Gale Biography in Context

Think Phil is the most famous denizen from Punxsutawney?Phil

Searching Gale Biography in Context produces names and biographies of notable people (but not rodents) no matter how big or small your birthplace, worldwide.

From above the search box, click on Birth Place. (You can also search by Occupation, i.e. Meteorologist; Nationality; and Death Place.) Begin to type in your chosen location and autofill will guide you, extremely helpful when you are typing a place like “Punxsutawney”. The search reveals Punxy to be a hotbed for writers and scientists!

Click on the individual’s name for brief reference information and then again on his or her name for more detailed biographical information, which often also includes current contact information – as it does for Crafton native Leroy Newby. Standard Gale tools such as sharing the information via many social media, citation information, and saving or downloading are shown to the right in the detailed information.

Searching Cresson, Pennsylvania, reveals it to be the Birth Place of North Pole discoverer Robert E. Leary!

Spend some time searching for people from your hometown in this terrific database – Mercer, Pennsylvania anyone?


Debi –


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POWER Library Database Update

Last week we posted the 2013 POWER Library database line-up.  Since then we’ve learned even more.  Here’s an updated list of what you’ll find.

New for Adults & Teens:

Business Source Premier*: Comprehensive, full text coverage in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, banking, and finance, including market research reports, industry reports, country reports, company profiles and SWOT analyses.
(Replaces ABI/Inform Trade & Industry)

MasterFILE Complete*:  Full text coverage of over 2,200 popular magazines. Also includes many reference books, photographs and maps.

Newspaper Source Plus: Provides more than 1,000 full-text newspapers, providing more than 39 million full-text articles. This database contains comprehensive full text for major newspapers and more than 1,111,000 TV & radio news transcripts.  Updated daily.

New for Kids:

Bookflix: Pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks for kids Pre-K through third grade.
(to begin in late winter or early spring)

Middle Search Plus*: For middle school students. Contains full-text articles, biographies, historical essays, primary sources and images. All full-text articles are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles).

Primary Search*:  Contains the full-text for more than 80 of the most popular elementary school magazines.  All full-text articles are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles).  Also, features Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, providing students with easy-to-read encyclopedic entries written specifically for kids.

Kids Search: Graphical interface for kids in grades K – 8. Searches content from Primary Search and Middle Search Plus.

Searchasaurus: Animated, dinosaur-themed search interface for kids in grades K – 8.  Searches content from Primary Search and Middle Search Plus.

* The basic versions of these databases are being provided by the state.  ACLA libraries will have access to upgraded versions because we already subscribed to MasterFILE Premier. 

Please note: According to the State, “Since this is such a heavy time for research in school libraries EBSCO has agreed to keep the Wilson resources available until  the end of April.”  Those resources are OmniFile Mega and OmniFile Select.

Continuing Resources (some of these may expire before the end of the year):
AP Images, Auto Repair Reference Center, Contemporary Authors, CyberSmarts, Teen CyberSmarts, Ebooks on EBSCOhost, GreenFILE, Reader’s Guide Select, Science Full Text Select, SIRS Discoverer, Teacher Reference Center

We no longer have access to:
ABI/Inform Trade & Industry (please refer people to Business Source Premier and our other business resources)
Health and Wellness Resource Center (please refer people to Medline Plus)
InfoTrac Newsstand (please refer people to our other newspaper and magazine databases)

Continue ReadingPOWER Library Database Update

Pennsylvania announces new POWER Library databases

The State Library of Pennsylvania has replaced several of their POWER databases in 2013.  The complete list with descriptions is as follows:

AP Images: Over 7 million images including graphics, news clips and news stories.  Content is updated daily.

Auto Repair Reference Center: This database contains the content of the Chilton auto repair reference books

New! Bookflix to begin in late winter or early spring: Bookflix pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic which basically results in a really fun resource for kids Pre-K through third grade.

New! Business Source Main Edition: Contains full-text business information from over 2,250 magazines and journals.

Contemporary Authors:  Biographical information for approximately 116,000 writers.

CyberSmarts: A set of 5 eBooks published by Rosen Learning Center for elementary school students. Titles are Avoiding Predators Online, Playing Games Online, Protecting Your Privacy Online, Stopping Cyberbullying,  and Using Social Networks.

CyberSmarts (Teen CyberSmarts):  Contains eBook titled Teens Stopping CyberBullying for secondary school students

Ebooks on EBSCOhost: Collection of eBooks including nonfiction, fiction and children’s and young adult titles.  Compatible with some eReaders but not Kindle.

New! MasterFILE: Main Edition: A general periodical resource with full-text. Contains some but not all of the content of MasterFILE Premier Edition to which the Allegheny County libraries currently subscribe. 

Middle Search Main Edition: For middle school students.  Contains full-text articles, biographies, historical essays, primary sources and images.

New! Newspaper Source Plus: Contains more than 1000 full-text newspapers plus transcripts from radio and TV news.  Coverage of Post-Gazette and Tribune Review is included but is not cover-to-cover.

Primary Search Main Edition: For elementary school students, Contains full-text magazines, biographies, reference books and images.

SIRS Discoverer: For students in grades 1-9. Contains full-text magazines as well as weblinks, reference materials, maps and images.

So several POWER databases will be cancelled including the Wilson Readers’ Guide and OmniFile databases (they expire at the end of April) as well as Kids Search.  The POWER website is not completely current, but some updates have been made.

Click here to go to the website.  This list is from the POWER Library coordinator and the changes are very recent.

Please weigh in with  your comments… what do you think of the 2013 database selections?  Or with any comments about our databases….

Continue ReadingPennsylvania announces new POWER Library databases

Upgraded Resource Update: Business Insights Global

Allegheny County library users now have access to Business Insights: Global.  Business Insights: Global is a purchased upgrade to the resource Business Insights: Essentials which was the upgrade to Business and Company Resource Center….confusing huh?

Here’s an explanation: Business Insights: Essentials contains all the content from Business and Company Resource Center, with a modern interface and added functionality. Our library system has Business Insights: Global, which
has all the content of Business Insights: Essentials with added company information from around the world, not just the United States.

If you library individually links to this resource you should update your URL to this:

Your library should also be receiving some bookmarks to inform patrons about this upgraded resource.

Below are some informational and educational videos that Gale has provided to help introduce you to the basics of using Business Insights: Essentials:

Dustin S.

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