Mango Languages: learning a language is a snap!

November 8, 2012 § 16 Comments


Mango Languages (6 years and up)
Mango Languages Little Pim (0-5 years)

Our language-learning collection is traditionally well-loved. At any time, up to 35% of the collection is checked out and a whopping ~73% gets checked out at least once during the year. We may see continued increase of these materials with the growth in student population at OSU, coupled with our efforts to reach out to International Students and local language clubs. Good thing we have online language-learning program Mango Languages, which is always available 24-7. Mango offers very basic programs for very young kids (see Little Pim), and beginning, advanced and intermediate courses for those 6 years on up. Mango has formatted its lessons in an engaging, interactive format that makes learning a language easier. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bonus Post: Mobile Access to CBCPL E-Resources

January 22, 2013 § 2 Comments

In addition to our Boopsie library app, many of our online resources are accessible via mobile devices. « Read the rest of this entry »

What’s your favorite resource?

October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ever wondered what your colleagues’ favorite online resources were? Now you know…

I like CultureGrams because it feels a bit like traveling to click through the different countries, read about them and look at photos.  I think it is a good resource for kids and teachers and enjoy telling patrons about it.

One I use frequently is the Magazines & Newspapers.  Our Monroe patrons are surprised at how many publications are really available to them because they do not see them displayed here in  Monroe.

Our Boopsie app!

Mango Languages. It is such a fun and teachable resource! We constantly receive reference questions from folks interested in learning a new language or brushing up on one they already know. I can show a person the basic features and functions of Mango in approximately 3 minutes or less, which can’t be said for all databases. Patrons seem especially delighted by the playback feature that allows you to really hear your mistakes when practicing. This database seems to also have some family appeal. I know of one family that uses it as a tool in their homeschooling curriculum. I personally use it to practice French, Spanish, and Pirate. :) Eventually I would like try my tongue at Swedish!

ReferenceUSA because it is so rich in information both about businesses and people.  I use it most for business information and I love how it will give me those pieces of info some websites now refuse to share (e.g. phone numbers, names of top executives).  It includes the year a business was established, how big a company is, sales and profits, management directories, and much more.  You can customize your search and search by any parameter or mix of parameters you like.  I find new ways to use it to help both myself and our patrons all the time.  It’s the phone book of the future!

My favorite e-resource is Consumer Reports online.  I have used it extensively to help me decide on appliances, computers, my car–all kinds of things.    I believe the library’s subscription to this has saved me a lot of money and helped me select high quality items.

My favorite is Novelist.  I use it all the time for tracking series and finding read-alikes.

The Auto Repair Reference Center really floats my amphicar. For my own car, the diagrams are straight from the Service Repair Shop Manual published by Toyota. The Shop Manual is a very detailed phonebook-sized tome which would set me back about $145 (for a used copy) on Amazon. Most people only need two or three pages of diagrams to do a repair. From a reference librarian’s perspective, the effort-to-reward ratio on this database is excellent.

NoveList is my favorite resource because I use it both personally and professionally.  As a catalog librarian, it is helpful for knowing which books belong to which author when authors share names or to find out which titles are in which series.

As a reader, I also like to know which book in the series to read next and it gives me good suggestions when I have read out an author I like.

BookFlix and Culture Grams (Kids edition). I love BookFlix because it presents animated, well-loved picture books paired with a simple nonfiction book on a related subject. The videos highlight the text being read aloud, so kids can read along. There are also links to related websites, puzzles and author info for children and teachers. You can browse categories like “Animals and Nature”, “Earth and Sky”, “Music and Rhyme”, Imagination”, and “Family and Community” just to name a few. For instance, you can watch/read the picture book “Bark, George” about a dog that moos, meows, and quacks but can’t bark. Then a nonfiction book follows about pets at the veterinarian’s office. Or you can watch “Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems about little Trixie, who loses her favorite stuffed animal during a trip to the laundromat. It’s paired with a “Math in the Neighborhood” book. Some of the titles are available in Spanish, as well.

