Delving Deep with JSTOR

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Anyone who has staffed a reference, adult services, or information desk can tell you the public has no shortage of interesting questions. Since my December 2021 start at Cooper-Siegel Community Library, patrons have requested information from the use of jaguar in the symbolism and mythology of South American countries to scholarly sources on the benefits of breast milk versus baby formula.

I have not searched for academic articles in a few years, though some of my old tricks still work! One of my favorite haunts for humanities-related articles is JSTOR. A child company of Ithaka Harbors, Inc., a nonprofit whose stated mission is to “help the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways,” JSTOR is a major database of academic research materials containing books, journals, and primary sources. Limited access is available to all ACLA card holders through the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh!

For access, just head to and click the “Log in through your library” link up top.

Then, type in “Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.” Click on the top search result to be directed to a login page.

Now, you simply log in with your library card number and PIN, and JSTOR is yours to explore! I have mostly used JSTOR for humanities- and history-related research, but many, many records and genres of academic research live here. You can also search by what articles you can access instead of being teased by those inaccessible.

Because of the times we live in, patrons may also be interested in medical research. For help with those inquiries, take a look at our 2020 post about the stellar NIH-affiliated database MedlinePlus.

Happy (academic) reading!

Cameron R.S. Smith, Cooper-Siegel Community Library

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Use Libby without the App

Did you know that library users can access the ease of Libby without downloading the app?

Any device with a web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge) can access which provides the functionality of the Libby App without having to download the app to your device. This can be really useful for patrons with older devices (running iOS 9 or earlier/Android 4 and earlier); patrons using a Windows computer, Mac computer, or a Chromebook; or – most probably – patrons using Amazon Kindle devices that do not support the Libby App who can no longer download the OverDrive app.

You can also use the website version to introduce patrons to the functionality of Libby in the instance that they forgot the password that lets them download apps on their device. (We’ve all been there, am I right?)

One of the only differences with is that you cannot download titles for use offline. The user must be connected to the internet to access the titles.

Try it out! Visit to get started.

Happy Reading!
Richelle @ Sewickley Public Library

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SkillUp PA for Workforce Development

Library staff are encouraged to widely share information about this valuable service to help meet your community’s workforce development needs.

SkillUp® PA provides access to no-cost online job skills training for Pennsylvanians. All PA residents, regardless of employment status, can register for an account to sign up for selected classes on the PACareerLink® website.

Courses include soft skills and communication, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, project management, and more.  Users can browse the course catalog and find classes to prepare for industry certification tests or select a skill track for workplace skills, digital literacy, retail/service, and more.

POWER Library’s PA Job Resources page now includes a convenient link to remind job seekers of the resource.

Note that SkillUp PA is not an ACLA resource, but could act to supplement some of our other job training resources such as Because this is NOT a library-funded resource, and especially due to the added steps of registering via PACareerLink and SkillUp PA, it will not be included on our eLibrary page. However, library staff may feel free to refer patrons looking for online job training to the resource.

-Heather Auman, Western Allegheny Community Library

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Merck Manuals

Merck Manuals, along with MedlinePlus and the Mayo Clinic, is one of my favorite places for accurate health information from a respected organization. Luckily we have one-click access to the Merck Manuals through our eLibrary home.

The landing page for Merck provides access to three different manuals – professional, consumer, and veterinary. While the professional manual might not be as easy to read for the average person, it is a nice option to have for a person who might be looking for a more in-depth explanation of their health conditions.

Once in the consumer version, you are presented with a few different options. At the top you will find a search box along with tabs for the most popular items that patients would want to explore – health topics, symptoms, emergencies, drug info, and more. There are also quick links along the side.

If you are looking for a reliable and easy to navigate site for health information for your patrons you should definitely become familiar with Merck Manuals.

Tracy — Monroeville Public Library

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