Gardiner Public Library will be closed Thursday, November 23rd thru Sunday, November 26th. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your families and friends!

Literary Reference Center – A MARVEL Database

I think it’s time for me to check out a new-to-me database on the MARVEL! Maine’s Virtual Library page.

Hmmm . . LITERARY REFERENCE CENTER – this looks interesting.  Clicking on the link opens the Literary Reference Center page.  Here I see several options to try.  The top menu bar contains New Search ;  Publications ; Browse Authors ; Browse Most Studied Authors and More.  There’s a place to do a search by Keyword ; Author  or Title.  Down the left side I see BROWSE with several options in the box, REFERENCE SHELF also with several options and CONTENT SPOTLIGHT which appears to be a journal article.  I don’t know how often the article is changed, but this one is about author Peter Matthiessen.

Closer to the center of the page there is BOOK HIGHLIGHT, which contains a sideways scroll.  I see articles with titles such as Critical Insights: The Great Gatsby ; Critical Insights: Mark Twain and Critical Insights: John Steinbeck.  Below this there are two more boxes – FEATURED WORK and FEATURED AUTHOR.  Today the FEATURED WORK is The Left Hand Of Darkness, and the FEATURED AUTHOR is Ursula K. Le Guin.

Where to now?  I check out the options below BROWSE and click on Most Studied Authors.  I am taken to a list of many, Many, MANY authors (in alphabetical order, of course) all that are click-able links!  It looks like I can also check them out by Country ; Culture ; Genre and Movement.  More options than I know what to do with!  After clicking on Movement, I scroll down the page and click on Beat Movement.  Wow, a list of seven authors who were part of the Beat Movement, all as links to more information about each of them.  I click on Jack Kerouac and am taken to a page with information about him, including his full name, birth and death dates.  There are also links to more information about him – Principal Works , Biography, Analysis, Summary, Discussion Topics and Bibliography.  Again, WOW!

I click back to the home page and again look at the BROWSE options.  This time I click on Most Studied Works.  I have to tell you, I find it odd that the list of works is in an odd to me order – yes, all of the As are together, but they seem to be in reverse alphabetical order – Awakenings before Atonement before Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret.  This might not be an issue for many people but is a bit off to me.  Clicking on a title takes me to a beautiful citation of the work, as well as giving me more options to look at.  There is a box on the left that contains Related Information, which includes Interviews, Reviews, Poems, Biographies and several other topics.  The Contents box works well to move me through the current page.

Back on the home page I focus on the REFERENCE SHELF.  Here there are several more choices.  I click on Research Guide.  This takes me to a page that seems to have any and all information I might need to write a research paper – from Plagiarism: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls to Worst Case Scenario: My paper is nearly due and I’ve barely started! to a Research Glossary.  This looks like a great page to keep in mind for “THOSE” questions – “How do I make an outline?” ; “My teacher said I can’t use the internet because it isn’t true.  What makes a true resource on the internet?” or “How do I write a bibliography?”

This is a very interesting database!  There are many pieces that I can see using here at the library, but there are definitely pieces that are a bit  . . . clunky to use.  This is a site that I would have found helpful several centuries (or at least decades) ago when I wrote my first papers for school!

Ben’s Guide – A MARVEL Database

I was checking out the MARVEL! database recently and happened across a new-to-me database.

Ben’s Guide to US Government for Kids

I click on the database and discover a fun picture of Ben Franklin with several links to follow.  Along the very top there are GPO ; ABOUT THIS SITE ; LEGAL ; FEEDBACK ; a Search spot, and two little icons.  These links take me to the US Government Publishing Office ; Information about the site and where it originates ; a reminder that this is a private site that does not collect personal data ; and a form to send feedback about the website.  The person-like icon takes me to Learning Adventures and the United States shaped icon takes me to Citizenship.

The next set of “tabs” – I’ll use that term as that’s what we have become used to on a website – include Home ; About Ben and GPO ; Libraries ; Learning Adventures ; Glossary and Games.  There are three more “clickable” links – Ages 4 – 8 Apprentice ; Ages 9 – 13 Journeyperson and Ages 14+ Master.

