Library vs. Internet: Money-backed Power

Posted on March 31, 2011

Everyone is a researcher these days with Internet access to just about anything. But don’t be fooled into thinking everything is just one or two clicks away. There’s a profusion of information tucked neatly away in databases available only to those with cold, hard cash. That is, unless you have a library card.

Fee-based digital database content is part of the Deep Web, which is estimated to be 500 times larger than the free web and represents authoritative materials from many different print and multimedia sources. The information found in these databases is already vetted for accuracy (for the most part). Hoovers, Lexis-Nexis, Dialog, Factiva, DataStar, Profound…the list goes on and on. Their powerful search features ensure likely success in locating information on almost any subject. The problem is the cost as you pay subscription prices, telecomm surcharges, report download fees, etc. This is when you become best friends with the resources at your local library. Seriously!

Most libraries have already paid the subscription and search fees for various databases. As long as you don’t sell the information commercially, access to you as a library patron is open and free. The bigger the library, the better the database selection. In my local library alone, I have access to over 40 for-profit database selections. And, most of these I can access from home with a user name and password. I find them intuitive and invaluable when doing in-depth research.

So, forget your perception that libraries are just for borrowing books. Find that library card and ask any librarian to show you what their digital databases can deliver. If you’re looking for hard-to-find information, these knowledge-broker powerhouses are going to be your best friend!

  • Recipe of the Month
    Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
    15 large crimini mushrooms
    16 oz. roll sausage, any flavor
    ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    ¾ cup chopped walnuts
    ½ cup finely chopped parsley
    1 egg, beaten
    2 drops hot sauce (optional)

    Clean and de-stem mushrooms. Chop stems and mix with all other ingredients. Fill mushroom caps to overflowing with sausage mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F.

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