SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 6: Biography Reference Center

Posted on: May 6, 2010

Biography Reference Center

Dear, sweet little Timmy has procrastinated on his biography homework assignment and waited until the last moments before the library closes to get his book on Martin Luther King Jr.  What’s the annoyed library employee to do when all the books on Martin Luther King Jr. have all been checked out?  We show Timmy how to access Biography Reference Center from home and send him on his way!

Biography Reference Center™ offers a comprehensive collection of more than 450,000 full-text biographies. This is a great resource to check when your library does not have a print biography available for a student.  These biographies have citations and are from reputable sources.

You can search by name, occupation, country, and nationality in Basic Search and limit by life span of person, gender, and other limiters in Advanced Search.  You can also browse Biographies by Genre such as Inventors, Explorers, and African Americans among many others.

When you don’t have a specific person to search for, besides browsing Biographies by Genre, you can also just use the basic search and enter something such as “French Scientists” or “Leaders”.  This is very useful since many students come to the library and say “I need a biography on any person from China” In which case you can just type in “China” in the basic search box and browse. Don’t forget you can also use Advanced Search and set limiters such as lifespan and biographies with pictures.

Discovery Exercise

1. I need a biography on a Japanese Political Leader. Can you find me one?

2. I need a biography with a picture of the person. I just need any scientist. Who do you recommend and how do I know there’s a picture?

*Access from outside the library with a San Jose Public Library card number and PIN

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to register your participation, and then go bid on a prize!

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207 Responses to "Week 6: Biography Reference Center"

Biography Reference Center
1. Biography on a Japanese Political Leader, found! Doi Takako.

2. Biography with a picture of the person-found! Graphic of a camera shows up if there’s a picture of that person. Neat!

Looked up Tiger Woods- Also Known As: Eldrick Tont Woods…hmm- I didn’t know that.

Also looked up Kobe Bryant- (Also Known As: Kobe Bean Bryant; Black Mamba). We share the exact same birthday!! Not a Lakers fan = (

Cool site though!

This is a great idea, but I don’t think it has enough. Almost everything I found was an artile or a short listing from an encyclopedia. I tried searching a couple of common people (Buzz Aldrin, Barack Obama) with the limit of “classic book” with no results. Even Tupac Shakur (a common request) had only a brief description, no real biography. I also wish you could limit from the results page. Disappointing.

After entering a basic name search, be sure to look to the left on the results page — there are options for concise and detailed biographies (Current Biography articles), interviews, etc. I’ll agree that the options under publication type in Advanced search may be misleading; these choices are also features of other EBSCO databases. Sometimes it’s easier to start with the basics and then add limits.

This is a great database! The search feature is very easy to use. It’s simple to find out if the article has a photo too! I looked up my mother’s maiden name and found an article about someone too.

Great online resource. I wish I would’ve known about this resource from when I was in school. (I used to use Wikipedia, but that’s not always reliable.)

Very good resource. Search is very intuitive and will be easy for kids to use. I like how they can type in a country and it comes up with people.

This is nice. I would have liked for some of the people I searched to have a little more information about them. Sometimes when doing a school project, you need more than a few words on something and the references you use should contain different types of information. Still, very good resource. I ❤ the library!

This is a great tool to start research on people. There is alot of information on popular names but not for others. You would obviously need more sources.

For children this would be great..!

Loved this exercise as biographies is my favorite genre.

This is week word process program is very nice. It is use full to me. I found my language in the word process blog.

Very helpful and fast access for patron to complete their assignments. Now all the customers can get all the info without worrying about how to find the same book they are looking for.

• Yoshida Shigeru.Full Text Available Britannica Biographies, 2010, p. 1, 0p, Reading Level (Lexile): 1380
(born Sept. 22, 1878, Tokyo—died Oct. 20, 1967, Ōiso, Japan) Japanese political leader who served several terms as prime minister of Japan during most of the critical transition period after Wor…
Database: History Reference Center
• Katsumoto, Hosokawa (Japanese Political Leader, 1430 – 1473)Add to folder

©Getty Images
GETTY
Joseph Henry, 1797 – 1878
Born:
12/17/1797, Albany, New York, United States
Died:
5/13/1878, Washington D.C., United States
Nationality:
American
Occupations:
Scientist; Astronomer; Galvanologist; Inventor; Meteorologist; Physicist; Professor; Telegrapher.
Achievements:
1st Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1846-1878

Fun excercise indeed!!!

