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

Hidden Database Gems: Chilton Auto Repair

Once upon a time, there were big fat books in the library with CHILTON written on the side. You could come into the library and use these books to find any information you might need about repairing or maintaining your vehicle. Sadly, due to changes in publishing and library budgets, not many of these books are still on library shelves. But never fear, that information is not gone, it’s just moved online!

Your library card gets you free access to the Chilton Auto Repair database where all that repair and maintenance information is recorded and easily accessible. Here’s how it works: first, from our website, look under Research Tools and click on Online Resources.

Scroll down this list to the “C”s, and click on Chilton Auto Repair. You may be asked to enter your library card number. Once you’ve logged in, the homepage will look like this:

Select your vehicle by year, make, and model and click Select. Then choose what category of information you’re looking for: Repair, Maintenance, Labor Estimating, or Bulletins/Recalls. From here, you can continue to narrow down the categories until you find the information you’re looking for.

This database is very useful because it includes not only downloadable and printable diagrams but also step-by-step repair procedures, a labor estimating tool, and ASE test prep quizzes for popular certification exams. If you’re looking for robust vehicle repair and maintenance information, I definitely recommend you check out this database!

What Should I Read Next? Resources From Your Library (Part 1)

Chances are, at one point or another you’ve found yourself at a loss for what to read next. With browsing time still limited at our branches, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of the various ways the library provides for you to explore what your next read should be. I’ve tested all of them and want to share with you the features and effectiveness of each of them.  First up, I’m going to go over the benefits and hidden magics of the catalog. You may not know some of the very powerful ways to narrow down your search on this page, or to find similar things. If you’re interested in a detailed description, see below.

The benefits of the catalog search is that it lets you easily find titles similar to ones you already like, as well as what’s new, and it lets you narrow your search based on many different filters and criteria, including whether we own it at our Davenport Library locations. And, of course, you can put items on hold directly from the catalog interface, which saves you a step as you’ll see in future posts about other resources. I recommend the catalog for semi-directed browsing or for looking for very specific materials..

To get to our catalog: go to our website and type a search term in the box on the top right-hand side of the page (Fig. 1). You can enter any search term you like and you’ll be redirected to our catalog website (Fig. 2) to narrow it down and browse your results.

Fig. 1

First,  check out the filters in the left-hand column. Here, you can narrow your search by subject, author, format, the target audience, which libraries own it, and more. If you search a general term (“romance”, “murder”) these filters can help you create a narrow list of possible titles you’d be interested in.

Fig. 2

Another way you can find books you’d like is to search a book you know you like, and when it comes up in the catalog, click “details” on the right-hand side. From this page (Fig. 3), you should see a list of blue subject headings. If you click on one of these you can see other titles that are labeled with the same subject.

Fig. 3

You can also scroll down the “details” page of a book you like to a section that says “Suggestions and More” (Fig. 4). This links to the website Goodreads and will show you similar books you might like.

Fig. 4

If you’d just like to see what’s new, click on the library logo (top of the page) at any time to be taken to our catalog’s main webpage. Here, our on-order and new materials are highlighted for you to browse.

Hidden Database Gems: Reference Solutions

If you don’t spend much time scrolling through the research tools on our library website, you might not know about all the amazing online databases you have access to with your library card. The list includes encyclopedias, newspaper archives, genealogy resources, children’s encyclopedias, and much more! One specific hidden gem you might not know about is Data Axle Reference Solutions (previously known as ReferenceUSA).

Reference Solutions acts primarily as a business database, allowing you to look up established and new businesses by name, executives, location, or phone number. However, it also includes searches for individuals, health care providers, and job postings. It’s a very useful database for finding contact info or addresses, especially for people or businesses.

To try out Reference Solutions, go to our website, then under Research Tools, click on Online Resources. Scroll to the “D”s and you’ll find Data Axle: Reference Solutions.

You’ll probably be asked to log in with your library card. The front page when you log in looks like this:

Here you can choose to search for an individual, a business, a job, or a health care provider. When you hover over a category, words appear underneath saying “Search” or “More Information”. If you click on “Search”, it takes you to the default search page, which includes an Advanced Search on a second tab (circled).

