The Library Minute

Posted on August 3, 2012. Filed under: Libraries and Librarians, Reference | Tags: , , |

The Arizona State University  library has a YouTube channel where they post short (about 1 minute) instructional videos on a variety of topics. Here is the one they made about the Academic Search Premier database.

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Access to the NSW State Library databases from home

Posted on January 6, 2012. Filed under: Reference, Web sites | Tags: , |

The State Library of NSW provides NSW residents with remote access to a wide number of online databases. All your patrons need is a Reader’s Card, which they can apply for online. Instructions on how to do so is on our Premium Sites page

Click here to see the list of remote access databases.

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Some great eResources on the State Library site

Posted on April 4, 2011. Filed under: Reference, Web sites | Tags: , , , |

Below is a selection of the State Library of NSW eResources that you and your customers can access from home with a Reader’s card. You can direct patrons to the links on how to get a Reader’s Card on our Premium Sites page, and there has been some previous blog entries on this topic for your information.


Provides access to the Australian Literary Database which covers Australian creative writing and Australian writers. Subjects covered by the database include books, poems, short stories, articles and reviews and can be searched by author title, genre or award. The database contains records from 1880s to the current day, with comprehensive coverage from 1988.

Biography In Context

Biography in Context is a comprehensive biographical database containing nearly 600,000 brief biographies of more than 525,000 people gathered from over 780 volumes from 120 reference sources published by Gale. In addition it includes the full text of articles from over 280 periodicals.

Book Review Digest Plus

This bibliographic database indexes and abstracts current English language fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults published or distributed in the United States or Canada. Periodical coverage includes leading magazines from the United States, Canada and Great Britain although at least one review must be from a periodical published in the United States or Canada. Reviews of textbooks, government publications, and technical books in the law and sciences are excluded.

Cambridge Collections Online

Cambridge Collections Online offers subject or theme based collections of content within a functional, fully cross-searchable online environment. CCO contains two sub-collections comprising the Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics and the Cambridge Companions in Philosophy, Religion and Culture. Each collection is updated with new Companions on publication.

The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry

The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry contains 250,000 poems in full text and 450,000 citations, numbers that will continually expand with each update. The poems in full text are the most widely-read in the English language, as well as in Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Included also is poetry in Portuguese, Polish, Yiddish, Welsh, Gaelic, and other Celtic languages, as well as poems in the ancient languages: Anglo-Saxon, Provencal and Latin

Facts on File World News Digest

A complete archive of the Facts on File World News Digest, updated weekly. It covers all major political, social, and economic events since November 1940. Includes an extensive full-text collection of biographies, historical documents, editorials, and background articles.

General Science Full Text

This bibliographic database provides the full text of over 60 journals published in Great Britain and the United States. In addition, popular science magazines as well as professional journals are indexed. Types of materials covered include feature articles, biographical sketches, reports of symposia and conferences, review articles and book reviews. Abstracting begins in 1993, full text coverage begins in 1994.

Humanities Full Text

This bibliographic database indexes articles from 400 English language periodicals covering a wide range of disciplines in the humanities. Periodicals covered include some of the best-known scholarly journals and numerous lesser known but important specialized magazines. Sources include interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, reviews, and original works of fiction, drama, and poetry. Full text coverage from selected journals begins in 1995.


Provides online access to a wide range of Australian, Asia and Pacific research and information resources covering social sciences, education, law, criminology, film studies, health, medicine, accounting and economics, business, management, drug information, and sport.

includes: AGIS Plus Text : AGIS comprehensively indexes and abstracts articles from over 120 Australian, New Zealand and Pacific law journals. Some articles are in fulltext.


JSTOR is a high quality, interdisciplinary digital archive of scholarly material in the social sciences and humanities and the sciences. It includes the full text of non-current issues from over 1,000 leading academic journals as well as select monographs and other materials. Academic journals form the majority of the content of the archive and are included from the earliest issue onwards except for the most recent 3–5 years of issues. All titles in JSTOR are fully searchable and interlinked by citations and references. The State Library subscribes to the Arts & Sciences Collections Parts I – VIII and the Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets collection.

