Author Archives: virtuallexicon

Heart This Resource <3

It’s that time of year. Roses abound, Cupid’s bow is drawn, and hundreds of pounds of chocolates will be consumed.

But nothing says love more like heart health, am I right?

Thankfully, there is a great resource for all things health related in Gale’s Health and Wellness Resource Center (which we will call HWRC – because who doesn’t love more acronyms?). With information on diseases, drugs, diagnostics, therapies and more, this database is a one-stop-shop for your health-related questions.

Searching for information in the HWRC is straight forward. There is a basic search bar at the top, which can automatically propagate suggested search topics.


There is also an advanced search feature that lets your search get wild! You can search by subject guide, publication, or even use the topic finder to break down different subject areas into further categories. This feature is exceptionally helpful if your knowledge of a specific health topic is limited – offering other search areas you may want to explore.


Furthermore, results include reference materials, academic journals, videos/pictures, audio, and news/magazine articles – with easy to use filters to limit results to relevant information.



Go ahead and find out what’s more to love about the Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center! ❤



Richelle – Sewickley Public Library


Preserving Family Heirlooms

There are many options and factors when it comes to preserving family heirlooms, when you know the right places to look. If you have ever wondered where to direct a patron looking for local preservation resources, the following list will hopefully prove informative and helpful:

Local Binderies (Book restoration and binding services) 

Conservation Services (Objects, Paintings, Frames and Gold Leaf) 

Conservation Services (Books, Paper, Photographs and Textile)     

Audio, Video & Film Transfer Services 

There are also many web resources and local organizations with plenty of preservation information.  

Community Preservation and Disaster Recovery Organizations 

Web Resources 

You may always contact Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Conservation, Preservation and Access Department (CP&A) for questions and guidance as well!  

  • Preservation Lab: 412-622-5785 (Tara Walsh, Preservation Librarian) 
  • Preservation Office: 412-622-5599 (Jackie Mignogna, Coordinator) 

Happy Conserving!  

Emma Pyle, Conservation Technician, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh 


FAKESPOTOnline shopping has become the preferred method of shopping for many of us. But according to the Government Accountability Office, 42% of the brand-name products that we purchased were counterfeit. Consumer Reports has a good article on how to avoid buying fake products online, and how to claim a refund if you do get a counterfeit. (To read that article, go to our Database page, click on “Consumer Reports”, and have your library card number handy.)

Another way to avoid buying a counterfeit product is to use Fakespot is a data analytics company that attempts to prevent misleading content from deceiving consumers. Its algorithms look for suspicious patterns that identify unreliable reviews on Amazon™, TripAdvisor™, Walmart™, and Yelp™.

The site is free. You just copy the product or business link from the URL of your browser. Paste the copied link into the “FAKESPOT Analyzer”, click “Analyze Reviews” and wait a few seconds for the results. The results will provide a letter grade reflecting the trustworthiness of the reviews, and might say things like “Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved.”

Happy, and safe, shopping!

LitFinder by Gale


For students doing literary research, recommend LitFinder.  This is a powerful, but very user-friendly, cross-search database that supports all types of literature research.  Students can access works from over 80,000 authors from 660 nationalities.  This resource includes information such as biographies, glossaries, images and more than 150,000 full-text poems as well as short stories, speeches and plays.

Students can easily find information using various refined search and limiter options or just browse through the database.

  • With the Person Search, students can quickly retrieve information on a particular writer or identify authors linked by qualities such as gender, nationality, century and genre.
  • A Works Search provides similar limiters and lets students browse works by thousands of subjects, themes and movements.

Two other unique tools are the Topic Finder and Term Frequency.  From the Home Page, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  (These tools are also available as tools on the Search Results sidebar.)

  • Topic Finder:  This is a graphical way of displaying the context of terms which can lead to connections students might not have otherwise considered.  This search tool generates a visual representation of the results by topic and subtopic and gives two different visualizations – tiles or wheel.
  • Term Frequency:  This shows the trend of one or more terms over time.  This tool generates an interactive graph based on the presence of search terms found in the collections the student is searching.  Students can specify a range of publication years and select which Content Types to search.  They can then use the graph to retrieve search results by clicking on the graph point.

term frequency

More tools offered by LitFinder:

Once a topic is selected, the following tools become available in the Tool Box:

  • Citation Tools – MLA, APA and Chicago style citations are supported. Formatted citations can easily be imported to services like EasyBib or NoodleTools.
  • Highlights and Notes
  • Send to Google Drive or OneDrive
  • Print or email
  • Save, share, or download
  • Translate

This is a very comprehensive database for students doing literary research with easy-to-use search paths.

Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library



Full Text Articles in Gale’s OneFile and Ebsco’s MasterFile

I am a fan of databases that provide full text coverage of journal articles.  When helping patrons locate articles on a given topic, it is always a relief to access a full text article rather than an abstract citation.

Two good databases that offer access to full text journal articles are, Gale’s General OneFile and Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier.  The state provides funding for Allegheny County’s access to General OneFile.  Access to MasterFile Premier expired on December 31, 2018.  Both databases provide access to full text articles from general interest periodicals.  Although, a few minor differences exist between them.  In some cases, MasterFile offers more comprehensive full text coverage than OneFile- if only by a few years.

Full Text Coverage                  Gale’s OneFile                    Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier

American History                   1998 to present                 1994 to present

Autoweek                                  2002 to present                 1996 to present

Wilson Quarterly                    1993 to present                 1990 to present


And in other cases, MasterFile offers full text coverage of titles that OneFile does not.

Gale’s OneFile                     Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier

Rolling Stone                             no full text coverage           1990 to present

Sports Illustrated                     no full text coverage          1992 to present

Time                                             no full text coverage           1990 to present

Conversely, OneFile provides access to information in different formats that MasterFile does not.  These formats include transcripts and video of news programs from the BBC, NPR, and CNN.

Over time, it will be interesting to watch these databases and see how their holdings evolve, and the types of options each database offers.

Kate Straccia, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main

Consumer Reports has arrived!

Library access to is now live! Consumer Reports has long been a reference destination for patrons and staff in both print and online. Previously, library cardholders could get CR articles through an EBSCO database interface. Now, they can search and view CR resources through their website interface, a much more consumer(!) friendly model.

Below is a screenshot from the CR homepage–graphical and easy to navigate.


Consumer Reports is available remotely or in-house and simply requires users to enter an active library barcode number.

Here is the direct link.

There is also a link from the EREC site under Consumer Resources.

-Jeff (South Park)

Overdrive has the holidays all wrapped up!

Need a cozy holiday mystery? How about the perfect cookie recipe? Something inspirational to listen to while you fight holiday traffic? Overdrive has your holidays all wrapped up!

Feel free to follow & share these links to our special curated list for the perfect holiday experience, brought to you by Overdrive.


Heather Auman
Western Allegheny Community Library