The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 26, 2010

Book review: Worldwide newspapers available at library


Because you are reading this article, you are probably aware of the value newspapers bring to our lives.

Some form of newspaper has been around since 59 B.C., when Romans tacked up handwritten newssheets to keep citizens informed.

The print newspaper collection is one of the most-used collections in the library. Readers come every day for access to not only The Joplin Globe but the Kansas City Star, Springfield News-Leader, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investors Business Daily, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tulsa World and many more.

These print newspapers are not the only news source the library has to offer. The databases Facts on File World News Digest and Infotrac Custom Newspapers provide access to current and historic local, national and international news.

The Facts on File World News Digest covers major domestic and international political, social, and economic events since 1940. The database is research oriented covering major news events, but users can also access daily news coverage.

Users can get hourly news feeds from Reuters by searching for a topic and clicking on the “Breaking News” tab. A chronological perspective on the topic is available through the News Digest articles, which are displayed by date in descending order.

To browse and read newspapers, direct links to the Web sites for international newspapers are found by clicking on “World Press Links” under the “Special Features” section (choose “More Special Features” at the bottom of the home page). You can read the Afghan Daily, the Calgary Herald, the Moscow Times, the Boston Globe and more than 200 other newspapers.

Other great features of the database include the reports, encyclopedia, almanac and curriculum tools for teachers. Users can search by date or browse top news stories by decade, country or issue.

Reports on current topics such as the 2010 midterm elections are provided in the “In-Depth Coverage” section. The “Special Features” section includes country profiles, historic documents, newsmaker profiles, photos, charts and maps, world heads of state and government leaders and more.

Infotrac Custom Newspapers is part of the Gale databases that the library receives from MOREnet. The database has full text articles from more than 1,000 local, national and international newspapers.

Coverage is from 1980 to today — or maybe tomorrow, if you are looking at an article from an international newspaper. A search for “2010 Olympics” returns articles from Canada, London, Bangor Maine, Beaumont Texas, China, New York and many other places.

Searching is easy with a prominently displayed search box and helpful information on the home page. When you display an article you can print, e-mail or download (as a text file or a MP3 file). You can translate the article into one of 11 different languages, have it read aloud to you and look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. You can also setup RSS feeds to track topics and be alerted when a new issue of a newspaper is available.

To read a newspaper instead of searching by topic, choose the “Browse Publications” tab. You can view all the titles in alphabetical order or type in the title of the newspaper.

A search for New York Times gives two results, the newspaper and the magazine. By clicking on the title you get a description of the newspaper and the coverage. You can choose the year (1985-2010) then the day to access the articles published in that day’s edition.

Whether you want the current day’s news or to search for historic happenings, check out the library’s newspaper collections. Discover what is happening in Joplin, Kansas City and around the world.

Both of the databases are available in the library or from home with a Joplin Public Library card. To use from home, go to www.joplinpubliclibrary.org and double click “Reference.” Click on “Magazines & Newspapers” then scroll down the list.