Library PressDisplay

Library PressDisplay is a web-based portal which provides access to 60-day back issues of over 1,400 newspapers and magazines from more than 82 countries in 39 languages.

Macquarie Dictionary

Updated annually, this online Australian dictionary includes the Macquarie Thesaurus online.

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online contains Grove Art Online, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms with 21,000 biographies, 500,000 bibliographic citations, 40,000 image links and 5,000 images.

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Music Online contains Encyclopedia of Popular Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Grove Music Online and The Oxford Companion to Music with articles on composers, performers, conductors, individual works, instruments and notation, forms and genres, as well as biographical encyclopedia of rock, pop, and jazz artists etc from 1900 to the present.


A multidisciplinary collection of 37 separate databases. The subject coverage is from the humanities to the pure and applied sciences, and the geographic coverage is international.

Shakespeare Collection

Use The Shakespeare Collection to access and study an extensive collection of authoritative materials supporting literary, textual, historical, and performance studies. Resources include the complete works, as well as editions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, other works published during Shakespeare’s time, prompt books, the Gordon Crosse Theatrical Diaries, criticism, reviews, images, and reference.

Sydney Morning Herald Archives

The SMH archives contain 820,000 pages in almost 13,000 issues from January 1st, 1955 to December 31st, 1990. The contents of all issues of the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald are fully text searchable including advertisements, captions and birth, death and marriage notices.

Full-text results are returned in an exact digital reproduction of the printed pages as they were originally published

Who’s Who in Australia

A browsable and searchable database of biographies of prominent Australians. It includes various categories like Nobel Prize Winners, Diplomats in Australia and more.

World Book

An online reference source that contains every article from the 22-volume print set of the World Book, etc. It also contains multimedia, maps, editor-reviewed Web sites.

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Ebooks (preview) on EBSCO

Posted on March 30, 2011. Filed under: Reference | Tags: , , |

EBSCO have given their customers access to a preview of the integration of eBooks on EBSCOhost.

If you would like to check out this feature, click here (from any BMCC PC). You will get to a page of results with the embedded search term “diet”. You can explore these results or create a new search.

For further info, click here and read the blurb on the eBooks on EBSCOhost section.

For even further info see below. 

The key features of eBooks on EBSCOhost will enable you to: 

  • View the Table of Contents directly from the Result List and Detail Record
  • Browse by subject, genre, etc.
  • Enjoy the rich Result List with evaluative data
  • Use the “search-within functionality” to search for specific terms within a book (a search will yield a list of hyperlinked pages)
  • Examine documents more closely using the enhanced viewer
  • Choose your checkout time when downloading eBooks, from a drop-down list with options such as one day, two days, etc. (if enabled by the library administrator)
  • Libraries that have downloads enabled can view downloaded, checked-out books in the folder, including the amount of time left on active check-outs
  • Libraries that have holds enabled can place holds on books that are in use by other patrons and will receive an email notification when it becomes available
  • Create and print your notes while viewing and reading eBooks, and save them for reference in your My EBSCOhost folder

I am interested in any feedback you may have

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Happy Birthday Wikipedia

Posted on January 14, 2011. Filed under: Reference | Tags: , , |

Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, is 10 years old tomorrow (Saturday).

The online organization relies on donations rather than advertising for its income and runs on a comparatively low annual budget of around $20 million. Currently the organisation has about 50 employees with plans to hire more in 2011.

Wikipedia is a “community driven” resource with anyone is able to edit the 3,526,628 entries — even anonymously. A few thousand people are “extremely active” as contributors or editors, he says. Then, there are about 100,000 who contribute occasionally. The typical contributor is aged about 26 and 85% are male.

