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April 19, 2012

Library can help you answer your questions


Daily Star

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Huntington Memorial Library offers a set of research databases available to anyone with a library card. This can help you answer just about any question you have, and you can do this from your home, or with our help. If you visit our website at and click on "Research Databases" it will take you to a page with many choices, some of which are featured here this week.

Children's resources are very handy for homework assignments, or even to answer a question that your child poses and for which you don't know the answer. "Searchasaurus" has categories for animals, art and music, health, history, people and places, science and math, sports and stories. Multiple categories in each of these topics break down the categories even further. Looking up the topic "ants" gives you 272 results, which include photos, magazine and encyclopedia articles, and more. There is plenty to see and learn, and more than enough to write a report for a homework assignment. The picture of a carpenter ant sitting on someone's finger is breathtaking. Try searching for the topic "rainbow" and not only will find articles on the topic, but there are also pictures and even instructions on how to make a book of rainbow colors. Kids Search and Infotrac Junior are two other databases containing magazine and newspaper articles for middle school and junior high students. Try them all to see the wide range of materials available.

NovelList is a fiction database of more than 135,000 titles containing reviews, annotations and more. It will help you or your children find something to read as well as recall the title of a book you can't remember. The keyword function helps you find things when you think all is lost. Someone recently asked for help finding a children's book that was published a while ago.

All she could give me was a vague plot summary, but no title or author. I remembered the book and reading it, but couldn't remember the title or author, either. But I knew it had come out in the'80s and by doing a search on Novelist for children's books and limiting it to a certain time period it would probably pop up. Sure enough, it did and I quickly emailed her. Her excited response gave me a big smile, and I'm sure you know how good it feels to remember something or find an answer to a question that has puzzled you.

Investors no longer have to travel to the library to read Morningstar. It's just a click away with your library card, and is very popular. Track, learn, see trends, there is so much to do on this database. Other financial resource databases are also available.

Health Reference Center Academic lets you search for information on medical conditions. These are full text articles from nursing and health journals and magazines. One of the best things about this database is its currency. Articles appear almost immediately after they are published, and it's very helpful to those who want or need to know about the latest research or treatment for different diseases or conditions.

There are also databases for newspapers, literature, authors, careers, and more. You'd be hard pressed not to find an answer to one of your questions by using these databases. And the best thing about it is they are all free to you, simply by typing in your library card number. If you need help in learning how to use these databases, we are available for one-on-one instruction. Just call us at 432-1980 to set up an appointment with Sarah Livingston or me.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.