I also love Culture Grams (Kids edition) for it’s ease of use and kid-friendly presentation of country and cultural information. The ability to listen to the country’s anthem; hear the name of the country spoken out loud; visual media (maps, photos, slideshows, videos); the recipes; the stories/interviews from the perspective of kids in different cultures; distance calculator, graphs…are all really useful for school reports and travel.

Learning Express Library. I recommend it all the time to patrons because it is such a versatile product. People can use it for personal and professional enrichment. Our (print) testing guides are often all checked out, so I suggest it to people who are studying for certification and professional exams such as the ASVAB, civil service, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. I love that it includes full courses, practice exams and ebooks. I have also personally used it for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software training.

I love being able to access via the library’s website.  It’s a great source for researching big ticket items like washers and dryers (which I had to buy last month after my old washer flooded the laundry room).  I also used it a couple of years ago when shopping for a car.  I think it’s awesome that the library provides free access, otherwise I’d have to pay for a subscription.

My favorite e-resource would most definitely be the new Library app on my iPhone and then secondly I love our downloadable audio books that go straight onto my phone.  Having the app on my phone which goes with me everywhere, I can instantly see if our library has a book I just heard about or any item that suddenly is interesting to me!  And what a hassle it used to be to have to first download audio books onto your computer and then hook your device up and transfer.  But now I can download an audio books and be listening to it within a few minutes!  Ta Da!  I love our library!

Library2go.  I download ebooks to my Kindle and audio books to my iphone.  I like it because it’s free stuff!

Morningstar because it offers a wealth of information on stocks and mutual funds to our patrons.

I think my favorite e-resource is Novelist. Whenever I finish my pile of books I am stuck with nothing to read for 18 hrs, until I search Novelist for some new recommendations. I like to read genres of books, so looking at an interesting titled list within that genre gives me new ideas for books to look up in our catalog. The other thing I go by a lot of times is the cover (not very librarian-savvy of me, I know), so it is nice having a nice color picture of the book’s cover by which I can judge the book. Finally, the author read-alikes help me, because I am very loyal to certain authors I know and like; Novelist helps give me some suggestions so I can branch out and find new authors to obsess over.

My favorite e-resource used to be libguides because they helped me through ebook questions, etc.etc, but NOW it is Novelist because of your e-resource challenge!  I have learned a lot!

My favorite e-resource is Bookflix. The selection of books is great, and all my three children who range from 6 years to almost 13 years old watch it. There is something beautiful about how they make the book come alive. Our favorites are The Curious Garden and Space Case.

For my work, I like to use libguides for kids books and family music since that relates to what I do. People often look for books on a certain topic and it is easy to print them off of the booklists on libguide. The family music page has great links to websites that give reviews on children’s music, and sometimes a streaming video of a song from a children’s music artist.

My favorite is Learning Express.  Learning Express is sooo useful for ALL of our patrons- I know 3rd graders who’ve used it to practice their math skills, immigrants who’ve used it to study for the citizenship test, college grads who scored well on the GRE because of it, a patron who passed the real estate license exam for Oregon on the first try after taking the free practice tests just by entering their library card.  Many of our E-resources are exciting and useful, yet Learning Express is the most practical!  Navigating this database is very intuitive, and there are even sections of it in Spanish.  I plan on using it soon to teach myaself more about Adobe Photoshop as there are many software tutorials available.    So whether you want to get your Commercial Driver’s License, take the ASVAB or improve your public speaking skills, Learning Express has the resources, practice tests, and guidance that you need – all available electonically 24/7 with your library card number.

Schedule & E-Resources

October 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Exploring E-Resources is a 12-week program. Please refer to the schedule below for the weekly info. As posts get published, the “resource” links will become live. You can also view all of our databases on the Databases A to Z page.

