SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 7: San Jose Mercury News (SJPL)

Posted on: May 13, 2010

San Jose Mercury News (SJPL)’s  main feature is its access to past articles in the San Jose Mercury News from 1985 onwards. SJPL’s subscription goes beyond just this local news source – Newsbank’s America’s Newspapers: Special Reports  has some great resources for researching current news topics

You can search by limiting keywords or phrases within section, all text, section, page, word count, lead or first paragraph, author/byline, caption or source

This database does not include advertisements (including paid funeral announcements), articles by syndicated columnists, photographs or illustrations.

You need a library card to access this outside the library.

Discovery Exercises: San Jose Mercury News

  1. When did Adobe Systems relocate to downtown San Jose?
  2. Find articles about President Clinton’s visit to San Jose in 1998.
  3. Have any articles by Jane Light appeared in the SJMN?

See also SJPL Research Guide for San Jose Mercury News and Timeline for availability of San Jose Mercury News (Sharepoint) to find past and present SJMN news articles in the SJPL Library system.

Go back to the first page (America’s Newspapers).

Nice to know, but not essential : America’s Newspapers: America’s News Magazines indexes 10 popular magazines and news sources, most of which are also available through EBSCO subscriptions. Search by limiting keywords or phrases within section, all text, section, page, word count, lead or first paragraph, author/byline, caption or source. The same limitations apply as for the Mercury News above.

Other SJPL NewsBank features (left hand panel) cover current events and are helpful for students working on assignments for current news topics.

These are:

  1. Hot topics (current topics in the news) —gives suggested questions to consider and search strategies for news sources.
  2. Special reports links to articles, background information, images, maps, suggested search terms, maps and websites.

Discovery Exercise: America’s Newspapers: Special Reports

Go to  Special Reports (left hand panel) ; scroll down to see complete coverage. Choose a report of interest and look at the images and background information.

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


189 Responses to "Week 7: San Jose Mercury News (SJPL)"

Very interesting resource. The exercise was difficult. It was difficult to use the NewsBank search engine. I found that Clinton came to San Jose May 2, 1998. The other exercises were difficult to find. Overall, the resouce is okay to use.

This is pretty neat to have but doesn’t the Mercury News have their own website to search articles too?
This data base wasn’t as easy as just looking it up in google to be honest. I had some difficulty trying to use the NewsBank. It took me awhile to actually get around to figuring out where to go and click.
However, I think this is a good source for students and patrons.

Yes you can search what I think is basically the same database in the but you have to take an extra step. You have to go to HELP and select the section: past articles. Notice it will start out by limiting you to 30 days. Then when you find an older article(s), they want to charge you. Using the library’s version there is no charge.

It was challenging to find the information. Nonetheless trying to teach the customer how to navigate the databases. In mi opinion, SJMN own website and even Google would be easier to find the information.

The water company sold its longtime headquarters on West Santa Clara Street to Adobe Systems in 2006, under an agreement that allowed San Jose Water to continue operating there until mid-2008.
Adobe has said it purchased the seven-acre site for $36.5 million so it would have room to expand. The property is across the street from the HP Pavilion and about a quarter mile from the three leased office towers that Adobe occupies as its corporate headquarters.
While officials at the software company have discussed building up to 1 million square feet of office space, a spokeswoman said this week that there are no immediate plans for the land.

This resource is decent if you’re serious about San Jose Mercury News articles, but not the easiest to search and the results aren’t as pertinent as they should be. The links from the posting were not complete either, had to find a roundabout way to locate NewsBank. Mildly disappointing, but still useful.

I found numerous articles about President Clinton in relation to his sex scandal/impeachment trial in 1998. I was a teenager when that happened and I remember seeing a lot of media coverage about this news.

As for the relocation of Adobe Systems in San Jose, I found articles that dates back between 1995-1999 about Adobe Systems relocating to San Jose and other redevelopment projects occuring during a strong economy in 1999. One of the articles even discussed about the city of San Jose’s plans to developing and constructing more housing, high rise offices, and hotels. A decade later, the city is in a financial crisis… times have changed indeed.

As for a Jane Light article, I found an article dating back in 2008, “Councilman, Head Librarian Clash on Porn-Filter Study” which discussed about whether Internet filtering on library computers should or should not be considered in our public libraries. Very interesting stuff and its still an issue today in our public library.

Newsbank is very convenient indeed for customers who likes to read current newspapers online. In addition, past newspaper articles (1985-current) is a valubale reference to help support research papers, studies, and projects.

I found this a bit difficult to search, especially the question regarding Adobe Systems. I was able to find an article that stated it had been almost 15 years since their move to downtown and that article was dated 2008. With that info I could then narrow my search by date and I finally found an article about their move downtown! When searching for articles by Jane Light I used the author/byline field and was able to find one article she co-authored. I put her name between quotations marks too to narrow the search.

