Gift Buying? The Library Can Help!

Need a gift? Are the holidays sneaking up on you? A special someone’s birthday coming up? Anniversary? Wedding shower? The library’s online resources can help!

  1. Reviews of practical and fun products may be found by using Consumer Reports and Consumersearch. For example: Is there a coffee lover in your life? Research and find the best coffee maker.
  2. Avid readers can be fun and challenging to buy books for. Use Novelist, Gale Books and Authors, and/or Select Reads to put their next favorite title into their hands. Available genre lists, author read-alikes, recommendations, etc. can make this a less overwhelming task.
  3. Give the gift of family history. Use Ancestry and Family Search to begin a family tree or get someone started on their own discovery. Have someone curious about their ethnicity and origins on your list? Ancestry also sells DNA test kits.
  4. Handmade gifts are always treasures. Creativebug (select libraries only) will help with ideas and how-to information to make that extra special gift with your own two hands.
  5. Free movies are available for streaming via Hoopla. Plan a stay at home movie night with someone special.

~Lisa Akenhead, Northland Public Library

Continue ReadingGift Buying? The Library Can Help!

Help Patrons Discover Their Ancestors

Grüne Blätter und leuchtender Panorama Hintergrund bilden Rahmen

With so many people looking to discover their heritage, Ancestry Library Edition is an exciting resource – it opens up a world of records to patrons doing genealogy research.

Ancestry Library Edition gives patrons access to billions of historical documents and millions of historical photos.  There are local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s available to library patrons.

Patrons working on their family tree can search Census, Birth-Marriage-Death, Military Records and Immigration-Travel records.  They can do basic and advanced searches, create limiters using family members or life events, exact name matching, search using keywords, gender, race, and so much more.

Although patrons must access Ancestry Library from inside the library, it is very easy for patrons to use and it’s free!   It has an intuitive search interface, detailed search indexes and helpful tools.  For in-depth help, ProQuest offers a Libguide on using Ancestry Library Edition.  It provides broad help topics such as:  quick tips, content categories, search tips, sample searches, research tools and lots more.  This is an extremely useful resource for both staff and patrons.

What is the difference between Ancestry Library Edition and

Patrons may want to know how Ancestry Library Edition differs from the regular Ancestry.  Although Ancestry Library Edition is an impressive database, there are some options available to private subscribers that are not available in our library edition.   For example, Family Tree Maker software will not link to the library edition, there are certain databases or collections not included in Ancestry Library Edition, and Members Connect (helps to put users in touch with other researchers looking for the same ancestors) is not included.  For information about other differences, click on the following link:

Help patrons discover their heritage by recommending Ancestry Library Edition.  It is a comprehensive genealogy resource we offer to our patrons for free,  and it’s fun to use.

Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library


Continue ReadingHelp Patrons Discover Their Ancestors

Gale In Context: Biography

I recently helped a group of middle school students find information about Roberto Clemente.  Gale In Context: Biography is an excellent, age appropriate resource for middle school students.  The database has an easy to use interface, and search results are displayed with a comprehensive biography and a box of quick facts.

roberto clemente

The search also provides links to images, articles, book excerpts, and encyclopedia entries.

Roberto 2

These can be downloaded, emailed, and saved to Google drive.

Roberto 3

If you have a middle school student who needs biographical information for a paper or project, Gale In Context: Biography is a fantastic resource.

Kate Straccia, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main



Continue ReadingGale In Context: Biography

Hoopla: Always New

Are audiobook wait times on Overdrive/Libby getting you or your patrons down? Be sure to let your most fervent audiobook listeners know about the “Just added to Hoopla” page on Hoopla, which is updated with new titles almost daily.


There are similar pages for each offering Hoopla has (movies, music television, comics, and ebooks).

Highlighting this to patrons shows how much new content is added to Hoopla all the time–all without waiting!


Jeff, South Park

Continue ReadingHoopla: Always New