Where to begin!?!?!

The About Ben and GPO link gives me several extra links, with quite a bit of information about Benjamin Franklin.  One of the links shows me a timeline of his life, and, I admit it, I LOVE timelines!  This man did many things, and if a bit of this information intrigues me enough, I can and will do more research.

The Glossary link is just exactly that – a glossary of terms in a governmental aspect.  The words may have other meanings, but this glossary is how the terms relate to the U.S. Government.

Learning Adventures and the links in the center of the page for various age level lead to the same place, a varied array of information about our government.  A few of the topics include Branches of Government : Symbols, Songs and Structures ; Historical Documents and  Election Process.  Each of these links are in the box in the center of my screen.  To the right of this box, the icons for each of the learning levels appear.  Clicking on the icon changes the learning level of the information.

Back along the top of the page there is a Games link.  Let’s see where this takes me!

In the center box I scroll, and have three choices – Place the States ; Printable Activities and Branch-O-Mania.

Hmmm . . . .

Place the States is truly what it says.  I’m taken to a blank silhouette of the United States, with a colorful array of the states at the bottom of the page.  A jigsaw puzzle of the states!

Printable Activities takes me to more choices – either Word Search or Crosswords.  Below each of these are levels.  The levels are the same as previously noted – Apprentice, Journeyperson and Master.  Clicking on a choice takes me to a page that can be printed and the puzzle worked on away from the computer.

Branch-O-Mania opens a new page, with more choices.  This time my choices are the branches of government – Legislative ; Executive and Judicial.  This is a “catching” game.  By that I mean, Ben Franklin must catch the icons that drop from the sky.  Each of the branches of government have icons that pertain to them.

All in all, this is an interesting addition to the MARVEL! database of information.  It’s very user friendly, and a great way for me to refresh my knowledge of our government.

Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Great Summer Reads from Minerva!

As you are packing for your vacation, or heading out to camp, don’t forget to take a stack of books with you! Summer is a great time to relax with a good book. Following are some great summer reads you may want to take with you! They can be reserved through via Inter-Library Loan through the Minerva catalog system.

The Salt House by Lisa Duffy

A beautifully written novel set during a Maine summer, about a family finding their way through grief, love, and hope after an unforgettable accident.

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

A young woman who works at the Nantucket library during the day gets some unexpected new neighbors for the summer. As she is drawn into their lives over the course of the summer, she has a dilemma and must decide what she truly wants.


Gone Gull by Donna Andrews

A young woman spending the summer at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center is helping her grandmother run the studios. But someone is committing acts of vandalism, threatening to ruin the newly-opened centers reputation.

Magic by Danielle Steel

Each year the “White Dinner” takes place on a summer evening. The stories of seven people are interwoven, lives will be forever changed on an unforgettable night of possibilities.

MARVELous NoveList!

Recently, I was in search of a new-to-me author – one I had never read, and, perhaps, had not heard of?!?!

