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MARVEL Invitational – Business Databases



This week I am discovering some of the business databases in MARVEL.
First up is Business Source Complete.  As suggested, I search for information on “FM radio” in this database.  In red, I am told “Note: Your initial search query did not yield any results.  However, using SmartText Searching, results were found based on your keywords.  Okay, time to see what these results are.  Like the previous databases I have explored, there are several ways to narrow my results – refine my Source Types as well as Company Information, and a specific search bar for a Company Name.  Scrolling through the first couple of pages, I see both Academic Journals and Periodicalsas sources for this keyword search.  At this point as FM radio doesn’t seem to be a valid topic for this database, I probably need to change my terms a bit.
I check out the Visual Search just below the Search bar.  This time I just search “Radio”.  This gives me a breakdown of several ways to see my search.  I click on CHARTS, diagrams, etc.  This gives me a second column of choices – here I click RADIO broadcasting.  As I move through these choices, my results (in green) begin to narrow, showing what this database considers to be most relevant.  I’m not sure when I will use this database, but it has interesting possibilities!
Next I move to EconLit.  As directed, I search for “resources for small business owners”. The results are seven items – six from Academic Journals and one book.  I randomly click an article and am given several pieces of pertinent information – Author, Source, Publication Date, Abstract, Keywords and Descriptors to name a few.  All will be helpful when searching for and verifying information.
The next piece of the assignment is to search Environmental Protection Agency and small business.  I again get the red error message.  I try the same search using quotation marks – nothing at all this time.  The automatic keyword search that EconLit does brings up several items that include Reports, Books and Academic Journals.
The last piece of this exercise includes searching for tax policy and small business.  This time it works!  I am NOT given the red error message.  These articles also include a variety of sources.
Moving to the next exercise, I am now using Regional Business News.  I search Pepsi.  This brings several pages of information.  This time my results include News, along with those previously mentioned.  Hmm, let’s try something a bit closer to home.  I search DeLorme and this brings up several pages of articles.  The results are similar to what I found earlier, but again, I need to adjust my search term to include the DeLorme Mapping Company in Maine, not Yves DeLorme, Inc. linens.
Value Line Investment Survey is the next database I search.  I know less than nothing about investing, so this site has a 50/50 chance of being helpful to me.  I poke around a bit, looking at Description, Ratings & Reports, Summary & Index and Look Up Company to name a few.
I decide to look up Wal*Mart.  I know they have some kind of stocks, as I often see it in the stores.  No matter how I try to spell Walmart – capitalized, one word, with a star – company name brings me nothing.  I try searching by industry and use the term Retail.  Still no luck.  I’m sorry to say, this is not a database that works for me – I seem to be “stocks” challenged.
Last but not least, I am discovering The Wall Street Journey.  Using the Advanced Searchbutton I type in small business and health care.  This brings me over 19000 results.  By adding quotation marks around the terms, my results narrow to 1867.  Much easier to sort through!  I am given several suggested ways to narrow my search.  These include Publication title, Subject, Location, Company/Organization and Publication date to name a few.  These will be helpful when searching with patrons. 
This database has the same ability most of the databases have had to set up Alerts for new input.  There is also the capability to Save to My Research, Print, and Save Search.  As mentioned in a previous blog – this one also has the Cite option for those doing research.
This has definitely been a learning blog post for me.  I have explored several MARVEL databases that were truly not on my radar.  I have discovered that I am a bit challenged as far as stock issues are concerned.  I love the Visual Search option (I love the pictures, graphs, and just the way everything colorfully narrows my search).  I need to have more specific search terms, or at least have the correct business name.  I should use quotation marks ALL THE TIME! 
I think I’m looking forward to helping a patron with some of these databases – but only someone with a significant amount of patience.

