Tag Archives: resource of the month

Resource of the Month: US Newsstream

us_newsstand_logoAre you looking for more in-depth coverage on current events than cable news can provide? Do you want a rest from the sensational but sketchy “news” on your social media feed? US Newsstream gives you 24-hour online access to respected national newspapers (including hundreds of  local newspapers), offered without distracting popups or other advertisements.

US Newsstream, administered by ProQuest, describes their service this way:

US Newsstream enables users to search the most recent premium U.S. news content, as well as archives which stretch back into the 1980s featuring newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites in active full-text format. For academic and public libraries, US Newsstream offers exclusive access to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and co-exclusive access (with Factiva) to The Wall Street Journal. US Newsstream also offers one of the largest collections of local and regional newspapers, and is cross-searchable on the ProQuest platform.

The homepage for US Newsstream is simple: A basic search field allows you to search by title, keyword, or subject. The ProQuest data filtering tools allow you to narrow your results by date range, subject, publication, document type, and more. If you are looking for a specific article, you can use the site’s advanced search feature to find it quickly. If you are only interested in, say, today’s New York Times, you can find the entire contents of today’s paper under the “Publications” tab. And if you need assistance using US Newsstream, simply click on the “Ask Chatham Library” link to speak to a real live librarian.

To access US Newsstream, point your browser to www.nclive.org, then click on “ProQuest Newsstand” in the “Popular at my Library” list (you will be asked to sign in with your library information).


Resource of the Month: North Carolina General Assembly

mastheadIf you’ve kicked off 2017 with the resolution to get involved in local politics, wish to keep closer tabs on the General Assembly, or simply want to feel more engaged by being “in the know,” this resource is for you!

The official North Carolina General Assembly website is a one-stop shop for all things NC politics. It can be used as a tool to track bills, find and communicate with your state House and Senate members, and to follow chamber activity, meetings and issues before the General Assembly. The site also makes accessible broadcasts from live, real-time audio of daily House and Senate sessions, press conferences, and meetings held in the Appropriations and Finance Committee Rooms. Finally, a Citizen’s Guide found through the top navigation bar walks political newcomers through the basics of NC and US government branches, commonly asked questions, and other information to encourage informed and aware citizens. So no matter what your level of knowledge or previous experience in the realm of politics, this site can be a handy tool to jump in headfirst!

To find your way to the NC General Assembly home page, point your browser to www.ncga.state.nc.us. All sections of the site can be accessed through the blue navigation bar at the top, or by using the four search bars in the top right corner. If your time is limited and you want to skip directly to legislation and bills, you can go straight to http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Legislation/Legislation.html. No sign-in is required to access this resource.

Resource of the Month: Literature Resource Center

LRCGaleDid you ever finish reading a challenging work like Heart of Darkness, Light in August or Finnegan’s Wake and wonder what hit you?  (You’re among friends!)  Or maybe you need background information for your book club selection so you can moderate like a pro.

Administered by GALE, The Literature Resource Center includes resources like scholarly articles, literary criticism, biographies, book reviews and more. Their easy-to-use search engine lets you filter the results (by content types, subjects, authors and more), and you can save your results to peruse later.

Whether you’re coming to grips with a classic or looking for a fresh perspective on an old favorite, you’ll find something of interest via the Literature Resource Center.

To access the Literature Resource Center,

  • Point your browser to http://www.nclive.org
  • When you land on NC LIVE, type “Literature Resource Center” in the search field in the upper left corner of the screen
  • Click on the “Literature Resource Center” link under “Best Bets” (you will be asked to sign in with your library card and password)

Resource of the Month: DigitalLearn.org

DigitalLearnKnow anyone who could benefit from technology coaching?  It could be you, your parent, your child, or a neighbor who needs help building digital literacy skills.  Your library offers books, eBooks, videos, computer classes, a monthly drop-in assistance lab, scheduled appointments with a Reference Librarian, and some stellar online resources which can be accessed from anywhere. Anytime.

