Saturday, August 29, 2009

Load Up Your Academic Ammunition

Are you using library databases yet? With the school season swinging back in action, you might want to load up on some academic ammunition to tackle research papers, essays, and projects in your classes. In addition to the wide selection of newspapers, magazines, and journals at the Magazines & Newspapers Center, the San Francisco Public Library carries an extensive range of e-media and databases.

We recently acquired a new scholarly database--Academic OneFile--which contains "peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources" and includes "extensive coverage of physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects."

To access this database:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the Library.

2. Under "Articles and News," select Academic OneFile at the top of the list.

3. In the basic search box, enter "green living":

4. After running your search, you'll see a list of articles from academic journals, magazines, books, newspapers, and multimedia resources. Select any tab to access articles in that category. In addition, the left-hand side bar highlights relevant links to images, videos, and podcasts.

Academic OneFile is only one of many electronic databases you can access with your San Francisco Public Library card. For even more fascinating educational resources, check out these cool back-to-school online resources for both students and educators. The universe of knowledge is just a library card away.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Literary Extravaganza

During the summer, you might spend much of your leisure time reading your favorite novels and indulging in romance, science-fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, and other genres. At other times, you might prefer to sample more literary, eclectic pieces of writing. Here at the Magazines & Newspapers Center, we offer a variety of titles that will supplement your literary fix through titles such as Fourteen Hills, Glimmer Train, Tin House, Zoetrope, and ZYZZYVA.

Fourteen Hills - A literary journal published by the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University since 1994, this publication holds "an impressive reputation among international literary magazines for publishing the highest-quality innovative poetry, fiction, short plays, and literary nonfiction."

Glimmer Train - A quarterly literary magazine featuring short stories by "luminaries and fresh new voices," interviews with writers and other artists, and spotlights on short fiction writing from different parts of the world. This publication also sponsors periodic fiction-writing competitions across a wide range of genres.

Tin House - This quarterly magazine presents stories, poems, and profiles/interviews with writers. Book reviews highlight lesser-known authors and books. Past selections from Tin House have been anthologized in the O'Henry, Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and Pushcart Prize collections.

Zoetrope - A well-crafted, quarterly literary magazine founed by film director Francis Ford Coppola intended to "explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film." Features short stories, essays on the story genre, reprints of classic stories adapted for the screen, and one-act plays.

ZYZZYVA - Last but not least, the San Francisco-based ZYZZYVA, published three times a year, highlights West Coast (namely, California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii) writers and artists and offers a broad selection of fiction, poetry, essays and art.

Finally, on Sunday, August 23, the San Francisco Public Library will be hosting the 25th anniversary celebration of ZYZZYVA. Come celebrate this literary festivity and visit the Magazines and Newspapers Center if you would like to discover even more literary magazines to whet your leisurely reading appetite.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Government Magazines for the People

It appears that the Magazines and Newspapers Center has inspired our next-door neighbors here at the Main Library to embrace magazines from their collection.

Beginning recently, the Government Information Center (GIC), the department that occupies the other half of the fifth floor here at the Main Library, will regularly select a few magazine titles from their collection and display current issues near the atrium across from their reference desk. The GIC's large collection consists of materials published by various government entities (mainly the Federal, California, and San Francisco Governments), and also other publications relating to law, public policy, and political science. The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center is also part of the GIC, and a few of their titles will appear on the rack.

The selections will rotate so that as many titles as possible can be featured. Here's a sampler of some titles from the GIC collection:

Amber Waves is a publication of the economics division of the US Department of Agriculture. If you're interested in the politics of food, (I'm talking to you, Michael Pollan fans), this title is for you.

Edible San Francisco, which comes courtesy of the Stegner Environmental Center, is all about food: delicious, sustainable, locally-sourced, and environmentally-friendly food. Feel free to drool with a clear conscience.

The ABA Journal, published by the American Bar Association, (Government documents librarians love three-letter acronyms, btw) is a great source for news and trends from the legal world. And, unlike all of those law reviews, you don't have to be a lawyer to understand what the writers are talking about.

Our friends at the California Highway Patrol (no, not Ponch and Jon) put out a great monthly magazine called Zenith 12000. It's actually the employee publication of the CHP, but it gives great insight into what's going on in California's state police force. Why Zenith 12000? According to the California Documents Librarian, back in the days when telephone numbers included a word and a number (think Klondike 5-4385), Zenith 12000 was the equivalent of 911.

These are just a taste of what is available through the GIC. The department hopes that by displaying these magazines, they'll get the word out about some of the great publications put out by government agencies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Database: PressDisplay Newspapers

The Library has recently subscribed to a new database that provides access to many of the world's newspapers. The database is called PressDisplay, and a link for it can be found on the Library's "Articles and Databases" page.

Two features in particular make this database stand out:

1) The database provides full text and images in the paper's original layout. It's just like looking at a paper copy!

2) The database often offers same day coverage for most titles with a 60-day rolling archive. This means you can see what's going on at home today regardless of whether home is Pittsburgh, PA or Valleta, Malta.

Both features greatly enhance our international collection of newspapers. PressDisplay offers newspapers from 81 countries in 38 languages. However, if you prefer your newspaper "in paper" and maybe not quite as rapidly, you can still find copies of domestic papers in English here in the Magazines and Newspapers Center and foreign language papers at the International Center.