Learn about one of the state's best kept secretsI’d like to share with you one of the best-kept secrets in the state. For several years the Minnesota Legislature has appropriated money to fund web-based information services.
By: By BettyAnn Hegland, Alexandria Echo Press
I’d like to share with you one of the best-kept secrets in the state. For several years the Minnesota Legislature has appropriated money to fund web-based information services.
This service, which is free of charge to any resident with a valid library card, is called the Electronic Library For Minnesota (ELM).
The problem with ELM is that there hasn’t been much publicity. So, if you haven’t stopped to chat at the local reference desk, you may not have heard about it.
It is a fantastic resource, which is made up of more than 40 individual databases purchased from a variety of vendors. There is something for everyone of any age. It’s like having your own personal reading room and reference center 24 hours a day.
Although the original impetus behind ELM’s funding was to give out-state students wider access to journals and periodicals, it has grown to offer resources for professionals and the general public.
Not only does it include magazines of all types, but you can access an encyclopedia and almanacs as well. Many of the databases also include entries from standard reference sources. It even has a database entirely devoted to full-text electronic books.
The days of the old Reader’s Guide to Periodicals are gone forever. No more hunting for citations and then being disappointed because the library didn’t carry a subscription to that particular magazine, or having to wait two to three weeks for a photocopy to come from the metro area.
Besides, by the time RGP was compiled, indexed, printed, bound and distributed to libraries, the entries were dated.
ELM’s offerings are up-to-the-minute as well as archival. The vast majority are full text.
You can search ELM the same way that you search any library catalogue. You will also be pleased to find that each entry has an abstract along with hot-linked subject headings, just like a library book record. If you prefer, you can also select an issue from your favorite magazine and read it at your leisure.
I’ve only just scratched the surface of all that ELM holds but I hope you will take a few minutes to explore its possibilities.
You can access it directly from http://www.elm4you.org/ or hot link from the card catalogue at http://www.viking.lib.mn.us/.
Happy holidays from the entire staff at the Douglas County Library. We appreciate your continued patronage and support.