SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 9: Literary Reference Center

Posted on: May 27, 2010

Literary Reference Center includes popular as well as scholarly publications. Think widely – you might find a biography, critical work, interview or even online link to a work by a well-known journalist, songwriter, philosopher or scientist. Students will find helpful guidelines on literary research, writing research papers and critical reading.  Also a good source of background materials for Book Group discussion leaders.

Other features include: a literary timeline; terms from the American Heritage Dictionary; 4th Edition; criticism and review articles

Besides the Magill’s summaries (quick overviews), I like the Browse authors and Browse works feature. You don’t need a name –for authors you can search under Country, Culture (good for hyphenated groups e.g. Korean-American), Genre, and Movement. For works you can search under Genre and Location.


  • In Browse mode, scroll down the page for links to related information .
  • For  list of publications, go to Advanced Search

Users outside SJPL libraries will need to sign in with barcode and pin number

Discovery exercises: go to Literary Reference Center from  the A-Z listing of SJPL Articles and Databases page.

Watch 5 minute tutorial (example: John Steinbeck). Go back to main page.

  1. From Browse most studied authors, choose an author (or go to the author in focus: home page right hand side). Scroll down to see cross referenced features.
  2. Find authors who were part of the Counterculture movement.
  3. Find works written with California as a location.

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


180 Responses to "Week 9: Literary Reference Center"

The tutorial was actually hard for me to find. I did like the Research Guide that gave a lot of good information about plagiarism. It is very easy to search for authors. I love that you can search by genre, country, movement, etc. This is helpful for students that don’t have an author in mind for a paper. The browse by works functions is also useful.

Great database. I didn’t know we had it- so hidden.

Very useful!

I too had trouble getting to the LRC, it kept saying there was an error with the page. However, I watched the tutorial and it showed what this database can do.
I just wish I knew about this when I was back in middle and high school. This would have been very helpful for me. I think this a very helpful tool for students writing reports.
Some of the great things about this was that it was like cliff notes, bibliograpgy and the timeline history of when the story took place. It even has criticism on the book and reviews. I think this is a excellent source.

I also had trouble finding the tutorial. Nice database though. A lot of good information about the authors.

I saw week 9 tutorial session and it was very nice and useful.

A very nice resource I try to point students to whenever possible. The depth of some of the “literary criticism” articles is occasionally lacking. There doesn’t seem to be a way to filter for “peer-reviewed” articles either, which is an additional restriction students sometimes bring to these assignments.

This is a good one for lit crit articles.

Great for students, easy to use!

This product has always been impressive and the tutorials are very useful. That’s something all customers should be shown so they can learn what they need/want to know at their own pace.

I like this one. When I find a good author, I like to know more about his/her works and this database is great for that.

This is great for research. I found it easy to maneuver.

This one was actually really simple. I loved it. When you searched for something it was all very organized and easy to fuigure out if it was what you were looking for. I the tutorial was very simple and after you watch it you should know what your doing. I loved it. I am all for learning more about authors that I have enjoyed in the past. I know a lot of childrens and parents at our branch will find this database helpful!

I found this site useful, especially when we’re asked for authors of a certain ethnic background. I never did find the tutorial though. Once I figured out how the different tabs work, it was pretty simple to narrow down your search.

I did find the tutorial (under the Help) menu on the actual site. I didn’t check the link from the blog. Seems odd to me that they don’t have the tutorial easier to find for first time users.

I think this is a great resource! The interface is simple to use and it is intuitive. This would be a good resource for students looking for author information and also literary criticism about certain works. The “Browse Most Studied Author/Works” links makes it faster for users to find what they’re looking for.

Love this database. Lots of helpful information. I had to use the help page to find the tutorial (don’t know what I missed), but the rest seems easy to navigate.

I like this product, but I haven’t had many queries in which it proved the best resource to use…

This one is easy to use. It was not at all hard to search by different criteria.

I enjoyed this database. The Literary- Historical time line was great to look at and see what was going on in the world while people were writing some of the classics.

This was a very interesting database. It is something that could prove to be useful to many people interested in literature of all kinds. The tabs were also very helpful for looking for specific subjects.

Like everyone else, there was system error when I first loaded up the page, but I restarted my puter and it worked, kind of annoying. Regardless, this was a useful tool and fairly easy to use, when it worked of course.

Similar to Gale’s Literature Resource Center, this database maybe very useful to high school and college students.
I love the fact that the search results are organized by categories using tabs on the top of the page.

