Save Your Time @ The Library!

This week we feature time-saving tips because your time is important! First, a handy way to save your searches in EBSCOhost (so that you can run them again and again!), a new search interface for netLibrary saves you time when searching, free ebooks on the net (not really a time saver but definitely a money saver!) and last but not least, define words instantly using Google!

1) Timesaver Tip! Save your search in EBSCOhost
This tip is designed to save time�and alleviate frustration! One of the great things about searching our databases is the amazing numbers of articles you can find on your topic. But � have you ever done your search, collected and read your articles, only to realize a few hours (or days or weeks or months!) later that you�d like to do that search again and have a look at some of the other articles that were on that list? No problem � but what exactly did you search? Which terms did you use? EBSCO actually allows you to save your searches so you can revisit them at another time � talk about a timesaver!

First you�ll need to sign in as a MyEBSCOhost user � simple enough � choose your databases as usual, and when you arrive at the search screen, look for the Sign in to MyEBSCOhost link in the top left corner of the page. Follow the instructions for “I�m a new user” and you�re set.

Once you�ve signed on to MyEBSCOhost, conduct your search, get your results then click on Search History/Alerts. Give your search a name and a description, and you are faced with 2 options for saving: Temporary (24 hours) or Permanent. Choose either option (I like the Permanent one myself!) and click �Save�

That�s it! Next time you go to EBSCOhost, log in using the username and password you created and the search you did today will be there.

You can use the MyEBSCOhost login to access alerts as well. Remember alerts? These were covered way back in October. Alerts lets you choose how often you want EBSCO to search and the results will be delivered to your emailbox – once a day, once a week, once a month – the choice is yours! Follow the same steps you would to save your search, but select Alerts instead – choose your settings, and the latest articles on your topic will soon be yours! Access all EBSCOhost databases from the Databases page on The BRAIN.

2) NetLibrary has a new face!
NetLibrary, the ebook database that offers access to 4,220 newly published ebooks and 3,407 public domain ebooks has a new look. The new interface saves you time by presenting you with an easy-to-use search box! Now the basic search is the default and handy radio buttons let you choose to search by keyword, title, author or full-text. More books than before are available in PDF format. The same great features such as the ability to search within books and to create notes and add books to a bookshelf are still available. Check it out on the BRAIN�s Databases page.

3) Other free ebooks!
Did you know that you can access thousands of free ebooks that are in the public domain on the Internet? These books are no longer under copyright and so access is freely available. One popular ebook database is Project Gutenburg. Project Gutenburg offers access to 6267 ebooks and counting! As these books are in the public domain, they consist mainly of older classics. Books by authors such as Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, H.G. Wells, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and more can be downloaded for free from this site. All books are in plain text format. There are also some free movie and music files available at this site.

The Online Books Page, hosted at University of Pennsylvania is similar in that it too contains thousands of public domain ebooks. This database contains over 20,000 ebooks. Nonfiction as well as fiction books are featured.

More recent ebooks that are freely available can be found at the University of California Press eScholarship web site. Over 400 scholarly titles on a range of subjects can be downloaded for free.

Baen, a science fiction publisher, also offers recent titles for free download at the Baen Free Library. These titles are available in a variety of formats: HTML, Microsoft Reader, Palm, RTF, etc. Popular sci-fi authors such as Larry Niven, Eric Flint and Jerry Pournelle are featured and it�s all free, free, free!!

4) New Google feature: define words instantly!
Google now offers a �definition�feature. Type Define, a colon, a space and the word you would like defined and list of definitions appears! For example, I typed this into the search box: �define: prate� without quotes and a list of definitions appeared. Are these the most authoritative definitions around? The two that displayed for �prate� were from a definition database (WordNet) at the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University. Handy when you�re in a hurry!

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