Online Treasure Trove

Did you know you can access a huge amount of information online via your local public library website? Despite working in a library I rarely investigate our online resources and have recently been amazed by just what I can access. Our current list includes NewsUK, Britannica Online, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Reference Online, Oxford English Dictionary, Grove Music Online, Grove Art Online and The Times Digital Archive. Might not seem like a long list but each resource has a multitude of other searchable resources linked to it. For example the Oxford Reference Online includes Bilingual Dictionaries, quotations, maps, and pretty much every subject dictionary that you can imagine OUP publishing. Some titles that have caught my eye include: A Dictionary of World Mythology, the Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, A Dictionary of Contemporary World History, The Oxford Companion to the Body, A Dictionary of Writers and their Works. Now this is starting to sound like an OUP advert so bear in mind that this is just an example of what is linked to each resource. NewsUK includes a searchable archive for national and regional newspapers including The Times from 1992, The Guardian from 1992 and even the Wigan Observer from 2002!

This is an amazing resource and is available free to most people in the UK via their local library website. How many people know that it exists? How many people use it? I’m sure most people looking for information use Google and Wikipedia before they logon to their library website. But have you even heard about this resource in the news? In your local library? If we can’t advertise the library service via a resource like this what hope is there for library marketing?

Sorry about the rant but when even the library staff don’t realise what they have…

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