I did go to the research guide page and went to the Newspapers > Mercury News Archives, but when I clicked on “San Jose Mercury News Articles 1985-yesterday” the link would not display. The other links worked though. Not sure why that one didn’t.

I think the search engine of this database isn’t very good because the results weren’t so relevant to what I was looking for. I like that the user can make their search more specific by using the “add row” feature to expand their search criteria.

I agree with the others who found it difficult to search through this database. I spent a lot of time trying to find relevent articles.

The database was not user friendly. When you typed in the Bill Clinton example the results were not so relevant to his visit to San Jose. This site still needs work. On the other hand we can now help customers find archived articles. Thanks

This week database was very difficult to find the information.


It was a little difficult to find the info and I don’t think it’s something I would like to use.

I spent some time looking for information on when President Clinton visited San Jose in 1998. I believe it was Septemeber 26, 1998 but am still not totally positive…

I was able to find the Adobe move information fairly easy, and also found the article Jane Light co-authored.

I think this would be useful to someone who was a little more savvy with searching but definitely not for the novice just starting out.

Great resource. Thank you for the “Special Reports.” I appreciated the various articles and pictures on the current political scene in England which is both exciting and facinating.

After clicking the first link in this post I was looking at the San José Mercury area and tried clicking the “San José Mercury News Articles 1985-yesterday” link. It opened a new window and gave me the “The page cannot be found” error. I ended up going through the main SJPL Articles and Database section to find the NewsBank.

The searching so far is awkward. It is not very intuitive and doing specific keyword search did not yeild very good results. Interestingly enough, while searching for Bill Clinton’s story, I found peoples opinions of the articles written by SJ Mercury but not the actual articles.

Searching for Adobe was a little better as I actually found full articles written about it. I just had to do a keyword search and I started from 1990 and kept going up.

The Jane Light article was easy since narrowing it down only required a name in the “Author/Byline” field.

The current news article section was very useful and I think any student who comes in looking for “A world event article within the past week” will be able to go there and find a wealth of information.

Overall useful but I’d add it to the list of sites I would use when digging for lots of information and need another resource.

I agree with the others. I felt like I was in a Bing commercial. Even when I tried to add more words to my search to narrow the results, the same 5 articles appeared at the top no matter what. I did like the Hot Topics section. This is a good resource to have available, as long as someone has the time to sift through a lot of articles to find what they are looking for.

This database was not as easy as it could have been. When I looked up Bill Clinton’s visit to San Jose, I found a lot that didn’t relate to his 1998 visit. I also thought that SJMN had their own website where you could look up acticles there.
Anyways, it not being entirely user friendly doesn’t mean that this isn’t a good database. It just needs a few tweeks. It is still a good source for SJPL patrons.

MEH! I agree with the majority of comments posted here describing the difficulties in using this search engine….. inferior tool. I would not be enthusiastic about sharing the Newsbank with customers.

It’s a darn finicky search engine (as most of you have already noted). But, the thing I like about this database more than the is that News Bank does not have commercials (woohoo). Also, when I arrive at the mercury news I can never tell what is actually on the front page.

Adobe first moved to SJ in 1994? I found this info from an article when Adobe was about to build their 2nd tower. The search engine is not user friendly.

Switching to relevance ranking (“Best Matches First”) on the Clinton search seems to help. Otherwise, the results are reverse chronological.

Thanks for directing us to look at the Special Reports – those seemed very useful. “Hot Topics” were pretty pathetic, though. Would it have been too much for them to make the suggested search terms an active hyperlink? The page is pretty much a deadend, otherwise.

I couldn’t figure out where to be looking for “newsbank”, and ended up asking people whos found it. Overall, the database was not very new-user friendly, I ended up using google (sorry SJPL :< ) to find the answers for the questions from the exercise.

The database was a little tricky to use and not as user-friendly. I was able to find the information but it took me some time to find them. I am not sure if I would use it as much.

I agree on how the searching for this isnt very intuitive. If you spend enough time digging through it though, i can see how this may become helpful.

I think this database could use some fine-tuning. The search results aren’t really that relevant. I searched for “Bill Clinton San Jose 1998” and a few of the top hits were for Obama. I couldn’t find an article on Adobe’s move. I did see the article co-written by Jane Light however. So basically, needs work.

Not very friendly to use.

Searching this database stinks! I’m in my second childhood so my frustration tolerance is very low.

I also agree with my many co-workers. This is extremely difficult to navigate. I look foward to the next assignment.

