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Reference Desk Resources and Links
PREMIUM RESOURCES: These databases are brought to you by Mobile Public Library, Alabama Public Library Service and The Alabama Virtual Library.
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Book Collection: Nonfiction - contains informative abstracts and full text for more than 2,000 popular nonfiction books. The database includes full text entries on social studies and science, as well as information on careers, health, sports, adventure, and technology. Check out the EbscoHost Mobile App.
The Funding Information Network provides free public access to Foundation Center databases, directories, fundraising and philanthropy publications, and training resources.
General Reference Center Gold (Infotrac) - A general interest database that integrates a variety of sources in one easy-to-use interface. Use General Reference Center Gold to find articles from newspapers, reference books, and periodicals, many with full-text and images. Find the latest current events, popular culture, business and industry coverage, the arts and sciences, sports, hobbies, and more. Go Mobile with Access My Library. Audience: Middle School, High School, Higher Education, General Public.
MasterFILE Premier - specifically for public libraries, this database provides full text for nearly 2,050 general reference publications with full text as far back as 1975. Also includes more than 350 full text reference books, 82,968 biographies, 90,915 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of 107,135 photos, maps and flags. Check out the EbscoHost Mobile App.
Oxford English Dictionary - the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources.
Professional Development Collection - for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of more than 550 high quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles and more than 200 educational reports. Check out the EbscoHost Mobile App.
ReferenceUSA - A searchable database of information for millions of U.S. companies and people. Search for job and industry info, business opportunities, executive info, news articles, lifestyle and neighborhood profiles, etc. Residential info includes name, address and phone number, lifestyle factors and near-by looks up. Print/download limit is 250 in the Library and 100 from home. Check out the video tutorials and webcasts!
Value Line - Get all the latest stock info including a large standard company database covering some 1,700 equity issues. For each stock, it offers year-ahead and three- to five-year probable relative price performance, projections of key financial measures, and concise, objective commentary on current operations and future prospects.
The Value Line Investment Survey's main section, "Ratings & Reports," presents full-page, individual stock reports (encapsulating the company's past performance, current status, and outlook) and industry reviews. The "Summary & Index" provides a key to locating the latest quarterly and supplementary reports and cites the most recent data on each of the stocks followed. Finally, "Selection & Opinion," a feature section, gives Value Line's views on the economy and the stock market and on stocks of special interest. It also provides model portfolios for investors with various objectives and a number of economic and stock-market statistics.
*The Value Line Small/Midcap Stocks Edition has now been added to the Value Line subscription. Access Investment Survey Plus on Value Line to see the Ratings & Reports and Summary & Index for Small and Midcap Stocks.
For Value Line access from home, enter library card number.
Getting Started Guide
Look It Up FAST!
The Blue Letter Bible - search bible verses and keywords with access to 14 versions, biblical dictionaries, maps, Hebrew, Greek and Latin, links to appropriate hymns, devotionals and more
EasyBib - an easy way to create a bibliography
NoodleTools - an easy way to create a bibliography, subscription required for full version
The Encyclopedia of Alabama
The Alabama State Data Center - quick links to all kinds of stats based on the US Census - population, income, race, commuting patterns, education, disability and much, much more!
The Calculator Edge - hundreds of calculators, from general use to scientific and technical, useful for everyone from students to engineers!
The Currency Converter Site
The Florida Lottery - Check your numbers!
Helpline Information and Referral - From emergency situations to the beginning of a long-term program, the HelpLine connects and directs you to the right channels to get you back on your feet. The HelpLine is an anonymous, confidential community resource serving Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke and Washington counties. Volunteers provide information and referrals to community agencies and groups as well a a listening ear, a helping hand and crisis prevention/intervention.
Look-up Longitude and Latitude
Maps from the University of Alabama - Historical and contemporary maps plus Aerial photography from all over the world. Great for Alabama History school projects and genealogists, too!
Official US Time - get the right time every time for any US time zone and visit the "Time Exhibits" on the the history and workings of time keeping
Online Conversion - convert anything to anything!
Sunrise/Sunset Calculator - fill-in city, date, etc. and calculate the sunrise and set
Universal Currency Converter
Zipcodes and more
Anywho - Directory of phone, fax, e-mail, URL and website info
Big Yellow - Yellow pages on the web including listings for 16,000 businesses
Skip Tracing Tools - Links to the most comprehensive people searching tools.
The Switchboard - searches directories online for residences, businesses, etc.
U.S. Government Toll-Free Numbers
Dictionaries, Almanacs, etc.
American Sign Language Dictionary
Glossary of Internet Terms
Information Please - almanacs, biographies, encyclopedia and dictionaries
Meanings and Origins of Phrases, Sayings, Cliches, and Quotes
Merriam Webster Dictionary Online - complete with a thesaurus, word of the day, and word games
One Look Dictionaries - access to over 460 dictionaries including medical, foreign language etc.
The World Factbook - Detailed Country Maps and Info
Alabama Sex Offenders Database
Move - moving info including 5 million apartments, trucks, movers and more!
ChemicalElements.com - "an online interactive periodic table of the elements"
The Chemical Scorecard - Information on Pollution
Debatabase - a searchable reference utility for debaters around the world. Enter keywords in the search engine above to search debating topics, each with arguments for and against, background information, and much more.
GlobalEdge - a must for international business info. Get country background, stats, key facts, history, economy. Stats even has info on language and the environment. The corporations section lists the top companies in the country.
Google Patent Search - use advanced search to find patents by keywords, inventor, title, number, owner, etc. and get illustrated results. Click on Help to learn more.
Immigration Statistics from the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), Department of Homeland Security. At this site you can compile statistics on immigration by state.
