Corrections or additions?
This article by Henry McInnes Adams was prepared for the October
25, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Electronic Guide To Periodicals
Surfing the Internet can be a
catch-as-catch-can research endeavor. Just when you find the article
you need, you discover it is no longer available on the Web. Solution:
try the professionally organized electronic databases. Some cost
money, some are free for cardholders in the public library system.
For instance, if you have a library card in any town you
can use the EBSCO databases, with their full texts of periodicals and
documents. These databases were installed on the web pages of all the
libraries in the state last summer. A deal is under way to add four
major newspapers to all library web pages as well. Search here, and
you will find the article always available and for the right price,
The New Jersey State Library has a $500,000 contract for
the full-text EBSCO reference databases to be available to library
statewide. EBSCO belongs to an Alabama-based conglomerate
employees, and it is named after its founder, Elton B.
sold magazines to pay his way through law school in the
has more than 50 years of experience helping libraries and
and private organizations obtain information from the
The contract, says Jack Livingstone, the state
the state library "level the playing field" for
across the state. "We can now `wire’ even the
so that all library card holders can have access to
resources," he says.
A graduate of Temple, Class of 1949, Livingston has a
from Drexel and was director of the Monmouth County
years after retiring he came out of retirement to take the
job, first as an interim, then as permanent. After five
years he is
retiring again in the middle of November.
Livingstone is proud of what’s been done so far. "Let
you about the Irvington Public Library," he says.
a township that’s almost bankrupt. The library director
a hope of become computerized. When I heard about the
contacted her and promised it would not cost her
"We cabled her entire three-story building with the
help of 30
volunteers, three personnel from the state library, and
provided by Bell Atlantic (now Verizon). Irvington Library
what every other library in the state has: patron access
to the EBSCO
Host system." Pennington Public Library, which is
main county systems, has been similarly wired, though it
a paper catalog.
To move libraries into the cyber century, Livingston
developed a "hub"
system. "By developing the hub system we take
libraries across the state (supplemented with state money)
online access to libraries with tiny budgets or limited
he says. That can save smaller libraries across the state
amount of $1 million a year in Internet Service Provider
The contract with EBSCO pays for every elementary, middle
school library, and all non-profit and public libraries in
to gain access to all four, separate, age-specific
middle, high school and general. The same access would
have cost individual
schools and libraries a total of $2.5 to $3 million.
Here’s what just the EBSCO news service subscription
issues of the day.
news in language understandable by almost anyone.
on key events of the past 20 years.
contains profiles on every country of the world.
classic sources of reference information on statistical
data and historic
covering nearly all subjects.
devoted to business, management, economics, finance,
user-friendly language, describing symptoms, diagnoses,
risks and the after effects of medications.
United States and international newspapers.
on most subjects); MAS FullTEXT Ultra (570 general
and current events magazines); and Middle Search
Plus (110 magazines
appropriate for middle and high school students).
EBSCO Host databases are age-specific, elementary school
can access the ones designed for their needs, and neither
nor school teachers need be concerned that grade-school
stumble onto adult Internet sites or inadvertently join
rooms. EBSCO databases are not designed for higher
there are other databases for colleges and universities.
The state library also has a Spanish language database on
page, and it is also making available another resource
a reader’s survey database with library sources for old
and new books
and book reviews.
To access these resources, go to your public library’s
anywhere in Mercer County, try www.mcl.org or, for
try www.lmxac.org and go to the Reference Resources Link.
the EBSCO Host icon on the right side of the screen. Click
to access the Login Page. Then enter your Patron ID —
14-digit bar code number from your library card. Call your
if you need help. If it is closed, use the E-mail
on the "Reference Resources" page to contact a
librarian somewhere who will offer the help you need.
Companies bidding on the contract won by EBSCO included
Gale and UMI.
"We said to them all, we have $500,000, so what can
you give us.
They all kept coming back upping what they would
Livingston. He is working with Gale to add four major
Bergen Record, NYT, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer
the all-library databases for $150,000 a year, for the
that go through the state library’s hub.
Corrections or additions?
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