Database Daze

Database Daze

by Max Gulden

In the midst of the sweltering heat of summer, finding ways to avoid the glare of the midday sun is a worthy goal in itself, yet many might want to beat the heat while stimulating the mind as well. For this, the library has your back. Of course, you could drop by the air-conditioned main library downtown and settle in to read one of the captivating novels or inspiring memoirs that line the shelves. You could also pop in to the Bookmobile at one of multiple stops this rolling library on wheels visits across Ames each week. For those who want to avoid a trip downtown and don’t want to wait for the next nearby Bookmobile stop, but still want to get their library fix, consider taking a look at some of the options among the library’s online databases available from home or on the go.

To access the library’s databases, you can start by navigating to the library homepage at and selecting the “My Account” button to log in using your library card number and PIN or password. (On some devices, you may need to double tap the “My Account” button to load the login screen.) If you are new to the library, there is also the option to register for an account online, which will give you immediate access to many of the library’s online resources. Once you log in, you can click or tap the menu “Learn and Explore.” (On some devices, you may need to first select the “More” or “Menu” button.) Then select the option “Online Learning.” Selecting this option will present you with an alphabetical list of databases to choose from, as well as a filtering tool to help you get at the databases that truly interest you. On some devices, you may need to scroll or swipe down to view the databases.

If you’re in the mood to catch up on current events, consider selecting the filtering option for “Newspapers” and use the “Apply” button. This will show you the electronic newspaper resources the library subscribes to on your behalf, such as the “New York Times” (NYT) online. To access the NYT, select the green “Visit External Library Resource” button beneath the New York Times logo and description. From the NYT launch page, click or tap the “Redeem” button. Next, choose a login method from the options, which include creating a free NYT account or using an existing NYT account. Signing in or creating a NYT account will provide you with an access code good for 72 hours of free reading. After 72 hours, you can sign in again to redeem a new access code and regain free online access.

If you would rather dive into some prep work for upcoming educational or employment opportunities, consider applying the database filter for “Professional Education Resources.” This option will allow you to explore some of the library’s useful e-learning resources, such as Mometrix eLibrary. Mometrix eLibrary provides study and practice materials for a wide range of exams including the ACT, SAT, ASVAB, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT, as well as nursing exams such as HESI A2, ATI TEAS and NCLEX. It could be just what you need to ace your next milestone test.

If you’ve got an itch to dig around for a bit of family history or even history in general, you might consider using the filtering option for “Genealogy,” and take a look into relevant library resources like Ancestry Library Edition. Ancestry provides a wide range of resources including census records, immigration documentation, military records, obituaries, and many other resources.  While this resource has long been an option to use on-site at the library, you can actually access this resource from home through December 2021. The time to start your journey into genealogy couldn’t be better!

Whatever may pique your interest on these scorching summer days, remember that the Ames Public Library has resources available on-site, at home, and on the go that can help to provide just what you need.