Accidentally used Newspaper Source Plus, since there were no directions on how to get to the recommended database, and found everything immediately! Afterwards found NewsBank, which was not as user friendly. Even a search under the year, brought up way too many articles to sift through. It took seconds to bring up the queries via Newspaper Source Plus, and will use that instead!!!

The only exception was the article by Jane Light was very easy to retrieve via NewsBank! Great writing, Jane!!! 🙂

Like others noted, lots of articles returned not that relevant. Need to search a lot of pages before finding what I was looking for.

I agree that this is not an easy database to search unless you have a specific idea of what you’re looking for. (Of course, it’s not as irritating generally as the Murky News’s editorial opinions. ;-)) Getting the specifics may require a thorough reference transaction. Most of my experience with customer interactions that involve this database can be grouped into 2 categories: 1) obituaries and death notices, which are usually somewhat easy since they usually involve specific, precise search terms and/or dates, and 2) articles and columns that the customer often vaguely remembers reading in the paper at some uncertain period in the past, which range from straightforward to stumper. The latter examples can be fruitless time-consumers, especially since even if your search terms ARE accurate, you might not get a hit since the information may not be in the database (due to copyright, especially if it is from a non-Merc writer) even though it had been printed in the newspaper. It may take time to realize that this is the reason you’re not finding the information, rather than it being the poor search mechanism or your search terms. Finally, if your search terms are common ones, it is probably a good idea to change the default search field from “All Terms,” which searches the entire article or column, to “Lead/First Paragraph,” which will give fewer results to scan through.

I did the exercise. I did find an article on Bill Clintion visiting San Jose in a round about way. It took a while. I found the results for the other exercise to be easier.

Isn’t it always a challenge – to find relevant information? Well, this database really makes you working hard. I could compare it with Lexis/Nexis or Factiva databases.

For helping someone who needs to find an article specifically from the Mercury News, this tool can do the job but it’s not the first product I’d introduce to customers who need newpaper articles in general. I was also disappointed that the Hot Topics list didn’t include hotlinks.

The answers to these questions weren’t too difficult to find. I wish it was this easy when I’m helping a customer who really needs to find an article.

I never found the article on Bill Clinton Article. It gives you too many options, so I don’t think I would use it unless I had more time to browse.

This database was difficult to search. I found the article Jane Light co-wrote pretty easily, but the one about President Clinton’s visit was a little harder. The Adobe question I almost gave up on. It doesn’t seem to sort them by relevance to the search terms. It was not user friendly, but I would use it if I really needed to find an old article.

I found the search engine difficult to use with its default selection. Switching to best matches in the search field gave me each article first try.

Quick, full text retrievals.

A little difficult doing the activities. However, I really enjoyed the Hot Topics/ Special Reports section. I’ve read and heard from other sources about the issues occurring in Thailand currently. Glad to find more reads through the library.

I wonder how many trees we can save if all the SJMN subscribers convert to the electronic form.

This database was difficult to use but I think this can be another great tool for patrons to use.

I found this website really hard to find what I was looking for. I even have somewhat of a library searching background. In my opinion this would be very difficult for patrons to figure this database on their own.

It can be useful if you know exactly what you’re looking for and exactly how to find it. It’s difficult to just browse related topics and headlines to find what you’re looking for.

Not very user friendly. However did find the information but it took
longer than I wanted. I am not sure if I would use it that much.

I’m confused as to how y’all found this database. In the alpha list of SJPL databases, there is no link to Newsbank. I tried the Research Guides link after reading comments above, but it was broken. So I searched our website for pages containing Newsbank, and came up with this one: but the link on that page redirects to our home page. Please help!

Daisy- Go to Databases A to Z, click on “S” and it’s the third one down titled “San Jose Mercury News (SJPL) (Full-text newspaper articles, 1985-)”

Hope that helps! 🙂

I’ve also just now added a listing so that it shows up under “N” for “NewsBank – San Jose Mercury News (Full-text newspaper articles, 1985-).”

Otherwise, the databases are organized by Subject, also, and this one is under “Articles in Magazines & Newspapers”.

Just like other, I to had difficulty locating the articles through the data base. However I found them easly through other resouces.

Maybe I wasn’t entering the right information for the searches, but it took me forever to find an article about Clinton’s visit, and I finally gave up with the other searches. This is not a user-friendly database, and I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it to other library users.

I was very frustrated with this search engine when I last tried to do this assignment, so I gave up fairly quickly. It still took me a half an hour to find the other articles (aside from the Bill Clinton one). I still vote that it’s not very user-friendly–especially if the user has a short fuse. It would be a very useful resource for someone who either a) knows how to use it already; or b) has a lot of patience to spare.

Week 7 database activities were okay and not as appealing format or content wise compared to other week activites.

