How to Use the Library Databases is Growing!

book_stack_mouse_2012_za1I have added more database vendors to the Hot Topic – How to Use the Library Databases along with scavenger hunts, search tips sheets you can download and more. A new page has been added called “What is a Database?”. This page not only explains what a database is but also provides information on why you should use a database and tips for getting started with a research or report.

You will also notice a new search tool available for Gale databases called Research In Context. Research in Context will search across GALE homework databases and eBooks (GVRL) so it is designed for grades K-12. Prior to school starting we will be adding it to the Homework Help pages as well.

Please keep checking back as I still have additional vendors to add to this Hot Topic. If you have any suggestions for this page, please let me know.


Smashwords Portal Now Available On Hot Topic – Writing & Publishing

smashwordsRecently the Virtual Library launched a Smashwords portal on the Hot Topic – Writing and Publishing. This portal is for authors who are looking to sell their books, including marketing their book to libraries.  You can read more about the Smashwords co-branding in the article Public Libraries Embracing Self-Publishing Services.

Do you know what your apps share?

sharing infoImagine this: You’re at home one evening when a sudden storm knocks out your power. You reach for that flashlight you keep in the kitchen drawer just for emergencies. You flip the switch, and the flashlight asks for your location. That would be weird, huh?

Well, that could be exactly what’s happening — on your phone… Read more >

Learn more about online security on the Hot Topic – Computers, Tablets & the Internet

Getting Started Guides for Users

fillup your deviceWith Christmas only two weeks away, your patrons will be bring in their new devices to learn how to download eBooks, eAudio Books, Freegal Music and Zinio Magazines. So it’s time to get prepared! Below are the official LVCCLD getting started guides for these library resources.  Please use them with your patrons.

The first three getting started guides below are also in the eMedia Drop in the Getting Started folder.

Getting Started Guides

For eBooks on all devices – eBook Downloading 101 v.2014

For tablets owners don’t forget to to tell them about how to get free magazines to keep from the Library. Getting Started with Zinio

Did they get a new tablet, MP3 player or iPod? Do they want to listen to eAudio books or music?

Give them:  How to Download eAudio Books

Hot Topics

For free music to keep : Freegal Music – There’s an App for That!

If they don’t have a clue how their new device works direct them to our Technology Hot Topic – Computers, Tablets & The Internet which has very short videos on the basic of using an iPad or Android tablet.

eHealth – Libraries and Health Insurance

??????????????????????????????Effective July 1, 2013, WebJunction and their partners at ZeroDivide have launched a new project to provide information to the library community regarding opportunities and resources to connect patrons to health and wellness information.

There will be a live session on July 26, however it will be  a live stream option (Friday, July 26, 9 am Pacific / 12 pm Eastern) at:    Also, I have been working on developing a Hot Topic – ObamaCare Health Insurance for patrons in addition to adding ObamaCare Health Insurance information to the Hot Topic – Small Business, Starting and Building for employers

Below is additional details about the webinar.

Speakers include:

  • Jackie Garner, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Susan Hildreth, Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Ruth Holst, National Network of Library of Medicine, Greater Midwest Regional Medical Library
  • Kendra Morgan, WebJunction

Start time: 12:00pm Eastern / 9:00am Pacific

Tweet: #wjwebinar

Archive viewing options:

  • View full Archive (combined archive of audio, chat, and slides) Coming Soon
  • View slides (pdf) Coming Soon
  • View chat (xls) Coming Soon

Business Information Update

refusa competive advantageWith the Small Business Expo just around the corner, I have updated our Hot Topic – Small Business, Starting and Building as well as the Business and Investing page on Databases A-Z.

Prior to the fair you may want to brush up on our business databases such as BusinessDecisions and ReferenceUSA and get familiar with what is available on the above mentioned pages.  This will help you service your users when they come asking questions after May 18th!


Native American Heritage – Hot Topic

To celebrate Native American Heritage, I have updated our Hot Topic – Native American Heritage using Libguides. We are in the process of moving all Hot Topics to this new format.  If you would like to take a look at all the Hot Topics now done in this format please visit –

We are looking for help to transfer our current Hot Topics. If you are interested in doing a few Hot Topics in this format, I have a training class scheduled for Friday November 16 at 10:30am in the Virtual Library Training Lab.  Please just let me know you are coming.

New Cyber Bullying Titles

ebrary has added new e-books to their open access collection on cyberbullying.  The collection, which is subsidized by ebrary and now includes over 100 titles, will help parents, educators, and others better understand, prevent, and take action against this growing concern. You can find the link to this great resource of ebooks on our Hot Topic – Cyber Bullying listed under Internet Resources.

