Tackling the Issues

It’s a presidential election year, which means hot topic political issues are being discussed and debated.  Not just by the candidates but also our library users young and old.

This might be a good opportunity to tell people about Opposing Viewpoints in Context to get up to speed on both sides of the important issues.  Opposing Viewpoints presents viewpoints from all sides of issues like: minimum wage, national security, global warming, racism, and many more.

They make the information easy to find by organizing it by topic and featuring timely, well written viewpoints, biographies, and statistics.

Have an informed opinion and go beyond commenting on a candidate’s hair and outfit!

Dustin Shilling, Sewickley




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Zinio For Kids

I recently had a patron come in and ask for the children’s magazine Cricket. We do not carry that at our library, but I was able to point her in the right direction. But that got me thinking about children’s magazines and my collection. Upon doing a little research on the databases, I found that Zinio has a section on their site for kid’s magazines – including Cricket and their other publications for the different ages.

This is not something I had thought about and it’s not a database that I was marketing to the younger patrons. But I am now!


Here is the flyer that I created to hang in our children’s section. Please feel free to use it as an example for your own library. If you would like the file to edit – please email me at bollandg@einetwork.net.



So next time you have young patrons looking for magazines – send them over to Zinio!



Robinson Library

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Common Sense Media

This week’s Virtual Lexicon entry is about Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org). It is a freely accessible reliable resource that I cannot believe I have lived so many years without! I’m admitting my ignorance here, but yes, I never heard about it until I was in a meeting collaborating on a Digital Citizenship project with our local school districts.  Common Sense takes the approach of “sanity, not censorship” and as a librarian, I can definitely get behind that! Their mission:

Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Because I am a completely honest person, I should also tell you this website is overwhelming!  It’s filled to the gills with information for parents, teachers, and kids. There is even a “Latino” option. Prepare yourself.

Having only recently discovered the glory that is Common Sense Media, I can’t go into all of the aspects of the website, so I thought I would give you my top 5 favorite things:

  1. Reviews. The reviews cover Movies, Games, Apps, Websites, TV Shows, Books, and Music. Each entertainment type offers valuable filters to maximize your search.
  2. Common Sense Education’s K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Designed to be used as part of a school curriculum, lessons can be downloaded and used individually. They can be easily adapted for use at home.
  3. #DeviceFreeDinner. This is a challenge from Common Sense. In addition to offering tons of information about the good parts of technology, the website also has suggestions and data about when to unplug.
  4. “Best of” Lists. Yes, I love the reviews, but I love the “Best of” even more. I don’t always have time to sift through the information. It’s like the New York Times Bestseller list for parents!
  5. Family Guides: Essential TV. I’m not a TV person. I need someone to tell me there is such a thing as “essential TV’- I finally found someone to do it! (Thanks, Common Sense!)

I really cannot say enough about this website. Just trust me and go check it out.

Alexis Rittenberger

Northland Public Library

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Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is a wonderful resource offered for free by the library.  By offering patrons access to 7,000 databases and billions of records, it can help support research into local history and genealogy.   Ancestry Library is available to patrons only at the library.  That is good thing because it compels people to come to the library to see all the other wonderful things we offer.

Ancestry is easy for patrons to use.   It has an intuitive search interface, detailed search indexes and helpful tools.  Patrons can search through records such as:

  • Birth, Marriage, Death and Military Records
  • Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills
  • Stories, Memories, Histories and Pictures
  • City, School, and Church Directors and Histories
  • Newspapers, Maps, Atlases and Gazettes

ProQuest has some YouTube training videos.  They are nice and short, so you can share them with your patrons.  Here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-aFAdxOSTDcpY0OQQoffKmX2AEjpUYUP

Instead of paying for an Ancestry subscription, our library edition is a great alternative for patrons.

Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library








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