Tag Archives: Wes’s picks

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: 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: 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: AccessScience

Are you looking for an authoritative Reference resource for your children (or students)? AccessScience is here for you and your budding scientists!

AccessScience describe themselves this way:

AccessScience is an authoritative and dynamic online resource that contains incisively written, high-quality reference material that covers all major scientific disciplines. An award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, it offers links to primary research material, videos and exclusive animations, plus specially designed curriculum maps for teachers. With these and other online features, AccessScience is continually expanding the ways it can demonstrate and explain core, trustworthy scientific information in a way that inspires and guides users to deeper knowledge.

AccessScience’s home page presents the resources in easy-to-find categories. Tabs for Biography, Articles, and Media get you and your student to the category you need quickly. If you need everything AccessScience has to offer on a particular subject, use the search engine at the top of the page. If you get too many results using the simple search engine, the advanced search engine allows you to refine your search. If you are looking for a specific photo or video you can also limit your search by file type.

The easiest way to, ahem, access AccessScience is to go to the library’s website (www.chathamlibraries.org), click on Online Resources, then click the large NC LIVE link at the top of the Online Resources page. When you land on NC LIVE, you can either click on the link that says “Science & Technology” or you can type “AccessScience” in NC LIVE’s search field. If you are accessing this resource outside of the library, you will be prompted to log in with your library card number.

Resource of the Month: Access Video

Calling teachers looking for video content to augment your lesson plans (and curious library patrons)!  Access Video (also known as Films On Demand) is here to make your life richer and easier.

Access Video describe themselves this way:

Films On Demand is a state-of-the-art streaming video platform that makes it easier than ever to incorporate outstanding educational video content into your curriculum by providing easy integration with learning management systems, online lesson plans, distance learning courseware, or electronic card catalog systems.

The site’s “advanced search” feature allows you to refine and filter your search terms the same way you might on a database for print articles like ProQuest or ERIC. For example, if you get too many results for “measles”, you have the option to filter your results by subject, year of copyright, program type, or targeted curriculum.

A novel feature allows you to search for sections of longer videos. For example, if you want to know about the measles vaccine but want to skip the definition of the measles, type “measles vaccine” in the search field. Click on one of the resulting videos and you will likely land right in the section where they touch on the immunization process.

To access this resource, point your browser to www.chathamlibraries.org, and click on the “Online Resources” link. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the logo for Access Video / Films On Demand. Create your own user account to save videos and set preferences. Watch the clock, though – you can lose track of time in a hurry!

Resource of the Month: Points of View Reference Center

logoPOV_ICLgSifting through the sheer volume of data offered up by cable, broadcast, radio, internet, and print media can feel like drinking from a fire hose.

It can also be difficult to find unbiased sources on controversial topics. Many of us want understand both sides of an argument, and to know the definitions of terms and acronyms taken as understood in other articles. Where can the uninitiated go to get an overview of divisive topics like gun control, religion, censorship, or abortion?

EBSCO’s Points of View Reference Center is a fine place to start. The resource identifies itself as “an interface intended for public, academic, and high school libraries… designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects.”

The site is designed for easy searching and browsing by subject. The bulk of the Points of View Reference Center home page presents main topics alphabetically, with more than 250 subtopics visibly listed under the appropriate main topics. Click on any topic and you will be whisked to a page featuring:

  • an overview of the topic,
  • two argumentative essays (one for each point of view),
  • and critical thinking suggestions to promote informed opinions going forward (and since the site is maintained by EBSCO, you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips).

The Points of View Reference Center home page also highlights the day’s most newsworthy topics in a ticker called “In the News”. They also offer two sidebars: one called “In the Spotlight”, and another aimed at high-school debaters.

To access the Points of View Reference Center, point your browser to NCLive.org. Scroll down and look for the “Current Issues” link. Follow the link and look for another link called “Points of View” (you will be prompted to provide your library card number and PIN).

