The U. S. Census Bureau has an awesome website for getting census statistics. It is American Fact Finder. It is especially great at organizing statistics about a place. Enter a state, county, city, town, or zip code in the search box, and then select one of the following:
- General Population and Housing Characteristics (Population, Age, Sex, Race, Households and Housing, …)
- Race and Hispanic or Latino Origin
- Hispanic or Latino by Type (Mexican, Puerto Rican, …)
- Households and Families (Relationships, Children, Household Size, …)
2016 American Community Survey
2017 Population Estimates Program
If you need more information, try their guided search.
The website is https://factfinder.census.gov
Mary Lee Hart, Northland
Are you a history buff? Do you have to do a project about an historic event, notable figure, or era in history? World History in Context is your go-to hub for the best information on historic topics. You can search for a specific topic, or you can browse all the topics World History in Context has to offer. (This screenshot shows only part of the list.)
I clicked on the link for the Irish Potato Famine to learn more about an event that was the catalyst for some of my ancestors to immigrate to the United States.
The entry provides a brief overview of the Irish Potato Famine, and the “Read More” button takes you to a timeline of other events that took place during the same era. There are also links to primary source documents, and full text journal articles. Thanks to this database, I have learned more about the Irish Potato Famine. No matter what historic event you need information about, World History in Context can provide you with thorough, reliable information.
Kate Straccia, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main
Google introduced a demo version of a new semantic search tool: Talk to Books.
TtB is not a traditional search engine in that keyword searching won’t return the best results. It’s better served to type out a whole question (harkening back to Ask Jeeves days!).
The results are culled from the large e-library of Google Books and the results page is easy to take in with its quote pull-outs and cover images.
As it exists, Talk to Books is not a major stop on a research journey–these results pull from all sorts of sources, not taking into account their scholarly nature or whether information is up-to-date.
It is, however, a novelty that presents a new way to interact with searching and finding books outside what you would normally come across. One of the sample search queries is “Why did you do that?,” for example.
Talk to Books is also primed for experimentation. Changing up your search style will bring up a wholly different set of results.
As this resource grows and more semantic-style search tools are developed, the way we interact with our searches (in this case, primary sources) will change for the better.
Recently I taught a training on using difficult devices with Overdrive: the GOOD (Android and iOS devices), the BAD (Kindle Fire & Nook HD), and the UGLY (Nook Color, Nook Black & White, and MP3 players). If you missed it, or if you need to brush up the next time someone comes to the library with one of these more difficult devices, or if you have one yourself – Overdrive Help Pages are here to the rescue! Start at their “Device Profile” page and go from there for constantly updated, step-by-step instructions for accessing Overdrive (and Libby, if available) on a wide variety of devices.
Western Allegheny Community Library
Excited about the upcoming Royal Wedding – here are some fun Hoopla videos to watch and get ready for the festivities. Click on the photos to be directed to the site.
Why not try it now?
While diving in and just plain using OverDrive yourself to request, borrow, read, and return items is probably the best way to learn it, there are free webcasts available that can help to introduce you to it and/or Libby:
There are several tabs for different subjects — some are upcoming live webcasts, but most are recorded and can be viewed at any time. The webcasts generally range from 10 to 30 minutes.
If you’re new to OverDrive, you can safely skip anything about Marketplace — it’s basically the store where libraries (or consortia) purchase titles for patrons to borrow.
Christy @ McKeesport