Category Archives: Library Services
By Stephen McClain, Reference Department
Whether you are a student of any grade level, preparing for the ACT, SAT, GRE or GED, an undergraduate or graduate scholar, looking for a new career or are interested in researching your heritage, the Tennessee Electronic Library has something for you.
The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is an online library that provides everyone in the state with access to a vast selection of resources. These resources are available free of charge at any time, all you need is Internet access. Whether you are at home, in a computer lab or on your smart phone, a wealth of information is available to help with any of your research and data needs.
TEL shortcuts will take you directly to resources for Homework, Research, Test Prep, Career Tools and Genealogy.
If you have a school paper or project due, the Student Resources in Context will help provide primary source materials for many subjects. Within this area, there is a brand new “Research in Context” button that is designed specifically for middle school students. This link is an invaluable, easy to navigate tool for many projects with topics ranging from Cultures, Government, Science and History.
There is an extensive alphabetical database with information on most any topic. Including…
Biography — Learn about the lives of Bill Gates, Duke Ellington, Edgar Allan Poe, LeBron James and Walt Whitman, just to name a few.
Business and Economics — Here you will find a broad scope of information on everything from advertising and fashion to what made Facebook a global phenomenon.
Geography — We live in an age of globalization where it is increasingly important that we know what is going on in the world. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, learn about current events and issues that are facing each country and how it can affect you. There are many links to NPR podcasts, videos and academic journals. Each link also provides maps and statistical data for each country, which includes individual states of the U.S.
Social Issues — This section provides links to diverse and important topics and current world events. There are many articles, audio recordings and interactive maps relating to an extensive list of social issues.
Research and Test Prep
The Tennessee Electronic Library also provides users with access to popular magazines, videos, ebooks, scholarly articles, newspapers, podcasts and much more through their Gale Power Search.
TEL can also help with test preparation, starting at Grade 4 through college. Resources include information on ACT, SAT and Graduate School Entrance exams. Clicking on “ACT, SAT” will take you to the College Preparation Center where you will find practice tests, tutorials and other resources for college admissions. The “Graduate School Entrance Exams” link takes you to the College Center, where you can prepare for graduate school admission exams by reviewing math, reading, writing and science skills. There are also video tutorials on how to download and use an ebook, how to take a test, as well as resources in Spanish.
Make the most of your experience and knowledge when looking for a new career by clicking on the Career Tools tab. Here, you will find powerful tools to organize job searches and match your expertise with new career opportunities. You will also find help to build your resume and write a cover letter.
Find information on your heritage and family history through digitized census records starting in 1790. There is also a special link to Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is partnered with Ancestry.com. Here you will find free historic Tennessee information on births, deaths and tax records.
These are just a few of the ways that the Tennessee Electronic Library can help you with many of your research and data needs. Visit TEL and explore!
Welcome to September, also known as National Library Card Sign-up Month. And yes, I know that it feels like no matter where you go, everyone’s always trying to sell you something. But don’t worry, I’m not going to try and sell anything, because library cards are FREE! Bonus: we’ll also SAVE you money! Typically, all you have to do to get a library card is live in the area. And while there are thousands of books you can borrow, there’s also free computer use with access to software such as Microsoft Office and Abbey Finereader, amazing programs, use of highly useful databases, ebooks and audiobooks, and so much more. Patrons of the library tell us they get much more from their cards than the privilege of checking out books.
Here are 12 comments we hear from time to time:
- I didn’t know my card could give me free online magazines from Zinio. That saves me going to the newsstand.
- You mean my card gives me free access to the Reference USA research database. That saves me money on my business prospecting plans.
- I like being able to get an older DVD free that I can’t even find in Redbox.
- Rosetta Stone was too expensive for me at the time, but your free online language program, Powerspeak Languages, helped me get ready to visit Spain.
- You mean I don’t have to pay $2.00 an hour to be on the computer? That’s neat you have free access.
- I like being able to use the library computer software. I don’t have a photo editing program so I used the basic Irfanview and worked my way into the more advanced Gimp photo editor, both on the library computer. I also used the library Powerpoint program to set up my presentation.
