digitalmainelibrary – Books and Authors

It’s been quite a while since we had a Blog post discussing any of the Digital Maine Library databases, so I think it’s time for me to poke around a bit.

For those of us who are unaware, we can access many incredible databases that have been provided to all residents of Maine, with a valid library card.

From our (Gardiner Public Library) home page you can access the Digital Maine Library by clicking on the word DOWNLOADS on the bar beneath the library picture.

This next page (DOWNLOADS) shows the various databases that the Gardiner Public Library subscribes to.  Click on digitalmainelibrary.

From there scroll down the page to see what types of databases are available.

My choice today is BOOKS AND AUTHORS (GALE).

Clicking on this brings me to a new page – GALE BOOKS AND AUTHORS.

I see the page title, and below that is a search box.  I can search by TITLE, AUTHOR, SERIES or KEYWORD.  There is also a choice of ADVANCED SEARCH.

I admit it, I’m all about scrolling the entire home page first, looking at the book covers, noticing there are three carousels of book covers.  Currently, the carousel lists are – New and Updated Books and Season Picks: Books by Contemporary French Authors in Honor of Bastille Day (July 14, 2021) and Spotlight On: Ghost Stories for Teens to Read by the Campfire.

Along the left side of the page, I see Select A Genre.  If I’m looking for Horror Stories, or perhaps Biographies, this looks like a good place to start.

Below the picture of the open book and the book covers there is a bar with choices on the right side.  These include Browse Genres ; Author Search ;  Book Lists ; Search History and Get Link.

Hmmm . . . I click on the Browse Genres icon.  This takes me to a new page.  I see more colorful book covers, as well as several filters.

Along the left side the Select A Genre column has changed a bit.  I’m now given options.  The first being Fiction or Non-Fiction.  Below that option box are the same choices from the previous page, select a genre.  At this point the default is Fantasy Fiction.  Below that is an (all?) encompassing list of various Fantasy Fiction Genres.

I play around a little with changing the primary genre and each of these have an incredible number of secondary or sub genres. 

Very interesting!

Back to the Author Search choice.  This is located between Browse Genre and Book Lists. 

This takes me to a new page.  I see an Author Search bar.  Below this are limiters.  In the search bar I type King, Stephen (I am in Maine, and he is one of ours).  Clicking the search icon takes me to a new page.  There are three King, Stephens – a Novelist, an Economist and an Illustrator.  I also see birth and possible death dates of these individuals.

Each of the names is a click-able link.  Stephen King the novelist shows other names he is know by, or pseudonyms he has used in the past.

I click on Stephen King (American Novelist).  This new page gives me a list of his works, in chronological order from the most recent to his earliest titles.  On the right side of the page, there are several ways to filter my search.  Something to play with another time.

Back to the Book Lists choice.  This is located between Author Search and Get Link.

This takes me to a page of Award Winners.  WOW!  Every year I look for different book awards – and I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such an all-encompassing list!  The site tells me there are 495 Awards listed.

On this page, I click Expert Picks.  Another WOW – 222 lists of books.  These lists are in alphabetical order, but with list titles like – “New Adult” Romance Titles ; The Cold, Snowy Breath of Winter ; Ten Recommended Christian Western Romance Series and Holiday Sparkler! I’m not completely sure how useful this is, but lots of fun to browse!

The last choice here is Librarian Favorites.  More lists – 234 this time.  Another fun place to browse but not really usable, in my opinion.

The next choice beside Book Lists is Search History.  Clicking on this one shows me where and what I have actually typed into the search bar.  A great way to get back to something I “know I saw that – somewhere” when I don’t remember what search term I used on a website.

The last choice in the bar with Browse Genres and Book Lists is Get Link.  This is exactly what it means.  If you creating a webpage/Blog post the link has been created and you can pop it into your post.

As I have done here — Gale Books and Authors


Digital Maine Library – ChiltonLibrary

A few weeks ago, I blogged a bit about Digital Maine Library    here, what we have known for several years as MARVEL!  I think it’s time for another look at this amazing resource.

As previously mentioned, the website seems to be more colorful – each of the databases appear on the homepage, with pictures, and a bit of information about the database.

Scrolling down the homepage I see ChiltonLibrary.  I click on the link – picture and words are each part of the link – and am taken to the ChiltonLibrary web page.

This page gives me several options.  The tabs along the top are Home (it is the shape of a house) ; Select Vehicle ; ASE Test Prep Quizzes ; Help ; Logout and what looks like and Envelope (this is where I can Ask An Expert.  On the left of the page there are several boxes to fill in with information about a vehicle – Vehicle Selector.  More centered on the page I see information about what information I can find – yes, I know, I did use information twice in the same sentence, but it is what it is!