This is very useful online resouce and easy to access. I like it.

This is a very helpful and easy to use resource!

I actually had a patron who asked me something like this but I didn’t know about this then. I do now though. =)

It is very easy to use. It has eleven names returned for the Japanese Political Leader, but one for the Chinese basketball player-Yao Ming:) When I tried the scientist, it has lots of names returned but there are few names don’t have biography links (no information?)

I also wasn’t too impressed with this website but I am sure that it would be very helpful to some people, especially children. It’s good for a quick research and it’s nice that it has references and citations.

Kinmochi Saionji (1849-1940) Japanese prince and politician, prime minister 1906–08 and 1911–12. He was one of the group of elder statesmen known as Genro. By surviving all the other Genro, Saionji exerted considerable influence behind the scenes at times of political uncertainty in the 1920s and 1930s.

Cynthia Moss 1940–American Elephant Researcher. One of the main purposes of Moss’s study was to learn more about the social relationships among elephants. In order to do this, she decided that she must be able to recognize individual elephants. So one of her first steps was to photograph and identify every elephant in the park. “An elephant’s ears are not usually smooth along the outer edge but are almost always tattered in a unique way with U-shaped or V-shaped notches, holes or slits, or combinations of them all. The veins in the ears are prominent and also form unique patterns. Each elephant’s ears are different and can be used for identification in much the same way as human fingerprints,” she explained.

Yukio Hatoyama, the current Japanese Prime Minister was who I picked to research in Biography Reference Center. There was a lot of info on him. It was a good thing there was a picture of the scientist I selected. I assumed by the name it was a female but it wasn’t this could have been a problem when student’s are doing their female biography reports.

Biographies are needed by students of all ages and this resource is wondeful to help them select a person in a specific field or with specific limitations (as the example search showed).

I agree with comments about the excessive conciseness of the biographies. It is unfortunate that a database has biographical entries that are as short as what is available for free on the Web or as the entries in other resources, such as World Book (print or online). For example, if you don’t mind the popup ads, biography.com actually has MORE about Rahm Emanuel (not an insignificant figure now) than this database does. No photo either for Rahm in this database. There is a photo, but little else, for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This database has a good advanced search feature with a lot of filters, so it looks as if it will be helpful if the customer has not determined who to research yet. Although it is not a “children’s” or “student” database, it seems to be aimed at middle or high school students, with short entries, photos (which can easily be found on the Web anyway), and the aforementioned advanced search feature for students in need of a subject. All in all, Ebsco doesn’t appear to measure up to Gale in this reference area.

OK, no one has said anything yet, so I’ll be the first one. The title of this post is “Biography Resource Center,” which (if I remember correctly) is the name of the Gale biography database that we used to offer. 😉

Ah! You beat me to it!

Gah! You’re right. Slip of the reference librarians’ tongues! I went in and fixed it.

I personally prefer Gale’s Biography Resource Center, actually. The biographies are more detailed with more content including multimedia stuff, there are more specific search options (e.g. country of residence of the person), and the interface is much easier to use in my opinion. In general, I prefer Gale’s resources to EBSCO’s because of the user interfaces, content, and the technical/policy stuff like EBSCO’s embargos on titles, EBSCO’s removal of content without warning or reimbursement, and even just the up-time of the database.

1. Soga no Umako, 551 – 626
Nationality:Japanese
Occupations:Political Leader

2. Louis Pasteur & the Founding of Microbiology; 2004, preceding p1-37, 37p

This resource seems to be very helpful and easy to use. I was a little disappointed when I did a blank search for scientists and I only found one article on Mme Curie, as well as an article on Einstien that was comprised of silly cartoons. (Although, I do understand that the Einstein article is aimed at a younger reading group).

This is pretty easy to use. I do like the country search, and the different categories are fun to surf. In a pinch, this is a good database, although it isn’t as thorough (in this case) as a book, if the choice is there.