Previously, we posted information about the Goodwill Community Foundation’s site (read it here), and patrons have given us excellent feedback.  Now the Public Library Association has put together DigitalLearn.org to support both learners AND trainers in pursuit of better skills. The homepage shares this invitation:

If you are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed.

There’s an array of courses available, in both English and Spanish, starting with “Why Use a Computer?”, including “Intro to Skype” and “Online Scams”, and ending with “Buying a Plane Ticket”.  Anyone is able to take a course (and print out a certificate at the conclusion if recordkeeping is an issue), and no login is required.  Courses are brief, averaging around 15 minutes, and dispense information in a rich format, including text, video, and audio.  Just click on the title of interest and you’ll be taken to a list of related activities.

If, instead, your need is learning how to help others develop digital skills, click on the “Help Learners” link at the top right of the homepage.  There you will find a listing of resources for handouts and course materials, learn from other trainers’ experiences, and find links for other potentially useful websites and tools such as webinars.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! You can benefit today from the fact that libraries know how to provide technology instruction!

Resource of the Month: NC Division of Employment Security – Job Openings

DESDo you keep hitting a wall in your job hunt? Wish there was a resource that pooled job openings and job search resources in NC and across the country? Well you’re in luck – such a resource actually exists, and it’s free for anyone to use!

The NC Division of Employment Security (NCDES) Job Openings web page acts as a locally-based job-hunting index to the internet. It contains links to several useful resources including but not limited to: NC state government jobs, NC State Government Internship Program, NC job fairs, a list of NC employer websites, federal government jobs, CareerOneStop, and more. Want to teach in North Carolina? No problem, the NCDES Job Openings site will link you to Teach 4 NC for more information. Looking for more of a one-stop online resource to make your life easier? The NCDES Job Openings site has you covered and will point you to NCWorks and CareerOneStop. Need information on apprenticeships, job seeking tools, support services, and/or other special circumstances, like applying for a job as a former offender or youth ages 14-24? Just click the “Job Assistance” link in the dark blue banner at the top of the page to launch an NC Commerce page with all sorts of useful information. Finding a new job is never easy, but you can make it slightly easier on yourself by using the resources provided by NC Division of Employment Security (NCDES) Job Openings web page.

To access this resource, point your browser to http://www.ncesc1.com/individual/jobSearch/jobSearchMain.asp. No sign-in or NC LIVE access is required to access the website. Happy job hunting!

Resource of the Month: NC Digital Collections

North Carolina Digital Collections


Are you trying to recall an article in the May, 1989 edition of Our State (that you rightly recycled in July 1991)? Are you just generally curious about North Carolina’s history? You can revisit old memories and satisfy your curiosity by visiting the North Carolina Digital Collections.

The North Carolina Digital Collections describe themselves this way:

The North Carolina Digital Collections contain over 90,000 historic and recent photographs, state government publications, manuscripts, and other resources on topics related to North Carolina. The Collections are free and full-text searchable, and bring together content from the State Archives of North Carolina and the State Library of North Carolina.

Multiple search options on the homepage allow you to search everything hosted on the site or to narrow your search to individual collections. For casual browsing or searching, the home page offers suggestions like Genealogy, Civil War, and Census Data for searching and Time Period or NC Places for browsing. If you are like me, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information on the site and unsure where to start. In that case, just hit the “Surprise Me” button and the site will take you to a random spot, and you can wade in from there.

Scroll down just a bit and you will see summaries of many of the collections offered by North Carolina Digital Collections. Many of the collections (the aforementioned Our State magazine, for example) feature full scans of every page, so visiting the collection is just like perusing actual copies of the material, minus the dust!

To access the collection, point your browser to http://digital.ncdcr.gov. No sign-in is required.

Resource of the Month: Ancestry Library Edition

AncestryGive yourself a gift in honor of Genealogy Day (March 12, according to daysoftheyear.com) by paying a visit to the library!  In addition to the expected family history resources located on shelves, you’ll have access to Ancestry Library Edition at any of the public computers.

You might have seen ads for Ancestry.com or watched “Who Do You Think You Are” on TLC and thought about doing some research of your own.  That used to mean time-consuming — often expensive — trips to courthouses, Register of Deeds offices, churches, and archives, but now much of the legwork can be accomplished virtually, with an internet connection and access to digital collections.

