Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding Popular Magazines in Our Online Databases

Once upon a time, if you wanted to read a magazine, you would need to find it in the library, subscribe to it, or buy the latest issue in a store.  These days, you can read many articles just by going to the magazine's website.  But you can't read everythingTime Magazine, for example, has recently started requiring payment for selected articles. Many other magazines do the same, and different ones allow different levels of online access. A few magazines that rely mainly on advertisements give you access to just about everything.  Some give you recent articles free, but charge for access to back issues.  Others don't offer online back issues at all.  It's hard to know how much access a particular magazine allows.  Generally, you just have to go to the website and see if it lets you keep reading the articles.  But what if it doesn't?

Let's say you're looking for a magazine article from five years ago.  You go to the magazine's website, but they don't have online access going that far back, or they are charging more than you want to pay.  Here's where the library may be able to help.  There's a good chance you can find that article in one of our online databases.  We have databases with articles from a wide range of popular magazines: Rolling Stone, Field & Stream, US News & World Report, Ebony, Louisiana Life, and thousands more.  As with many of our online resources, you don't even need to come to the library to read them.  All you all you need is an internet connection and a library card.

In this post, we will highlight some of the magazines available through MasterFILE Premier; a general-purpose database for public libraries.  To access this database, go the library's website, at  Then go to "Online Databases", on the left side of the page, and then click "All-Purpose Databases and Encyclopedias", at the top of the database categories.  This will bring you to a screen that looks like this:

To find a particular magazine, click on "Publications", at the top right.  This will open a page like this:

In the lower search box, you can search by title, or you can check the "By Subject and Description" button, and search for magazines and other publications about particular subjects.  If you find the magazine you are looking for, and it is available in full text, it may come in two different formats.  Some are available in HTML full text, which means the text of articles is available, but not the images.  The ones available in PDF full text, however, contain images of pages scanned from the print version of magazine.  This means they include all the pictures and other graphics.  For a list of just a few of the popular magazines in MasterFILE Premier, see the end of this post.

Looking up particular magazines is good if you want to stick to just one title.  But what if you're simply looking for a good article, and don't care which magazine you find it in?  Here's where databases like MasterFILE Premier really shine, because they allow you to search many sources at once.  MasterfileFILE Premier has full-text articles from thousands of magazines and journals, so you're very likely to find an article on the topic you are looking for.  You can search for keywords simply by entering them in the main search box, or you can click on "Advanced Search", and specify that you are searching for a particular author or subject.

If you don't find the article you need in Masterfile Premier, you may be able to find it in one of our other databases.  One good thing to know about MasterFILE Premier is that it's just one of many databases offered through EBSCOhost, most of which have the same interface.  You can switch to another database or search more than one database at a time, by clicking on "Choose Databases", just above the search box. This displays the pop-up window shown below.  Simply click the databases you want to search.

If you want to find out more about any of the databases listed, hover your mouse over the icon to the right of each title, and a description of the database will pop up.  Each database has a very different range of articles.  Some, such as Academic Search Complete, are aimed at college researchers, while others, such as Primary Search, are aimed at grade school children.  Others, such as Bibliography of Native North Americans, focus on one particular topic.  Whatever information you're looking for, chances are your library has a database that can help you!


General Interest and News
  • Economist (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • Harper's Magazine (HTML 1992 - 2007)
  • Newsweek (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • New Yorker (HTML 2004 - Present)
  • Time (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • US News & World Report (PDF and HTML1990 - Present)
  • Vanity Fair (HTML 2005 - Present)
    African American Interest
    • Black Enterprise (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Ebony (PDF and HTML 1945 - Present)
    • Essence  (HTML 1992 - Present, PDF 1992 - 2002)
    Business and Finance
    • Fast Company (HTML 2000 - Present)
    • Forbes (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Inc. (PDF and HTML 1990 to Present)
    • Kiplinger's Personal Finance (PDF and HTML 1991 - Present)
    • Money (HTML 1990 - Present)
    Consumer Information
    • Consumer Reports (PDF and HTML 1991 - Present)
    • Consumer Reports Buying Guide (PDF and HTML 1999 - Present)
    Culture and Natural History
    • National Geographic (HTML, 1995 - Present, minus 3 month delay)
    • Natural History (PDF and HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Smithsonian (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Entertainment Weekly (HTML 1993 - Present)
    • People (HTML 1994 - Present)
    Family Health
    • Consumer Reports on Health (PDF and HTML1992 - Present)
    • Prevention (HTML 1990 - Present)
    Home and Garden
    • Country Living  (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • House Beautiful (HTML 1999 - Present)
    • Horticulture (PDF and HTML 1995 - Present)
    • Louisiana Life (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present)
    • New Orleans CityBusiness (PDF and HTML 1994 - 2008)
    • New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present)
    • New Orleans Magazine (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present
    Men's Lifestyle and Health
    • Esquire (HTML Full Text)
    • Men's Fitness (HTML 2002 - Present)
    • Men's Health (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Billboard (HTML 1994 to Present)
    • Rolling Stone (PDF and HTML, 1990 to Present)
    • Mothering (PDF and HTML, 1990 - 2011)
    • Parenting (PDF and HTML, 1997 - 2009)
    • Commonweal (PDF and HTML, 1990 to Present)
    • Guideposts (HTML 2006 - Present)
    • U.S. Catholic (PDF and HTML  1992 - Present)
    Science and Technology
    • Discover (HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Popular Mechanics (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Popular Science (PDF and HTML, 2002 - Present) 
    • Scientific American (HTML 2005 - Present)
    Sports and Outdoors
    • Boating World (PDF 2003 to Present)
    • Field & Stream (PDF and HTML, 2001 - Present)
    • Golf Digest (PDF and HTML, 1993 - Present) 
    • Motorboating (PDF 2001 - Present)
    • Outdoor Life (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Professional Fisherman (PDF 2001 - Present)
    • Sports Illustrated (HTML 1992 - Present)
    • Salt Water Sportsman (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    Women's Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Cosmopolitan (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Harper's Bizarre (HTML 1999 - Present) 
    • InStyle (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Redbook (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Real Simple (HTML 2000 - Present)