Easy to use and navigate, but was a little disappointed at how short the articles were. However, when many schools are handing out biography assignments at the same time, and the books are no longer on the shelves, this is a good resource to go to.

OK, plenty of Japanese politicians to choose from and I was surprised to find photos of some obscurce individuals, but caveats abound with this resource. All in all it makes the grade for younger students in my opinion, but it’s by no means a complete research tool. Nevertheless I recommend it frequently when I can find the individual in question, of course. But get this, Daisuke Matsuzaka has an entry and Barry Zito does not? Hmmm … this is clearly an egregious baseball bias and I don’t even like the Giants. Caveats indeed … Fuhgedaboudit!

Generally this resource is useful if you just need some basic information about a person, certainly for somewhat obscure people. I like that you can search by profession and country.

I agree with the above posters who mentioned how brief many of the biographies are; usually I was able to find much more information from the Gale site. I have found it to be very handy, though, when helping students who need information on a person from a specific state.

The first thing I noticed was a date of death for Lynn Redgrave. Since when is Lynn Redgrave dead?!? Oh, this past Saturday. 😦

The next comment I have is that I wish I had combined the looking up a Japanese Politician with the looking for biographies with accompanying pictures. There are biographies on Japanese political figures going pretty far back in history, so some of those pictures would be really interesting. Actually, amongst the photos of scientists, some of them were really not very flattering.

Coming to you live from Alviso Library

Pretty easy to use. I like the advance search. Lots of options to work with. A lot of them have pictues. Good for presentation printouts.

might be confusing for younger kids needing it for homework, yet not quite detailed enough for adults. easy to find though.

Its an interesting resource, but seems kind of limited to extremely well known people.

The “Articles with images” limit on Advanced Search does not include the images indicated by that camera icon on the search results.

I agree the depth of the biographical info leaves a lot to be desired. Even on a figure like George Washington, I can get much better biographical info out of World Book. A search on “George Washington” (that order) also calls into question the quality of their relevance ranking – he didn’t appear until result #13 (2nd page). I expected Koizumi to rank much higher in a search for “japanese politician” as well (he was #74, last page).

But its a good tool for identifying unknown people by a given criteria.

One of the easier databases we have looked at. Should be very
useful if you want general information on a topic.

I finally found the images buttonway at the bottom. I checked out the Spanish option under preferences, but it only led to a Spanish interface, the information was still in English.

Conducted an advanced search using nationality and primary occupation and came up with Katsumoto, Hosokawa; Toshihiko, Sakai; and Sanjo Sanetomi…A basic search, using the key terms yielded similar results, except that it displayed 10 leaders, instead of 6. So, the basic search gave me more hits! 🙂

Advanced search for occupation: scientists. Sorted by alphabet. Found great photo of Thomas Edison!!! Camera icon is a useful identifier.

This will be helpful with the kids. It took me a minute to notice the different options for each person (concise or detailed bio, interviews, etc) in the left sidebar.

maybe the camera icon indicating a picture is a bit misleading, since it’s sometimes a painting or drawing. but it’s cool that you can quickly determine which entries include an image.

Still, this will come in handy. Here at AL we have a small collection and kids often don’t want to wait for a request to come, or dont have time.

I love the idea of this database since it can be difficult to get a biography for a student when everyone in their class has already been through the library. I do feel that the quality of the biographies varies, but it is still a good source to remind folks of. Most Japanese political leaders had little more than a paragraph. However, I found a substantial bio on Jimmy Carter.

The Biography Resource Center was real interesting and easy to use……..LOVED IT!! =0)

It is simple to use and the information is useful to students in lower grade.

Wow. this is a great resource, and something i can now use when kids come in late to do a project.

I find this resource very easy to use.

I agree – Biography Resource Center from Gale is a better resource than Biography Reference Center from Ebsco.

This database is a life saver! We use it all the time! The interface is much more child-friendly than Biography Collection Complete.

This will be useful when helping the kids.

