. Many teachers, for example, require students to find a information from a newspaper, a magazine, and a website.

ProQuest Essentials

The editorial team at eLibrary has created thousands of topic-specific Essential Pages on numerous popular subjects. These custom collections contain classroom and research ready content such as articles, images, video, and more. This is a one-stop-shop for finding numerous resources on a particular subject.

To access the ProQuest Essentials collection, go to the Publications tab and look in the top right corner to “Browse the ProQuest Essentials Collection”

A similar feature is the eLibrary Topic search, located between the main Search tab and the Publications tab. You can search the Topic list as well as browse through various topics grouped by category.

Publication Search

If you are interested in searching a specific publication (like National Geographic), or would like to browse at a list of publications contained in this database, visit the Publications tab. You will be able to browse by Name, Type, and Subject; and see what back issues are available for those publications. For example, you can browse National Geographic from the most recent issue back to 2001.

To search within a particular publication, visit the Advanced Search page located under the Search tab. Simply type in the publication name at the bottom of the screen before you click the search button.

Reference Search

Finally, the Reference tab offers an easy way to use a Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Almanac and Atlas all from one location.

If you haven’t looked at eLibrary yet, check it out. It’s a great way to start your research, and you don’t even need to come to the library to use it. If you have a valid library card and an internet connection, you’re ready to go!

- Kristen Sinclair

Reference Department

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