When I clicked on the SJMN/Newsbank link and started to do the activities for the discovery exercises, I felt the “search” field was not as advance as other search engines. The filter system for the search field and the results did not exactly match up as I had hoped. In other search engines, I have seen my keyword finds to be at least hi-lited, italicized or in bold in the “content” of the article search results.

Furthermore, the actual articles are not fully provided, lack pdf option to view, or html. This is not good for students especially because when students need to cite in MLA or APA format, the article does not provide the proper page numbers (pdf files always provide proper page numbers). There is a difference between the page number shown for printing purposes versus actual page numbers the article was published in the newspaper or journal, etc.

In addition, SJMN does have a separate link to access articles from their website. However, even there, the full article is not always provided since they want people to purchase the newspaper’s hard-copy version or buy into the online version.

Overall, week 7 was not has informative as I would have liked and expected. But since the SJMN/Newsbank has this service available, might as well use it as a last resort.

Not user friendly. Difficult to navigate and find info.

I like many others had some trouble finding when President Clinton visited San Jose. I think this can be a nice tool to use if you know a lot of specifics on what you are looking for.

The design of this database could be better, but overall, I thought it was pretty good, especially when searching for something specific, such as an article authored by a particular person. There are many options available in the search mode, which really helps to narrow down the results.

And for Daisy – click on the San Jose Mercury News link under “Articles in Newspapers and Magazines”

I agree with the others, diffult to navigate. However, can be very useful.

WOW! Lots of useful information here. A bit difficult to navigate/browse.

This database was okay. I found it a little difficult to find things, it took a while to figure out what to use. Google is much easier. I liked the Special Report section and Other Newsbanks.

This one is kind of annoying.
It’s good to have access to all those articles, but it’s not easy to search nor is it easy to find on our website. I looked for “newsbank” under databases A-Z, and in a few other headings before finding it under “mercury news archives.” This is fine if you don’t think you’re looking for “newsbank.” also their search feature is not great. When I specified to search a word in the headline, I got loads of hits that didn’t have my word in the headline.
But I was eventually able to answer all three questions.
Sort of, anyway.

It’s fun to look at old newspapers from the 1800’s. Nice resource. Easy to use.

A little clunky but not that bad. I got decent results without too much frustration when doing the Discovery Exercises (although I probably picked up a few pointers from others here… I read the comments first). I like the “View Results by Year” feature on the left.

I have always found the SJMN database difficult to use. I was hoping this would teach me ways to get bette results, but it didn’t. I still got loads of junk. I wished they had a controlled vocabulary of subject terms so that once I find an article that is what I want, I’d have a way to find more. Maybe I’m just a bad searcher – give me your tips!

This was not very user friendly. Rather complicated to find the specific articles. I think our patrons would find it easier to just use google or the SJMN website directly. The “hot topics” choice, however, is a great resource to find current articles on the most recent news issues.

I found lots of non relevant results. I think the first exercise was the hardest because the term “San Jose” is present in every article (since it is searching the San Jose Mercury News). Smarter software might somehow omit that. This resource seems most useful to people looking for a specific story (who know the title and correct spelling of the story) rather than people trying to find information about an event. I will likely use Lexis Nexus or another database instead, unless I am specifically looking for a Mercury News story.

pretty easy to use, user friendly, and i found all 3 things. but when i tried to search on my own the search was so broad that alot of random things came up, so i could see someone wasting alot of time looking for a specific article and getting frustrated. otherwise very helpful, good for someone who needs to site a reference or for students.

I haven’t had too much experience with this database, but agree with the concerns of others already mentioned. However, it sure beats digging through microfiche if you know what you’re looking for! I was very impressed with the citation generator and exporter as well as the email capability. I also think Newsbank should be listed somewhere in the link to distinguish it from the other Mercury News resources.

It’s not very user friendly but I think its still useful since it’s archived so much information. I actually detoured a little bit and started looking at the NewsWeek archives.

Found all 3 searches on newsbank, but it took forever.

oops forgot my branch Rose Garden!!

well… this search engine is just OK, nothing quite interesting or useful. The result is not .. relevant to what I’m looking for..

I found it difficult to find the answers to the questions.

It’s fun to browse back in history recalling newspaper articles I read, but this is one of my least favorite databases to use.

I thought the site was informative and helpful to a point. I also thought that the search engine needed some refinement. It was hard for me to find the articles I was looking for. I’m used to looking at other articles where my keywords I searched for are usually highlighted or in a different color. I didn’t get this with this search engine, so it was hard for me to see how revelant the article was to my search. This site would be good for people looking for articles that aren’t on the San Jose Mercury News website, perhaps articles that are older. However, if someone didn’t need an article specifically from SJMN, I would probably direct them to a different search database.