• Yoshida Shigeru.Full Text Available Britannica Biographies, 2010, p. 1, 0p, Reading Level (Lexile): 1380
(born Sept. 22, 1878, Tokyo—died Oct. 20, 1967, Ōiso, Japan) Japanese political leader who served several terms as prime minister of Japan during most of the critical transition period after Wor…
Database: History Reference Center
• Katsumoto, Hosokawa (Japanese Political Leader, 1430 – 1473)Add to folder

©Getty Images
GETTY
Joseph Henry, 1797 – 1878
Born:
12/17/1797, Albany, New York, United States
Died:
5/13/1878, Washington D.C., United States
Nationality:
American
Occupations:
Scientist; Astronomer; Galvanologist; Inventor; Meteorologist; Physicist; Professor; Telegrapher.
Achievements:
1st Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1846-1878

I think this is a well organized database. The home screen is simple and easy to use. It would be great if this db could include more multimedia content such as audio or video clips.

It is very easy to use, but it does not give you a lot of information on the person you are researching. 1 or 2 paragraphs is not enough information.

Simple to use for anyone. Comes in handy when the kids'(I tutor) parents don’t have time or are too lazy to go to the library.

I agree with the others about the lack of comprehensiveness, but it could be helpful as a starting point or used as one (of many other) sources. When compared to what’s available on the Web though, I think this resource falls short. I went to genre first for politicians and was disappointed at the options for U.S. and Canada only. However, it was super easy to find a politician from the results list when performing a “Japanese” search. The inclusion of articles with image is very helpful and I enjoyed being able to tell from the results list what entries had images and what kind they were.

Awesome! Very practical & easy to use.

Easy to use but not enough information.

I liked the 2nd exercise where we tried to find a category of people such as scientists. This question occurs frequently at the branches. It’s great to know that we can search by category and then narrow down the ones with pictures. Yes, the kids want pictures. Great tip! I learned a trick that will help at the reference desk.

I found this easy to use but was disappointed with the short articles. It might be fine as a starting point for middle school level research, but most teachers would require their students to have more details. This is definitely helpful but only to a small degree.

Easy to use and often, kids just need a short entry or something to demonstrate they got a ‘book’ resource, so this database is wonderful. I do agree with comments above – the entries are a tad too concise, and often are written at a high Lexile level…

I was first introduced to this database during one of the staff meeting here a few months ago, now I actually got a chance to play around with this in detail. Very easy to use. I wish there can be a thumbnail image of the pictures of Japanese politicians, since we may heard their name on the news, but a thumbnail in the search result would really be helpful, especially when demonstrate it to customers and I know some of them will recongnize the face and match it with the name.

Thanks for this opportunity to learn about all these databases, it’s wonderful!

Veary easy to use, great resource. week 6 EB

Very useful info!

I’m so glad to have found this and use it. It’s extremely useful and I can use this for all the kids that come if for biographies at the last minute. I will definitely keep this in mind when the kids and their parents come in.

I loved this database. I did find some of the subjects I looked for to be a little short of informations. But other than that I think it is a good alternative if you can not have a indepth book availble to you at that moment.

This is a great resource. The articles are short and concise. This is the best thing to resort on if all the books on the subject are not available for a report.

Excellent resource. Very useful for beginning research on historical figures. Looked up Japanese political leader Ryoma Sakamoto 1836-1868. No pictures available however; none were ever shot.

This is a wonderful resource, very easy to use and I am impressed with the intuitiveness of the design.

Great resource for biographys. This will come in handy when most of our biography collection is checked out.

I think this database needs more info. All the my searches had little information. I do like the translation button though!

Good resource for when we are short on books. I did like the Gale biography database better.

Now there’s a credible alternative to Wikipedia 🙂

Biography Resource Center is awesome! I love all of the search options! It’s great to have so much access to biographical info on people that don’t necessarily have entire books written on them!

Interesting. A slight mistake with the database though. A search of either “Japanese political ” [leader] or “Japanese politician” did not bring up Shoguns, only one warrior. The search did not bring up Tokugawa Yoshinobu (who was the last shogun politician and who had an important influence in returning Japan to imperial rule ).

Monique at EB week 6
I looked up Katsumoto, Hosokawa (Japanese Political Leader, 1430 – 1473)
Scientist: Francis Collins, never heard of him. In order to know if a picture is available a camera is on the side.