According to its website:  “Ancestry Library Edition provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.”  And it’s free to onsite library visitors!  There are two dedicated Local History and Genealogy computers, but any of our public computers will provide access to the amazing and ever-expanding collection of Ancestry.com.  Library visitors can explore records and research guides at  www.AncestryLibrary.com.

The significant differences between a paid, individual subscription and the Library Edition have to do with personalization, so library visitors cannot upload documents or add to online family trees.  However, patrons are able to search most of the databases, save/email/print information, and take advantage of forms and tips and tutorials.

Staff at the Reference Desk are happy to assist you in getting started with this resource.  We also have genealogy volunteers available every Thursday to assist you with researching your family history.  Call 919-545-8086 for details and to schedule an appointment.

Resource of the Month: ProCitizen


Are you preparing to become a U.S. citizen?  ProCitizen can help!   ProCitizen is a self-paced preparation course that will help you study for the civics, reading, and writing portions of the naturalization test.  Through a series of 100 informative videos, plus practice exercises and quizzes, you will learn everything you need to know to successfully pass the naturalization test.

To access this resource, visit www.nclive.org and click on the Career, Jobs & Test Preparation category.  Follow the link to ProCitizen.  (ProCitizen is provided through Pronunciator and can also be accessed through that resource.)  The first time you land on the ProCitizen site, you will enter an email address and a password to create an account.  This will allow you to track your progress throughout the course.

Once you are signed in, you will navigate through the lessons by using the drop-down menus at the top of the screen.  The left-hand menu displays the section, and the right-hand menu displays the question number you are currently working on.  Work your way through the course by using the navigation buttons on the screen.  If your computer has speakers, you will hear a narrator reading out lessons, questions, and answers.

If you need assistance with this resource, contact the reference desk at 545-8086.  Happy studying!

Resource of the Month: ReferenceUSA

referenceusa_alt_576pxhReferenceUSA is a valuable source of business and residential information for business and consumer research. You can find more than 24 million businesses, 262 million consumers, new U.S. businesses and new U.S. homeowners in ReferenceUSA’s databases, providing quick and easy access to quality information that can be used to answer a wide variety of business questions.

Small business owners/entrepreneurs use ReferenceUSA to:

  • select a location and do a radius search to look up the number of similar businesses in the area
  • check the strength of the competition with years in business and credit rating
  • look for businesses to buy or connect with fellow business owners

Job seekers can locate and research companies they may want to work for. The databases include:

  • 200,000 human resource contact names
  • business descriptions
  • website links to job postings

People who are moving can use ReferenceUSA to:

  • find schools, childcare, houses of worship, doctors and other services
  • research neighborhoods
  • look for housing
  • check home value and median income to see how they will compare to neighbors

Students use ReferenceUSA to:

  • find articles for research on businesses
  • perform complicated searches for papers and class projects
  • use data summaries to profile a neighborhood, city or state by type of business, size of business or household median income

To access ReferenceUSA, point your browser to www.nclive.org and click on the Business and Management subject heading. Scroll down the list of resources to find and click on ReferenceUSA. If you are outside of the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number.

Resource of the Month: NCpedia

Have you ever wondered just which frog/dog/tree/bird/reptile, exactly, is one of the official North Carolina symbols or been cornered to explain the term “Tar Heel”?  Newcomers to the state and natives alike will find that NCpedia is a direct line to easy-to-access information for research, travel, or fun.

This is an award-winning searchable and browseable collection of all things North Carolina from trustworthy sources.  Articles are drawn from an array of resources so you don’t have to go poking about, and you’ll find images and audio, a trivia quiz, and an ever-changing “This Day in North Carolina History” box.

A search for “Chatham County” brings up a map, census info, a brief history, and economic facts.  That page also links to the official county site, the Chamber of Commerce, and events and places such as the Silk Hope Old Fashioned Farmer’s Day and the Devil’s Tramping Ground near Siler City.

NCpedia can help you learn something new about where you live and make you the tour guide of your visitors’ dreams!