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Nancy Moskowitz's blog

Better Than Google

Gale Virtual Reference Library is listed on the first page of our database offerings.  The description says that it is "a general interest database that integrates a variety of sources in one easy-to-use interface."  This rather bland explanation does not indicate the wonderful sources of information it contains.In fact, Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), was voted “Best Overall Database” by the readers of Library Journal magazine. GVRL’s user-friendly features include an interface that is available in more than 30 languages, ReadSpeaker technology (text-to-speech functionality) for 19 languages, article translation capability, a multi-page viewer for a book-like experience, and the ability to download articles as PDFs to ereaders or MP3 players.

New Mysteries March 2013

Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart MacBride
Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow
A Medal for Murder by Frances Brody
In the Darkness by Karin Fossum
Scent to Kill by Chrystie Fiedler
The Woman Who Wouldn't Die by Colin Cotterill
The Golden Calf by Helene Tursten
Shatter the Bones by Stuart MacBride
Out of Circulation by Miranda James
To Brie or Not to Brie by Avery Aames
Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly
Disciple of Las Vegas by Ian Hamilton
Stakeout by Parnell Hall
Brooklyn Bones by Triss Stein
Domestic Malice Mystery by Donald Bain
Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier
Holy Smoke by Frederick Ramsay

Better Than Google--I Still Believe

I recently had a conversation with one of our database representatives.  We were discussing the disappointing usage of his product.  Why was it not getting more use?  The rep offered to send me posters and bookmarks, offered to come in and do a demonstration for the staff, and even for the public.  I declined all these kind enticements because, frankly, it would be a waste of time.  Much as I hate to admit it, our databases are mostly under utilized.  This has nothing to do with the quality of the databases, their ease of use, or the spectacular information they contain.  The sad and unsurprising fact is that people eschew the databases to simply "google it".  People google everything and who can blame them?  As a librarian, I find this frustrating and understandable.  A google search is the fastest and easiest way to find information, no question.  But does fast and easy necessarily translate to accurate and reliable?  Heck, no!

New Mysteries February 2013

Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood
Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
Ice Maiden Cometh Not by Alistair Boyle
Bear is Brokem by Lachlan Smith
Out of the Black Land by Kerry Greenwood
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson
Wrong Turn by Diane Fanning
Nightrise by Jim Kelly
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark
Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman
Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller
Good Bait by John Harvey
Arsenic and Old Puzzles by Parnell Hall
Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin
After Clare by Marjorie Eccles
Hammett Unwritten by Owen Fitzstephen (pub date 2/12)
Hit Me by Lawrence Block (pub date 2/12)
Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman (pub date 2/12)
Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason (pub date 2/12)
Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie (pub date 2/19)
Calculation in Death by J.C. Robb (pub date 2/26)
Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri (pub date 2/26)
Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina (pub date 2/26)

Better Than Google

Goodbye Westlaw! Hello LexisNexis!  The new year brings us an exciting, new database, the LexisNexis Express Library.  For the past six years, we had subscribed to Westlaw due to the fact that it was a great alternative to print.  Instead of shelves and shelves of McKinneys Statutes and U.S. Code Annotated, we could now access them on-line.  Although some people missed the books, most of the lawyers were happy to use Westlaw, something they used in law school and at work.  Recently, LexisNexis decided to produce a product to appeal to the public library market.  It is not only more affordable, it is more comprehensive (laws and cases of all fifty states are included, not just New York) and it can be used by more than one person at a time.  Although the legal portion can only be used in the library, the business and news modules are available remotely.

New Mysteries January 2013

Extra Credit by Maggie Barbieri
Dying on the Vine by Aaron J. Elkins
Safe Home by Chris Ewan
Blood Never Dies by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Sanctity of hate by Priscilla Royal
Best Place to Die by Charles Atkins
What a Ghoul Wants by Victoria Laurie
Book, Line and Sinker by Jenn McKinlay
Fonduing Fathers by Julie Hyzy
Corpse on the Court by Simon Brett
Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton
Start of Everything by Emily Winslow
Illegally Iced by Jessica Beck
Bubble Gum Thief by Jeff Miller
Dead Shall Not Rest by Tessa Harris
Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti by Bailey Cates
Wrath of Angels by John Connolly
Revenge of the Crafty Corpse by Lois Winston

New Mysteries December 2012

Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch
Lethal Investments by K.O. Dahl
Stonemouth by Iain Banks
Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Dead Season by Christobel Kent
A Drop of Chinese Blood by James Church
Looking for Yesterday by Marcia Muller
Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin
A Door in the River by Inger Ash Wolfe
Song of the Nightingale by Alys Clare
The Corpse of St. James by Jeanne M. Dams
Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber
Deadly Row to Hoe by Cricket McRae
Not so Model Home by David James
Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
Small Hill to Die on by Elizabeth J. Duncan
Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon
Arsenic and Old Cake by Jacklyn Brady
Written in Stone by Ellery Adams
Archie Meets Nero Wolfe by Robert Goldsborough
Target Lancer by Max Allan Collins
Black Box by Michael Connelly
Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle
Margaret Truman's Experiment in Murder by Donald Bain
Swift Run by Laura DiSilverio

Better Than Google

 

Like it or not, the Journal News is the major newspaper in Rockland and Westchester counties, and we rely on it as our primary local news source.  Librarians are often asked for help in retrieving news articles and obituaries from the Journal News.  Unfortunately, for the greatest part of its existence, the Journal News has not been indexed!  So, for example, a genealogist looking for an obituary must have some idea of the date of death, or they will be endlessly searching the microfilm.  The same grim scenario exists for anyone searching the microfilm without a date.

New Mysteries November 2012

What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart
When Johnny Came Marching Home by William Heffernan
Drop Dead on Recall by Sheila Webster Boneham
Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End by Hazel Holt
If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance by Paige Shelton
Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder by Sara Rosett
Popped Off by Jeffrey Allen
The Boy in the Snow by M.J. McGrath
Question of Identity by Susan Hill
Twelves Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
Marseilles Caper by Peter Mayle
More Than Meets the Eye by J.M. Gregson
Hollow Man by Oliver Harris
Rest for the Wicked by Ellen Hart
City of Saints by Andrew Hunt
Death in Breslau by Mark Krajewski
Blood Line by Lynda La Plante
Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet
Lambs to the Slaughter by Sally Spencer

Better Than Google

How the 1938 debate team at Munhall High School (Pa) would have loved using Opposing Viewpoints in Context!  Rather than pour over newspapers and magazines to garner facts for their debates, they simply could have turned to this amazing database.  Alas, they were unable to benefit from it, but you can save yourself all that work. Students can find information on today's hot topics by simply typing their subject into the search box, or browse by topic.  This versatile database contains 5,000+ topic overviews, more than 14,000 pro/con essays, 5 million periodical articles, as well as videos, podcasts, statistical material and much more.  Each topic is thoroughly explored with chronologies, historical backgrounds and loads of facts.

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