1. Japanese Political Leader is Soga no Emishi.
2. Scientist biography with a picture is Bernard, Claude. Look @ the one is w/ camera that have image avail.
It’s nice database. Nhan Huynh @ EB Wk#6

Soga Umako, a Japanese political leader. Great exercise!!!!! Great Database!!!!!

I got Eisaku Sato for my political leader. He was Prime Minister of Japan from 1964-1972. He shared the Nobel peace prize with Seán MacBride rejecting nuclear weapons. His brother was also Prime Minister of Japan from 1957–60, impressive family.

Pros:
Great site, easy searching for kids who need to do biographies for popular people.
You can limit by grade or number of pages.

Cons:
Even though I found this information for Eisaku Sato, that was all I seemed to find. From the other comments left it seems this resource is still building their database and many less popular figures have only snippets of information.

Overall this site is a very good recommend for little Timmy if they don’t whine about needing a physical book.

This database is great! I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve had a student come in at the last minute and we’re out of all the books on the particluar person they’re asking for. Now I know I can refer them here!

It seemed very easy to use and figuring out which ones had pictures with them was a snap. Like this one:
http://0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.sjlibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=b6h&AN=32216593&site=brc-live

She looks like such a happy lady, doesn’t she? Guess I wouldn’t look very happy either if the thing I discovered later killed me…

The idea behind this database is great. I like the multiple categories that are available, such as reading level and the sort. However, as many others have noted, the biographies have very limited information.

I wouldn’t hesitate referring a child to the site but for anyone searching for a little more information, I’ll have to find an alternative.

-Japanese Political Leader? JaSakai Toshihiko
-Scientist? Joseph Henry

Here you go sweet little Timmy.

Good Luck with your assigment!

This is another very helpful tool that anybody can use for research or for leisure.

1. Japanese Political Leader- Hosokawa Katsumoto, 1430 – 1473

2. Scientist- Albert Einstein, to the right of the link there is an icon of a camera.

This is a great database. Ready for week 7

This will be quite useful.

I don’t like the advanced search on this resouce. If a patron were looking for a specific, possibly lesser known person, I don’t think this database would be very helpful. For the more general searcher, however, the “biographies by genre” is really nice. Plus, the biographies note when a picture is included.

Very helpful resource for both staffs and customers. I actually enjoyed this week’s assignment. EB rocks!!

Japanese Political Leader: Eisaku Sato, 1901 – 1975 (With picture).
I looked “vietnamese scientist” and got “No results were found”. ???
You’ll see a camera icon if there’s a photo.
The resource can be used as a supplement of biography books.

It was good info : )

Biography Ref. Center is so easy to use.

Very useful! I have had a number of kids with the exact problem described in the lesson description and now I know exactly what to tell them.

That is AWESOME! Goooooo databases!

It’s interesting to browse and I found some unexpected kind of political leaders, such as follows:
Doi Takako (born November 30, 1928, Kōbe, Japan) Japanese politician, educator, and head (1986–91) of the Japan Socialist Party (JSP; in 1991–96 called the Social Democratic Party of Japan [SDPJ], later simplified to Social Democratic Party). She was the first woman ever to head a political party in Japan.

Nosaka Sanzō (born March 30, 1892, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan—died Nov. 14, 1993, Tokyo) politician who was the leading figure in the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) throughout the late 1950s and ’60s. He was responsible for the party’s pursuit of its revolutionary goals through peaceful participation in parliamentary politics.

This is a great database for students seeking biographical information. The subject links on the right side of the screen make searching easier. The alphabetical listing of persons helps customers find information quickly. The pictures are very useful for customers and the synopsis to the right of the articles gives important information without someone having to sift through the entire article.

This is a great resource to introduce to students who are looking for biographical information. In addition to the celebrity in the western world, there are information of famous people of multiculturalism.
Especially this database is very easy to search, the patrons do not need a complex search strategy in order to find out what they want to look for.

This database isn’t perfect but in a pinch it’s a lifesaver. I found it useful when kids come in and say I need any bio on an Asian person. And of course, all the print bios we have are out, I use this database for ideas. This database isn’t for in-depth research papers. It’s enough info for grade school kids and is also easy enough for them to use.

