Midwest Collaborative for Library Services MeL Training Materials
Revised 12/2013 SR
Terminology might be a bit confusing when talking about this database. This is a DATABASE titled eLibrary. MeL stands for Michigan eLibrary, our statewide online resources. Make sure people understand the difference.
eLibrary THE DATABASE includes full-text and multimedia reference essentials. There are more than 2,000 full-text magazines (thus many thousands of articles), newspapers, books, and transcripts--plus thousands of maps, pictures, educator-approved websites from Homework Central, and audio/video files.
This is appropriate for better middle school readers on up through adults, but its main focus is more for high school students.
Point out to the class that the main screen has some resemblance to eLibrary Elementary (which we have had in MeL for years for younger users.)
Across the top there are tabs for Search (where we land), Topics, Publications and Reference.
On the left of the basic search box there are text links for Advanced Search and Popular Searches. They are pretty straightforward.
In the middle of the screen is a basic search box, and below that there are boxes for types of resources. The default is to have all checked. Using the text links on the right side, show how to clear all, then how to select 2 or 3 boxes.
Let's do a basic search. Start typing the word 'wildfires in the box. Go slowly so the class can see that we are offered type ahead suggestions. Stop when you have finished the word wildfires and just leave it alone, and do the search.
We land on a special topic page with resources organized for our use. Point out that there are several suggestions for a more limited search - they are all live links, and we could use one to do a new search, but we'll just look at the results we have.
The first thing we notice is a large rectangle with a graphic or picture related to the topic we chose. There is a link to "expand this research topic," which we will look at. On the right side of the rectangle, we find links to a picture gallery, related subjects or subtopics, and related links.
Click on "expand this research topic" then on "more" and take a few minutes, pointing out what is in the article and explaining how it could be used to get students started in a project. It provides a broad background for most topics. Notice that it is also the full text of an article with tools and options which we will discuss in a minute.
Use the back button to return to the special topics page. Below the large graphic rectangle, we see the full list of results. The default is to display by relevance order -- there is a box on the left side that shows us that. We can also choose to sort, using the drop down arrow, by several other options, and we need to click on the sort button.
Before we look more closely at the text of an article, use the links on the left side to bring different types of materials to the front of the display -- magazines, transcripts, etc.
Look at the results list next. Point out that each article has an icon indicating the type of material. The title is an active link, and there is basic citation information. Users can also mark items by checking the box near the citation.
Choose any interesting article and click on the title. Now we are at the full text of an article.
In this view, there are several handy links across the top of the page: email, print, citation view. We can also look to the right side and find the translation options. Use the drop down menu to choose a language, click on translate, and show how the translation is displayed. Close the translation window to get back to the article.
Point out the "listen" button on the right side. Explain that if a user just clicks it, the machine reader will start at the very beginning. A better way to use it is to highlight one paragraph (or a few sentences), have the reader process those, then highlight the next section, etc.
Now we are ready to move to another type of search. Click on the Topics tab across the top of the page. This brings up a browsing by subject type of page. Point out the major topics and subtopics. Explain the users just pick a topic, then a subtopic, and eventually end up with some results. Roman Numerals, then open the first article. Once we are at the full text of an article, we have all the typical tools available.
Reminder: eLibrary has hundreds (maybe thousands?) of these "Research Topics" organized for users. These can be browsed from a small link on the front page.
Proquest also has a link to the Common Core State Standards on the front page. Use this feature to drill down through various curricular objectives to potentially find resources within eLibrary that can help meet those goals.