Several months ago, a new feature appeared in our catalog – suggestions of books readers might like.  Off to check the Minerva catalog I go.  I know I enjoyed Gail Carriger’s Steampunk series, The Parasol Protectorate, so I do a search for Gail Carriger.  Once I bring up the first title in this series, I scroll to the bottom of the page – several book covers are displayed, with author, title, and “Why this match?”  I hover my cursor over the question and am given an idea of “Why this match?”  I see why this title is shown.
Clicking on the title of a book sends me right to the title in the Minerva catalog, and I am able to request a new author!
Being a bit curious, and pretty sure that this in generated through the MARVEL database NoveList, I decide to check out NoveList.
I do the same search of Gail Carriger and am offered the same titles.  That was easy!
While I’m here, I decide to poke around NoveList, and see what new features are available.
Back to the NoveList home page I go.  Across the top of the page I see Home ; Browse By ; Especially For; Quick Links and How Do I?  Hmmm . . . I’m pretty sure that Home brings me to the Home page, and hovering my cursor over the other options gives me ideas of what they might be used for.  Under the Browse By heading I see a couple of interesting ideas – Award Winners and Audiobooks to be specific.
I click on Award Winners.  WOW – there must be fifty or more listed as Popular Awards, and at the bottom of the page is a link to Browse All Award Winners and Notable Books.  Again, WOW! There are PAGES of award books to look through!
Next, I look at the Audiobooksheading.  There are not as many choices on this page, however there are several interesting Recommended Reading Lists on the right hand side of the page.  The site separates the lists as Adult Lists and Children & Teen Lists.  Among the Children & Teen Lists there is a list called Famous Voices: Celebrity Readers – interesting!  Clicking here brings me to a page with, you guessed it, audiobooks read by celebrities!  I really like this concept, as certain voices translate to audio better than others, but I wish there was a list like this for Adult titles, as well!
Back to the menu bar across the top of the page I go.  This time I hover over Quick Links.  There are a couple of links that look to be especially interesting to School Librarians and Teachers – Common Core and Curriculum Connections.  A link of possible interest for the next book discussion is Book Discussion Guides.  I am not able to search the Discussion Guides by title, but it might be helpful when searching for a title for a discussion group.
I do click on the Books to Movies link.  I am taken to a page titled Books To Movies – 2016.  This is an alphabetical list of some of the books that are being filmed this year.  I see a short bit of information about the books, but nothing about when the movie might be available, or actors, etc.  This actually makes sense, as I am looking at a book site, but as usual, I’m curious!
I go back to the menu bar again and look at How Do I?  As you might imagine, this is a link to those FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) we see on many websites.
Back on the Homepage, I notice on the left side tabs stating Fiction and Nonfiction.  Beneath the tabs there are choices – Adult, Teen, Ages 9-12 and Ages 0-8.  
As I am seeing the Adultlists first, both the fiction and the nonfiction have several genre related categories, as well as Best of 2015lists.  These lists would be a great way to gather items for specific book displays.  A tool to remember.
Moving through the age categories, they each appear to be genre lists as well.  There are a few lists, however, that I find intriguing.
All Kinds Of Livesis truly that.  These are book lists of a variety of backgrounds.  These include such ideas as Life On The Autism Spectrum, Teen Homeschoolers’ Lives and LGBTQIA.  What a great place to start when I have someone looking for Christian Lives,or The Disability Experience.
 
Another link I find of interest is For Fans Of . . .  This one appears to be of interest for someone who is a particular fan of specific television programs, movies or even music bands.  The Downton Abbey link gives several suggestions – Velvet Undercover, by Teri J. Brown and A Countess Below Stairs, by Eva Ibbotson, are just a couple.
Okay, it looks like I need to use NoveList on a MUCH more frequent basis and in many more ways than I have been in the past!
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

American FactFinder

Time for another MARVEL database!

