Has your library card ever saved you? Last weekend I was rescued several times by my library card plus the library’s research databases.
Early Saturday morning, a puddle of water on the kitchen floor was the tell-tale sign that our decades-old refrigerator had finally died. It was time to buy a new one, but what should we buy? A side-by-side, a top freezer, bottom freezer—so many choices! I wanted to peruse the always-reliable Consumer Reports to find the best buy for our money. Luckily, I knew that with my library card I have 24/7 access to the online Consumer Reports database through the library’s website by clicking on the “Research/Databases” button. After reading through the Consumer Reports recommendations, we made our decision and through the database found the model in stock at a local store and available for delivery. Perfect! We’d have cold food and ice again by dinnertime.
Relieved that the refrigerator problem had been solved, my husband headed out to the garage so that he could spend the morning tracking down that funny noise in the car. Here again, a research database was a help. Through the library’s website, he logged into the database Chilton Library, which not only has repair manuals for most popular cars, SUVs, and light trucks, but it also includes diagnostics, “trouble codes,” wiring diagrams, recalls, and maintenance schedules.
While he was out in the garage, I felt that it was a good time to relax and read a mystery novel. But what title to choose? The library’s research database page was still open on my iPad, so I clicked on “Reading Suggestions” and chose the database NoveList Plus. Browsing through the mystery subcategories of Nordic Noir and Fatally Funny, I found my next read, which I downloaded through eBooks & eMedia and settled in for a few relaxing minutes.
In the afternoon, my neighbor complained about her frustration due to her daughter’s stress about her upcoming ACT test. Since the library’s databases were on my mind, I replied that her daughter could log into the library’s database “Testing & Education” where she could find a free online practice ACT test.
And one last time that day, my library card and the research databases came to the rescue. I wanted to mail out invitations for a block party. The only problem was that I did not know the names of some of the newer residents. Using my library card, I logged into the ReferenceUSA database where I created a mailing list with names and addresses of all of the people who live on my block. And of course, the technology coaches at the Batavia Public Library could show me how to use that list in Microsoft Excel. But that’s a story for another column.
If you need help researching local businesses to market your new idea, are looking for information on your family tree, or need to get help on that paper for a high school course, look no further than your library’s research databases! Check them out for yourself at www.BataviaPublicLibrary.org.
Patricia Leonard is the promotional services manager for the Batavia Public Library. The “@ Your Library” column runs the fourth Thursday of each month. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.