- We needed to scan our personal documents; the library made it easy, and it was free.
- I thought you only had a few electronic books to download on my ipad. I had been paying for ebooks the last two years. I will now be saving by using READS.
- We were going on a trip and wanted to listen to an audiobook. Most of the time we check out the library’s books on CD. But we just learned there are free electronic audio books too. We downloaded three and enjoyed them as we traveled across the country.
- I come to the library, check out the new books, and like the access to your HP printers. They are better than mine at home.
- I have a limit on my data downloads, so I use the free library Wifi to update my tablet.
- We recently got to visit the Dyer Observatory on the special night for library card holders. A great program.
By Margaret Brown, Technical Services Department
WCPLtn is excited about our new Playaway Launchpad learning tablets for kids. These sturdy devices are pre-loaded with ten ad-free, high-quality learning apps that are fun and educational, and support learning objectives in school curricula. With a 7” high-definition touch screen, external speakers, and a durable protective bumper, these devices are perfect for kids ages 3 to 10+. The app packs are grouped by subject area, grade level, theme, and age. Each tablet is a new adventure. The avatar builder lets students design their own personal explorer. Discovery Points reward game play and can be used to purchase virtual accessories. One-touch reset makes it easy to pass from one explorer to the next. And the informational console gives educators analytics about time spent on tablet. These tablets are 100% secure. There is no risk of exposure to unintended content. Browse our collection of Launchpad tablets, and pick out the ones that are perfect for your kids.
By Sharon Reily, Reference Department
Feel Free to Browse!
In the 635 call number range you will find a great assortment of books on all aspects of gardening – from flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables to organic gardening, water features, roses and container gardening. Have fun browsing for the just the right book!
Good Basic Gardening Guides
American Horticultural Society Gardening Manual (635 AME)
Square-Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (635 BAR)
The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch (635 DAM)
How to be a Gardener by Alan Titchmarsh (635 TIT)
Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (635.0484 ROD)
The Southern Living Garden Book (635.9 SOU)
Books for Tennessee Gardeners
Best Garden Plants for Tennessee by Sue Hamilton (635.0975 HAM)
50 Great Flowers for Tennessee by Judy Lowe (635.0975 LOW)
Tennessee & Kentucky Month-by-Month Gardening by Judy Lowe (635.09768 LOW)
Guide to Tennessee Vegetable Gardening by Walter Reeves (635.09768 REE)
Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables for Tennessee by James Fizzell (R 635.0975 FIZ)
Country Gardens (PER COU)
Fine Gardening (PER FIN)
Organic Gardening (PER ORG)
By Lance Hickerson, Reference Assistant
- What if I need access to a good source of information like the World Book Encyclopedia?
- Is there an encyclopedia that plays to the level of younger students?
- Is there a place I can find games for children to play?
- Is there a place for phonics? I want my child to practice sounding out words and practicing phonics skills.
- Where can I go to get Homework Help?
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No problem. Go to the free online source on the Kids Page from the Tennessee Library Association called TEL4U. Check out the Home Screen below which shows links to eBooks, Homework Helpers, Look it Up, Tennessee State History, and Games & Activities. This is especially for grades K – 5. (For older children notice the Teenagers link.) The easiest way to get into the World Book Encyclopedia is to click on Look It Up and then choose World Book Student. Enter a word or phrase to find articles on what interests you.
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2. Is there an encyclopedia that plays to the level of younger students?
Younger students, K thru 2nd grade might enjoy getting to their age friendly Encyclopedia through eBooks and the Early World of Learning. To get to the Encyclopedia, Click on eBooks and open the first eBook called “Early World of Learning.”
The link opens into a delightful Early World of Learning page with things to Read, Play, Watch, and to Print & Do. These are full of information and of interest. And don’t miss clicking on the frog. But to get to the illustrated Encyclopedia, go to the bottom left of the Early World of Learning page and click on Worldbook Products.
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From the TEL4U homepage click on eBooks. Then choose Starfall.com.
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What’s in the databases for homework help?
B) The World Book Kids is a geat place to start. See info above on encyclopedias.