Resource of the Month: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Bureau_of_labor_statisticsAre you looking for a change in career, but are at a loss for options?  Or maybe you know what you want to do, but have only a vague idea what your dream job requires. For example, would you need to take classes?  How many hours a week could you expect to put in at this new job?  What innate attributes would help you in this career?  And what hasn’t even occurred to you?

In plain language, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you what you need to know about almost any job you can name. Click the link to any job on the site (there are over 4,000 listed), and you will see a job summary that tells you:

  • what you can expect to be paid in that position,
  • how much education you need to secure the job,
  • how much on-the-job training you can expect,
  • approximately how many of those jobs are currently on the market,
  • how quickly that job market is growing (or shrinking),
  • and much more.

From the Summary page, you can browse categories for more detailed information via links such as What They Do, Work Environment, How to Become One, Pay, Job Outlook, and Similar Occupations.

To access the Occupational Outlook Handbook online via Chatham Community Library’s Online Resources page, choose the NC LIVE link, then scroll down to the middle of the page and click on the Career, Jobs, & Test Preparation category.  From there, click on the Occupational Outlook Handbook link to be taken to the site.  (You can also visit www.bls.gov/ooh directly. No login required.)

Resource of the Month: NC LIVE Video Collection

nclivevideoDo you have an episode of NOVA or Ken Burns’ Baseball perpetually at number two on your Netflix queue because there is always a movie the kids need to see first?  NC LIVE Video Collection to the rescue!

The NC LIVE Video Collection offers hundreds of documentaries and educational videos produced by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), augmented with material provided by the Save our Wilkes History Committee and the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.  You can watch award-winning shows such as:

  • American Masters
  • Art 21
  • Frontline
  • Ken Burns’ Series
  • Masterpiece Theater
  • Nova
  • Scientific American

…and many others at the NC LIVE Video Collection for absolutely free.  Many of these videos are not available to stream elsewhere, and you can watch them right on your computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

The NC LIVE Video Collection home page presents its collection by series, by subject, by category, and by title, with the option to browse only titles offered with closed captioning.

Here’s how to access any of these brilliant programs:

  • Go to www.nclive.org
  • On NC LIVE’s home page, click the “Videos” button
  • Choose a series or category of video (you’ll be prompted to sign in using your library card number)
  • Click the “Play Video” button

For help with issues specific to the NC LIVE Video Collection, click the “FAQ” link at the top of the page.  For other common questions about using NC LIVE, use the “Help” link, also at the top of the page.

Resource of the Month: Health & Wellness Information Center

HealthWellnessLooking online for health information can be frustrating.  It’s hard to tell if you can trust the advice you find, and some websites obscure their information with pop-up ads and other distractions.  Though we all want to stay healthy, few among us have the time or budget to subscribe to multiple medical journals.

The Health & Wellness Information Center, available through NC LIVE, offers videos, eBooks, journal articles, and links to reliable local health and wellness resources. Through this portal, patrons can:

  • find a local doctor or research health issues unique to North Carolinians via NC Health Info, a UNC Health Sciences Library Service,
  • access in-depth, peer-reviewed scholarly articles via EBSCO Host,
  • stream videos from NOVA, Frontline, and others via NC LIVE’s video collection,
  • browse health and wellness subjects on Healthfinder.gov, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  • and more!

To access the Health & Wellness Information Center, go to www.chathamlibraries.org and click on the “Online Resources” link.  Scroll down, and click the big blue “Health & Wellness Information Center” button.  (You can also go directly to www.nclive.org and click on the “Health & Wellness” heading.)  Many of these resources are provided by NC LIVE, so you will be asked to sign in using your library card number.  Once you are signed in, you can browse to your heart’s content, or research medical terms for the contents of your heart!

Note:  The prominently displayed “Search NC LIVE Health and Wellness Resources” field searches the EBSCO databases only.  To see all the resources the portal offers at a glance, click the italicized link on the homepage that says “See all Health & Wellness Resources”.