MeL Databases For Adults


[ Music ]>>People have no idea the
amount of accessibility that the library offers as far as research.>>We have a fabulous toolbox of resources,
and people need to avail themselves of them.>>I could be saving them time, money,
I could be getting them better grades.>>A database is essentially
a collection of content. It’s articles, videos, things
like that, and they’re collected and then organized and made searchable. So, when you’re searching a database, what
you’re actually doing is just searching through a bunch of content
that’s been curated for you. So, when you search on Google,
you’re going to find a lot of free information and that
can be like anything. It could be something written
by, you know, a third grader. It could be written by someone
with a very specific agenda.>>I don’t know whether it’s a technical
librarian term, but “crackpot” information, and you don’t want people using that as a
basis for decision-making or life choices.>>But if you want to get a quality content
that a lot of money had to go into producing it, it’s going to be behind a paywall. So, in the case of the databases provided by
MeL, the State of Michigan pays for those.>>On the library end, it’s
a huge advantage to us because that’s just one less
database that we have to pay for. If these aren’t provided by MeL, then our
library has to make some really tough choices on the things that we’re going to want and
the things that our community needs and wants. And since it’s already provided by MeL, a lot
of those difficult choices are made for/by us.>>Many times, MeL database’s
collection is better than some schools out there’s
database collection. Any Michigander has access to this information
through the Library of Michigan and MeL.>>Once people are aware things that
we offer through the MeL databases, people come to the library
to learn about these things.>>The library becomes a portal, so
every place and everything that you want to explore is at your fingertips.>>It would almost be easier to list what
subjects you might not find in these databases. The list is exhaustive. You can look up astrophysics. You can look up pet food. I would say if you think you have
an interest in something and want to look it up, the information is out there.>>Probably my favorite story is, I was helping
a firefighter, and we do have a few items on the shelf, but he was looking for more
up-to-date material and practice tests, and Learning Express Library actually had
that for him, and I was glad to provide that because I didn’t want
him leaving without anything.>>We have a lot of genealogy buffs that
come in, a lot of family research historians, and they’re in awe of the amount information
that they have at their fingertips. Now, I hear stories all the time of, “Oh,
I’ve been looking for this person for years. Wow, that’s amazing.” You know, I mean, all manner of shock
and awe when you open the door to all of these databases, because people are just not
familiar with them, and they aren’t familiar with the level of help that they could
get, even on their own, you know. Luckily a lot of the databases have
small tutorials that you could do, so when you point people in that direction,
and that they don’t even need the assistance of a librarian necessarily, they are very happy.>>You can use it from home, you can use it
from your office, you can use it from anywhere, and they’re like, “How long’s this been here?” And I said, “Oh, we’ve had it for a number
of years through the Library of Michigan. There’s this ah-ha moment and a,
oh, a missed opportunity that, “How easy my job would have been
if I’d only known this was here, because I’ve been doing things the hard way.” [ Music ]

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