Database Spotlight


These days people are in information overload. There are so many ways to get information and some of it is sketchy. Just the way book reviews and book recommendations help people choose books, the library can help people navigate the flood of information on the internet by identifying reliable information.

Libraries are not just "books" anymore. Though there are wonderful collections in the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, we also subscribe to many online databases. Databases are an online resource containing thousands of newspaper and magazine articles in addition to biographical and medical information, genealogical sources, encyclopedia articles, and general reference materials that cover a wide variety of subjects and provide reliable information. The library subscribes to databases in 12 different subject categories. There are even specific databases for children and teens to help them with their homework. Most of the information retrieved is in full text articles. And the good news is that the databases are available 24/7 from home, school or work. All you need is a library card to gain remote access. However there are a few databases that can only be accessed in the library.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL (Part of Grolier Online): Begin your homework research by using the J-MRL databases. Just use your library card to access the information. And since September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, this is a good time to be sure you have a library card.

America the Beautiful is organized around state articles, with each state and major territory covered in depth through a series of essays on their history, geography, economics, government, culture, and major cities. Hundreds of Fast Facts , and dozens of Timelines, Games, and Almanac entries are included. Find out some of the places in the United States you would like to visit by looking at U.S. Topics. This has information divided into three groupings: cities, spots of remarkable natural beauty (natural wonders), and sites where historic events occurred (places and events).

Have you heard of 'Badlands National Park?' This database tells you where it is (Southwestern South Dakota), gives you the history, and shows your remarkable photographs. Where is the 'Baseball Hall of Fame?' -- again this database gives you the place (Cooperstown, NY) and the history. Homework assignments often require pictures of maps of the various states or timelines. This database provides both and the pictures are easily printed out. There are also wonderful maps of the territorial expansion in the U.S.

Use the database to answer this question: Where did the Anasazi people began building elaborate cliff houses set into the canyon walls of a huge plateau.

So when you think of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, think bigger than "books and information" -- think electronic resources and use your library card to access all of this information 24/7. If you need help using the databases, please contact the Reference Desk at the Central Library (979-7151 ext 4) or

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