This is an outstanding database. Its great to know there is a positive option available when biographical books aren’t available on short notice. I found it very user friendly. I do personally enjoy biographies.

I think Biography Reference Center is useful when kids need to get some ideas of whose biography they would like to work on.
The full-text articles I cliked on were not very detailed. Hence, further searches in the book forms based on the initial BRC searches are definitely needed.

found everything

We use this database a lot at Evergreen!

great resource!

good 411

The Biography Resource center is prtetty easy to use and provides a lot of in depth info about a wide variety of people. I think the best feature of the Biography resource center is that the archives are updated to the point where your serach results are as current and new as possible.

This resource seems like it would be most useful for researching less well-known individuals, when book sources don’t cover them. I like the genre searches. Got to read a bit about Ida Cox, blues woman of “Wild women don’t get the blues” fame.

This was great – I’ve used this resource before to search for specific names but hadn’t tried the other features. (Innovation Unit)

As the weeks progress these are getting easier and easier to understand just because I am getting more familar with the site. I liked this one a lot but I agree with everyone else, some people you look up need a little more information. All in all it is still very helpful especially with those little ones that wait till the last min. to come in and look for there information. Its a good idea!

Great resource and user friendly!! I will definitely will be referring the database to those procrastinators..

Week 6 was interesting and usefull.

Excellent site. Great for, exactly like the article suggests, helping younger students.

Biography Resource Cente is a great and helpful resource, easy to use. I found Yoshida Shigeru Japanese Political Leader. I tried the images collection, lot of option to search a picture of people, flags, maps, natural science, historical places etc. I like it!

BB

Useful for the indecisive researcher, however, the full text portion is quite lacking. This is more of a supplement rather than an alternative source for biography report.

A great one to use for the little ones!

This is a great electronic resource that we have been already referrring to elementary, middle, and high school students as well as college students. Ever chance I get an opportunity to promote SJPL databases to school teachers and their students either via class visits at the library or outreach events at school, I mention this valuable resource to this target group of students from elementary to high school students as well as their teachers.

This is a great database. You can find lots of people who wouldn’t be found in books. This is very useful for school assignments.

Easy to use. I thinks kids & especially their parents will like the easy access to bios.

Most of the articles I looked at are very short, too short. Some of the advanced search features don’t seem to work properly. After I put a limiter with the new search, the article I found using basic search did not show up! The translation function works with all the language options except Chinese, traditional and simplified. I got proxy error.

This was very easy to use and is a great database to refer when helping customers.

What up, long time no seen

Well, I won’t be using this for any college essays… However it’s easy to use and perfect for the squirts who come in to check out those tiny, 20-page biographies.

This is a spectacular database. I did some checking on oboists to see how extensive this collection was and I was very pleased to note the comprehensive nature of this resource. I’ll definitely increase my use and will refer customers to this valuable source of information.

It’s a pretty quick reference for biographies. I also like having the ability to enter keywords as part of the search, for example, prisoner or pianist if didn’t have an exact person in mind.

This is a really good thing to know. I have alot of kids and parents aswell asking for biographies. Now i can show them the site so they could get more information.

I really like this database. If you click on “Preferences” there are up to 23 languages to choose from to help customers with their search (this does not translate the whole page). There are 9 languages to choose from for a translation of the text once a biography has been selected.

very informative article.

easy to understand

This is an awesome database. Very uselful and easy to use.

Biography Reference Center is a great resouce of information! It was easy and straight to the point information.

Week 6 database activities were very insightful. The Biography Center is an excellent source to use especially when books are checked out and a patron is not willing to/cannot go to another branch or “wait” for the item to be placed on hold, etc.

I looked up a few famous people (presidents & stars/celebrities) and found myself to be very content with the search results. Very excellent sources of information all at my finger tips.

I wish this was available during my early academic years when I was in elementary/high school.

great site to use for young kids like Timmy. I liked the translation feature but was not impressed with the amount of information given.

this week was good. I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Pretty cool reference for biographical material. It seems more useful for the younger folks, but still a nice resource.

Nancy Buckles -Edenvale
Great database which I use often, especially when the student wants a particular nationality. It’s a great place to start.

