Saturday, March 29, 2008

Using Periodical Finder

There are several ways to find out if the library has a popular magazine or academic journal: ask a librarian at the reference desk, search our online catalog the same way you would look for a book, or use Periodical Finder. Using Periodical Finder will enable you to see if a title is available in the library and/or online in one of the library's article databases.

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.”

2. Select Periodical Finder, which will direct you to a list of databases to which the library subscribes. You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access these databases from outside the Library.

You can search periodicals by ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) or title keywords, browse through an alphabetical listing, or browse through general subject categories. Results will direct you to the online catalog record and/or to the database(s) that holds content for a particular periodical. The interface to each database varies, but most offer full-text content you can e-mail to yourself, download, or print out.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Fever

Persistent sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, skin rashes—these symptoms signify the coming of the spring season, and along with it, allergies. What are allergies exactly? Where do they come from? To find health-related information on this recurrent and seasonal affliction, check out the Health and Wellness Resource Center:

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 the Categories side bar on the left, select “Health” and then “Health & Wellness Resource Center | (Gale).”

3. In the search box, enter “spring allergies.”

Notice that the articles appear under assorted topical categories including books and fact sheets, magazines and journals, drugs, pamphlets, video, and news. Select any of these tabs to view articles in that particular category. Below is a citation and excerpt from one of the many links under the "Magazines & Journals" category:

Beat spring allergies. (Buyers guide). Sara Altshul. Prevention. April 2007, v59 i4, p38.

“Do relentless sneezing fits leave you desperate to alleviate the misery? First go-to: Your doctor will likely suggest an antihistamine, nasal spray, or decongestant. If you're concerned about drowsiness or nasal irritation, or if typical remedies don't put a dent in your suffering, these expert-approved alternatives are worth trying.”

The Health and Wellness Resource Center contains authoritative articles on a variety of health-related topics from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Additional content include chapters from books, pamphlets, videos, selected Web sites, and online directories.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Update: California Digital Newspaper Collection

The recently redesigned California Digital Newspaper Collection viewer offers public access to full page scans of several California newspapers for the years 1849 through 1911. One can search these newspapers by keyword or browse by date by using the calendar search option.

Currently available are the Alta California (1849-1850), Daily Alta California (1850-1876), Amador Ledger (1900-1911), Los Angeles Herald (1905-1906), San Francisco Call (1899-1910) and the Call-Chronicle-Examiner April 19, 1906 post-earthquake issue.

From the website:

"The Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside (UCR), has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), 2005-2009. Additional information about this program is available at the Library of Congress corollary NDNP Web site. We also received three Library Services and Technology Act grants from the California State Library to create a California Digital Newspaper Collection at UCR.

The NDNP is a joint venture of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to create a national digital newspaper resource representing papers from all states published between 1836-1922. The program is projected to last twenty years. The first grant covered newspapers published between 1900-1910. The Center digitized over 100,000 pages of California newspapers for this period: the San Francisco Call, the Amador Ledger, the Imperial Valley Press, and the Los Angeles Herald. The Center will be digitizing an additional 100,000 pages for the second grant, which targets newspapers published 1880-1910.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection at UCR will include all papers digitized for the national program and additional historical California newspapers, the Daily Alta California, in particular."

Friday, March 7, 2008

CQ Weekly

Have you ever wondered who keeps a watchful eye on the government, the fraternizing of politicians and their politicking, or just the whole Washington, D.C. scene? With 2008 being a Presidential election year, one needs a reliable source to keep abreast on all these political issues and happenings. How and where should you begin? A good place to check is the San Francisco Public Library. The library has a magazine called the CQ Weekly that just might hold all the answers to your questions regarding the political scene on Capitol Hill.

CQ Weekly covers timely articles, providing readers an account of what happens in Congress on a weekly basis. In addition to articles on current issues in Congress, CQ Weekly covers Senate and House bills passed the previous week and how each senator and representative voted. Other topics include updates on legislative news, “Box Scores,” public policy development government trends, commerce, politics, impact of business and government on effect, the economy, and much more.

CQ Weekly also has an online web site with searchable content updated on a weekly basis that requires a subscription.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Sutro Library versus SFPL: when and where to go for what

Both the Sutro Library of the California State Library and the San Francisco Public Library's Magazines and Newspapers Center have excellent resources for doing genealogical research. So how do you chose when and where to go for what you need?

The Sutro Library specializes in genealogical resources for areas outside of California. The library "has one of the largest genealogical collections west of Salt Lake City with extensive resources for states other than California and basic resources for California. The California Section of the California State Library, Sacramento, has more materials for California history and genealogy."

If you are looking for information that is based in California, especially in San Francisco itself, then it's best to come to the San Francisco Public Library!