For those who have not taken the time to peek at the MARVEL database provided by the Maine State Library, I would suggest you poke around a little here and there.  What an AmAzInG amount of information!
Today I will take a chance on American FactFinder – US Census.  Clicking on this link in MARVEL takes me to what appears to be a United States Census Bureau hosted website. Across the top of the page the tabs include Main, Community Facts, Guided Search, Advanced Search and Download Center.  As I am on the Main page, I see Community Search with a search box.
Since I’m in Gardiner, Maine, I enter the zip code.  This brings me to a page with a variety of information.  As it opens, I am given the population total from the 2010 census – 11,646.  This seems like a rather large number, but the 04345 zip code includes Pittston and West Gardiner as well as Gardiner, so I’m okay with the number. 
On this page, there are a variety of ways to look at the data :
Age – median age is 45.3
Education – 92.3 % are high school graduates or better
Veterans – 1,394
There are several other ways to look at the information, and the last one in the list is Show All.  This choice breaks some of the other options into different aspects – such as Race and Hispanic Origin.  What an interesting way to look at different demographics of the community.
Next, I try Guided Search.  More choices!  This time I click the radio box for I’m looking for information about businesses or industries followed by Next.  Again, choices! 
I click on the plus sign beside Employment.  And, once again, choices!  Clicking on Employees the term seems to fly across the page into a section called Your Selections.  In this box, I now see my selection and Tables matching your selections 2,056.  Okay, I click Next.  Hmmm . . . . now I’m asked to add geographic areas.  04345 goes into the appropriate box.  I click Next again and am asked about Industry Codes.  I have to tell you, I know NOTHING about what this means!  So, I select the All available codes box, followed by Next.  Finally, results! 
I click on ZIP Code Business Statistics : Total for Zip Code for most recent date – 2013.  The next page gives me my Geographic Area – Gardiner, ME ; Number of establishments – 220 ; Paid Employees for pay period including March 12 (number) – 2,453 ; First-quarter payroll ($1,000) – 21,259 and Annual payroll ($1,000) – 88,706.  These are all interesting numbers, fascinating to think that there are 220 “physical locations where business is conducted or services or industrial operations are performed.” I’m now rather curious about these establishments in the 04345 ZIP code area, though this is a search for a different time.
Time to see what other statistics I can find.
Back on the Main page, I scroll to see what other features are available.
Popular Tablesinclude clickable links to several interesting studies.  I click on Educational Attainment.  I see a variety of interesting data for the United States population broken apart by age ranges.  Since this is a prepared table, I am not given the opportunity to narrow by area or ZIP code. 
Looking over the information, it makes me extremely sad to see that almost 14% of the U.S. population have no high school diploma or equivalent.  The information shows that 28% of the population are high school graduates or the equivalent, and over 58% have some form of traditional higher education.  Yes, I know I work in a library and want everyone to have the chance and choice to continue their education, though there are many “non-traditional” forms of education that are not taken into account in the given information. Time to get off my soap box.
Again, I go back to the Main page. 
Seeing Address Search, I click Street Address and type in the address of the house I grew up in.  The next page gives me a large variety of information – nothing specific as to census numbers, but county information, Congressional District, Legislative District, Region of the United States, as well as a few other tidbits.  Again, interesting things to know, but not currently pertinent to me.
At this point, I’m not at all sure where, or how best to use this, but it is certainly an interesting amount of data!
 Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Windows On Maine

I was poking around the MARVEL database recently – and I found something new!

Windows On Maine
This looks like a very interesting database to work with.  It is a collaboration of Maine Public Broadcasting, the University of Maine, the Maine State Museum, and others.  I like the sounds of that!
The home page has a click-able window What is Windows on Maine? Click to view.  I try this – it’s a very short video showing the variety of information available in this database.  There are streaming videos, maps, sound files, resources for teachers, and related databases to name a few.  More interesting with each click I take!
At the top of the screen there are two search buttons – Subject/Topic that has a drop down window with about thirty choices.  The other search button QuickSearch is the one I try first.  I type in “Gardiner”.  Three resources found – one Moving Image and two Artifacts. 
Hmmm . . . 
The Moving Image is titled The Frontier Wars.  It is an MPBN resource, and about twenty-seven minutes long.  There is a short description, as well as a list of subjects to search.  These subjects appear to come from the Subject/Topic drop down window.  The last place on the citation is Find Similar Resources.  Clicking here brings up fifty resources.  I’m not quite sure what this database uses for criteria to find similar resources.  There are many Moving Images, but also Artifacts, Text, Service, Map, and Still Image, but I don’t seem to see a clear relationship between my search, and the “similar resources”.  Next I click on the title itself The Frontier Wars.  I see that this is a downloadable media file.  The video has beautiful images, but for whatever reason, no sound – at least not on the computer I’m working on.  I’ll have to check this out on a different computer.
The two Artifacts  are Quill Box and Box, birchbark.  Each of these are Maine State Museum resources.  These each have the same type of information as the Moving Image.
Okay, time to click on one of the resources.  I choose to click on Quill Box.  This doesn’t really give me much more information. I am told where it “lives” – the Maine State Museum, that it is part of their collection, and they have the rights to it.  Again, I see Find Similar Resources, though I don’t click at this point.  I’m given the option to Download, which I do.  This is a very nice picture (.jpg) of the box.  It looks like it could be a great addition to a school report.
Back to the home page I go.  Next I check out the Advanced Search button on the left side of the page.  This time I type “Augusta” in the search box.  I opt to leave the Keyword box as Any, though the options include Title, Subject, Description and Transcript.  In the Year From and To boxes I put 1890 and 1900.  Leaving the other options as they are, I click the Find Itbutton.
Four resources appear, one Still Image and three Moving Images.  I don’t take the time to check each of these out, as my Gardiner search earlier showed similar results.
Back on the Advanced Search page, there is a spot to Find the history of town names in Maine.  This time I choose “Randolph” from the drop down menu.  The information given tells me that Randolph was incorporated from a portion of West Pittston in 1887 and has been Randolph since then.
The last thing I see on the Advanced Search page is Search with Maps.  There are two maps at the bottom of the page – State of Maine and Gulf of Maine. Clicking on either map makes it larger, then clicking on the map itself, a region or county pops into the search box.  Clicking the Find Itbutton brings me to similar results, as previous searches.
Back on the home page the last feature I check is FAQ for Teachers.  This page answers questions about web browsers, downloading videos and other resources, as well as lesson plans.
I still see lots of potential for this database but am not completely sure how I’ll use it.  There are pieces that will be helpful for reference questions about Maine, but it probably won’t be the first resource I use.

Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

MARVELous Blog The Final Chapter (Plus Week 8)

The week of Thanksgiving I was given a choice of blogging or not blogging.  At the time, not blogging seemed to work better for me, but now I plan to do the week 8 blog about Ancestry Library Edition and the final few questions of the blog exercise – Blog 11.
Ancestry Library Edition looks very similar to the paid for version of Ancestry.com.  This is a site that I am rather familiar with, so I may jump around a bit more than I have when learning the other databases.  Please accept my apologies up front on this!  Ancestry Library Edition is available free of charge to Maine library users, but you must be in the library to access the site.
The home page of Ancestry Library Edition looks pretty straight forward – a place to search for an individual using first, middle and last name as well as where a person may have lived and their estimated birth year.  You are also given links to several census collections as well as other pertinent collection databases.
The first piece of this exercise is to look up my own name.  I do this, first just my name – 781,379 results.  I add Maine as a place I have lived and narrow my search to 588,906 individuals.  I add my birth year and narrow the results further to 215,247.  By adding my middle initial I am again up to 249,256 results.  Scanning the page results, I pick myself out on the first page (I DO know who I am!).  The U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1shows several places that I have lived – interesting.  I narrow my search by clicking one Birth, Marriage & Death.  
The second piece of this exercise is to search for a grandparent in the U.S. Census.  I type in my grandfather’s name, year of birth, and Maine – 51,342 results.  I Narrow by Category using Census & Voter Lists.  My results are now 5,475.  I find my grandparents listed on the first page – 1940 and 1930 United Sates Federal Census.  I find my grandfather in the 1910 United States Federal Census.  I click View Image for the 1910 census.  A window pops up letting me know how to move around the census page.  This is a nice, helpful thing for new users to this site.  The image of the census is extremely small, but with the help of both the Zoom and Magnify buttons I am able to move around the page and find my grandfather, his parents and siblings listed in the 1910 census.  On this page there is a listing for the Source Citation, Source Information and Source Description– all of these are very important and helpful to anyone doing a family history search.  
The last piece of this exercise is to look at Photos and Maps for photos of Maine.  This isn’t quite as intuitive as it could have been.  From the home page, I click on the Search tab; this brings me to a new page, filled with a variety of Special Collections which include Photos and Maps.  After clicking on Pictures I do a keyword search for Maine. 1,190,449 results – YIKES!  I take a few minutes and scroll through some of these images – yearbook images, Library of Congress photo collections, baseball players, passenger ship images, and many more that I will explore another day.
The final post – Number 11 – wonders what my biggest discovery was?  I think the biggest discovery was how little I know about what is available through the MARVEL databases!  I am in awe of how much is available for anyone with a valid Maine library card!  We are incredibly lucky to have this resource.
I don’t know about my fellow bloggers, but I have been using the databases that we have explored more than I expected.  It has been interesting to notice that I have used whichever experience I have blogged about within a few days of my research.  I am so glad I took part in this exercise, and I intend to continue with my research, so stay tuned!