      Thursday, July 14, 2011

      How to Check Out E-Books from Terrebonne Parish Library

      Do you have an e-book reader, or are you thinking about getting one? If so, you're not alone.  E-books have finally hit the big time. Earlier this year, e-book sales surpassed print book sales--both paperback and hardback--for the first time ever. This doesn't mean print books are going away, but it does mean people have more options for reading their favorite authors. Some people assume that e-books and libraries are incompatible, but the truth is, Terrebonne Parish Library has a large and growing collection of e-books.  If you have a computer, an internet connection, and a library card, you can check them out without ever leaving your house.

      So what exactly does it mean to "check out" an e-book?  Basically, it means you download an electronic version of the book to a computer, e-reader, or other mobile device.  You can choose whether to check the book out for one week or two.  At the end of this period, the book "returns" itself, by expiring and becoming unreadable.  Then you can simply delete it from your device.

      To see our selection of e-books, go to the library's website at, and click on e-library, as shown below.

      This link takes you to our e-library page, which is powered by a company called Overdrive.  The e-library page offers more than just e-books;  you can also download audiobooks, music, and videos.  We'll focus on e-books in this post.  To browse e-books, you can either click on the e-books pictured, or go to the links on the left side of the page, labeled "eBook Fiction" and "eBook Nonfiction".  Clicking on either one will open a menu with several categories:

      If you don't yet have an e-reader, and you're trying to decide which one to buy, this link has a list of compatible devices (the Amazon Kindle doesn't work with library e-books right now, but Amazon has announced that it will sometime later this year).  If you already have an e-book reader, the process of downloading books depends on which reader you have.  This is where it gets a little complicated.  Luckily, the library's e-book page has a new tool called MyHelp, which will get you started.  Just look near the top left side of the page for the icon shown below.  Clicking this link opens an interactive tutorial that will guide you through the steps of downloading your first library e-book.

      There are several steps required to set up your device the first time.  You will need to download software to your computer, or download an app to your Apple or Android mobile device.  This can be a little confusing at first, but the MyHelp tool will tell you exactly what you need to do.  During the setup process, you will be prompted to register your computer or portable device with Adobe.  This is required, because Adobe handles the rights-management technology that allows e-books to be checked out and returned.  

      If you are downloading to a computer, or to most e-readers, you will need to download a program called Adobe Digital Editions.  The MyHelp tool provides a link to the download, and some basic instructions.  If you need more help with Adobe Digital Editions, the Terrebonne Parish Library IT staff has developed a handy guide, available here.  The first part of the guide explains how to install Adobe Digital Editions, and the second part explains how to browse for e-books, add them to your cart, and download them. 

      If you have any questions, or run into any problems, just give the library reference staff a call at 876-1733.  We'll be glad to help get you started reading your first library e-book!  

      Friday, July 8, 2011

      Voices of Terrebonne's Past

      Memories of Terrebonne, 1890-1945 was an oral history program commissioned by the Terrebonne Parish Police Jury and recorded by Glen Pitre’s Côte Blanche Productions in the early 1980s. The object of the project was to capture life at the turn of the century as parish residents remembered it.

      Seventy people representing different lifestyles described their earlier lives in either English or their native French to interviewers, who recorded the sessions on 226 single-sided cassette tapes. A few of the interviewees were Merlin Bascle, Marie Dugas, Wilson Domingue, Warren Bourgeois, Effie Breau, Tommy Cobb, Ralph Bisland, Mable Champagne, Laïse Ledet, Father Roch Naquin, Eula Crochet, Neva Blanchard, Louise Boquet Arceneaux, and Doris Marie Cuneo.

      The latest issue of Terrebonne Life Lines, a quarterly publication of the Terrebonne Genealogy Society, contains an annotated transcription by Phil Chauvin of an 1983 interview of Henry J. Hebert. Mr. Hebert was born in October 1889 and lived “right in front of the Lafayette (Street) bridge”, which at that time was a drawbridge. He stated, “I have seen Houma when there was dirt road on the streets, no shell even. The street had big holes in it. They used to have horses, mules and wagons to haul the freight from the depot to the stores.”

      Mr. Hebert worked shucking oysters in the winter and doing carpentry in the summer. “You would shuck one thousand oysters for seventy-five cents. I would make two and a half to three dollars a day. That was plenty money in that time” (1912).

      Mr. Hebert’s memory was that the first bathroom in Houma was in a barber’s shop. People who worked on the rigs would come in and “stop at the barber shop, to take a bath, they would charge him a quarter for the water and the soap and towel.” He said that customers would “take a bath, get a shave and haircut; some every week or ten days.”

      The oral histories go beyond the purely factual information we learn in traditional genealogy research, giving us a more personal viewpoint. By reading or listening to the interviews, we are able to experience vicariously what peoples' lives were like in this parish in the early 1900s.

      Duplicates of the original tapes are housed in the genealogy collection of the Terrebonne Parish Main Branch Library. Terrebonne Genealogical Society members are in the process of making the audio recordings, which you can find at Did one of your ancestors record their experiences for this project? Check the website to find out!