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Digital Maine Library – Books & Authors

I think it’s time to explore another of the amazing databases among the Digital Maine Library databases provided to us by the Maine State Library.

Okay, I think I’ll check out Books & Authors.

There’s a lot going on on the home page of Books & Authors.  Tabs across the top of the page include Browse Titles ; Browse Authors ; Browse Genres ; Who?What?When?Where? ; Expert Picks and Award Winners.  The left hand side of the page has an olive green section with two file tabs – Fiction and Non-Fiction.  Below this section there are two different file tabs – Coming Soon and New Arrivals.  The rest of the page has a variety of clickable links, all seemingly attached to pictures of book covers.

Where to start . . .

I click on the Browse Titles tab and am taken to a page listing, you guessed it, Titles!  If I have a specific title in mind there is a search box where I can enter a specific title, or partial title and there it is.  Clicking on the title brings me to a page with information about the book I am looking for – this information includes a link to the author’s page in the Books & Authors database, a short blurb about the book, a list of characters, genres, settings, subjects, and time period, as well as links to awards the book has won, recommended similar titles, and that this title is part of a series.

A quick look shows me that Browse Authors gives pretty much the same types of information.

Browse Genres asks me to pick a genre.  There is a list of Genres in the olive green box to the left of the page, again both Fiction and Non-Fiction.  Clicking on any of the genres gives me options to narrow down my choices.  From here, I find the same types of information as the two previous screens.

Who?What?Where?When? gives me options as well.  This time, there are search boxes after each of the questions, with options of Type and Choose.  I can enter search terms here – Type, or click on the little down arrow – Choose, using either of these options creates a circle diagram, where the circles intersect gives me an idea of who many items this database might access.  More precise percentages are shown below the diagram.  I am able to click on any of the search terms here, or the intersection number and am taken to a page with a list of the titles found.

 The next tab I try is Expert Picks.  This page give me two lists – Expert Picks and Librarian’s Favorites.  Each of these lists has a scroll bar, so that I can slide through the titles, to see what other people might have chosen as a “Pick”.  Each of the lists appear to be in numerical (year) and then in alphabetical order.  Scrolling through the Librarian’s Picks, I see several lists with Bangor in the title – yes, these are indeed lists generated by the Bangor Public Library, in Bangor, Maine!  Clicking on a list brings me to a list of titles, with links to information about the item.  These lists are great, but I had to go out of the page and back in to view a list from the other Pick list – Expert or Librarian.  I found this to be not particularly user friendly.

The last tab at the top of the page is Award Winners.  Clicking here takes me to a list of awards.  The list is in alphabetical order, with the years covered.  This will be fun to use for future display ideas!

Back on the homepage, as I mentioned earlier, there are many book covers with clickable information, as well as ideas, such as Seasonal Suggestions ; Community Picks and Best Sellers.

There is a section titled My Reading Room.  Clicking on here I need to create a user name and login.  Once I have completed this, I am taken to a page where I can keep lists of items – My Books ;  My Authors ;  My Reviews & Ratings and My Profile.  These look interesting, and I’ll have to take some time to add my information.

I think this could be a very useful and fun site to use and play with!