GreenFile Database Added to the Library Web site

We are happy to announce that the library has added the GreenFILE database to our online information resources. This can be accessed at our online database page (look under G on the list). You need to enter your name and barcode found on your student ID to access this from home.This database provides a range of new resources that focus on sustainability and environmental issues. For instance, here is a link to a review from BioCycle magazine of Garbage Land: NAVIGATING THE HOUSEHOLD WASTE STREAM.Here is the official description of this database from EBSCO:EBSCO proudly offers GreenFILE, a freely accessible research database focusing on the relationship between human beings and the environment, with well-researched but accessible information on topics ranging from global warming to recycling to alternate fuel sources and beyond. Comprised of scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports, GreenFILE offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the ecology.

Obama vs McCain on Health Care from the NEJM

The New England Journal of Medicine is one of our country’s most prestigious medical publications, and in the August 21st, 2008, issue, the NEJM published Jonathan Oberlander’s article, The Partisan Divide — The McCain and Obama Plans for U.S. Health Care Reform, which is available in print in the library or by following the link to the NEJM’s Web site. This article is a useful review of the differences between these two candidates and to the underlying philosophical differences between our two major political parties.From my reading of the article, the McCain plan emphasizes the need to support market forces and use them to impact our health care system, while the Obama plan starts with the understanding of shared responsibility to cover individuals. But, don’t take my word for it. Read the article for yourself.

EBSCO’s New Cool Interface!

Several of our library’s most used article databases come to us on the EBSCO platform. Over the summer, EBSCO has updated their interface to include some new features. The feature I like the best is the new display for search results which shows articles, images, options to limit by source type, and options to limit by subjects. The displays for RSS feeds, search alerts and saved searches are also easier to see and use. You can link to articles, or to searches. Here is a link to a search about Darfur and the United Nations.

When you click on it, notice the images to the right, and notice that link that says “alerts/save/share”, which gives you links and options to post to books marking sites. The following databases are from EBSCO and can be accessed on our online database page:

  •  Academic Search Premier
  • Business Source Elite
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
  • Newspaper Source
  • Psychology & Behavioral Science
  • Regional Business News

Information Sources on Earthquakes

Well, the news was a flutter with discussion of last night’s earthquake. If you missed it, take a look at: Midwest Quake Felt Far and Wide from CNN. By the way, I was told that today marks the 102nd anniversary of the San Francisco Quake & Fire of 1906.Here’s some info forwarded to our library from the Illinois State Library Federal Depository Library Email List: Information on this morning’s earthquake near Bellmont, Illinois can be found at the following site: Earthquake summary from U.S. Geological Survey. This site deals specifically with this morning’s earthquake and includes links to maps, and a site called Did You Feel It?, where you can report whether you felt the earthquake.Other Earthquake Information Resources

For those of you REALLY interested in earthquakes, you may want to stop by the library and grab The encyclopedia of earthquakes and volcanoes by David Ritchie

The Complete Works of Darwin Online

This one is for you historians & biologists…

The Complete Works of Darwin

This site contains Darwin’s complete publications, thousands of handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published; also hundreds of supplementary works: biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and more.

Cambridge University Libraries has put this out for free.  What a great service!

Open Congressional Research Reports

This is a useful resource to pass along, Open CR provides free Congressional Research Reports on a range of topics.  Here’s a piece from the about section:

A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of CRS Reports, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports already in the public domain and encourages Congress to provide public access to all CRS Reports.

If you go to this site, enter a search, and they might have a useful report on your topci.

Web Searching Beyond Google

The Web is growing at such a rate that no search engine, not even Google, can search the entire Web. As the Web grows and different technologies come into existence, it becomes increasingly useful to have a whole range of search tools in your bag of tricks. Remember, each search engine uses its one search algorithms (rules), so trying more than one search engine will help you see pieces of the Web that you may miss if you just stick to one search engine. Here are a few to send along and try out.

General Search Engines

  • Ask: hardly a “new” search engine, and with its marketing, you may know this one. Ask works to provide many cool add ons that are worth checking out.
  • Gigablast: Their “freshness” dating helps ID how long content has been on the Web.
  • Clusty: Clustered results help organize and lead to other sources.

Meta Search Engines: These are tools that search multiple search engines, so that you can jump between them and compare results.

Specialty Web Tools

  • Flashearth: This one is cool. You can search a number of different geo tools (like Google maps) at once. You can then select from different images and maps depending on what you need.
  • BookSearch x 3: Search the three big book search tools at once (Google, Amazon, MSN)

Thanks to Greg Notess for discussing these resources on his blog and at the recent Computers in Libraries conference.