Newly added titles include Cyberbullying: Activities to Help Children and Teens to Stay Safe in a Texting, Twittering, Social Networking World, by Vanessa Rogers (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010) and Banishing Bullying Behavior: Exploring the Culture of Pain, Rage and Revenge, by Suellen Fried and Blanche E. Sosland (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2010).

Hot Topics Updates

This week I worked on updating some of our Hot Topics.  I revised the Reading is Fun and divided it into two Hot Topics. Reading is Fun – Just for Kids and Reading is Fun – Just for Teens.  Several other Hot Topics have been updated with different divisions.  These include American History, Biography, Books and Book Discussion Groups.  You will also notice there are a couple more divisions.  Some categories where getting too many unrelated Hot Topics in them and we are hoping that less Hot Topics within a category will make the Hot Topics easier to find. With the number we have it can be a little overwhelming for patrons.  I’m looking at a menu list for the categories and once a category is clicked the Hot Topics for that group is displayed.

Jon White has been checking for dead links and replacing them or deleting as well.

March: National Nutrition Month® and St. Patrick’s Day

Here are ideas from The Pulse – Health and Wellness Resource Center by Julie Evanchek  for incorporating health programming into your overall library programming strategy. March is National Nutrition Month®, and the American Dietetic Association’s 2011 theme is “Eat Right with Color.” Adding color – especially green – to your library will be easy with these great resources:

Quick and Easy

Printable Activities, Coloring Pages, and Bookmarks and also a few Quick and Easy Programming Ideas for Children and Teens:

Printable Activities to Use with Picture Books

Other Printable Activities for Children

Printable Bookmarks

Programming Ideas for Children and Teens

Featured Resources

Nutrition Book Reviews, More Nutrition Books, Ready Reference Web Sites, and Interactive Websites for all ages.

Book Reviews

Books for Every Age

Ready Reference Online

  • American Dietetic Association: “food and nutrition information you can trust”
  • Feeding America: Find a local food bank for someone in need or someone who wants to volunteer.
  • The Food Timeline : What did the Pilgrims eat at the first Thanksgiving? When was ice cream invented? What is plum pudding? Don’t be stumped. If you don’t find your answer here, someone at The Food Timeline will answer your question for free.

Interactive Web Sites for Every Age

  • MyPyramid Plan for Your Preschoolers: where parents can create a customized eating plan for their preschoolers.
  • Zis Boom Bah: where “It’s ok to play with your food!”
  • Best Bones Forever: where girls and their BFFs can “grow strong together and stay strong forever!”
  • Food and Nutrition at BAM!: where kids and teens can “separate food fact from food fiction to look good and feel fabulous.”
  • Papaya Head: where parents can plan meals, enter and analyze their recipes, find recipes, and create shopping lists based on their custom profile.
  • MyPyramid: where anyone can create their own food pyramid and eating plan based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Book Club

Observe National Nutrition Month® this March by choosing one of these nutrition related books or movies for your Teen or Adult book or movie discussion group:



Tie Ins

Readers Theater

Teach Reading by Putting on a Play.” Readers theater is a fun way for kids to perform without having to memorize. Kids love it, and it has been shown to improve reading skills and fill emotional needs. Kids can write their own scripts, but many are already published, including “Snack Attack” by Cara Bafile, written for 3rd-6th graders and perfect for National Nutrition Month®.

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day and National Nutrition Month® naturally go together since practically every green food is good for you. Incorporating nutrition into children’s activities at your library will be easy with these resources:

Community Resources

  • Find a local ADA registered dietitian or spokesperson to present at your library.
  • Join the Hunger Action Center to help start solving the problem of hunger in your community.
  • Hold a Food for Fines Week at your library. For each canned good participants bring in, forgive $1.00 in fines. Then take the donations to a local food bank. Feeding America’s website makes finding one easy. And a customizable press release provided by Gale’s Health and Wellness Resource Center (see Press Releases below) will make your “Food for Fines” Week easy to publicize.

Publicity Resources

Press Releases

Free Graphics

  • Add MyPyramid graphics from the USDA to online or print publications

Free Widgets

Tips and Questions of the Day

During the month of March, add a new nutrition tip or trivia question to your library Facebook page, Twitter feed, or blog every day:

Fun Stuff

Goof off at the reference desk and amaze your friends on Twitter . . . OR add some fun to a library program, your library website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed:

Interactive Nutrition Games for Kids

  • Hungry Hiker: Build a healthy meal that will take your hiker to the top of the mountain.
  • Smash Your Food: Guess how many sugar cubes, salt shakes, and teaspoons of oil are in the food that you choose, and then smash it to see if you are right.
  • MyPyramid Blast Off : Your mission: to fuel up your MyPyramid rocket ship with enough smart food choices and physical activity to fly to Planet Power!
  • Fizzy’s Lunch Lab: Fun games, songs, recipes, and videos.

Interactive Information