Monday, October 28, 2013

What exactly is a database?

People often say to me that they can “get all the information I need by just asking Google”.  How do you know that the website any search engine points you to is giving you reliable information? A library database is an organized collection of data that gets its information from professionals or experts in the field.  They contain published works where facts are checked and they are easy to cite in a bibliography. Library databases are updated frequently and include the date of publication.  They are perfect for your research and reference needs. We have a lot of databases available for your use at the library on such topics as history, health & science, business, literature and more. We have a database to help you learn a language, research a medical problem, find stock and bond analysis, and find an old newspaper article.  Most can be accessed using your home computer or you can use one of the many computers we have available in the library. A reference librarian is always available to help you.  Find a listing of our databases on the library website,

Let me introduce you to two of our popular databases: Transparent Language and Morningstar.  Transparent Language is an online language learning system designed specifically for use by patrons of public libraries. It takes you through a series of simple steps to memorize words and phrases in a new language in the shortest possible time. Over 70 languages are available for you to learn and you can access the system from inside the library or at home.  Transparent Language has advanced pronunciation analysis to help users perfect their pronunciation skills and individual progress tracking and assessment tests.  It’s fun and easy to use and you can even download a free app for your phone or tablet and get instant help with a language while you are traveling.

Morningstar offers detailed analyst guidance on thousands of stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Morningstar is well known in the investment world for their star rating system for stocks and bonds. Whether you prefer to learn by reading or by watching videos, Morningstar will explain the basics of stocks, options, ETF’s, and  closed-end funds. You receive unlimited access to easy-to-use portfolio management tools, personalized portfolio analysis, select investment ideas, and independent, in-depth analyst reports to help you earn returns you can count on.  Whether you are just keeping an eye on your mutual fund investments or you are an active stock trader this database provided free for your use by the library is a valuable investment tool. If you are new to investing Morningstar has a Help & Education tab, if you want to learn the basics of asset allocation use the Portfolio tab.  Our librarians can help you get started so just stop by the Reference Desk. 

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