Now on Freegal: 2023 Grammy Nominees

The Grammy nominations are here and you can experience the contenders today on Freegal with your library card! The full list of nominees was posted on grammy.com November 15, with the 65th annual Grammy Awards scheduled to air February 5. This year new categories have been added: Songwriter of the Year, Best Video Game Soundtrack, Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Performance, Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, and a special merit award for Best Song for Social Change.

Here’s a peek at the playlist on our digital music streaming platform, Freegal, with some artists you’ll probably recognize:

Unfortunately not everything is included as Freegal is a limited catalog, but if you (like me) haven’t managed to hear songs from Beyonce’s Renaissance, DJ Khaled’s God Did, or songs from Camila Cabello’s Familia, the 2023 Grammy Nominees playlist is a great place to start. The list includes all musical genres and offers a great snapshot of what’s hot in music today.

Luckily for you, if you’re looking to hear songs not included on this playlist, you can find most of them in our music CD collection, including Lizzo’s Special (About Damn Time is one of the nominees for Record of the Year), ABBA’s Voyage, Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous, Brandi Carlile’s In These Silent Days, and more.

Was your favorite artist or song included in this year’s Grammy’s? Let us know below!

Study Smart With BrainFuse: HelpNow

It’s back to school time.  Time to figure out how you can help your students study to learn.  One answer, BrainFuse: HelpNow.

BrainFuse’s Live Tutoring service is available daily from 2:00-11:00 p.m. and, as the name suggests, provides access to live tutors.  Whether your student is in kindergarten or college, BrainFuse has an age-appropriate tutor for them.   Just select your grade and subject from the drop-down menus, ask your question, then your tutor will guide you through the subject toward your answer.  If you log on outside of staffed hours, you can use their Send Question option to submit a query and receive an answer within 24 hours.

Not interested in a live tutor, you say?  BrainFuse: HelpNow has additional resources where you can learn at your own pace.  Their SkillSurfer section provides lessons, videos, even practice tests for elementary, middle school, and high school students on a wide range of topics.

With their Writing Lab you can submit a paper for review and obtain a response in 24 hours.  It’s sort of like having your paper pre-graded.

Their FlashBulb section offers flash cards on topics ranging from Math & Science to Medical & Standardized Tests.

And speaking of standardized test, SkillSurfer includes test prep for the GED, ASVAB, ACT, HiSET, TEAS, and more.

These examples are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.   Visit BrainFuse: HelpNow to see what it can offer you.

Funding for BrainFuse is provided by the State Library of Iowa.

A Beautiful Time by Willie Nelson

Confession time: I’m a late convert to Willie Nelson, because I’ve been known to fall into the trap of thinking all country music is created equal. Little did I know, Willie Nelson’s outlaw country is a far cry from the “bro country” or “boyfriend country” music that just doesn’t work for me. (Side note: I HAVE been known to like the feminist/”woman kills her no-good husband” country music.) Luckily, I have seen the error of my ways and am getting familiar with Willie’s large body of work, and in my opinion his newest album, A Beautiful Time, is an excellent and enjoyable addition to his canon.

There’s an even mix of toe-tapping tracks, melancholy ballads, and wise insight here – from the heartfelt loss of “Dreamin’ Again” and the playful “We’re Not Happy (Till You’re Not Happy)” to the both thoughtful and light-hearted “I Don’t Go To Funerals”. The overall message seems to be about aging with grace and being honest about death; songs like “Dusty Bottles” directly suggest that age comes with advantages, blessings, pleasures, and of course pains, all its own; it’s clear Willie sees the passage of time but doesn’t fear it, and he sings about it with heart.

I highly recommend this album as the soundtrack to your summer road trips – and if anyone has specific Willie Nelson songs or albums to recommend, send them my way!

A Beautiful Time is Willie’s 72nd solo album and has been well-reviewed by critics; it’s available from the library as both a CD and through our music streaming service, Freegal.

Freegal Music Celebrates Mother’s Day

It’s the time of year when everyone starts thinking about their parents, as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, National Parents Day (4th Sunday in July), and Non-Binary Parents Day (3rd Sunday in April) help us kick off the spring and summer seasons. This May, Freegal Music, the digital music service we subscribe to as a library, has made a special playlist to help you celebrate the mothers in your life.

A refresher on Freegal: it’s available both on our website (linked under Digital Content) and as a downloadable app for your smartphone. On its website, once you log in with your Davenport library card it’s free to stream any available songs, albums, playlists, or audiobooks, but you can also download five songs per week for offline listening.

The mother’s day 46-song playlist includes a variety of artists, genres, and styles, from pop (Meghan Trainor) and country (Carrie Underwood) to R&B (Alicia Keys) and international music (Bad Bunny). So however you and the mothers you know like to jam, there’s something here to put you in a grateful, celebratory mood.

How’s Your Money?

