During my first months as a reference librarian at Merrimack Public Library, I am pleased to be able to help patrons find information on a wide variety of topics: biographical material on St. Thomas Aquinas, learning the Chinese language, information on ‘weathering’ for middle school homework, background on manifest destiny, online SAT practice tests. These are a few examples of inquiries that were satisfied by using library databases, in some instances combined with the library’s solid book collection. Find St. Thomas in Biography in Context, learn Chinese with the Mango online learning system, get homework help with Science Online and Ebsco’s school databases, use Learning Express for SAT and other test practice drills.
I was surprised that in most cases, patrons were unaware of the rich and diverse amount of resources contained in library subscription databases – thousands of periodical articles, reference books, learning tools, business information, genealogy and more. Although we love to see our patrons in the library, a bonus is that library databases are accessible from any remote internet location with your MPL barcode and password.
Check out the library databases, easily found on the library home page. There is something for everyone, The TumbleBook Library for the very young, Auto Repair Center for the DIY person, Novelist for the avid reader looking for read-alikes and lots more! Check this blog frequently for tips on using selected databases, and keep the reference questions coming!