Easing into E-Resources: Digital Newspapers
Updated: Apr 14
The Hidden Resource:
You may be familiar with many of the materials that you have access to at our library, such as books, CD's, audio-books, magazines, and DVDs. But are you familiar with the array of resources that are available electronically? Do you know what an electronic resource is? For those of you who are willing to take a journey into the vast world of electronic resources, this blog series is for you.
Caldwell Public Library has an extensive newspaper database that is available to you with your library card. Located under the resources tab on our website, you can browse through each of our main collections: Idaho Press-Tribune, Idaho Statesman, other Idaho newspapers, and America's News. I will go over each section that we have on our website in this blog, but if you ever need any more information, don't hesitate to ask us more questions or schedule a tech tutor appointment! All online newspaper access is made possible by NewsBank.
When you click on the link for the Idaho Press-Tribune digital newspapers, our NewsBank access will ask for your library card number. Enter that number to begin your search. Our collection holds materials from 1998 to the present. You can search any keyword, such as a name, event, or topic. For instance, when I use digital newspapers I often search for a year and a name, because I am usually conducting a genealogy search.
You can also browse issues by date. There is a drop-down menu on the right side where you can change the year of the calendar shown and then choose a day to browse through. For instance, if I wanted to look for something on February 14, 2018, I would change the year on the drop-down menu and then click on the date shown in the February calendar. When you select a day to browse, you can view the newspaper by section, and each article will show up by title. So, looking at February 14th of 2018, I can select the article "Family minimum wage exemption to Pass Idaho House." When I click on the article, it shows me more details such as the author, how many words the article includes, and the reading level of the article (lexile and grade level). On the top of the article, there are tabs that give you extra options, such as saving, downloading, printing, and citing. You can also scroll forward or backward through the issue on the top right.
The Idaho Statesman is divided into three categories: 1999-Current in text version only, 2017-Current with images available, and 2007-Current, featuring just the blogs. Exploring just the images option, picking a date that is available, you can read the newspaper in a normal view like you would at home. The images and layout of the article are digitized completely. On the right side of the paper, the Statesman has provided thumbnail views so that you can see what each page looks like. You still have the same options to print, save, email, and cite. You can increase the size of the view and you can hide the page thumbnails if you do not like the way they look. When we explore the blog section of the newspapers, there are articles that are centered mainly around local food and entertainment. Not every day has a blog article available, and only one article is available per day, but the topics are fun to explore and if you are looking for local treasures, that is a great source to use!
Other Idaho Newspapers
There are 27 other Idaho newspapers that you can explore, with dates as far back as 1989. You can refine your search by date, location, type, format, and language. For instance, there is a university paper available on December 17, 2018 called "Eight tips to stay warm this winter," from Brigham Young University. Spoiler - one of the tips is cuddling! Other locations include Moscow, Pocatello, and Twin Falls. The variety of types can be blogs, newspapers, web-source, and one newswire and college source. Explore all the newspapers that are available, it's kind of fun when you get the hang of it!
For the most adventurous database browsers, there is also access to newspapers all across America. The homepage to this section is divided by Suggested Topics, showing the topics as individual tiles that you can click on. However, I found it more interesting to browse by location by using the USA Source Locator option listed on the right side of the page. Because I used to read newspapers from the former states I lived in, I zeroed in on those two states in particular. From Colorado, there were 49 sources available for me to browse, and I found The Gazette from Colorado Springs, going back as far as 1988. I also explored California, which has 204 sources available, and I found the Mercury News from San Jose, going back as far as 1985. Talk about a trip down memory lane!
Not everyone is comfortable or familiar with online databases, and that's where your local librarians can help. Come in and use our computers or WiFi, and if you get stuck or need help getting started, you can ask the reference librarian and we can assist. Or, if you think you will need more uninterrupted, one-on-one help, then book a librarian or book a tech tutor appointment and we can work with you individually. We like to encourage as much learning and hands-on experience as possible, so come with your notes, prepare to take more notes, and we can guide you through it so you can feel comfortable working on your own!
You can also watch the NewsBank tutorial on Niche Academy, if you want to learn on your own.
AtoZ Foods and ABC Foods are up next for our look into e-resources. Explore all that the world can offer us for dining and beverage, with recipes and regional history to explore as well. Who knew there was so much available about one of my favorite topics, great food!