Database Spotlight

Database Spotlight

This is part of a series highlighting databases available through the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library website.

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.

THE NEW BOOK OF POPULAR SCIENCE contains the same useful science information that is available from the books in the library's reference area. The main difference is that the information is very up to date and it is accessible from home. The mission of this set is to provide accessible, easy-to-understand science, medicine, and technology articles to a young audience. All of the resources of the print version of The New Book of Popular Science are found in the section called SciClopedia. Of course there are internal links and wonderful color pictures which can be printed out for reports. New sections only available online are:

  • NewsBytes, a weekly science-news update. Contains stories in the sciences with a current-events twist.
  • SkyWatch, a weekly stargazer feature. Each week, SkyWatch provides a brand-new discussion of what s happening in the heavens astronomically; also included are historical footnotes and related information. A celestial map displays the sky as it will appear for the week. Students can print out the page (which includes instructions on how to read the map) and observe the heavens at home, using the map as a guide.
  • Ask Pop Sci, a question-and-answer column that gives students the opportunity to submit, via E-mail, their own questions.
  • SciZone, emphasizes a fun-and-games approach to science and is divided into three categories:
    • Math Brain: each week features at least two "word" problems and two "numerical" problems.
    • Photo Bizarre: uses photographs of unusual scientific subjects or phenomena to encourage students to view illustrations critically.
    • Mind Benders: contains 3 scientific games Word Search, Shark Attack! and Element Click.
  • SciFiles an extensive grouping of scientific appendices providing access to scientific conversion factors; listings and explanations of scientific variables; mathematical formulas; a complete listing of Nobel Prize winners in the sciences and much more.

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

Database Spotlight Archives