It was pretty interesting to know that the database itself offer a variety of “reputable” biographies along with various common citation formats for each biography article. When I looked up the biography for Nikola Tesla, the man who invented the alternate current, I thought it was really cool how within Tesla’s biography there were also links to other famous folks like Thomas Edison, etc. It would be more “wicked cool” though if the database also include the option in which it allows you to search for keywords within the article itself like how the yahoo search engine did. Also–I’m pretty sure others might have mentioned this– but when I tried to look up for James Watt’s biography for instant, the database only yielded this box with a short fact list for the British inventor only with only one photo of him and that’s all. Hence, I was thinking well if I was “little Timmy” and supposedly I was assigned to do a biography on James Watt, I guess wikipedia might be my last resort then?

I used Yoshiro Mori as my Japanese politician example. There is a photo of him with some American baseball players. He was PM 2000-01. The camera icon shows whether there is a photo of your subject.
Linus Torvalds had a pretty good summary of his life and a photo. The database does seem to be aimed at high school users. Looked Verna Aardema and just found basic info. There is a “Search other databases” command that gives the user options.

good to know the new site!

I love the scenario with Timmy…so true! 🙂

i enjoyed this site!
lots of info. and loved the pictures

This is a very interesting database

great database. just sucks i didnt find any biographies for Guam

I like how the subjects are separated by genres for an easier find. It’s pretty self explanatory. =)

Loved this exercise as biographies is my favorite genre.

I loved it. It’s so helpful.

I’m beginning to understand the whole process better

The Biography Reference Center is a good resource and it’s easy to use. However, on some individuals that I chose to research, the information was very limited.

Very helpful during those times when students come in last minute looking for bio’s on the same subject as their 20 other classmates who came in the day before.

I loved this database. Very easy to use.

A great database to use as a starting off point since you are able to search certain occupations or nationalities, however, the limited info on each person makes it somewhat less useful.

Just for fun, I decided to look up our governator and found that picture of him is rather amusing. The search function with this database is so easy to use!

I like how all the information is properly cited. This should make writing reports so much more easier than having to wiki everything. Citing sources is very important in college level reports and this database just makes it even easier.

I left utterly disappointed when I looked up my own name and found no results, though.

Great resource to have. Now we will no longer see that annoying Timmy EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think the subject search function could be better.

This database it pretty easy to use. I was able to find the answers to the questions in a matter of minutes. Convenient for helping little Timmy. Of course we’ll see him again. He comes in everyday after school to play games on the computers, and then he does his homework and asks for help (right before we close). Of course every day, we remind him of that it doesn’t work very well waiting until the last minute.

This is a very easy tool to use, but I couldn’t get the picture up.

Good resource but I think the some of the biographies’ content is too short and there is not enough information

I love this week’s database. One Japanese Political Leader is Katsumoto, Hosokawa (1430-1473). A scientist (any) is Roger Bacon. You know there is a picture of this scientist because you’ll see a photo of a camera, which once clicked on, a photo of him appears. LOVE IT!!!!!!

Good resource. Very helpful. Easy to use.

I checked differnet biography databases for the same subject, all of them had a little information, but sometimes only a couple of paragraphs. Maybe using this information you might be able to pull up other info to write a short paper.

Very easy to use! love the camara icon!!

This biaography reference is ..a waste of time. it’s good enough for .. a second grade student only ( I think). I tried to search Vietnamese political leaders, and it came up only 4 persons !!?!? and I did another search for Ngo Dinh Diem, there is only 1 short article about him.
this biography data base needs to be updated.

I like the function that you can search by genre. I get this kind of questions all the time. And the addition of a picture is a plus!

easy to use resource

A good resource if you need a short descripition on the person you need to find info on, but I would’nt just rely on this for a school paper or anything similar.

Great resource for students to jump start a biography project.

I always show kids and their parents how to use this resource.

oh.. can’t beat that.. I like this assignment so much!!.. a great and useful resource to use. I’ll refer this helpful reference resources to library patrons for them to use.

Okay, how more we have to do?

This is a good resource for most patrons especially kids.

This is a good resource for young students. How many times have I been asked for a certain historic person’s biography and all the books were checked out on the first day of the assignment! This could at least get the student started on their report.
People famous before the invention of the camera are depicted in other ways such as drawings (Aesop) or sculptures (Alexander the Great).

