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? 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!

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language of Love

Mango_colorDo you want to impress your sweetheart with your ability to say “I love you” in a different languages?  If so, the library can help!

The Davenport Public Library subscribes to a database called Mango Languages which can help you learn several different foreign languages.  So if you want to know how to say, “I love you” in another language this Valentine’s Day, you should take a look at Mango.

Mango Languages offers courses in  71 different languages.  But if you want to learn the “Language of Love”, you might want to try French. Or Italian.  Or possibly Spanish or Portuguese.  Those four languages have entire lesson plans dedicated to “Romance”.  Not only will you learn how to say, “I love you” in your chosen language, but you will also learn terms of endearment.  The lessons in the Romance section also teach you how to introduce yourself, offer to buy someone a drink, and other phrases that could be useful on a date.

I find that it is very easy to learn new foreign phrases on Mango Languages.  The lessons are interactive.  You can see the word and hear how it is pronounced at the same time.  You can play back the word as many times as you need to in order to get the pronunciation right.  And the best thing about Mango Languages is that you can learn at your own pace.  All you need is an Internet connection and a Davenport Public Library card in order to access Mango Languages!  Go to the Online Resources section of our website.  Scroll down alphabetically until you see Mango.  It is best if you sign up for a FREE account and all you need is an email account and password.  You can also find Mango Languages on Google Play and the App store.

Good luck with learning your new foreign phrases!

v day

ACT Test Preparation at Davenport Library

pencil-testAre you taking the ACT on February 7, 2015?  Do you need help preparing for the ACT? If so, the library can help!

The Davenport Public Library offers a database called Learning Express Library 3.0. This fantastic database offers tutorials on how to take the ACT as well as offer games and flash cards to help boost your skills.  Learning Express Library 3.0 also offers practice tests. As soon as you are done with a section, you can immediately find out your score. Best of all, you can go back and check your answers so you can find out what you missed. If you get an answer wrong, the test will tell you what areas you need to study.  For example, if you were taking the English Test and got an answer wrong, the test would tell you to review “Rhetorical Skills” or “Mechanics”.

Learning Express Library 3.0 can also help you study for the SAT, PSAT, and your AP exams too! So if you have need help studying for your exam, grab your Davenport Public Library card and check out Learning Express Library 3.0 today!

Zinio: Now Available from DPL

zinio logoDo you love magazines? Do you have a Davenport library card? Now, you can get Zinio – the world’s largest newsstand, available through DPL! This service offers free online access to more than 150 current and popular magazines, and DPL patrons can access them on any internet-enabled device. To access Zinio, visit our digital gateway. From here, you will set up both a Library Collection Account and a Zinio.com Viewer Account: we suggest using the same email/password for both accounts. Now you’re ready to start reading! (for detailed instructions, email reference@davenportlibrary.com)

Whether you’re using a tablet computer, smartphone, laptop, or desktop, DPL’s free Zinio selection is the same. A few of the great titles that come free with your DPL card:

  • Rolling Stone
  • House Beautiful
  • Brides
  • Consumer Reports
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Mental_Floss
  • O, the Oprah Magazine
  • Seventeen
  • Dwell
  • Cosmopolitan

…and more than a hundred others, covering every interest from gaming and technology to business and economics, the outdoors, lifestyle and fashion, fitness, science, spirituality, sports, scrapbooking, cooking, woodworking, and many more! There truly is something for everyone. Browse our Zinio pin board for another look!