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Have you tried one of our Time Machines?

Gardiner was a robust printing center throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century, producing, in addition to books and pamphlets, several newspapers over the decades.  From the Eastern Chronicle (1824-1826) and Cold Water Fountain (1844-1848) to the Gardiner Home Journal (1858-1892) and Reporter Journal (1893-1913) (and many others in between and after), Gardiner steadily chronicled local goings on and kept up with the news of the state and nation.
We are incredibly lucky to have the majority of Gardiner’s historic periodicals preserved on over 100 reels of microfilm here in the library’s Community Archives Room and available for research.  We also have two microfilm readers, including a new digital unit.  Just this past week, some middle school students were enthralled by the older machine and, especially, the opportunity to read the old papers.  They promptly declared it a Time Machine and jockeyed for turns to travel through history!
In addition to our physical portals to the past, we also have a new and exciting third option.  We are delighted to introduce you to our digital newspaper collection!  Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to digitize 25 reels of our historic newspapers earlier this year and they are now available to anyone, from anywhere, and at any time.  The selected papers, the Gardiner Home Journal and Reporter Journal, cover the years 1858 to 1904.  Without further ado, here is a brief tutorial on how to access and use this magnificent time machine:
Head to our website: and click on the Historic Newspapers tab at the top:
The link will bring you to this search page:
From here, you have a few options.  You can type in a term or name to search (either search box will work) or you can browse individual titles or dates.
A search for the word library returns over 2,700 results:
From the results list, you can click on a selection to see the original page from the newspaper and the searched word(s) will be highlighted:
The control bar at the top allows you to zoom in or out, select a portion of the image to save, download the entire image as a PDF, move about the page or navigate to other pages of the selected issue, or return to the home/search page:
Searching for names works similarly:
The software will search for the names side-by-side:
Hint: You can also do the same with other words you would like to find together:
If you were to search for the words FIRE and DEPARTMENT in the keyword box, the results will include far more variety:
Another way to narrow results and search for specific phrases is to use quotation marks around the exact phrase you want:
Narrowing the search can be helpful, but sometimes keeping it broad may bring you even more successful hits (even if you have to sift through some weeds):
And, of course, you can always narrow your results by selecting specific years in which to focus:


There is much more that could be said about this wonderful addition to our historic collection, but I hope this brief introduction will entice you to step back in time and start exploring right away.  I’m happy to answer questions, show additional tips, or work one-on-one with folks any time.  We will offer a workshop later this fall on how to use this resource to its full potential – stay tuned for the date! Eventually, we hope to be able to digitize the rest of our microfilm reels.  In the meantime, enjoy these at your leisure and stop by or contact the library for access to the remaining 75+ reels and, of course, our other time machines!

How to Keep Children Reading During the Summer

Summer is a great time to get your children excited about reading and sharpen their reading skills at the same time!


Relax a little bit — try not to worry about a daily time requirement or minimum number of pages; instead, let them choose what, when, and where they read.
There are lots of ways to keep kids reading this summer.
Read aloud
Take turns reading aloud with your child. You can each read a page, or for older readers, you can take turns reading chapters. Kids never get too old to be read aloud to, and listening to you model good reading helps them develop strong skills. Take time to ask questions as you go along, to check for understanding.
Have a good variety of reading material.
Chapter books are wonderful, but don’t forget non-fiction!
Magazines and newspapers are great too.  You never know what might spark their interest!
Be a good reading model
If kids see the adults around them reading often, they will see that reading is enjoyable.  Talking to your kids about what you’re reading shows them that reading is an important and meaningful experience.
Going somewhere?
Summertime is a great time to explore museums, parks, and the beach.  If you are planning a trip somewhere, encourage them to read a book about where you are going.
If you’re taking an extended trip, be sure to bring your child’s favorite series.
Find time to read.
Summer can be a very busy time, filled with vacations as well as all kinds of activities. Make sure to set aside time for them to read.
Learn something new!
Books can teach kids how to make or do something, such as make crafts or build a fairy house.
“How-to books” are a great way to get kids reading, learning, and keep them busy!
Make sure to visit the library!


 Our summer reading program is in full swing– be sure to stop by the children’s room and ask about it!  Our theme this year is “Everyday Heroes”, and we have lots of activities to go along with it. Also, if your child doesn’t have a library card, summer is a great time to sign up for one!

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!

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!!