A great resource!

A great resource.

A great resource.
Found the japanese prime-minister and Dr. Lister with picture.

Easy to use. It’s a great resource for students, but I find many of the entries too short. I miss Gale!

Wow, this is a great reference to doing research for class. I’m going to show this to patron as an alternative to encyclopedia.

Easy to navigate and highly useful. Very cool!

I think this is a cool resource but there just isn’t much info on the person of interest. The articles are really short.

An interesting database.

Quick, easy to use database. Nice resource for students.

It was really fun to experiment with the different resources in our Biography database. I found it easier to specifically searh by their name instead of a type of scientist. Also, I really liked how in some of he searches it already had a lot of the basic information in the search link. I really enjoyed searching and finding the different methods in which we can research here at SJPL

I found the site to be useful for the most part. Many entries were well written and long yet some were not so long and not too helpful. Good tool to use for the student looking for a last second report, like little Timmy.

Good database – could be excellent if more extensive in regards to length/depth of articles and coverage. I’ve been disappointed in the past that there weren’t many results for some noteworthy people that I thought for sure this database would include. Easy to use and helpful that it includes the lexile numbers.

a good database to use when looking for biographies.

Week 6
This is very useful

This exercise was cool! I like that you can find bio info and photos.

Lucy Sun @ RG – Week 5

This database was easy to use and concise enough that even young kids would be able to gather the information they desire.

Biography Reference Center (BRC) should come in handy. A few weeks ago WG was without biographies of female soccer players, however, BRC has seven biographies ready to go. I will have to remember to recommend this database.

Very clean interface, I like the links to specific searches on the side. Overall a very easy and simple experience, very well made.

Nice resource.

If I can’t find an actual book on a particular indvidual, I like this resource as an alternative. I agree that it has as much information as one would find in an encyclopedia but in a pinch this could work. Also, I found it easy to search by name and liked the different categories when a specific person is not known. Will try to use/recommend this resource in the future.

As mentioned by other staff members, the Biography Reference Center is useful when kids need to get some ideas of whose biography they would like to work on.

This is a great reference tool they can add along with books and magazines.

Mary – BB

Very easy to use.

Boo, hiss! No biographies written about women artists in the past 5 years. Tell me I missed something.

I found the previous Japanese Prime Minister, not the current one. But I did find an excellent biography, considering the brevevity of these entries, of Dorothy Parker. I also found the picture and biographyof Jonas Salk under the list for the genre of scientists. This article answered some questions that I had about him, Sabin, and the Polio Vacines. I think this is a very good tool for an overview.

week 8 (ab)

Almaden Branch

this database has a wide scope

Great database. Very useful, even if there is a book in the branch available.

This is one of the easiest databases. It is extremely user friendly and easy to find exactly what your looking for while others make you jump through hoops to look for the simplest things.

* Brandon Smith – BB

This was the database of the week when I was on vacation, so I decided to go back and do the lesson. I’ve used it a lot with students. It’s easy to use but doesn’t have much depth.

this is a fun and easy use database.

Zobeyda Moreno—PA
May 7, 2010 at 11:36 am

• Yoshida Shigeru.Full Text Available Britannica Biographies, 2010, p. 1, 0p, Reading Level (Lexile): 1380
(born Sept. 22, 1878, Tokyo—died Oct. 20, 1967, Ōiso, Japan) Japanese political leader who served several terms as prime minister of Japan during most of the critical transition period after Wor…
Database: History Reference Center
• Katsumoto, Hosokawa (Japanese Political Leader, 1430 – 1473)Add to folder

©Getty Images
GETTY
Joseph Henry, 1797 – 1878
Born:
12/17/1797, Albany, New York, United States
Died:
5/13/1878, Washington D.C., United States
Nationality:
American
Occupations:
Scientist; Astronomer; Galvanologist; Inventor; Meteorologist; Physicist; Professor; Telegrapher.
Achievements:
1st Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1846-1878

Fun excercise indeed!!!

replied under #10 above

Always a good site for student reports and just general interest. Also good to refer to customers if a print bio is not available in the collection and they want some immediate info.

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