 

 

 

It’s Money Smart Week!  Time to think about your investments.   One tool to use is Morningstar Investment Research Center.  It is an easy to navigate database that was designed especially for libraries to help patrons reach their investment goals. It’s the one-stop tool for collecting financial information, getting reliable portfolio analysis, learning about investment options, and getting the most up-to-date financial news commentary. Morningstar Investment Research Center provides data on over 14,500 stocks, 24,800 mutual funds, 1,500 exchange-traded funds, and 700 closed end funds. Morningstar also provide analyst reports on over 3,500 securities, offering in-depth background and analyst opinions on top investments.

Want to learn more?  Morningstar provides monthly training sessions to library users.

Tue, Apr 12th at 03 PM CT
Click here to attend
Meeting Id: 996 6674 5451
Password: 803726

Thu, May 12th at 11 AM CT
Click here to attend
Meeting Id: 941 2261 7583
Password: 349602

If you are interested in learning more about Morningstar on your own, the following guides are also available.

Quick Guide:  https://ar.morningstar.com/assets/helpmodule/MIRC_QuickGuide.pdf

User’s Guide:  https://ar.morningstar.com/assets/helpmodule/MIRC_UserGuide.pdf

How to Read a Stock Analyst Report:  https://ar.morningstar.com/assets/helpmodule/MIRC_HowToReadAStockAnalystReport.pdf

How to Read a Fund Analyst Report:  https://ar.morningstar.com/assets/helpmodule/MIRC_HowToReadAFundAnalystReport.pdf

No time right now?  These resources are always available to you on the HELP tab within the product.

Your financial future:  Give it a helping hand by using Morningstar Investment Research Center.

 

Get HelpNow

Do you fondly remember a time when you could call a tutor up on the telephone to gain assistance with your homework?  Well, those good times are back, only better, via your computer!

We are please to announce that the State Library of Iowa has funded Brainfuse’s HelpNow service so that it is available to Iowa libraries.

HelpNow is intended for students, kindergarten through college-aged.  It provides access to live tutors from 2:00-11:00 p.m., seven days a week. (Excepting some holidays.)  Elementary-aged student have access to math and reading assistance.  High School-aged students have access to math, language arts, science, social studies, and history.  For example, if you’re having difficulties with an algebra problem, you can connect with a live tutor who will walk you through the calculations.

In addition to English, tutoring sessions are available in Spanish, French, and Canadian English.  Just select your preferred language from the top, right corner.

But there is more than just live tutoring.  HelpNow’s SkillSurfer section offers a host of study topics.  Ranging from Lower Elementary School up through Adult Learner Resources, SkillSurfer is available to you 24/7.  Under the Computers and Technology heading you will find info on using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.  The College Entrance Test Prep section includes PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, TOEFL, TEAS (nursing) and more!  ASVAB has its own section.  CollegeNOW even walks a candidate through the college application process.

Have a paper to turn in?  There’s a Writing Lab where you can submit your paper for review before turning it in to your teacher.  The turnaround time for feedback is 12-24 hours.

To use HelpNow, you’ll need to create a user profile when you first enter into the site.  After that, you can login with those credentials.   Explore the site to discover full-length GED subject practice tests or  schedule a BrainFuse meeting to collaborate with friends.

It is so easy to use.  Give Brainfuse a try.

Hidden Database Gems: MasterFILE Premier

Our available library databases have recently changed! Unfortunately, this means we no longer have Credo Reference, Chilton’s, or some Gale databases. However, we have gained a great new resource! With your library card, you now have access to MasterFILE Premier, a database of full-text articles, primary source documents, and more! Including publications like Consumer Reports, Kiplinger’s, and Newsweek, it’s perfect for research, and the interface will be familiar to anyone who’s used an EBSCOhost database before. If you haven’t, here’s how it works:

If you click on MasterFILE Premier on our list of Online Resources, you may be asked to sign in with your library card number, and then you’ll be taken to the basic search page.

To get the most and broadest results, put a general search term in here and hit search.

If the results aren’t what you’re looking for, try a similar search term or related words in the search box on the top of the results page.

If you’re looking to narrow your results down to what’s most relevant, you’ll want to click on Advanced Search underneath the search box. Here, you can search only in one particular publication, you can choose what kind of resources you want to find, you can limit to full-text results, you can specify a range of publication dates, and more! This is also where you can use Boolean searching, where you search multiple terms at once connected by words like AND, OR, and NOT – these limit, broaden, or define your search, respectively. The strategies and tools on this page will give you the most relevant items and cut down on the time you’ll spend sifting through the results.

When you have a list of results, you can narrow down your results list using filters along the left side of the page. Here, you can pick what kinds of publications to draw from, pick specific publications, narrow it down by language, publication date, category, and more.

Once you find something interesting, you have a few options: You can click on the title or on the Full Text version from the result list, as shown.

Clicking on the title will give you a detailed record of what the resource is, as well as some tools to save or access it AND the option to find similar results.