There are actually 278 Wikipedias in a range of languages, the most successful of which are European languages, Japanese and Chinese. But with the aim of creating a “free encyclopedia for every single person on the planet, in their own language,” there are many lesser known (eg. Finnish, Esperanto, Scottish Gaelic, Basque) and obscure (eg. Luxembourgish, Ido) languages with their own Wikipedia’s. To my delight I discovered there is even a Scots Wikipedia.

Information on Wikipedia is probably some of the most used in the world. Most searches on Google for instance, will return a Wikipedia entry first so the reliability of information is crucial and many studies have been done to test the accuracy of Wikipedia – there are some links to studies here.

The accuracy of articles in Wikipedia relies heavily on how quickly false or misleading information is removed. A study by IBM researchers in 2003 found that “vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly — so quickly that most users will never see its effects.” And one in the journal Nature suggested that in 2005, Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of “serious errors”. This study was disputed by Encyclopædia Britannica.

Last year reviewers in medical and scientific fields such as toxicology, cancer research and drug information reviewing Wikipedia against professional and peer-reviewed sources found that Wikipedia’s depth and coverage were of a very high standard, often comparable in coverage to physician databases and considerably better than well known reputable national media outlets. Wikipedia articles were cited as references in journals (614 cites in 2009) and as evidence in trademark and higher court rulings. However, omissions and readability sometimes remained an issue – the former at times due to public relations removal of adverse product information and a considerable concern for fields such as medicine.

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Database Training: Consumer Health Complete (part 3)

Posted on September 24, 2010. Filed under: Reference | Tags: , , , |

Welcome to part 3 (the last one) of Consumer Health Complete database training. Nearly there!

Need a refresher? See Part 1 and/or Part 2. Watch the 4 minute training video again here.

Access Consumer Health Complete via the Premium Sites page or directly by clicking on the logo button above.

Advanced Search

To access the Advanced Search screen, click on the Advanced Search link towards the top of the screen.

The Advanced Search gives you the option to limit by document type, dates and more. Have a look around. Try some searches. Would you see some benefits to use this search in some cases?

Create an account

It is possible to create an account which will be valid with all EBSCO databases. 

Create an account for yourself.  At some stage down the track, I would like to give you some info on how account settings can be personalised. But feel free to experiment!

Directing patrons to the database

Instruct your patrons to go to the council web site, select Library Services, select Premium Sites on the menu on the left hand side, then select the database. If they are accessing the database from home, they will be prompted to insert their library membership number to gain access.


Here are some exercises for you to practice some of the search options you have looked at over the 3 parts of this training:

  1. My doctor says I have to have a bone scan.  Please tell me what’s involved.
  2. I’m pregnant and was wondering if you had any videos about what to expect during pregnancy and for the birth?
  3. I need some information on echinacea.
  4. I’m doing an HSC Personal Interest Project on anorexia. Have you got any resources?
  5. I need a lateral view of the brain. 
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Health Reference

Posted on September 22, 2010. Filed under: Books, Reference, Web sites | Tags: , , |

Health information online

We have many resources available to us in order to complete health enquiries. Apart from the material you will find in the 610s in ANF and in Reference, there are many reputable online resources available.

Web sites:

I have added a collection of good Health web sites to our Delicious account. Check them out here.

The following are included in the Delicious selection and are well worth exploring when you get the chance: MedlinePlus (US), Health Insite (Aus), Lab Tests Online (Aus), Patients UK.

Premium Sites:

And of course, we have the Consumer Health Complete database. Access it here.

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

Recently added to Reference, this health title  presents authoritative, current medical information for each family member from newborn to elderly. The editors have arranged the material in six broad divisions: living well, common conditions and concerns through life’s stages, making sense of your symptoms, first aid and emergency care, diseases and disorders, tests and treatments.  Copies at all branches (R613/May).