Week Start Date End Date Resource
1 Thursday, Oct. 25 Sunday, Nov. 4 NoveList & NoveList K-8
2 Thursday, Nov. 1 Sunday, Nov. 11 Reference USA
3 Thursday, Nov. 8 Sunday, Nov. 18 Mango Languages & Little Pim 
4 Thursday, Nov. 15 Sunday, Nov. 25 Consumer Reports
5 Thursday, Nov. 22 Sunday, Dec. 2 Culturegrams
6 Thursday, Nov. 29 Sunday, Dec. 9 Learning Express Library
7 Thursday, Dec. 6 Sunday, Dec. 16 Auto Repair Reference Center
8 Thursday, Dec. 13 Sunday, Dec. 23 InfoTrac Newsstand
9 Thursday, Dec. 20 Sunday, Dec. 30 Ancestry Library Edition
10 Thursday, Dec. 27 Sunday, Jan. 6 Grolier
11 Thursday, Jan. 3 Sunday, Jan. 13 LibGuides & LibAnswers
12 Thursday, Jan. 10 Sunday, Jan. 20 Bookflix

If you are in the library, you will be able to access these without a hitch! If you are outside the library network, you will be required to log in with your library card number.


October 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

What are the e-resources?
I have chosen 12 of our most popular databases (and a few that aren’t as “popular”, but are great resources in my opinion). I based “popularity” scientifically on statistics of usage and unscientifically by the numbers of questions from patrons. The 12 specially chosen databases are listed on the e-resources page. For a complete list of all of our subscription databases, refer to our databases a-to-z page.

Online resources. E-resources. Databases. Which is it?
All three terms will be used interchangeably on this blog. Though a database is one type of e-resource/online resource, an e-resource/online resource isn’t necessarily a database. E-resources/online resources are basically anything available digitally. Clear as mud?

Why didn’t you include ebooks? They’re online resources too.
Good point. Our ebooks are definitely an important resource we offer, but because of their complexity, they deserve a training program much larger than what can be offered in this blog. Maybe some day we’ll do a training program dedicated to ebooks, but for now, I recommend our ebooks subject guide.

Is participation voluntary?
Yes. This training program is completely, totally voluntary.

How do I know when a new post has been published?
Every Thursday morning, a new post will be published. You can check our e-resources front page for the latest post, or you can (1) sign up for email delivery of the post, (2) have it delivered to your blog aggregator (i.e., Google Reader) via RSS, or (3) click the “follow” button at the bottom of the home page. I uploaded a picture to the exploring e-resources flickr page if you want a visual of what I’m talking about.

How does one win a prize?
At the end of each week on Monday, we will raffle off a prize pack. In order to be eligible to win a prize, you must read the blog post for the past week and submit a comment. (Check out the schedule for information about blog post dates).

How do you choose the winner?
The names of those who commented will go in the special razzle-dazzle-raffle-box. Our celebrity staff members will choose a winner by blinding picking a name from the box.

What do I do if I need help?
Feel free to ask any of the reference librarians if you have specific questions about our databases. You may have other colleagues participating in this program as well, so definitely feel free to work together. If you have questions about this blog, please contact reference librarian Lindy Brown.

When will the prize winners be announced?
Every Monday.

Where did you get your images for each blog post?
Someecards has a “create your own” option off their website. Someecards provided the images, and I provided the silly quotes.

Where did you get the prizes?
The prizes were all donations by staff.

How did you choose the ‘celebrity staffers’?
Basically anyone on staff who would let me photograph them. :-)

What are the most ‘popular’ online resources at the CBCPL?
Taking Library2Go out of the equation, our top six online resources for 2011-2012 are listed below. The numbers are based on statistical usage by number of sessions (visits to the resource).

  1. Libguides: Ebooks
  2. Gale’s InfoTrac Newsstand
  3. Bookflix
  4. Consumer Reports
  5. NoveList
  6. Mango

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