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September 21, 2006

Historical Statistics of the United States

The UMC Library joined the Twin Cities Library to purchase access to Historical Statistics of the United States

This resource is the online version of the Millennial Edition of Historical Statistics of the United States and is the single most comprehensive compendium of historical U.S. statistics available. It covers the social, economic, political and geographic data collected by the Census Bureau and other agencies of the United States govenment. Each chapter provides extensive documentation for the sources of the statistics. Data can downloaded in Excel or CSV. Custom tables can be created which can also be downloaded, printed, or graphed.

September 15, 2006

Search 1.3 Billion items in over 10,000 libraries

WorldCat contains the library created records for millions and millions of books, videos, and other materials held by libraries world wide. This database has not been generally available directly to the public and certainly not without cost. OCLC, the owner of WorldCat, has decided to make it available at without charge http://www.worldcat.org/. Searching and results are fast and easy. This will be a very useful resource for locating books for interlibrary loan.

The interface is a single search box. The titles in the results list have a link to a record with title, author and a subject heading. You can refine your search by author, format, language, year or content (subject).

Selecting the record on the results list brings up the individual record with a series of tabs. The default tab is Libraries. There you can Enter Location Information (zip code). Once you have that you can locate which libraries hold the specific book. Doing so generates a list of nearby libraries holding the book (and the distance). There are links that take you directly to the local library catalog.

Other tabs include:
Details which may include a book jacket summary and table of contents.
Subjects which contains a linked listing of subject headings for further searching. Editions which collect information about large print editions, audio books, videos, and other formats and version of the same book.
Reviews which contain reviews written by readers of the book. Since this database is very new there are not many reviews at this time.

Amazon and other book sellers have links which provide an opportunity to purchase the book.