MARVELous Invitational Week 5 – NoveList Plus



This week, we discover NoveList Plus.  This is a database I use a few times a week, so I’m looking forward to learning more!
The first part of the exercise is to search for a series I am interested in.  Since I just finished one of Jude Deveraux’s Edileannovels, I type Edilean in the search bar, click the Series radio button, and then Search.  This new page gives me a link to the author, a description of the series, and the genre among other things. 
Scrolling down the page I have a list of titles in the series, the order of the series and since I have the View set to Detailed a bit about each title.  I have the option of changing the View to Grid, Brief or Title Only.  Depending on what I need, and/or if I intend to print the results, these options will be extremely helpful.
As a series reader, there are pieces of NoveList Plus that are extremely helpful, but I have to say that I still will use first.  I do a quick comparison of the these two sites, looking at the title only, and FictFact has an extra title (it is an EBook), as well as the next title due in the series, with the estimated publication date.
The next piece of this exercise is to see how the Read Alike section works.  Following the directions I change my search criteria to Author and search for an author.  This time I check the right side of the page, at the Read Alikes from NoveList section.  There are nine authors, shown three at a time.  Resting my cursor on the file folder next to an author gives me information about the author, as well as why NoveList Plus feels this author is a Read Alike.  If I click on the Print All button in this same box area, I have the ability to see and print a bit about all nine of the authors.  Thinking about it, I’m not sure that I have ever seen more than nine authors listed at a time – just an observation.
I do find this to be a very helpful aspect of NoveList Plus, how many times has someone come to me having just read the best book ever, and what do we have just like it?
NoveList Plus has a section of Book Discussion Guideswhich is a tool that we will use.  Another interesting resource is Award Winners.  What a great place to find an Edgar Allan Poe Award or the International Horror Guild Awards. 
There is a resource that will come in very handy in the future – Made Into Movies.  This seems to be a recurring theme here in Gardiner; one of the teachers in the area does a “Read the Book and Watch the Movie” assignment.
This is definitely a great database, and one I will continue to use frequently.

MARVELous Invitational Lesson 4 – Hobbies and Crafts



This week I am exploring the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center of the Marvel databases.  This sounds like fun! 
First I watch another short and wonderful tutorial about this resource.  I have to say that these tutorials have all been concise and extremely easy to follow!  A huge thank you to those who created these learning tools.
The home page for the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center is very colorful and attractive.  I have several choices or ways to search this database.  I can browse by general categories such as Arts & Craftsor Outdoors & Nature.  I am able to browse by Popular Sources such as Creative Costumes & Halloween Décor: 50 Projects to Sew & Craft or Knits for Men: 20 Sweaters, Vests & Accessories.  I also see Season & Holiday, as well as Kids’ Crafts.  WOW, what fun – Pintrest watch out – this is AMAZING!
Okay. I’m back – this database is truly one of those places I could get lost.  Just browsing is so much fun, but now on to a “Real” search.
Since I have been learning to read the Tarot, I type tarot in the search bar.  Eighty-two results!  Several on the first page look interesting.  The periodicals these articles range from Action Figure Digest to PolymerCAFE Magazine.  I check a few of the articles and see that a couple of them actually do have a bit about the Tarot, but many don’t. 
Next I try the Projectstab to see what this brings up.  Three fun articles about creating a fantasy type character.  Two of these projects are soft sculpture.  Neither appears to have anything specific to do with tarot, but fun to see.  The third project uses the Foolfrom the tarot deck as its inspiration for a wall hanging.
I check the other tabs – Periodicals and Reference Books – interesting information but not specific to my search term.  I was hoping for a bit of information on creating a tarot deck, or perhaps inspiration for a tarot reading, but no luck this time.
The Help button at the top right of the screen is an interesting feature.  Clicking this button, I find the usual help functions – how to search ; system requirements ; how to save results ; tutorial (I liked the one provided by the Maine State Library better than this one) ; etc.  I do discover that there is a Citation Styles area.  This will be extremely helpful when assisting folks needing to cite there sources!
Whether or not I have found what I was initially looking for, this is a wonderful database!  I know I will definitely be using this with some of our patrons in the future.

MARVELous Invitational Lesson 3 – Maine Newsstand



This week the MARVELous assignment involves Maine Newsstand and the ProQuest Database.  Those who have been reading along as this blog progresses, may remember that I posted about Maine Newsstand in July.  So much for my originality!
The first piece of this assignment is to look at the Maine Newsstand homepage.  This page, as are most of the databases, is pleasant to look at – not a lot of extraneous things to distract the user.  The Basicsearch works really well, so enough said on that I guess.
Next on my list is to watch the tutorial about Maine Newsstand and ProQuest.  This is another very informative and easily understood visual aid created by the staff at the Maine State Library.
What to search? 
“Gardiner Public Library” is what my fingers type – notice the quotation marks, I learned my lesson when I blogged about Maine Newsstand in July.  I check the Full Text radio box, my results are 346 items.  On the right side of the page I see that of the 346 items, 334 are Newspapers, and 12 are Wire Feeds.  Not exactly sure what the difference is, I click on Wire Feeds.  These look to be articles, originally printed in a local, Maine newspaper and then picked up for distribution through a Wire Service.  Not sure whether this was a “DUH” or an “AHA” moment, but either way, I learned something new.
Part of this assignment is to save my search.  Easy-peasey – I just click on the Save Search button on the right side of the page, just below the search bar.  I am asked to name my search – “library” – makes sense to me.  A pop-up window tells me that my search is saved, and I can access the search from Save Searches in the My Researchsection of this page.  Because I’m curious, I check My Research.
The My Researchpage has several interesting tabs, which include Searches.  Clicking on this tab shows me my search, what database I searched, the date I saved the search, as well giving me a place to add notes, modify my search, delete, or create an alert.
This looks like a database I will be using!
I have checked on several of my fellow bloggers.  We all seem to be learning and exploring some exciting information!