C) The Learning Express Library is very popular with adults, but it also has homework practice in math skills and reading comprehension for elementary students.
By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Assistant
We all know Google, the double-edged sword of endless information. It’s fast, free, and extensive, but is it accurate? When you need trusted information fast, Oxford Reference Online is the perfect website. Your library card grants you access to the latest editions of over 37 encyclopedias completely FREE and accessible 24/7. No more worrying if your teacher will accept Wikipedia as a source. Or, as Honest Abe said:
“Luckily, Oxford Essential Quotations is just one of the 37 encyclopedias at your fingertips!”
|Art & Architecture||Music||Science and Technology|
|Classical Studies||Performing Arts||Social Sciences|
|History||Philosophy||Society and Culture|
Below are some key features for researching with Oxford Reference:
FUNCTIONALITY TO EXPAND YOUR RESEARCH
- Library widget: Log in to Oxford Reference quickly and easily, and choose whether to see results from all of Oxford Reference or only full text entries available via your library
- Annotation Functionality: Select text to highlight and annotate with your own notes. Sign into your Personal Profile where your annotations can be stored and managed under “My Work”.
- Oxford Dictionaries Online widget: Double click a word and see the free definition in Oxford Dictionaries Online
- Discoverability tools: MARC 21 records are available at title level, and Open URL increase discoverability and usage of library resources
- The Oxford Index Underbar: The silver tool at the bottom of your browser offers free search and discovery by generating links to related content from across Oxford’s online resources. For more information about the Oxford Index watch our video or go to http://www.oxfordindex.oup.com
FLEXIBLE USER EXPERIENCE
- Tools to Refine Your Search: Narrow your search/browse results with a multitude of subject or reference type filters and select “Book” or “Entry” to see your results displayed in your preferred format. Choose to see “Full Text Results Only” by checking the box on the search results page.
- Options for Customization: Keep your research organized by saving your research journey, favorite titles, and entries in your “Personal Profile,” located in the top right-hand corner.
- Share Content: With integrated tools including social bookmarking, email, and citation export
- Leave Feedback: You can now leave feedback about how useful you found entries in Oxford Reference using the box at the bottom of every entry
Other handy (and free) research tools include:
- Historic Timelines: 270 historic timelines organized by time period, area, and theme, with each event linked to a free entry in Oxford Reference.
- Essential Quotations: Oxford Essential Quotations is always unlocked and accessible to global users.
- Subject Overviews: Over 300,000 pages defining each unique term in Oxford Reference offer a start to your research journey, with links to related entries.
If you’re conducting a research project, planning a school lesson, or even browsing around to learn something new, do it for free – with confidence – anywhere, anytime – with Oxford Reference Online.
- Visit the Library’s home page: http://lib.williamson-tn.org
- Click on eLibrary Digital
- Click on Articles and Databases by title
- From the list of letters, select O-P
- Use the handy search box to start searching, or click on the Oxford Reference Online link to go to their full website
- If you’re at the library: you will be automatically logged in
- If you’re at home: enter your library card number and select Williamson County Public Library
For questions, call the Main Library’s reference desk at 615-595-1243 or stop by and visit us!
Each January, about 33% of Americans resolve to improve themselves in some way. Sadly, less than half of the people stick to their resolutions six months later. How are you doing keeping your goals? Do you need some help sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions? The Williamson County Public Library is here to help! Our elibrary digital databases may have just what you need!
RESOLUTION: IMPROVE YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
Learn to invest using Valueline.
RESOLUTION: LOSE WEIGHT/FEEL BETTER
Find up to date information at our Health and Wellness Resource Center.
RESOLUTION: READ MORE
Joining a book club may motivate you to read and help you fit socializing into your schedule.
Check out the book clubs offered at the library.
RESOLUTION: TRAVEL MORE
Learn about your U.S. travel destinations with AtoZtheUSA!
Learn a new language with Powerspeak.
RESOLUTION: LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPUTER
RESOLUTION: START A NEW CAREER
Write a resume, find advice, try the interview simulations, and explore open jobs at Career Transisitons
RESOLUTION: VOLUNTEER MORE
To locate volunteer programs across the county visit VolunteerMatch.org.