This is a very interesting database. I could sit and read it forever. I would hope that other would find it useful.

Great fun! Looked up Aeschylus. I agree with Buller’s assessment of Prometheus Bound after seeing it at Berkeley “lack of movement intensifies the audience’s sense of Prometheus’s punishment,” and how!

I viewed the tutorial , but the website was down. It seems like a lot of people are having that problem.


having worked and researched the Literary Reference Center, I feel how lucky we are to be able to provide this wonderful resource to our customers.

This seems repeatative as the others.
But still good information to know.

I found this site easy to use. A couple of Authors in the Counterculture movement were Edward Abbey and Robert Bly and a couple of books written in California were Virtual Light and City of Night

This is a wonderful database! I will definitely refer this to patrons researching authors, and get some use out of it myself. I love the different search tabs like movement and culture.

I love this database. It was easy to look around and I found it extremely informative. I believe I’ve used this, or a slightly similar database, for some of a dozen college analytical essays. The tutorial was a little hard to find, but once I clicked on links to where I thought it would be, I found it. However, I think it’s hidden enough where some people might not know it’s there. Overall, it’s a great database.

I have enjoyed this database the most, so far!!! I completed all the discovery exercises and found it to be user-friendly; it was easy to conduct the searches a variety of different ways using tabs drop down menus. Enjoyed clicking on all the Jane Austin links and skimming some of her works, as am an Austinite! :0) Really like the advanced search tool that has a lot of different ways to find literature, including critical reviews as a limiter!!!Very happy to know it is one other way to read books on my computer! 🙂

This is very useful database. I like it. Thank you.

This will definitely come in handy for my next term paper. GREAT RESOURCE :)!!!

Great database. Very useful.. ready for week 10

Wow! This database is packed full of information!

This is an excellent database resource for high school and college students.

I really enjoyed this one, and I found everything. Ya!


This is tremendous. I could spend all day browsing. Thank you Sara and Ebsco. Judith

This is a pretty sweet database. I remember reading John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men in school.


This is a fantastic resource, once I could have really used this database when I was taking English classes.

I did notice once glitch when searching for authors. When I clicked on a letter, I only saw results for say, the first 20 authors whose last name began with that letter. For the T’s, the page stopped at Ta. When I clicked on the only other next button, the page went straight to the Ss.

I didn’t see any other way to continue searching for authors whose last name begins with the same letter, except for typing it in the search box. Did I miss something?

There is a lot of good information here. It should be very useful to students.

Thompson Hunter has some pretty interesting books i’m going to checkout.

Wow, I really enjoyed this database! Great source if you’re looking for more info on authors. I really like the brief summaries and analysis of some of the popular works displayed. love it!

Literary Reference Center is comprehensive and easy to navigate. This great resource will come in handy when the patrons need ssistance with their in-depth literary questions.

Ah, the new versus the old database: I prefer the visual interface of this database over that of Gale’s Literature Resource Center (I looked at SJSU’s version on my last visit to King Library). The Literary Reference Center page is very attractive and user-friendly. It is easy to get customers started searching this database. Of course, the database’s content is just as importance as its user interface. This database seems to have adequate content, but Gale’s Literature Resource Center may have an edge in content, as it can draw from the extensive Gale literary reference sets such as Contemporary Literary Criticism and Contemporary Authors. Both are fine databases that satisfy an educational need for customers. If only more customers knew about them.

This is a very useful site! I will definitely suggest this to students!

I was suprised to see there weren’t a lot of works listed with California as the locale. Hunter S. Thompson (one of my favs) was part of the counterculture movement.

The tutorial helped quite a bit and since I had read some of the comments before starting the exercise, I just used the “Database Help” and typed in tutorial. It came up right away.

All in all a very good resource, and quite easy to use too!

This was one of the easiest databases that we’ve gone through thus far. I even did a few searches that were not part of the exercise just to get better acquainted with it. I didn’t know of this database until this week, but I didn’t find it particulary difficult to find or navigate.

Sarah Thornton – RG


Very interesting! This will be very helpful for students.

Great resource for literary/author questions! It’s interesting to see they now have some full text works. I just tried to bring those up on our Info kiosks but couldn’t. 😦 (couldn’t bring up the database at all, actually, but that’s another issue…)

Interesting database. I could spends lot’s of time reading about author backgrounds and inspirations. There’s even some Project Gutenberg titles available -you can read the whole book online in PDF.

Yes, whole books online — and poems and short stories and essays.
A great online reference!

Week 9 database was informative but initially was not easily accessible.