I noticed that it takes a few tries to narrow down the articles, especially for the Clinton visit and the Adobe headquarters. I’ve used this database before and found the same thing.

The search features required above average knowledge when searching for articles discussing a particular topic. This may have to do with how many articles they actually have in their database. However, once you learned to narrow down your searches using their functions, you could find what you were looking for. Definitely not for a beginner though.

RE: San Jose Mercury News (SJPL) database – Difficult to use and clunky. I was able to find the articles, but not with ease.

This database wasn’t as intuitive as some of the others.

It took more than a few tries to find information in NewsBank. It seems a bit old-school database style when it offers searching by Lead/First Paragraph, Section, Caption, Page, etc. Not too many people use these search techniques. I think most people stick to searching “All Text” which is not the most expeditious strategy in using this database.

Carol Valentine, King Access Services: It was hard to find the pathway to locate Newsbank. I think it would be helpful if the home page list of options had the “SJPL Research guide” higher on the list of options than “SJPL articles and data bases.” I spent a lot of frustrating time exploring the sub options under “SJPL articles and data bases” and did not find the Mercury News archive until I worked my way down the list and tried the “SJPL Research guide” options. If I didn’t know from the exercise that somewhere in the system there was a Mercury news data base from l985 on I would have assumed that it was not available.

Was not listed as Newsbank on the list of URLs, took a little looking to find it. It reminds me very much of a general search engine, your inquiries have to be pretty exact. On a side note, didn’t know we had saved SJ Mercury articles since 1885.

I had a difficult time to do this exercise. I did not find any artical about Bill Clinton’s visit to San Jose in 1998. To me, it is not very helpful for the first time learners.

Good to know that we have this database, it kept me busy for a long time and then it got frustrating.

Not so much fun to use this one, but still helpful. It needs to be rebuilt with better phrasology, keyword, caption search?

I agree that it’s a tough search interface but the limiters are pretty powerful I think. I found the first Clinton article by limiting by headline pretty quickly, and Jane Light’s article by limiting to author/byline and also putting her name in quotes – that way you search for her name as a phrase, instead of getting all the other Janes as author results.

It’s also nice that the archives date all the way back to 1985 – much easier than dealing with microfiche / microfilm, I think!

Helpful resource. My dream would be to have the database reach farther than 1985, 1950 would be great! Sincerely, your sjpl history student.

Its a bit difficult to find the info.

Let’s see – Bill Clinton visited San Jose for four days in May of 1998, Adobe Systems moved their offices to downtown San Jose in 1996, and Jane Light wrote one article, along with Melinda Cervantes, in October of 2009 as a special to the Mercury News.

I also learned that researchers in Canada have found that smoking marijuana can cause the onset of schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to develop it, and cause mood and anxiety disorders in others who smoke it.

An interesting database.

A bit too clunky and unwieldy. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s not easy. Even with a rather specific topic(the visit of Bill Clinton in 1998), it took several different searches to narrow it down to get an article that was about the preperations for the the president’s visist.

Nancy Buckles – Edenvale
This was the hardest database for me to search so far!

Whether you found the information or not doesn’t seem to be the issue. The reality is that this database has always been clunky and difficult to search in my opinion It doesn’t allow you to do advanced & tailored searches and tosses back lots of irrelevant articles. Obituaries have always been in my experience hit and, mostly, miss it seems … and that’s too bad because patrons do ask for them. This database takes lots of perseverance, to put it mildly, but then I’ve never personally found it terribly simple to find articles and info on SJ Mercury databases.

NewsBank is a decent resource but is really hard to use. You can find what you’re looking for but you have to really narrow down the search terms. The Hot Topics tab is reallly cool and it can be useful and practical.

This exercise is slightly more challenging than the previous assignments, but it is still a good resource to know. Never-the-less, I still enjoyed it. I guess I just need to find different ways to search for the articles in order to find the relevant ones I am looking for.

As always, thanks for the opportunity for everyone to learn about these great resources. 🙂

Searching SJMN using NewsBank is far easier than it used to be. However, you still need to know that it is a boolean structured search. I use it to help customers trying to find that elusive Mercury News article.

Week 7 exercise was very difficult to find. I couldn’t find the articles on ex-President Clinton or Adobe. I got other articles and frankly, I didn’t have the time to weed them out. I did the ‘Special Report’ section, but then again, the article was not found. # California Seismic Map Is Updated to Include Newly Found Fault Lines 04/29/10 #

I found all the information but it took me a while to find the right articles.

I seriously thought the Clinton question was a trick question. Spent way too much time trying to even verify he came to SJ in 1998. It was fun, though! Like doing investigative work. 😉

Otherwise, this database is good for access to articles from the Mercury on local matters.