I’m curious about how far back I can go – how old a vehicle this database will be useful for – 1940 seems to be the answer.  My mother had a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle that she absolutely loved – the small rear window was a big deal for her.  I put that information in the boxes and press the select button.

The next page is titled Your Current Vehicle: 1956 Volkswagen Beetle.  Below that there are two bullet points of data that is available for the vehicle – Repair and Bulletins/Recalls.

I click on Repair.  There is quite a list on the next page!  Above the list is Collapse TOC and Search.  No, I’m sorry, I have absolutely NO idea what TOC means, but it does collapse the list to no list, or opens it to the many choices.

I don’t claim to be a car person – yes, I drive a car, and can and do maintain it, but much if not all of this information is waaaaay beyond my knowledge base.  I see how a person who works with and on vehicles might find this very helpful.

Now I’m curious and check the information on a MUCH newer vehicle – a 2016 Volkswagen Beetle.  This time I am given three choices Repair ; Maintenance and Bulletins/Recalls.  As we just learned, the Repair button is not necessarily useful to me, but the Maintenance and Bulletins/Recalls are something I will find useful.

On the Repair page I am given choices – a Vehicle Configuration Filter.  I don’t have a Beetle, so I’ll make it up as I move through the list.  After making my choices, I am shown a list of what should be done at 5000 miles.  There is a Look Ahead button – this takes me to the 15000 mile service, and beyond that.  Looks like a good place for me!

I go back to Bulletins/Recalls.  This page has a fairly long list of issues to be checked.  I did not re-select my vehicle, so perhaps they don’t all pertain to what I chose, but this is another interesting place to poke around when I’m in the search for a “new to me” vehicle.

Back to the homepage I go.

I click on ASE Test Prep Quizzes.  ASE is short for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.  So these are a great resource for anyone interested in becoming certified in automotive repair.  Something I will do my best to remember for future use with folks looking for this information.

Help is exactly what it says – an online manual for using the ChiltonLibrary.

From a Library standpoint, this is another amazing database provided by the Maine State Library, and one that will be very helpful to folks looking for how to repair their (insert make, model and year here).

From a consumer standpoint, I think it will be useful when searching for that perfect “new to me” vehicle!

Digital Maine Library ~ formerly known as MARVEL!

By now, it may not be a surprise, as the announcement has been made – MARVEL! has changed.  It is now known as Digital Maine Library.  It is still an AMAZING database available to all Maine library card holders.  This database is provided by the Maine State Library.

When I go to the new site, there are several differences.  There is no general search bar visibly available to search the entire site, and there is no alphabet at the top so that I may jump to the database I want.  These are just a couple of the changes I see immediately.

Hmmm . . . At the top of my screen I see the website name, ABOUT, VIDEO TUTORIALS and NEED ASSISTANCE.  Below that, I again see DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY / GETTING STARTED WITH DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY / A-Z INDEX / ADVANCED SEARCH.  Below this there is a slide show, with a bit of what we will find here.  Scrolling down the page there are three places I can narrow my search choices – SUBJECT, RESOURCE TYPE and AUDIENCE.

Next there is the content of the site.  At a guess, I would say that there are close to 100 different databases that can be accessed here – WOW!

Okay, I click on the word ABOUT and am taken to a page that gives me some history of MARVEL! and the DIGITAL MAINE LIBRARY.  Very interesting information.

Now I’m interested to see what VIDEO TUTORIALS is all about, so I click there.  A page of a variety of lessons appears – from some of the databases, to Facebook, G mail and Instagram.  I will have to take some time to check these out.

The NEED ASSISTANCE button takes me to a place with information about who to contact with questions about this site.

In the next line of links, I click on Getting Started with Digital Maine Library.  This page gives me answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the new site.

A-Z Index is just that, an alphabetical list of all the resources available here pops up on the left side of the page.

The last link on this line is Advanced Search.  This takes me to a page that discusses a couple of the ways that the website sorts, searches and then presents the information to us.  I have discovered a Search Bar that is not on the home page.  This Search Bar is the one that will search the entire Digital Maine Library website and not only the databases that I choose to look at.  Personally, I hope that this will be moved to the home page for the convenience of all of us.

Back to the home page.

Below the slideshow there are three boxes – Subject ;  Resource Type and  Audience.  Each of these has up and down arrows in the box.  Clicking on the arrows gives me many ways to narrow my search – perhaps define or refine are a better words.  Each set of arrows has many, MANY choices and ways to pinpoint which database(s) will be most appropriate for my search.

Enough for now, I look forward to exploring more on this site, but that will have to wait for another day!