You can put in as much information as you want, narrowing down by location and a name, and then click Search.  The search results will look like this:

For such a useful database, it’s pretty easy to use and gets you some fast information. One caveat: not every person or business is recorded in this database, so results aren’t guaranteed. Also, in the case of corporations, you may get several phone numbers or separate entries for regional offices. You can see where a business falls in the corporation by clicking on “Corp Tree” in the far right column.

Homework Help With Tutor.com

 

It’s back to school time!

Have a homework question?  Look no further for assistance.  The library is please to announce the availability of Tutor.com.

The live tutoring service is available from 1:00 – 9:00 p.m. daily.  (Some holidays excluded.)    Tutor.com’s mission is to help all learners realize their full potential through personalized, one-to-one instruction and guidance.  They have 3,000+ qualified tutors who help students learn the material, not just provide the answer.

The SkillsCenter Resource Library is available 24/7.  Students can watch videos on specific subjects.  Just select your Topic, Subject, and Subtopic.  For example, Math / Middle Grades / Fractions.

Students can also submit papers for review before turning them in to their teacher for grades.  Response time is guaranteed to be within 12 hours.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of their survey respondents report that Tutor.com helps them improve their grades, complete their homework assignments, and raise their confidence!

¿Hablas español?  After entering the Tutor.com site students can switch the platform’s language to Spanish by a selection on the landing page.  This allows access to Spanish language content and ensures that you’ll be connected with a Spanish speaking tutor.

A service of The Princeton Review, Tutor.com provides study resources and practice tests for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT college entrance examinations.

Tutor.com is available to Davenport Public Library and Scott Community College cardholders.  Students just need to enter their library card number to gain access to the wealth of homework resources.

www.tutor.com/davenportpl

 

 

 

Are You Ready To Rock?

Quarantining got you down?  Freegal Music can pep you up!

You can keep those tunes rockin’ throughout the fall, because the good people at Freegal Music have extended their offer of unlimited streaming music through December 31st.  More time for you to check out the playlists on their site.

Just remember to Login (top, right corner) by entering your library card number and then creating a password.  That is all it takes to start jamming to songs that stir your inner soul. Get ready for a toe-tapping, head-banging good time.

All About That Bass.  Performed by the original artists, this playlist of 35 hits includes songs you can rock out to such as Super Freak (Rick James), Crazy Train (Ozzy Osborne), Brick House (Commodores), and Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group).

In a retro mood?  Try Classic Cuts, 35 songs that explore the early age of rock and roll.  Tequila (The Champs), Maybelline (Chuck Barry), Louie Louie (The Kingsmen), Book Of Love (Monotones), and The Loco-Motion (Little Eva).

Perhaps disco’s more your thing.  Then indulge with the 80 songs of Boogie Nights.  Dance the night away to Disco Inferno (The Trammps), It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls), Back Stabbers (The O’Jays), Rock The Boat (The Hues Corporation) or Lady Marmalade (LaBelle).

As performed by the Magical Singers, the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library’s list of Disney Favorites lets you enjoy 15 favorites including:  Be Our Guest, Friend Like Me, Supercalifragilisticexpalidoious, Heigh Ho, and Under The Sea.

If you are ready to mellow out choose Setting Sail: A Yacht Rock Playlist.  78 classic songs including:  “Calypso” (John Denver), “I’m Alright” (Kenny Loggins), “Leader Of The Band” (Dan Fogelberg), and “Brandy” (Looking Glass).

Whatever your mood, Freegal Music has a playlist to match.

Give Your Doctor A Check-Up

Turn the tables on your doctors and give them an examination!  We are pleased to announce that within our ReferenceUSA product you’ll now find a new sub-database called U. S. Healthcare, which allows you to obtain information about your doctor’s vital statistics.

Search by the doctor’s name to learn primary specialty, medical school, year of graduation, hospital affiliations, and whether they are Board Certified.  Or if you are searching for a new doctor, you may enter geographic criteria and choose from a list of primary specialties.