While it’s nice to have a database with so many articles, this site is not user friendly. At first glance, it sounds simple enough to type in what your looking for into the search engine, but once the results show up- you have to navigate the articles to find your answer. After playing around with it, I did find the answers, however, it did take some time.
I did use this site to find an article from 2003 about a friend of mine. When I typed in his name and the year it happened, hundreds of results came up- without the actual article I was looking for. When I typed in the name and an additional key word, the article then came up. Overall- yes I would use this site again to find past issues of the Mercury News.

This week database was very difficult to find the information.

Azar is from Edenvale. 🙂

I would like to know how complete the archive is. What percentage of articles published that arrive on my doorstep are actually in the database? There are articles from a few years ago that I could not locate.

Well, supposedly it’s the ” Full-text: electronic edition of record of publication” I assume w/o ads and junk. In a fantasy world the customer owuld have the full article citation and SJMN database would be a breeze to use.

I had difficulty navigating this database.

this database needs improvement

No, it’s not the simplest to use but it’s your chance to use your Boolean skills! The results do not sort by relevance but defaults to “newest first” so it helps to sort by “Best Matches First”. This database can help folks looking for old articles that the SJ Merc. website does not archive anymore.

I found it hard to use this database. Spent too much time serching for instructions and links. I would prefer to use a search engine to save some time!

I enjoyed browsing through Current Events and Special Reports. I will recommend this to students. There is also good information under World Travel.

I find it very interesting that besides having English and Spanish as a language selection they also include a Welsh language called Cymraeg.

I totally agree with everyone else…kinda hard to locate stuff.

This database is not user friendly at all. I had trouble finding the article about Bill Clinton’s visit to San Jose, even after using “Best Matches First” and all key words. I would not recommend this database.

It was difficult to use this datebase. (Week 7 exercise)
I couldn’t find the articles.

I find week is bit more difficult than the other weeks. Searching for the information wasn’t as easy. Still a great brain work out!

It was difficult to find the information especially the one on clinton, had to scan through a few pages to finally find it.
After using this for awhile and getting the hang of it, it would be useful.

The interface is a bit clunky.

I only found the first 2 questions. I couldn’t find Jane Light appeared in the SJMN in the database.

This is a very nice article search engine. Although I do have to admit that it took me quite a while to get the hang of searching for the articles (especially Clinton’s visit to San Jose). It can become a very useful tool once you figure how to use it.

I found that this week database was very hard to use to find the information. Honestly, I would rather use the search engine to locate the info.. to save time and energy..

Cool site!…

Once you get use to the site, it was easy.

well since I am not that obsessed with reading newspaper and all so I guess the art of having the San Jose Mercury News available in the database didn’t really stirred up any excitement in me at all. I mean with the internet, you can always go directly to any news website like Times, etc. to read the news– granted that those websites also allows you to limit your search query too.

I’ve also tried to look up for Clinton’s visit to San Jose back in the 1998 and I got to say it did took me a while just to get the article whereas if I were to do so with google the results show up much faster. Another thing that sort of bothering me is the fact that even though the Clinton visit’s article also came with a photo–I cannot access the photo itself at all :(. And, for the Special Reports section– I still don’t understand the main goal in creating it because for the images, I cannot search for a specific image that I wanted under the mental health. All that I was able to do were to browses through a series of pictures. Hmmm maybe I am just not that adaptive to this new feature yet perhaps 🙂

I found this database somewhat difficult to use. I eventually found the information but only after much blood, sweat and tears.

seems a little hard to get use to, but with more training im sure it’ll be easy.

It is not a simple database, I found the first 2 questions only, not the 3rd one. It is little hard and time consuming to search for particulare article. I like the Other NewsBank Product: Hot Topics and Special Reports are interesting.

I found on some searches you had to be very specific or you got a lot of information to sort through. I was able to find articles by Jane
Light by using the auter/byline feature of search.

Clinton visited SJ in May 2, 1998

Adobe moved to downtown SJ in 1995-1996, talks started in 1994.

Jane Light article was published on 10/23/2009.

At first glance, there were too many irrelevant results, but after narrowing down the selection by selecting “best matched” view and reading not only the title but also the line of text beneath it, I was able to find the information in the first few articles.

interesting resource but found using the database a little difficult.

It was a lot quicker to find Adobe-relocate-downtown than Clinton-San Jose-1998, but it worked. Hot topics and Special reports are time savers for students.

Newspaper archive is always a high demand especially the local news. San Jose Mercury News database has been on the market for a while but I did not see it has some major improvements.
As some people mentioned in their postings, this is not a database easy to find the results.
If the vendor representative will visit our site, I would suggest adding the feature of Search within Results which might help the users to get the results faster and more efficiently.