MARVELous Invitational – Lesson 2 – Britannica!



My first assignment is to use Britannica – Public Library Edition and research something current.
What to research???  I consider local elections but decide that might be too narrow a target, so I decide to find what is available in regards to the elderly woman who recently attempted to clean a holy painting. 
Once I am in Marvel and find the Britannica Public Library Edition, I see the familiar search box near the top of the page and several interesting features on the rest of the page.  Below the Britannica title I see a Guided Tour and try it.  Everything looks pretty straight forward to me, so I begin.
In the search box, I type religious painting clean (notice, no quotation marks) and have five results, none of which appear to be what I am looking for.  Next I try “religious painting” + “clean” – over 2100 results. I skim the first few pages and don’t see what I’m looking for.
I change my search terms to “fresco” + “clean” + “Spain” + “2012” – and am told that there are no matches for my terms, but using alternative spellings there are 264 results.
Okay, what am I doing wrong??
I decide to “Google” it and make sure I have the correct terms.  Of course I realize that the correct term is “restoration”!  I change my search term from “clean” to “restoration” – 1 result.  I try clicking on the Content Sources on the left; these are no help in this search.
Back to Google I go.  This time when I search Britannica, I search the term “ecce homo fresco”.  Google has told me this is what the painting is.  I’m sorry to say, still no luck.
Giving up on this search, I am back at the home page looking through the Research Tools. 
Media Collection looks interesting.  Clicking on that brings me to a new page with lovely pictures.  I try a search – Milky Way.  This searches Britannica, but not specifically the Media Collection.
Back at the home page, I click on Timelines.  Looks like fun, however not particularly user friendly.  I see several varied choices of timelines, and click on one randomly.  There seems to be no way to narrow the timeline search.  I try moving the pointer to a year not listed.  This doesn’t work.  If I want a specific year, it seems I have to wait for the slideshow to get there.
The Biography of the Day and This Day in History have a bit more meat.  Clicking on those brings a new page with some information about the person or the day highlighted.
All in all, this assignment has been interesting, but Britannica is not going to be my first choice when asked a “current event” reference question in the future.

MARVELous Maine Invitational

Okay, readers, for the next several weeks please follow along as I take a journey learning more and more about the MARVEL databases, which are provided to any and every one who has a valid Maine library card.  I’m looking forward to learning more, and sharing my findings with all of you.

The first assignment – create a blog!  Check that piece off the list – we created this blog several months ago, and are still learning how to use it.
Also part of the first week’s homework, PLAY on the MARVEL website, and watch 3 tutorials about how things work.  Love the “play” idea!  I find I learn best by doing, so this is perfect.  I found a few minutes, and watched the tutorials as well – short and to the point.  Wonderful for a “newbie”.  I tried to access them from home, but ran into trouble finding them.  I’m not sure what or where the tutorials are stored, but the Maine State Library search bar didn’t seem to help me either.
For anyone interested, the links we were sent are :
As some of you may remember, I have been slowly learning these databases myself, so this is a wonderful incentive for me to continue!
 On a different note, October is MYSTERY MONTH for those folks participating in our Year of Reading.  The theme, as you may have guessed, is Mystery – remember, we are being very flexible as to how what you read/watch/listen to pertains to the theme.
If you are looking for an extra chance to enter the contest, check out the windows on Water Street here in Gardiner.  One of the store front windows has a “Year of Reading” poster, come in and let us know where the poster is to be entered for our Mystery drawing, sponsored by the Gardiner Library Association.  A mystery it is – a gift certificate, but to what? Or is that where?

Maine Newsstand

Another wonderful addition to the Marvel Databases is Maine Newsstand.  I must say this one, as a “Maine-I-Ac” is fascinating.