This product provides information on over 675,00 doctors and 180,000 dentists, potentially providing their group’s name, office manager’s name, and what health plans they accept.

Take the pulse of your medical providers today.

The Wild Robot

An uncharacteristic thing has happened to this librarian lately: I haven’t felt much like reading. Of all the strange happenings in our world right now during this COVID-19 pandemic, this was yet another unexpected experience. I have no shortage of reading material. I have a reliable device I can use to download a variety of digital books. This seems like the perfect time to work my way through that looming stack of print books on my table waiting to be read.

And yet, my heart is just not in it. I sit down for about five minutes and then I am distracted and put it down and go do something else.

There has been one exception, however. I happened to be in the middle of reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown with one of my children before bedtime each night before all this began. The chapters are short, and at one chapter a night, it was taking us a while to work our way through this 279-page book about a robot stranded on an island. But each night I read it aloud, the Wild Robot and its island populated by many animals and no humans endeared itself to me more and more.

You might think that reading a book with no humans in it during a pandemic is a lonely choice in an already lonely situation. Or perhaps on the contrary, you think it is a logical and fitting choice to read about being stranded on an island when it often feels exactly like that as we are isolated in our homes. I think there was something reflective about this mechanical protagonist who gradually (though paradoxically) becomes more humane through time and experience that captured my interest and my heart. Human interaction right now -when it does happen- is less warm and personal, more technological. Somehow the mirror image of a technological being becoming more warm and personal through challenging life experiences was a sort of balm to my woes.

Brown’s writing made reading effortless for me once again. His animal characters have unique personalities. The events that happen on his remote island, both tragic and joyful, are magically relatable. I have always been a fan of anthropomorphism. I am even more so now.

I wish I could point you to a digital version of this title that you can download immediately for free through the library, but our library currently only owns this in print. If you would like to request it for purchase in digital format, you can log into your library account using either the Libby or Overdrive apps and request this title. Be aware that it ends on a cliffhanger and you will probably want to read its sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes.

In the meantime, here are some similar books with anthropomorphic characters available digitally when you log into Overdrive with your Davenport Public Library account that you may enjoy:

What’s New With RBdigital Magazines

We are exited to announce the addition of HELLO! magazine to our digital magazine offering, as well as Conde Nast Traveler and  Life & Style Weekly.   These are just three of the fifty-three titles we are subscribing to this year with RBdigital Magazines.    And when we subscribe, you subscribe!

That’s right, as a Davenport cardholder you can read magazines that are cover-to-cover identical to the paper issues.   Login with your RBdigital account to check out and download issues that are yours to keep.  If you don’t have an RBdigital account yet, sign up here, by following the Create New Account link (top, right corner).

And, yes, there’s an app for that.  Best to limit use to a tablet, though; it can be challenging to view the magazine files on a smartphone.

Here’s the full list.  Which titles interest you?

AppleMagazine                                   Men’s Health

Backpacker                                         MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Bicycling                                              Motor Trend

Bon Appetit                                         National Geographic

Car and Driver                                    Newsweek

Chicago Magazine                             O, The Oprah Magazine

Clean Eating                                       OK! Magazine

Conde Nast Traveler                         Outside

Cook’s Illustrated                              PC Magazine

Cosmopolitan                                    PCWorld

Country Living                                  Popular Mechanics

Discover                                             Popular Science

Esquire                                               Prevention

Family Handyman                             Reader’s Digest

First for Women                                Rolling Stone

Food Network Magazine                 Runner’s World

Games                                                Smithsonian Magazine

Good Housekeeping                        Star Magazine

HELLO! magazine                            Taste Of Home

HGTV Magazine                               TV Guide Magazine

House Beautiful                                Us Weekly

In Touch Weekly                               WIRED

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance          Woman’s Day

Life & Style Weekly                          Women’s Health

Macworld                                           Woodworker’s Journal

Marie Claire                                       Yoga Journal

Maxim