It is a bit cumbersome, but it is still better than the microfiche days for local news.

They should expand the coverage to more than 1985.

week 7

Boo, this has to be my least favorite. It’s an obstacle to try to find what you are looking for. When I typed in Clinton’s visit for 1998, and put the year, it popped up a 2,751 articles. This search engine needs improvement on narrowing down the subject or key words. I don’t think I would use this or recommend it to anyone.

Difficult to use, Don’t really like it~

Great resource and easy to use

not. =[

I used the date feature and that helped find the Clinton visit in 1998. Looks like he visited twice, once in May and the other in late Sept. The Adobe deal happened in Oct 1994, at least the groundbreaking. It was helpful to flip the results. (They got a big subsidy). And Jane co-wrote an article about Google’s digitization. The Newsbank magazines were an across the board general interest and I like the topics, good for students.

Not bad, but the interfae is a bit clunky. Search algorithms could use some tweaking.

Took a bit of searching but I finally found some articles related to the suggested exercises. Needed to play around with the search page being more specific in the search helped narrow down a few articles. Liked the Hot topics suggested search strategies for news sources often providing at least two key words to execute a search. Looked up special reports articles will have to go back to loook up images.

Whew! I’m glad I’m not the only one who found it difficult to find the answers to the exercises. I often had to do a keyword search and then find relevant articles in order to narrow down the dates before I found something close, but I didn’t find exact dates or articles that explicitly had the answer for the first two questions. But I’m glad that I’ve tried it out now!

I found this exercise a little bit difficult, but it seems like I am not alone with that opinion!

I like the lay-out and its pretty user-friendly, in regards to the lack of graphics on the screen. It does require some specific settings to do a search, but overall, I think its a great resource to have at the library.

Newsbank was a little difficult to use at first but after a while just clicking on stuff it was easy to find newspaper archives

it took a while before getting there, but it just took too long for me to take that route again. nothing exciting about this one, but could be helpful for students……..

“Searching millions of articles” they weren’t kidding. When I typed in Clinton 1998, they popped up a bunch of articles for me to sift through.

To be honest, I had more fun looking around the Newsbank homepage at the “world conflict and terrorism” and “world health” sections. I guess this is neat, but not something I’d go out of my way to use.

I had trouble with this database. Searches came up with so many results. If there was more exclusion options than just the dates. It did not help for the adobe.

Unless someone needed an article specifically from SJMN, I wouldn’t recommend it.

this one was a little more difficult.

The searches were quick for this database, even if the interface is less than appealing. Thought the Hot Topics and Special Reports sections were useful…

Mary Nunez – BB

Week #7 Rose Jaramillo/WGlen

Trying to locate the articles took quite some and wasn’t quick; however it took time digging through and refining my search before finding articles of some relevance. I didn’t like this database as much as I thought I would although the Hot Topics is a nice summary of events occurring as well as a list of key terms to search for more related articles.

I, too, at first thought the question regarding Clinton’s visit in 1998 was a trick question! Then I found 2 articles regarding his visit to San Jose. One was in May and the other one was in Sept. of 1998. Hey people, we’re more than half way done!

this database is not bad. the navigation was hard if you were looking for something specific. if you wanted a broad topic it turned a little easier. i guess if you want to spend time and research something specific it works ok. i do like how you can save the articles, just wish some had pic=)

I failed this time.
Truly don’t think customers would have patience to go through this struggling search. I tried the whole hour and the next day 25 minutes, and could not get the article about Bill Clinton’ San Jose visit. The same for Adobe. The first time, I was able to find Jane L. article, but not the 2nd time.
I would not recommend to customers.

I also experienced difficulty to search information. It took long time. Thank you for sharing the opportunity using this database.

I have always been frustrated by the Mercury database. It even gives me trouble when you know the date and subject of an article. I’d almost rather use microfilm.

This was one of the hardest databases for me to use. The search brought up too many results to look through

I have to agree with everyone else, this search engine is really hard. You try to be specific and then it brings up nothing but if your not specific you get articles that have nothing to do with what your looking for.
If a customer really needed an old article I would share this database with them but otherwise I know I am not comfortable enough to share this with someone and let alone offer my help.

This data base is not easy to search.

I agree with the rest of the comments. I am happy to know that we can get past SJMN articles without having to pay for them. As someone mentioned, PDF option would be wonderful.


Wasn’t able to find anything if you search as “All-text” option in Newsbank, you have to search it as Headline. 1. Adobe systems in downtown. 2. President Clinton in San Jose 3. Jane Light

I found Newsbank to be very difficult . I was confused on how to find articles that were relevant to my search. There were many articles that came up that were not related to the search at all and it took a long time to find what I was looking for

I think this sounds like a great research tool for students and such, but it was quite frustrating to search up the requested articles. The articles that did come up had nothing to do with the topic I searched for.

