To Make Your Day
by Max Gulden
One of the many enjoyable things about library work is making someone’s day by introducing them to something they haven’t encountered before. Be it a book they hadn’t heard of, a timely program they didn’t realize was on offer, or a community resource about which they were unaware, sharing just what is needed on any given day is enduringly rewarding.
One thing that is particularly enjoyable is introducing people to online library resources. Barely a day goes by when we aren’t able to introduce someone to online access to e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, and more via resources such as Bridges or Hoopla, but there is so much more on offer for those who know how to look. This article shares just a few of these resources.
Accessing online library resources is easy. You can start by navigating to the library homepage at amespl.org. Next, click or tap on “Learn and Explore” (for some devices, you may need to first select “More” or “Menu”) and then select the option “Online Learning.” This will load an alphabetical list of library resources to choose from, as well as a filtering tool to help you find the specific types of resources you want.
If you are new to the library, you can register for a free account online to get immediate access to many online library resources without even needing to come into the library itself. To do so, select the “My Account” button from the library home page and then select the link to register now.
One useful online library resource is Gale General OneFile. OneFile is a great starting point when you are looking for reliable sources while researching for academic, professional, or personal reasons. OneFile provides access to an extensive variety of materials including academic journals, magazines, books, and news sources.
OneFile’s search functionality is well fleshed out, offering simple keyword searching as well as a number of advanced search tools. These advanced search tools include multiple fields for specific types of search terms, Boolean Operators, proximity searching, nesting, and wildcards, alongside useful guides to help you use these tools effectively.
Conveniently, OneFile offers the option to retrieve results only from peer-reviewed journals. There is also the option to retrieve only those articles for which the full text is currently available. Further, OneFile has publication search and browse functionalities that allow you to access specific publications if what you really want to do is search within a specific journal or even peruse entire journal issues.
In addition to Gale General OneFile, make note that the library also offers you a similar range of functionality with other specialized Gale resources such as Gale Health and Wellness, which provides health-related content, and Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, which offers content focusing on current social issues.
Another excellent online library resource is BrainFuse Help Now. Brainfuse Help Now provides multiple options for learners at a variety of life stages. For example, Brainfuse Help Now offers live tutoring available nearly every day from 2 p.m. through 11 p.m. tailored to grade level from kindergarten through the college in a variety of course areas, as well as for the ACT and SAT. Brainfuse Help Now also provides an online writing lab where you can submit your documents for expert writing assistance. Be aware, to utilize some services that involve feedback, you may need to take a moment to set up a free Brainfuse account.
For self-guided learning, consider trying out Brainfuse Help Now’s wide-ranging SkillSurfer service which includes materials for a variety of AP tests, the ACT, PSAT, SAT, and TOEFL iBT. SkillSurfer also has materials to study for the GED, HiSET, TASC, ASVAB, TABE, TEAS, HESI, and the US Citizenship Test.
Further, Brainfuse Help Now offers a variety of ESL resources and additional resources aimed specifically at adult learners including beginner through advanced Microsoft Office training, career resources, and resume writing assistance. They also even feature online chess tutoring so you can up your chess game!
These are just a few of the Ames Public Library’s online resources, and there are many more just a click or tap away!