Choosing the full-text version, meanwhile, lets you read the resource directly, access more from the publication, and access the same tools to save or share it.

And as always, if you need any help using this or our other resources, don’t hesitate to contact us for some assistance! Our Book-A-Librarian service is available again, allowing you to reserve a dedicated session for help with any number of topics, including databases and digital resources.

Hidden Database Gems: Credo Reference

Today I’d like to tell you about another database that, like Chilton Auto Repair, used to be represented in the library by shelves of big heavy books: encyclopedias. For the record, we do still have some encyclopedias in our library branches, but they’ve also gone digital. There are a number of encyclopedias online, of course, from the controversial Wikipedia, to the generic Encyclopedia.com, to Britannica.com (the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica), and all have their good points. But with your library card, you have access to Credo Reference, a database with a unique functionality and power beyond the others I’ve mentioned. It’s a great place to start if you’re working on an assignment and need some background information, or if you’re just curious and want to learn more about something!

In Credo Reference, you can search a word or name and see full-text results from a huge variety of books, encyclopedias, and websites. You can find definitions and historical accounts and contextual details from a variety of sources, as well as concept maps which link your search term to related ideas and topics. Specific articles also come with a ready-made citation of that source in APA, Chicago, Harvard, or MLA formats. Here are some screenshots to show you how it works.

First, get to Credo Reference from the library website’s Online Resources page, under Research Tools.

Then scroll down the list to the C’s to find “Credo Reference“. Click on it, and you may be asked to enter your library card number.

Enter your search term in the search box (or scroll down through popular topics and research tips).

Your search will result in a page like this one: various sources are listed on one side, and a concept map appears on the other. You can use the options at the top to view articles or images, and to filter results by type, collection, subjects, and media. Beneath the concept map, you can use links to other library resources to find even more information.

Once you select an entry to read, you can save, print, or cite that resource, or do a new search for related topics.

What Should I Read Next? BONUS: Library LibGuides

To conclude our series of posts highlighting different resources the library offers to help you discover your next read, I’d like to tell you about what we call our LibGuides. These are detailed resource lists created by our librarians. To view them, go to our website and click on LibGuides under the Research Tools tab (Fig. 1). This will take you to a full list of all the guides our librarians have created (Fig. 2). Clicking on a guide shows you a robust and annotated list of resources, often in different formats including books, webpages, and archival materials.

The benefits of LibGuides are that you know these titles have been selected by a librarian, they’re meticulously organized into categories like format and age groups, and the guide’s homepage (Fig. 3) gives you background on the topic or person it focuses on. Some will even provide links to the catalog so you can place items on hold directly — but not all guides do this.

Our more than 30 LibGuides include guides to writers’ resources, soft skills, comics for all ages, ebooks, genealogy resources, historical figures like Annie Wittenmyer, Fifty Shades of Grey readalikes, and much more! Don’t miss out on such a treasure trove of resources.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2


Fig. 3

What Should I Read Next? Resources From Your Library (Part 2)

Continuing the theme of ways you can discover your next read, today I’m highlighting two databases the library offers — free to use with your library card.

NOVELIST

NoveList is a popular book discovery platform used by many libraries. To access it, go to our website, then under Research Tools, click on Online Resources (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

This will bring you to an alphabetized list of all our library databases. Scroll down to the “N”s, and you’ll find NoveList (Fig. 2). It may ask you to sign in with your library card.

Fig. 2

This tool is powerful because it not only lets you search titles, authors, and genres, but it also provides lists of recommended titles and an “appeal mixer” search tool that lets you look for books based on attributes like writing style, pace, storyline, characters, and more (Fig. 3). The downside of NoveList is that its lists of books aren’t always comprehensive and the appeal mixer doesn’t work with all combinations. Also, you will have to take any book title you get from NoveList and put it into the catalog to find it or put it on hold. I recommend trying NoveList as a way to discover books you might like and explore what makes books appealing.

Fig. 3

 

GALE BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Gale Books and Authors is another database you have access to with your library card, and it’s listed in the same place as NoveList  (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

In my opinion, this is a slightly more powerful and useful tool for searching for books. It provides an advanced search function, the ability to browse by genres, authors, or by book lists (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

It includes both fiction and nonfiction in several genres, and provides for a very useful set of subgenres as well. The only problem I had with the genre browsing was that it didn’t seem to provide for literary or general fiction, sticking very strongly to genres. You can’t search by subgenres either, until you’ve picked a genre from their limited list (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3

In this way the advanced search function can be a useful workaround, because it lets you search for books featuring certain subjects or certain types of characters – under which is a very impressive list of many ages, occupations, and relationships (Fig. 4). However, you still can’t put items on hold directly, and the lists of books aren’t necessarily comprehensive either. I recommend this resource for a more detailed search for authors or titles you may be interested in.


Fig. 4