The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

June 27, 2008

Revised library Web site includes database updates

As most of you know, Joplin Public Library has a newly revised Web site at When we revised the site, we changed the way we display the online databases. Categories were created to help you find databases by subject. We also made links to parts of databases so you have a better idea what a database holds and to lessen the steps you have to take to find your answer.

Most of the databases the library offers are available from home and they are being constantly updated. Two of the databases reviewed this year have some changes. With a call to the publishers of “Salem Health,” the confusing first login screen has been eliminated. Now when you click on the icon for access, you go directly to the screen to input your library bar-code number. “Oxford Language Dictionaries Online” was introduced at the first of the year with four languages in combination with English: Spanish, French, German and Italian. Chinese and Russian were promised for later in the year and they are now available. Pronunciation software was also added so you can now hear the word pronounced in the language you are searching.

As mentioned earlier, some of the databases cannot be offered to home users and are only available in Joplin Public Library. One of the databases that the library has offered for many years, “American National Biography,” falls into this category.

“American National Biography” is a database offered through Oxford University Press and is the electronic version of a classic reference set, the “Dictionary of American Biography.” The database has more than 18,000 biographies of deceased people who are significant in United States history. It also includes 900 articles from “The Oxford Companion to United States History.”

The people profiled include figures from government, politics, entertainment, science, labor, business and more. Biographies are added and updated semi-annually with articles of recently deceased notables added more often. The latest update includes profiles of David Brinkley (reporter), Bob Hope (entertainer), John Gotti (organized crime), Mary Kay Ash (business), Strom Thurmond (government), Emily Geiger (revolutionary war spy), Philip K. Dick (author), Nathan Jacobson (math), Dale Earnhardt (race car driver) and Gregory Peck (actor).

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