I clicked on the link provided in the description and it stated “error.” I clicked on a different link shown on the error page and got into the Literary Reference Center™ Plus area. I am not sure if this is the same as the link we were supposed to access but nevertheless, I did get access at least. I was able to find a list of content areas like literary critical essays and journal articles, but was unable to open the actual documents. There was another link entitled “Reference” where I saw more information for the “Reference Center” but again couldn’t get into the actual documents.

I think this CAN be useful if there is ONE main link that works and leads you to the Reference Center. Maybe it is just me who could not find and access the real link.

In essence, everything I saw looked like “advertisements” of what can be found in the Reference Center (I even saw a brochure option in pdf), but saw no actual weblinks provided to see the documents. Very strange and annoying.

I rather check out a book from the library to get a biography, than go through this database leading me to dead ends. =(

A great resource for research papers. Also thought the citation helper would be helpful.

I found the CA authors and the counterculture movement authors but combining the two has not gotten any results. I’ll have to keep trying… If someone else finds the combination please let me know. This is the best database for literary figures.

An ‘All Text” search w/ California got me hits.

Interesting resource for students to find more info. on different authors. The LRS tutorial video was helpful.

Nice resource, I wish I had this when I went to school.

I really liked this database. Never new it existed but happy i know now.

This database would’ve been really helpful during my high school/college years.

Another good resource.

If you are looking for basic info on a subject or author this site would be well worth the time. I didn’t have time to really play
with the site and see what it could do, but it looks like it can
also complete any task that relates to a specific author or subject.

Great database. Lots of information.

This was really interesting. I liked this one a lot. When you have a favorite author (or your customer’s) and you want more information … this is really invaluable.

tons of useful information! covers alot of area.

Really useful database. I wish I knew about this when I was in high school. Actually found out that Roald Dahl was born Sep. 13 like me…cool

This is a great database. The tutorial is useful but hard to locate without the link provided to us database deelighters. I’m glad I took the time to search the site for it because I found the link for all sorts of ebsco training:
I was surprised that some well known authors, such as Anne Lamott don’t have the cross referenced features that other authors do. The rest of the exercise was pretty easy and I will likely use the database in the near future with customers.

It was hard to find the database. I’ll try to locate it again.

This was very user friendly. Lots of great information on authors.

Now this is an impressive database. And quite a vital reference tool for those doing book reports or involved in book clubs. I love the bios of the writers. I looked up Sherman Alexie’s bio (I knew him when I lived up in Seattle)and found the info to complete and correct, as well as valid references to articles and interviews. I was also impressed by the cross reference option and the discussion topics. I will definitely be recommending this to patrons in the future.

Really like how you can search for authors by movement; many students are required to research a famous person based on time period!

I had trouble trying to do the tutorial, but had no problems finding the resources I needed.

It’s pretty easy to use. The tutorial is helpful.

This is an excellent resource. I discovered information about two authors that I like to read. However, I couldn’t get the tutorial to play.

The exercises for this week seemed well chosen to give us a chance to explore the data base. Thanks.

LRC covers basic literary research, very helpful for students. I haven’t tried to search the multicultural titles; will try later to find out the coverage for those titles.

The inclusion of full-text content for poems, short stories, etc. is so useful – you can just print or email content to a customer. There’s also an automatic article translation feature – it’s machine translated so probably not the best but possibly adequate?

Machine translation, depending on the engine being used, is generally about 95-98% accurate. When a particular site’s translation engine doesn’t seem to be working well, I just copy and paste the whole block of text into Google Translate and see what pops out. Usually it is pretty good.

This is very useful datebase. Lots of information!

Yo, this database is mad for real.
Gonna be spreading the word because this is the real deal.
Gonna pop out the champagne to make a toast,
this Literary Reference Center is powered by EBSCOhost.
I will tell customers about this whenever I can,
this database has Critical Insights for Death of a Salesman!
You can filter your searches by genre, culture, and movement,
this is John aka Dizzle my nizzle and I will see you then.

Later homies

Stay in school

Thank you SO MUCH for this lovely poem John. The creativity of our staff knows no bounds!

great resource. very interesting

Nice reference tool for finding up to date information on authors and their works.

wow this is a really interesting database..

I found this very easy and very useful. Couldn’t watch the Tutorial because it looks like the Flash Player is outdated and I don’t think I’m authorized to do an update. Oh well! But I liked this resource very much.