MARVEL Blog – Week 10

Back to the MARVELous Blog assignments, what will we discover this week?  It looks like a have a choice.  My options are Academic Search Complete ; Masterfile Premier ;  MiddleSearch Plus or Primary Search.  I’m sure that I will look at ALL of these, but for now, I look at Masterfile Premier.

First I take a few minutes to glance through and see what publications are available as resources.  At this point, all I can say is “WOW”!  Truly an amazing and broad range of resources in this database.  There are both PDF and HTML formats of complete articles.
I stumble on a transcription of Ulysses S. Grant’s second inaugural address!  Hmmm… I type Inaugural in the search bar.  There are at least five pages of articles ranging from Jefferson Davis’ Inaugural Addressto Traces of Inaugural Life.  I narrow my search using Primary Search Documents.  Now my results are mostly United States Presidential Inaugural Addresses.  A nice resource for the history buff in each of us!
Next, I move to EBSCO’s eBook Collection.  Here I can browse by Category, view Highlighted books or investigate Featured eBooks.  In the search bar I type in the word Hypnosis.  There are 16 eBooks in my results.  Clicking on several, I see information about each title, and “Most Relevant Pages From This eBook”.  I find this helpful as a way to decide which books I want to look at further.  Not quite as familiar as looking at the index when I hold a print book in my hand, but very helpful in this instance.  I put a couple of eBooks in my folder, open my folder, and look at one as eBook Full Text.  Opening one of these items, I am pleased to discover how user friendly the eBooks are.  Using the Arrow I can flip through the pages, I am also able to type in a page number and jump directly to that page.  Very nice!
The Blog directions tell me to search Constitution Day.  This brings 16 results.  Changing my search by adding quotation marks, I now have one result – Historical Dictionary of Taiwan (Republic of China).  I’m guessing that this isn’t what the Blog Discovery is all about.  I double check that I haven’t refined my search more than necessary, no, all is open and clear of restrictions.  I’m not sure what I missed, but this didn’t seem to work as expected for this search.
Next I am told to use the Advanced Search feature and search for items about Western history.  I type Nebraska in the search bar – at least five pages of results.  On the Right side of the results page, I open the Category window.  Here I narrow my search a bit – opting for only categories using the word History, Biography and Genealogy.  Updating the search my results screen is down to only four items.  This is much easier to scroll through, and use as recommendations for folks interested in Western history.
This is certainly another great resource, and I have only explored the tip of it!!!
Now I take a few minutes to see what others have discovered throughout our MARVELous blogging experience.  It is certainly interesting to read other posts on the various discoveries we have all made.  This has been a MARVEL-ous experience for sure!

LearningExpress Library – MARVELous Blog 9

What piece of the MARVEL resources are we learning about next?  Hmmm . . .  LearningExpress Library for Public Libraries – this looks to be a very interesting part of MARVEL.

To begin this lesson, I register with LearningExpress Library.  This is a quick and simple process – just a user name and a password. 
Now to play with some of the features.  Along the left side of the page are the Learning Centers.  These range from Elementary, Middle and High School through College information.  Also available in this column are Software Tutorials, Skill Building information, information about  gaining U.S. Citizenship and something in Spanish that I’m sorry to say, I cannot read.  The center column has the usual Welcome information as well as places to “click and browse” areas of this site.  The right hand column has recent news about LearningExpress and a couple of What Do I Do Now? options.
Next I decide to see what the tests are like.  Since I don’t want to feel intimidated, I opt for a 4th Grade Practice Math Test.  I “add” the test to my “Center”, and proceed to work my way through several examples.  I seem to remember my 4th grade numbers much better than I expected!  “Viewing” my results shows a breakdown of where I need help and where I seem to understand the concepts.  At this point I am also given suggestions for further preparation.  I’m not ready to check into anything more heavy duty, but I can certainly see where these tests will be helpful!
What should I look into next?  With employment opportunities at a premium, I think I’ll look at Job Search & Workplace Skills.  Recently, we have had several folks in working on their resumes and cover letters.  Four choices on this page – all with more information once I click on the link.  I open the Job Search, Resumes, and Interviewing section – more choices!  Here I opt for Creating Great Resumes and Cover Letters.  Four choices here as well, two are e-books and two are e-courses.  Hoping that a “course” will walk me through the writing process, I add the Creating a Great Resume e-course to my center.  A few quick questions later, I know what type of format I should use for my resume; I have been given suggestions/recommendations for font style and size, as well as line spacing and margin size.  Continuing with this course, I am shown sample templates, reminded about things like spllenig, pellsing, speinllgSPELLING, proper grammar and being truthful.  This is a great refresher of the various items we should all have in our resumes.
Next I take a few minutes and download an e-book.  These are in PDF format, and are fairly easy to navigate.  There are many Many MANY available to search through and read.  Definitely lots of great information FREE to any and all with a valid Maine library card!