This database was difficult to search. I tried typing in the keywords, but it wouldn’t bring up the information I was looking for. In the end, I think I used Booleon searching, and combined terms. Not user friendly. Searching by the byline was easy.

Writer’s apology
I’ve been informed that Newsbank (like EBSCO) is a vendor name; the database name is America’s Newspapers which is confusing since the only newspaper we have access to is San Jose Mercury News. SJPL’s subscription includes Special Reports (I discovered researching this database ) which seemed useful for research in current news items.
All things considered, this IS a database with a clunky search engine set in the past when page numbers and sections were important for retrieving newspaper items. For the time being, it’s the only online access to past SJMN articles free to SJPL library users, and as Lauren P. said, it’s better than searching through microfilm issue by issue.

I agree with everyone that this database can be hard to search and get the results you are looking for. I find that the use of boolean can eliminate some of the undesirable results. For example, searching for Jane Light will give you very article that contains both those words. But, if you use the boolean “Jane Light” you will only get articles with her name in that order.

Nice database to have and beats looking at old clippings on microfiche!

So I also didn’t enjoy the search engine. I really hope there are alternatives out there.

However, I liked the whole special reports part. I really enjoy the fact that the database includes newspapers from other countries. I have a big problem with the American media bias, so I think this is potentially a great resource to skip over that a bit.

Not very people friendly search engine 😦 yet very interesting.

The Newsbank search function is very triky. I tried to limit to First Paragraph or Headline first, but got no results. Using All Text is easier.
It looks like Adobe moved to S.J. in Sept. 1996, by what I could gather from the following article:
“EFFICIENCY ENHANCED AT ADOBE ‘S NEW ADDRESS.” San Jose Mercury News (CA) – Sunday, October 20, 1996
Author: MARK LEIBOVICH, Mercury News Staff Writer.
… But when Adobe traded its suburban campus for a sleek downtown San Jose high-rise on Park Avenue last month, Lamkin – and the nearly 1,000 Adobe employees who accompanied him – changed more than just business addresses. They entered an altered professional eco- system…

I found this very confusing.

Not the easiest database to use. It took some effort to get relevant results.

It was kinda hard to use.

This database is not very friendly. 🙂

Couldn’t find the Clinton story, but plenty of stuff on Jane; easier to find if you put her name in quotes. Who knew that there was a Chinatown in Paris? Check out the April 29, 2010 story in the Toronto Star, accessed through “World Travel.”

As others have stated, it was time-consuming to find some of the information. I hope it will improve with time.

it was kind of difficult tofind, but quite useful when looking back for reaserch

It took me to a long time to get the answers, but it is fun to work on it

This another good electronic resource that we can refer our customers especially now that rising costs of maintaining print periodical collections (newspapers included).

This is a very useful resource.

I was surprised at the high utility of this database.

All-text search is not effectve for the adobe and clinton question. Headline search helped a great deal. Also Author search is very useful in locateing the Jane Light article.

I don’t use this database much, but when I need it, it’s invaluable.

I can see where you can take alot of time to find something here but I love the resource

I don’t think this is a great tool, but when you know the customer wants only SJMN, it does the trick.

It seems that SJ Mercury has never been indexed in a way that makes archive searches easy. I found it easier to find the date of Clinton’s visit to San Jose and then found these articles. (February 10-11 of 1998) Searched by author, and that did work, but how often does a newspapter reader know the reporter’s name or byline? I had some fun when I narrowed to search to lead paragraph and my name, and found the 2 articles that quoted me about our move from the old MLK library building in July of 2003!

An important resource.

The search engine is not too user friendly

Not as easy to work with as some other databases.

I use this newspaper database frequently and find it easy to get results.

It’s not the easiest source to use, but definitely well in demand since it’s the only “archive” of Merc articles… also keep in mind that it doesn’t contain obits, public announcements, or other things that would normally be in the classified section.

It is not easy to do search.

It was challenging to find the information. Nonetheless trying to teach the customer how to navigate the databases. In mi opinion, SJMN own website and even Google would be easier to find the information.

The water company sold its longtime headquarters on West Santa Clara Street to Adobe Systems in 2006, under an agreement that allowed San Jose Water to continue operating there until mid-2008.
Adobe has said it purchased the seven-acre site for $36.5 million so it would have room to expand. The property is across the street from the HP Pavilion and about a quarter mile from the three leased office towers that Adobe occupies as its corporate headquarters.
While officials at the software company have discussed building up to 1 million square feet of office space, a spokeswoman said this week that there are no immediate plans for the land.
replied under #2 above

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