The Gale encyclopedia of surgery and medical tests (new)

Written for patients and students by experts in the field, The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests provides coverage of approximately 450 surgical procedures, medical tests and related topics, such as anesthetics, common lab test and procedures, medications and postoperative care. Additional features include full-color illustrations and photographs, bibliographies of further reading sources, a glossary of medical terminology and a comprehensive index. Copies held at Katoomba and Springwood Reference (R 617 GAL)



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Database Training: Consumer Health Complete (part 2)

Posted on September 17, 2010. Filed under: Reference | Tags: , , , |

Welcome to part 2 of the Consumer Health Complete database training! In part one, we explored some of the search options. Here we will look at more options and on how to search for particular formats.

Want to review Part 1? Click here. To watch the short video tutorial (about 4 minutes) again, click here.

You can access Consumer Health Complete on our Premium Sites page or click on the logo button above to access the database directly.

Browsing a resource

With Consumer Health Complete, you can search for information within a particular resource. Look at the titles listed under  Browse Popular Sources. Explore one or two. Is this a search that could suit some of your health information queries?

Searching the Medical Dictionary

Not sure about a particular term? You can also use the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. It may be useful to clarify meaning or spelling. Click on the Medical Dictionary link and enter a search term. It functions as a browse search, so you can only put the beginning of a term. Try these perhaps: “amphiblastic”, “sabadilla”, words starting with “myo”. Once you have looked up an entry, click search for your word in Consumer Health Complete. Explore the results.

Search by Topic

You can select a topic and maybe  a sub-topic. Your search will then be limited to the topics you have selected. For example, select the topic beauty, then select plastic surgery, then enter botox in the find box. Explore the results.

Multimedia formats

Videos, animations, Images and Diagrams

Consumer Health Complete offers a range of formats. The animations help patients understand diagnostics and surgical procedures. The videos provide information about common diseases, conditions, and procedures. Included with each video is a full HTML transcript of the video dialogue.

How to search for videos or animations, and images and diagrams

One way is to select the Videos & Animations or Images and Diagrams as source-type. The results will show a different icon for videos and for animations. Images and diagrams results have a thunmnail version. Try a search using heart as a keyword for each source-type. Explore the results.

Another way is to do a Basic Search first and then select the Videos & Animations or Images & Diagrams tabs, should results be available there. Try it using heart again. You should get the same results.

Part 3 is next!

We will look at the advanced search features, creating an account and other bits and pieces.

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Database Training: Consumer Health Complete (part 1)

Posted on September 10, 2010. Filed under: Reference | Tags: , , , |

Consumer Health Complete: content of training (part 1)

  • Read: Overview of Consumer Health Complete
  • Watch: Video Tutorial
  • Explore: Basic searching;  Source-type searching; Quick-find searching; Browsing a resource; Searching the Medical dictionary;

Read this: Overview of Consumer Health Complete

Consumer Health Complete offers up-to-date health information in a range of formats.

How do I access Consumer Health Complete (CHC)? CHC is a database part of the EBSCO and suite and it can be accessed via our Premium Sites page.

What content is available on Consumer Health Complete?

  • Encyclopedias and Reference Books
  • Evidence-Based Reports
  • Drug Information Frequently Updated
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Human Atlas Animations

Finding Information

Consumer Health Complete (CHC) offers various options to find information such as Basic and Advanced searching, the Quick Find feature, the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. We will explore these searching options and others below.

Watch this

Click here: Consumer Health Complete Training Flash Video

Note that there are not time restriction to watch this vid as it is not on YouTube.

Explore these searches… (practice breeds confidence)

Basic Search

Using the Find box on the Homepage, find information on “tennis elbow” (or your favourite/current health issue). Explore the results under the various tabs. Email yourself an item.

Source-type searching

Search in Drug and Herb Information for information on olive leaf (or anything that takes your fancy). Explore the results.

Quick-Find Search

Search for information on Hay Fever (or whatever you like) using the Quick Find search. Explore the results. Check out the Related Information. Expand on the topic by selecting the More InDepth Information on this condition link, where available.

Other parts of the training

Click here for Part 2.

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It only takes a few minutes….

Posted on July 14, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to watch this 3 and 1/2 minute tutorial: EBSCO databases “Basic Searching”.

Click here to view the tutorial.
Do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions.
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