Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Databases in WV Depot

The West Virginia Library Commission had announced that they have added two newspaper databases to WVInfoDepot. Both should be wonderful additions. NewsBank will give us access to full text of some current major West Virginia newspapers from Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown. NewspaperArchive provides a more historic perspective and should be extremely useful to historians and genealogists.

Of particular interest to Weirton residents is the fact that many editions of the Weirton Daily Times from 1955 to 1977 are included in NewspaperArchive. These newspapers appear in the same format as they were originally printed, so not only do you get to see the articles, but also the ads, the cartoons, the TV listings, the real estate transfers, the sports page, and the wedding announcements.

The most exciting feature is that you can search for names or key words across all of the newspapers available or narrow it down to a particular newspaper, a time period or even a specific issue of a newspaper. Of course the library has the Weirton Daily Times on microfilm, but unless you know the exact date of the item you are looking for, it can take many hours scanning the film to find a particular item. I searched the library's name in the database and came up with over 3,000 times that the library was mentioned in the newspaper during that time period.

Of course, this isn't a complete collection of the Weirton Daily Times back issues. The library doesn't have every issue, but our microfilm collection of the Weirton Daily Times begins with March 1931 and continues to the present, giving the library 50 years of newspapers that aren't in NewspaperArchive. However, the searchability and accessability of NewspaperArchive will be a great timesaver for many people.

Another feature that I'm sure our library users will enjoy is that newspapers from all over the country are included in NewspaperArchive. The are newspapers from Alaska to Florida and almost everywhere in between. Many of these are small town newspapers which will aid people who are doing genealogy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Japanese Book Grant

The Mary H. Weir Library is one of 200 libraries across the country that was awarded a grant to receive 50 books written by Japanese authors. These translated titles are from a variety of genres including fiction, mystery, historical fiction, horror, manga, science fiction and nonfiction. The grant was funded by the Toyota Motor Corporation through the American Library Association. The Mary H. Weir Public Library is the only library in West Virginia to receive this grant.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

E-Reference Material

We are all used to the idea that there are certain times that the library is open and other times that it is just not available. But with the electronic resources available now, we have to think about libraries a little differently.

Any patron with a home computer can get information from our website or check to see if we have a book available at any time of the day or night. The statistics on our web pages show that they do that. Not just our patrons, but people all over the country and even other parts of the world access our web page. Using the "MY ACCOUNT" feature of the catalog, local patrons can also check to see when books are due or renew them. We also provide online access to material through Encyclopedia Britannica and link to the databases provided by the state library commission at

But what if a patron needs information on Alzheimer's, neurodegenerative diseases, statistics on the costs of crime, stress and depression or some other specific topic? It's now possible to get that information at any hour with the library's e-reference books. The library has purchased ten books from Gale's Virtual Reference Library which are available through our catalog with a Mary H. Weir library card. Gale is a well respected publisher of print reference material. These e-books are duplicates of the print versions of multi-volume reference sets that Gale publishes. However, the online version has some major advantages over the print version. In addition to 24 hour access, the whole series can be searched online at one time. If a topic is covered in more than one of these titles, it will show up in the search results.

The ten titles that the Mary H. Weir Public Library has available from the catalog include:
  • Countries and their Cultures
  • Encyclopedia of Aging
  • Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice
  • Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behavior
  • Encyclopedia of Education
  • Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
  • Encyclopedia of Public Health
  • Encyclopedia of Sociology
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Science
  • New Catholic Encyclopedia

The articles in these reference books come up in full text and may be saved, printed or e-mailed. Each article also provides the format for citing the article in both MLA and APA format. Most of these titles are designed to be used at the high school or college level. They are excellent sources of information for reports or papers.

While our building be open 54 hours a week, the need for information isn't confined to those hours. Our online catalog and web page are providing information 24/7.

Upcoming Events for March 2009

March 1, 2009 - 4-H 6:00-7:30
March 2, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00 and 6:00-7:00
March 2, 2009 - NCOA 1:15-3:30
March 3, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00
March 6, 2009 - Northern Library Network Executive Meeting
March 6. 2009 - RESA Meeting 11:00-3:00
March 7, 2009 - Computer Room Reserved
March 10, 2009 - Computer Room Reserved
March 10, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00 and 6:00-7:00
March 11, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00
March 11, 2009 - Ireland, Scotland and Wales 6:00-7:30
March 12, 2009 - 4-H 1:00-3:00
March 13, 2009 - Census Bureau Testing 1:00-5:00
March 13, 2009 - RESA Meeting 11:00-2:00
March 17, 2009 - Computer Room Reserved
March 17, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00 and 6:00-7:00
March 18, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00
March 18, 2009 - Project Destiny 3:30-5:30
March 19, 2009 - Small Group Room Reservation 10:00-3:00
March 19, 2009 - Library Board Meeting 2:00 - Cancelled
March 20, 2009 - Census Bureau Testing 1:00-5:00
March 20, 2009 - School Visit
March 23, 2009 - Master Gardeners 6:00-9:00
March 24, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00 and 6:00-7:00
March 24, 2009 - Weirton Area Literacy Council 6:00-7:45
March 25, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00
March 25, 2009 - Project Destiny 3:30-5:30
March 25, 2009 - Movie Night 6:00-7:45
March 26, 2009 - The Women of Holliday's Cove
March 28, 2009 - Computer Room Reserved
March 31, 2009 - Story Hour 1:00-2:00 and 6:00-7:00

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