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.

 

On-Demand Streaming Videos

Winter is coming.

The time to bundle up, lay down on the couch, and be entertained by your television is almost upon us.  But what to watch?

Consider Kanopy.

The library recently added this on-demand streaming video service to our offerings.  You might choose a classic movie, such as the John Wayne feature “McLinktock!”  Or the 2019 Best Picture winner “Parasite.”  Whatever your cup of tea, with its over 30,000 movies, you are sure to find something to suit your tastes.

Whether using the Kanopy desktop software or the app, you can select from feature films, classic movies, foreign films, and documentaries to while away the cold winter evenings.

Davenport Library cardholders may logon using their library card number and their password/pin for their account.  After that you’ll need to Sign Up for a Kanopy account by providing a name, an email address, and then make up a password.

Kanopy operates on Play Credits.  Each time you begin to watch a movie, a Play Credit is deducted from your account.  You may use up to four (4) Play Credits a month.  Play Credits reset at the beginning of each calendar month.

Once you Watch a video, you will have access to it for 48 or 72 hours, depending upon movie.  During that period, you may watch it as many times as you like without using another Play Credit.

There is a section of Kanopy that is designed especially for children, Kanopy Kids.  It offers educational and entertainment content for children ages two to eight.  There are parental controls that can be set up, so that you can allow your kids to browse the site.

The Great Courses are also available. Once you begin a Great Course you have 30 days to complete it.

Films can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the Kanopy app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku.

Grab a cup of cocoa, put on your pajamas, and stream the night way.

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.

How to Educate a Citizen by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

I remember writing an essay once making the argument that what a person knows isn’t as paramount as their willingness and ability to learn. Never have I called that idea into question as much as after reading How to Educate a Citizen: the Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation. In it, E.D. Hirsch articulates the philosophy that a shared, core knowledge base is a very important component of a peaceful, productive society. Perhaps 2020 is good evidence of that, or at least the pitfalls of the failure to achieve it.

As someone who loves information, it is perplexing to me that we seem to have arrived at a place where the collected body of knowledge, often acquired at great cost, is regarded disdainfully, if not outright rejected, by so many people. Hirsch, an educator, literary critic and author of other books, such as Cultural Literacy, is concerned about the Constructivist approach the American educational system has largely followed since the 1960s. Sometimes called child or student-centered education, it has become the norm in most classrooms across the country. This approach relies on the student to guide or “construct” their own educational experience by asking questions and doing research and experiments as they are motivated. It does not necessarily teach them how to do the research or give them a jumping-off point from the apex of collective knowledge.

You may have heard it lauded in the expression, “Be a guide on the side not a sage on the stage.”  Hirsch argues that a so-called sage can entice students in a variety of interesting ways. Additionally, it avoids the frustration of expecting students to inherently know what questions to ask in directing their own educational path, as necessitated by the child-centered method.

The readers should not misunderstand Core Knowledge as simply a discrete list of facts. The facts, Hirsch says, must be tied into the context of culture. Understanding culture, including the depth of its histories which shape it, is essential.

What, then, is a concerned citizen to do?

Consider this excerpt, which will likely be relatable to readers with children in their lives: “A parent in the [child-centered] schools, when a child comes home, says ‘How was your day? Okay, what’d you learn?’ The child says, ‘Uh.’ In [Core Knowledge] schools, the parent knows specifically what to ask the child. ‘What did you learn about the solar system today? What did you learn about the Bill of Rights today?’…In other schools, parents don’t know what role to play. I don’t want parents selling cookies and all that nonsense. I want them to be responsible for learning, and having them demonstrate their knowledge.”

This would suggest taking an interest in the curricula in your community’s schools. If you’ve ever read through any state’s latest educational standards, you’ll find vague statements that leave a wide berth for variations in curricular implementation across classrooms, even in the same communities at the same grade levels. It is lacking in “specific subject-matter details.” This, according to Hirsch, is problematic because it leaves society devoid of a unifying set of understandings. Without that, different people see the same events and come to vastly different conclusions.

Hirsch cites empirical evidence that the child-centered approach, when contrasted with the content-based approach he calls Core Knowledge, is lacking. The success of schools who commit to a content-based model is evidenced in their above-average test scores, their level of improvement after switching from another method, even their victories over competitors in debate championships, including students living in poverty or other oppressive life circumstances. The level of unity and competence rises in students who receive content-based instruction.

Hirsch also points out that living in society requires cooperation among people. He challenges the reader to consider the threats to democracy that individualism poses. I appreciate that Hirsch’s style is devoid of self-righteous certitude and moral indignation that makes some nonfiction reading burdensome. I recommend thoughtfully reading How to Educate a Citizen: the Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation.  When you’re done, you can check out Hirsh’s Core Knowledge series shelved in the Learning Collection of the Davenport Public Library. A list of the Learning Collection books can be found in the LibGuide here.

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!

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.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Maggie Holt was too young to remember the terrifying time she spent at Baneberry Hall, the expansive Victorian mansion her parents purchased in rural Vermont nearly 25 years earlier.  Maggie, along with her parents Ewan and Jess, lived at Baneberry Hall for only three weeks before sheer terror drove them to flee in the middle of the night.  Now nearly 30, Maggie has to face the reality of not only the recent death of her father, but yet again she has to face the skepticism and criticism regarding his best selling book, House of Horrors.  Her father’s book detailed the paranormal activity and deep secrets of the home’s history.  Author Riley Sager merges the past and present as well as the suspenseful and supernatural in Home Before Dark.

On her father’s deathbed she learns that she is the new owner of Baneberry Hall.  As a restorer of old homes, Maggie’s goal is to make the needed updates and sell the home as quickly as possible.  Upon moving into the house temporarily, Maggie begins to  doubt that her father invented many of the stories detailed in House of Horrors.  She begins to meet many of the townspeople portrayed in his book.  They have long memories and still harbor mixed emotions toward her family and the book.  As odd occurrences begin to spook Maggie, she begins to question everything that she has doubted her entire life – are there sinister evil spirits in Baneberry Hall or did her father invent the phenomenons that he claimed were true?

Home Before Dark is the second Riley Sager book that I have read and have thoroughly enjoyed both titles.  I would highly recommend his books if you enjoy the psychological suspense genre peppered with a little horror and supernatural elements.  In addition to the print book, Home Before Dark is also available as an eBook through Overdrive.