Health Reasources – MARVELous Blog 7

 

 

This week we explore Health Resources in the MARVEL databases – Health Source – Consumer Edition and MedlinePlus to be specific.
First, I check out (no pun intended) the Publications included in this database.  All I can say is “WOW!!!” There are I don’t know how many Publicationslisted.  They are listed in alphabetical order, I click on a couple different letters and see titles such as Date Rape: Unmixing Messages (2007) ; AARP: The Magazine ; Harvard Women’s Health Watch and Organic Gardening to name a few.  There seems to be quite a variety of publications available, some as Full Textand some as PDF Full Text. 
Time for a search.  I search for “Detached Retina.”  There are two pages of information.  I click on the Relevance button and sort by Date Descending so that the most recent articles are first.  Looking at the first article listed, I learn quite a bit about this issue, with pictures!  Checking a couple of other articles, they all seem to be very readable to a non-medical person (that would be me!).
On to Medline Plus!  From the MARVEL website, I click on the Medline link.   I am now at a familiar looking page – very much like the Health Source – Consumer Edition page.  The exercise instructions ask that I find things that are not there!?! YIKES!
Back I go to the MARVELous Blog instruction page.  Here is a link to Medline Plus.  Clicking this link takes me to a VERY different web page.  There are several columns of information here.  Scanning the page, the center column is titled About Your Health. There are several tabs available – I can do a General search, or more specific with options for Seniors, Men, Women and Children.  Further down the center column is a box with tabs for NIHSenoirHealthand Clinical Trials.  Curious, I click on Clinical Trials, and search “apnea”.  905 studies found for apnea!  Scrolling through this page I see that some are Recruiting, some are Completed, as well as Terminated and Active, not recruiting.  Very interesting, but it’s time to get back to the assignment.
The right hand column has Health News and a Stay Connected button.  Health News for today include :
60 Percent of America’s Biggest Cities Are Now Smoke-Free
Alcoholic Drinks Add 100 Calories a Day to Average Adult’s Diet
and
U.S. Diabetes Rates Soaring
The left hand column has a Medical Dictionary, a Featured Site and Popular Searches.  Some of the most popular searches have been diabetes, hypertension, vitamin D, shingles and autism.  A neat feature here is that I am able to click any of the words and pop into search results.  Pretty cool!!
Now I’ll explore one of the tabs that run horizontally across the page – Drugs & Supplements.  I take a few minutes and search for different medications that I have heard mentioned, as well as a couple that are currently in my house.  The information given for these drugs include the generic name, reason they might be prescribed, how they should be used, possible side effects and possible precautions.  Lots of interesting information.
Now I do a bit of a comparison – I search for “Detached Retina” – 142 articles.  I look at a couple of the articles, these have illustrations, and seem to be as readable as the previous search. 
Next I attempt to look at Videos & Cool Tools this seems to be an interesting site, but I need to download the Apple QuickTime Software.  After installing this I look at a couple of the videos – short and to the point.  These are a nice bit of information. 
I definitely like MedlinePlus but find it rather sad that our library users, particularly those who use MARVEL, need to take an extra step or two to reach this website.