The Library Spot - Reference tools, books and more
Living Will Form from the Alabama Department of Public Health. (5 page PDF)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Info and stats on safety issues like airbags, seatbelts, and crash testing
New York Times On This Day - get not just facts and birthdays from history but everyday features a new front page story from history complete with a thumbnail of the paper and the article
The Nobel Prizes - a database of prizes and winners with bios on recent winners
The Occupational Information Network - O*NET database takes the place of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) as the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*NET database and related products will help millions of employers, workers, educators, and students make informed decisions about education, training, career choices, and work. The O*NET Project is administered and sponsored by the US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.
Rural Population and Migration - From USDA, Links to info on the changing face of rural America including black and hispanic migration, population loss, with links to research, maps, and even pix of County Courthouses!
SoYouWanna - Answers to life's tough questions (the ones you weren't taught in school) like how to buy a suit, make a movie, choose a diamond, or whatever
US Census Bureau
U. S. Copyright Office - Info and copyright searching
U. S. Patent and Trademark Office
WebExhibits - see art exhibits on the web
Where to Write for Vital Records
Geography and Maps
Alabama Maps - great maps by county, demographics, education, forestry, & health
CIA World Fact Book - provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
National Atlas - A unique and valuable resource for American maps. You can create maps or download ready-maps such as full color maps of the country, individual states, waterways, federal and tribal lands, and much more.
USGS Mapping Information - view aerial, satellite and elevation maps, and more!
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection - provides links to more than 5,000 maps including population density maps, reference maps, vegetation maps, etc.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Federal Register - Browse or search listings of federal grant opportunities.
The Foundation Center Online - Info and Links to Foundations and Foundation Center Libraries
Fundsnet - Provides a directory of Funders and links to grantwriting resources.
Grantsmanship Center - Daily listings of grant opportunities from the Federal Register, contact information for community foundations, etc.
GrantStation.com - Provides information on grant seeking and advice on putting your grant proposal together for submission.
NonProfit Gateway from FirstGov
Holidays and Festivals
Calendars through the Ages - this site is helpful to anyone interested in calendars, history, and learning about holidays in other cultures
Earth Calendar - Search holidays by date, country, religion, and a lunar phase calendar with names and dates of the moons!
Festivals.com - search for festivals by state
The Holiday Zone - Facts, crafts, activities and more for many of the major holidays
Learn English as a Second Language
BYKI - Before You Know It - FREE downloadable language audio flashcards and lessons in many laguages and on many topics, fun, too!
Englishlearner.com - practice tests, grammar, games and more
English Pronunciation Practice
The English Zone - a fun site for those learning English as a second language
ESL Resources - English as a second language organized into teacher and student categories, includes magazines, games, etc.
ESL Self-Study Quizzes - 900 quizzes on all aspects of English Vocabulary and Grammar. Many are tied to topics like holidays, places or culture
iLove Languages - Thousands of links to FREE online language lessons
MyLanguageExchange.com - a social networking site that matches up learners and native speakers online in small groups with lessons planned specifically for online learning
Arts and News Daily - from the Chronicle of Higher Education. A reader's dream come true, this site is updated six days per week and features links to newspapers, magazines and journals, book reviews, articles, essays, editorials, news services, columnists, literary criticism, and 'amusements' in every area of the humanities.
Criticism and Analysis
Visit our electronic journals and magazines for more criticisms.
Online Literary Criticism Collection at the Internet Public Library - Links to over 4,000 critical and biographical resources dealing with American and British literature from pre-1500 to the twentieth century. Each link is annotated and can be accessed by author, work or literary period. The links are selected "for their overall usefulness" for high school and college students. A literary criticism guide and a pathfinder have been provided for further exploration of Web and print resources.
Sparknotes is like Cliff Notes but way more fun!. It contains plot summaries; discussion and analysis of major characters; themes, motifs and symbols; important quotations explained; and study questions and essay topics.
Literary History and Criticism
Greek Mythology Link
Irish Literature, Mythology, Folklore, and Drama - Excellent site for all aspects of Ireland, including a large section on culture.
Lit Links - links to myriad literary resources, arranged by author's name. Major categories include fiction, drama, poetry, essays, and critical theory.
Voice of the Shuttle - VoS English Literature: English Literature Page
Internet Public Library - one of the oldest and best research collections.
Spokane Public Library - Alphabetical list of top notch resources.
Biography.com from the Arts and Entertainment television network - this site includes an online version, in database form, of the Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia
Guide to Library Research (from the Duke Univ. Libraries) - Learn how to conduct research using this 7 step research process; also use the link to 'Citing Sources' to find examples of how to site bibliographic footnotes using APA, MLA, etc. Note: This is a web guide was created at the Duke University Libraries, links to article databases will not work. Please refer to MPL's Online Resources for articles.
How to write a term paper - covers all the steps in the research process: choose a topic, craft a thesis, evaluate thesis and sources, identify a variety of information sources, take efficient notes, begin and organize a research paper, use parenthetical documentation, prepare a Works Cited page, draft and revise a research paper
Philosophy Resources on the Internet
Research and Documentation - a very interesting collection of research tools including full sample papers for the following styles: MLA, APA, Chicago, and CBE
Research-It! - Your One Stop Reference Desk
SIRIS - Smithsonian Institution Research Information System
Works Cited 4 U - Creates a formatted bibliography for you, just fill out the form. Uses the MLA style sheet.
Internet Public Library Science Links
Albert Einstein Archives - contains digitized images of some 900 Einstein papers as well as a searchable list of 43,000 documents in the archive.
How Stuff Works - clear explanations with illustrations of everything from vcr's to bread
Public Library of Science - a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.