Spotlight On “Gale Virtual Reference Library”

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If you are not sure where to start your research or if you want some basic background information on your topic, you may want to try a reference resource. Reference resources include books like encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, and almanacs. When you can’t come into the library to use the print books, you can access a lot of this information online using the Gale Virtual Reference Library. If you need help finding background information, using Gale Virtual Reference Library, or even coming up with a topic, a Research Coach can help.

You can find a link to the Gale Virtual Reference Library on the Databases, E-books, and Media quick link on the library’s homepage. The databases are listed alphabetically, so scroll down until you see Gale Virtual Reference Library. This will give you the proper access as a Union student or employee (googling the database won’t do that).

Gale Virtual Reference Library has maps, encyclopedic entries of all types (cultural, historical, general, etc.), and dictionary entries. You can narrow your results by type of document, so if you only want maps, you can filter results for just maps. The type of document is also found underneath the results’ title in the search results list.

Another great feature of Gale databases is the reading level filter. Some Gale databases use a Lexile number where the higher the number, the higher the reading level. Others like Gale Virtual Reference Library use colored boxes with dots in them to show the reading levels. An orange box with five dots is geared for high school and above readers, while green with one dot is for early elementary readers. This can be a great way to filter results if you are wanting some simple background information or if you are looking for more technical information. You may also just filter for lower reading levels because you don’t want to go cross-eyed reading a college level text (we’ve all been there 😉). Don’t forget to schedule a Research Coach appointment if you want assistance with research or using Gale Virtual Reference Library; we are more than happy to help.

Spotlight On “Gender Studies Collection”

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Gender Studies Collection, provided by Gale, is a database that the library subscribes to. Within the Gender Studies Collection, students can find articles on topics related to gender, family studies, health, feminism, and cultural norms. You can also limit your search to peer-reviewed, full-text articles to make your research easier.

Because Gender Studies Collection is also a Gale database, it has a “Topic Finder” that groups certain subjects together. You can use the Topic Finder to get started on your research and find articles and ideas that are similar to each other. Some of the topics include: Women’s Studies, Gender Equality, Sexuality, Female Identity Feminism, Nationalism, and more.

To access the Gender Studies Collection, or any other database, simply go to the library website. Click on the “Databases” quick link, then scroll down the list of databases until you find Gender Studies Collection. Accessing databases through the library website works much better than trying to Google them.

 

How To Use The Tennessee Electronic Library To View Genealogy Information

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Occasionally we have patrons who are looking for genealogy information and records. While our library does not have an extensive amount of genealogy help, we do have access to the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) through our Gale databases. TEL provides census records for Tennessee and other articles and data that could prove useful in regards to ancestry research.

How to use TEL to view genealogy information:

  1. Go to the library website.
  2. Click on the “Databases, E-books, and Media” link.
  3. Scroll down the list of databases until you get to Gale Virtual Reference Library. Click it.
  4. Once on Gale, click the top left TEL (Tennessee Electronic Library) logo.
  5. Now you are on the TEL website. Click the Genealogy button in red.
  6. Once on the Genealogy section, you can search databases, articles, and census records. You can also click to go to The Tennessean, Heritage Quest Online, and various other resources.

For more help with genealogy, we suggest visiting your local public library.