NEED HELP STICKING TO IT?
Read 7 Psychology Tricks to Make Your Resolutions Stick by Time Magazine.
By Lance Hickerson, Reference Library Assistant
- Mood Music. Attend a concert of seasonal music by artists like Hannah and Esther DeLadurantey and the Eleganza Strings presenting a Family Christmas Concert on harp and violin.
- Come and see Santa with your family, and be sure to bring your cameras for that special photo.
- Enjoy a holiday musical like this year’s production of “Cindy’s Magic Snow Globe.”
- Take in a holiday movie on the Library’s Big Screen selected Friday Mornings and Thursday evenings.
- Save money by borrowing books from the library; and that includes electronic books.
- Need a holiday recipe? Take advantage of the library’s entire of wall of cookbooks as well as using our Zinio connection to read cooking magazines free online.
- What about some DIY Crafts for that personal touch in gifts? Attend a craft class in making bead bracelets or Christmas tree ornaments. You might also want to see the good DIY books, ready to borrow for your special project.
- Tech Tune-up! Take time out to learn more about computers and technology by attending classes like Microsoft Word, Excel, or our “Appy Hour:” where we learn about choosing the best apps for your tablet or Ipad.
- It’s family time. Learn about your family history in a class taught by library archivists called, “Introduction to Ancestry.com.”
- Enjoy the special activities for teens, like the Teen Cookie Decorating Party.
- Learn French (or German, or Spanish, Italian, Mandarin and more) for your next vacation or just for fun with the library’s free online language program called “Powerspeak.”
Bonus: Find a perfect holiday gift at a reasonable price from the Library’s Academy Park Press. Available at the main library circulation desk are the children’s book, Bucky and Bonnie’s Library Adventure, and the recently published: Bullets and Bayonets: A Battle of Franklin Primer.
By Jason Gavin, Special Collections Librarian
The Special Collections Department has a new swanky database format with a wealth of genealogy and Williamson County historical information, available here. Below are some highlights of what you can find:
- Local History News Database: Contains a selection of over 7,000 local news stories, and growing.
- Obituaries: Contains over 50,000 Williamson County Obituaries and growing.
- Index to the Edith Whitley Collection: Whitley was a professional genealogist who compiled a wealth of unique family research material in her 50 plus year career in Nashville. This material has not yet been digitized or microfilmed, and is thus unique to the Special Collections department.
- Databases on Williamson County Births, Cookbooks, Families, Magazines, Maps, Marriages, and Veterans
We are especially strong in local African American history and Genealogy thanks to two outstanding collections; the Thelma Battle Collection and the Richard C. Fulcher Collection. In the Thelma Battle collection, there is a wealth of information on bank records, bills of sale, cemetery records, census records, churches, local community history, craftsmen, deaths, deeds, funeral program index, labor contracts, marriages, politicians, social organizations, slave genealogies, schools, and more – including an index to some of the popular exhibits of her large collection of local African American related photographs. The Richard Fulcher database contains a partial index of that collection, covering County records and court excerpts related to Williamson County African American Families.
Each one of these collections is individually searchable, or you can browse, by clicking on the Collection Links page. What makes this new format really exciting however, are some of the new features available through the Search tab. Using the KEYWORD search tab, we now have the ability to search multiple databases simultaneously. In the dropdown menu, simply hold the “Ctrl” key and click all of the databases you are interested in searching. In addition, the FIELD search tab allows you to be far more specific in searching individual databases than was previously possible.
As always, the Special Collections staff is available to answer any questions you might have in navigating the new format or giving you more information about the specific collections. Reach us at 615-595-1246 or email SPCOLL@williamson-tn.org.
Ever been on your lunch break, only to realize that you left your book at your desk?
If you have your smartphone or tablet, you can easily download some FREE magazines!
WCPLtn has just purchased ZINIO and online database of popular magazines that were specially selected periodicals just for OUR patrons!
AND, we’re always tweaking it, adding new titles, keeping all of our patrons reading interests in mind!
So check it out! And feel free to call us at 615-595-1243 for more info, or to set up a one-on-one session with one of our reference librarians!