*** Remember, you must have a VALID Maine library card to access this database! ***
When I open this database, it is set for a Basic Search, and the Full Text radio box is unchecked.  I search “Portland Head Light” with 22992 results.  The first link that I see is from the Portland Press Herald, dated Mar. 2, 2005.  Scrolling down the screen I see that the database indexes from 1993 – 2012.  I also see a place to Sort Results By, with choices of Relevance, Publication Date (oldest first), and Publication Date (most recent first).
Other options include
Publication Title – 7 Maine newspapers are included Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, Lewiston Sun Journal, Waterville Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal, Maine Times and Central Maine Morning Sentinel.
                Document Type – including News, FrontPage/Cover Story, Obituary, Article, Feature, Editorial, Commentary, Undefined, Review, Correspondence, Interview, Letter To The Editor and Market Research.
                Subject, Company/Organization and Location all have many, Many, MANY options.
I narrow my search by Document Type and choose to include only Front Page/Cover Story and Obituary.  The search is now only 948 articles.  Hmmm . . .  I sort the search by Publication Date (most recent first).  The first several articles are obituaries.  Out of curiosity I click on one.  I’m not completely sure why this obituary is part of my results.  The search terms are all highlighted in the article, but I only see the words Portland and Light.
                I go back and eliminate Obituary from my search, and now have 661 results.  The most recent article is from the Portland Press Herald, and dated Oct. 21, 2011.  Checking this article, I’m still not sure why my search terms are bringing it up.
(**Picture me smacking myself in the head**)
I fix my search criteria – adding quotation marks around the term “Portland Head Light”, the results are now 814 articles, and all of my filtering has been cleared.  Clicking on the first article, dated July 20, 2012, I find my search term highlighted – PERFECT!!!
Not wanting to bore you, I am having a great time trying several other search terms, as well as names. Sooo . . . Are you interested in a person in the news in Maine? Try a name search.  Are you interested in a specific place or attraction? Try a search.


Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Marvel – Kids Search

Another wonderful database provided in Marvel.

Kids Search is, as you may have guessed, geared toward the younger user.  It searches several sources at once. 

My first search was “elephant”, using the search bar on the first page.  This brought up over 1800 results!  Next I was given the opportunity to Filter Results By.  My choices were All Results, Magazines, Newspapers, Books & Encyclopedias, Animals, Biographies, Radio & TV News Transcripts, and Primary Source Documents. WOW! Where do I begin to filter??

I clicked on Biographies, and narrowed my search to 15 results, all of these being from electronic encyclopedias.  Scanning through the list, some of the articles give a Lexile number for those folks who need to know what reading level an article is written.  All of the articles happen to be available in Full Text, so clicking on an article brings up the entire article, and I was given the opportunity to Print, E-mail, Save, or Add to folder.  Adding to my folder saves the search for later, so if you are not connected to a printer, you can access the article easily.  Another option here is the Sort By option.  Clicking this drop down box gave me the choices – Relevance, Date Descending, Date Ascending, and Source.  I was also able to Narrow Results By Subjectand Publication.

Moving back to the previous page, filtering my results by Animal gave me 22 results.  These results also give Lexile numbers, and all appear to be Full Text articles, a couple with graphics.  I still had the Sort By options, but the Narrow Results By option is now only Subject.

Primary Source Documents was the next filtering tool I used.  Of the 15 articles, only 2 of them had Lexile numbers, all of them were Full Text articles, and as primary source documents, generally written as first person accounts.  A couple of these articles are Congressional Testimony, which adds an interesting bit to our research.  Here the Sort By options are still the same, but the Narrow Results By option is only Publication.

Photos was my next filtering choice.  Here we have over 300 thumbnail pictures of elephants, with description and source citation.  On this page, Sort By options have lessened, my choices are now Relevance and Title, and there are no Narrow Results By options.

This looks like a WONDERFUL resource for anyone needing information.  It may be titled Kids Search, but . . . . chronologically, I’m no “kid” and I will use this site!!

Marvelous Marvel

Have you “checked out” Marvel recently?  From many library websites around Maine, including the Gardiner Public Library website, you may access this wonderful database provided by the Maine State Library.

One of the MANY databases that are available to you with your library card is the Dictionary of Literary Biography.  With just a few quick clicks, you can access information about many of your favorite authors.
For fun, I tried Nora Roberts, and immediately learned her birthday, her nationality, and place of birth.  Further information includes awards she has received, as well as the year received; a list of titles complete as of the date the site was updated; pseudonym, with the titles; information about her books; as well as possible further reading about her in books, periodicals, and online.
Next I looked for Stephen King.  Nora Roberts appeared in only one database; the name Stephen King, when using the Search All Literature Databases of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, brings up 44 documents on five pages.  The source for most of these is the Contemporary Authors section of this database, but the type of information includes biography information, as well as criticism.
We know this works well with contemporary authors, how about some of the classics?
William Shakespearebrings up four articles, two about Nicholas Shakespeare and two about William Shakespeare.  All four of the articles are biographical in nature.  If I wasn’t sure which author I was interested in, the sources could be of assistance – Nicholas Shakespeare is in Contemporary Authors Online, and William Shakespeare is in Dictionary of Literary Biography.  Perhaps there are folks who would consider William Shakespeare a contemporary, but since he was born in about 1564, I would like to think that contemporary doesn’t fit!  So, choosing the William Shakespeare articles gives us biographical information, a list of his writings, criticisms, papers, suggested further readings about the author, as well as a list of play productions during his lifetime.
I don’t know about you, but this seems like an incredible resource!!  Think of the papers/essays we have written or need to write!  Authors and all of their work – WOW!!!