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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!

Digital Maine Library ~ Popular Magazines

I think it’s time to explore the Digital Maine Library a bit more.

Scrolling down the homepage of the Digital Maine Library, I see Popular Magazines.  The blurb leads me to think that I will be able to browse through a magazine, not just access an article I might be looking for.

Clicking on the link takes me to a new page.  Scanning the page, I see many of the links I’m used to seeing – a Search Bar, an Advanced button, the title of the page, as well as Topic Finder  and  Top Searches.  Below the Search Bar, there are two buttons – Subject Guide Search and Publication Search.

Hmmmm . . . . Where to first?

Since I’m thinking/hoping that I will be able to browse through a magazine, I click on Publication Search.  Entering People in the search bar, a drop down menu gives me several suggestions.  I slide down the bar and click on People Weekly.  Below the search bar, I see More Options.  I don’t think I’ll change much here – I do opt for English as Language of Publication.

Clicking the Search button I’m taken to a page that tells me that Journal Title is not found.

Okay, what next?

Clicking on Revise Search takes me back to the previous screen.  This time I see List All Publications.  I click on this link and am taken to a multi-page list.  I try typing People in this search bar.  Seven results appear, including both People and People Weekly.

Hovering my cursor over each of the titles, I see a description of the magazine, the publication number, the publisher, how many issues are published a year, the audience the magazine is intended for, and how many years of the issue are covered in this index.  It looks like the index starts in January 1977 with People Weekly and the most recent issue is March of 2018 of People.

I click on the most recently indexed issue.  The next page gives me a list of the articles in the March 12, 2018 issue of People.

Out of curiosity, I go back to Browse Publications page, and try another magazine.  This time I enter Time.  My search results are similar to People several varied titles as choices.  Time magazine claims to be indexed from 1923 – current.  IT IS!!!  I click on the February 18, 2019 link.  It looks like the entire issue of Time, indexed so that I can look at just the article(s) I’m interested in!

At this point, I have answered my original question – I CAN browse through (but not page through) a popular magazine, though, at least with People, not the most current issue.


Digital Maine Library ~ formerly known as MARVEL!

By now, it may not be a surprise, as the announcement has been made – MARVEL! has changed.  It is now known as Digital Maine Library.  It is still an AMAZING database available to all Maine library card holders.  This database is provided by the Maine State Library.

When I go to the new site, there are several differences.  There is no general search bar visibly available to search the entire site, and there is no alphabet at the top so that I may jump to the database I want.  These are just a couple of the changes I see immediately.

Hmmm . . . At the top of my screen I see the website name, ABOUT, VIDEO TUTORIALS and NEED ASSISTANCE.  Below that, I again see DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY / GETTING STARTED WITH DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY / A-Z INDEX / ADVANCED SEARCH.  Below this there is a slide show, with a bit of what we will find here.  Scrolling down the page there are three places I can narrow my search choices – SUBJECT, RESOURCE TYPE and AUDIENCE.

Next there is the content of the site.  At a guess, I would say that there are close to 100 different databases that can be accessed here – WOW!

Okay, I click on the word ABOUT and am taken to a page that gives me some history of MARVEL! and the DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY.  Very interesting information.

Now I’m interested to see what VIDEO TUTORIALS is all about, so I click there.  A page of a variety of lessons appears – from some of the databases, to Facebook, G mail and Instagram.  I will have to take some time to check these out.

The NEED ASSISTANCE button takes me to a place with information about who to contact with questions about this site.

In the next line of links, I click on Getting Started with Digital Maine Library.  This page gives me answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the new site.

A-Z Index is just that, an alphabetical list of all the resources available here pops up on the left side of the page.

The last link on this line is Advanced Search.  This takes me to a page that discusses a couple of the ways that the website sorts, searches and then presents the information to us.  I have discovered a Search Bar that is not on the home page.  This Search Bar is the one that will search the entire Digital Maine Library website and not only the databases that I choose to look at.  Personally, I hope that this will be moved to the home page for the convenience of all of us.

Back to the home page.

Below the slideshow there are three boxes – Subject ;  Resource Type and  Audience.  Each of these has up and down arrows in the box.  Clicking on the arrows gives me many ways to narrow my search – perhaps define or refine are a better words.  Each set of arrows has many, MANY choices and ways to pinpoint which database(s) will be most appropriate for my search.

Enough for now, I look forward to exploring more on this site, but that will have to wait for another day!