Libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System have pooled their funds to provide patrons access to premium resources that are not accessible through a simple Google search. These products (or databases as they are unfortunately called!) provide equal access to information patrons would otherwise have to pay to see.
Libraries are all about providing access to information and the internet makes access more freely available than ever, for a price.
All New Yorkers have access to a suite of resources available through the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL NY). In addition to that, libraries in our region have all chipped in to purchase access to very expensive resources that not many libraries could afford on their own. Together, these two collections make up the suite of databases we call HOMEACCESS.
Thanks to a cost share using Central Reference Library funds from the state and a pro-rated share from all 66 member libraries your patrons have access to a pretty deep set of resources. But they need you to help them connect with them!
Patrons in the Mid-Hudson Library System have remote access – from home, school, work or in the library – to some pretty amazing and valuable resources! All they need is their library card and their Millennium PIN (the same one they use in the online catalog) and a little help from you!
Each product, or database, either specializes on a topic – like genealogy or car repair – or serves as an aggregator of published information from multiple sources – like a collection of the nation’s top newspapers or magazines.
Topic specific databases aid in research, serve as an interactive online reference book and provides an online learning environment.
Here are examples of topic specific databases available through your library’s web site:
- Chilton’s Auto Repair Manuals provide detailed instructions for most cars and trucks on the road today. For a patron that would like to replace their own headlight or take on a big project like replacing a muffler, diagrams and instructions can be found through this database.
- HeritageQuest is a genealogy database that an easy-to-search collection of genealogical and historical sources – with coverage dating back to the 1700s. This online collection includes Census records going back to 1790, 28,000 digitized genealogy and local history books, Revolutionary War records, and the “Freedman’s Bank Records” which offers valuable data that can provide important clues to tracing African American ancestors prior to and immediately after the Civil War.
- Mango Languages is an online language learning system that teaches real conversation skills for practical communication. Through fun and engaging interactive lessons, Mango makes learning a new language fast, easy and incredibly effective.
- Gale Education Testing & Reference Center provides practice tests for all sorts of exams – from AP and GED to civil service and military service exams, your patrons can get the practice they need to take them to the next stage in their life.
Aggregators compile content from many different published sources – newspapers, magazines and journals – and provide a one-stop search feature that allows you search one phrase or keyword across all publications.
- For example, check out General OneFile, InfoTrac Custom Newspapers, and the National Newspaper Index at http://midhudson.org/collection/databases.htm
Check out the databases available to your patrons:
- Explore your library’s web site and learn how to access the databases through your site.
- Visit your county’s HOMEACCESS page for comprehensive access to all available databases:
Option 1: Choose from the list below and learn about at least two database products in-depth. Start by checking out how to access the product from your library’s web site, discover what is included in the database, how to do a simple search, what advanced search features are available and how to print or email results and explore the advanced search features.
Choose from this list (all products are linked through your county’s HOMEACCESS page)
- Newspapers (Gale Newsstand and anything else you’d like!)
- Job Now / Adult Learning Center
- Auto Repair Manuals (Chilton’s)
- Practice Tests (Gale Testing & Education Reference Center)
- Genealogy (HeritageQuest)
- Language Learning (Mango Languages)
In your learning journal, talk about your experience using the databases you chose and share something that surprised you about this week.
Option 2: Scavenger Hunt! Print out this fun Scavenger Hunt. (PDF file)
In your Learning Journal write about 3 things that surprised you in your database exploration via the scavenger hunt. Note: If you send Merribeth your completed scavenger hunt in the MHLS delivery, she’ll check over your answers and make a special post of recognition on your Learning Journal!
Option 3: If you are a super user of the HOMEACCESS databases:
- Share how you’ve helped connect a patron to one of these resources and the impact it had on that patron.
- Share five tips for marketing one or more of the databases to your community.