If you ever have trouble viewing content online, or it looks like a plug-in is outdated, call the IT Help Desk and they can immediately do the update for you. You can reach them at 408-808-2400. I apologize on behalf of IT for things being outdated. I know they’re working on updates for all computers.

I found a lot of information on this site, was having difficulty at first trying to get in, but eventually it worked. I will use this site again!

Nancy Buckles – Edenvale Branch
Great database! Searching by genre and locale is very useful.

P.S. I also enjoyed the poem by John at Pearl Avenue! Very Creative.

This one is my favorite database so far. I will definitely recommend this to students.

I had a hard time finding the tutorial. I found the link through the training blog. The database is powerful. It contains a lot more than I had expected and it has more literary criticism than I thought. I think this could be used as a readers’ advisory tool–especially the question about locale or genre. Thanks for making us more aware about the breadth of this database!

The tutorial is actually linked in the blog post above (the word “tutorial” is a link).

This week database was pretty cool!! .. easy to use with helpful tools. So far, nothing to complain or nag about… Will go back to this activity when I have time…

Neat. I like all the browsing features.

An interesting database.

This is a good one for when a bunch of students are all doing their term papers on some classic book all at once. I’ve had good success with it.

I was surprised to see that this database was easy to navigate unlike some of the others. I was able to find some authors of the counterculture movement right away (ex Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey, Edward Abbey) but it took me a while to find works written with California as a location. I was finally able to find that “The Call of the Wild ” by Jack London takes place here.

Interesting and easy to use.


The locale list was quite impressive!! And it was fun to see that there was an angry young man movement. something to tell me brother!

Overall, it’s a great database! It’s informative. I will definitely refer this to customers for example students taking English classes or for college students writing essays.

Great database and very easy to use. I thought the research guide had a lot to offer. A lot of information available.

Very helpful and easy to use. I found 15 authors who were part of the counterculture movement and 721 works for California.

had trouble finding the tutorial. but ver resourseful!

The tutorial was a big help in maneuvering through database. A good place to go to for information on authors and their works.

great information.

Love the browse authors by movement feature.

It is very easy to use. I have no problem locating the tutorial video.

It great database, very helpful to use 🙂

the link didn’t work for me either. I had to go from the SJPL Databases Page. This Database is pretty easy to use. Not sure what John Steinbeck has to do with the tutorial, but I watched the tutorial. The last thing we had to do was easy, but the second one I couldn’t get it to work using the advanced search. I had to use counterculture as a normal search, then from that chose the counterculture subject. I noticed DE came up in the search after I did that but the advanced search has CD for cultural identity while DE doesn’t show. hmm. That needs fixed. This could be helpful.

I was reviewing some information about Tom Clancy. Pretty interesting biography.

It’s simple and intuitive to use. I can imagine this being useful for students trying to find biographies on their favorite authors.

I loved this database.
Easy to use and quite informative.

Literary Reference Center is simple and easy to use. I found the authors for Counterculture movement. From Browse most studied authors, author in focus. Scroll down to see cross referenced features works well. I tried the interview feature for An Interview with poet Mark Wunderlich. I like the options for searches, very helpful and useful information.

This is really cool. Couldnt watch the tutorial tho.

Excellent database!

I had a really hard time getting into the database. There was a server issue. I thought it was a really cool site other than that, because you could look for specifically what you were looking for as oposed to randomly finding an author. It takes a lot of the guess work out of things.

LOVE it. Easy to use, and I like the results.

This is great resource and simple to use. It’s quite helpful.

One of my favorites since I can catch up on the background of authors and series!
Easy to navigate too.

Helpful database.

Great resource! Easy to use and very handy to have.

Great resource. I especially liked the timeline.

This is an especially great resource for high school students who needs to write a book report. It was easy to navigate and the information given seems very useful.

The tutorial was actually hard for me to find. It is very easy to search for authors.

The database is very user friendly; easy to navigate. A lot of detail is given about the lives of authors…I found it very interesting.

Nice database; informative and useful for literary research and english majors. This site was rather hard to find though. Could we please just get a direct link to these databases on the database delight weekly entry? It’s becoming frustrating trying to hunt down the link within the library articles and databases section.

What a great resource for students, especially when they have to find authors that are of a particular race or culture. I really like the variety of information and resources provided. In exploring found some interesting authors and poets that i will be checking out.

Prior to this I most likely would not have strayed far from searching by an author’s name or a specific name of a book; however, it was fun to try different searches in location, genre and movement.

I saw week 9 tutorial session and it was very nice and useful.

nice, nice, nice. go books!!

well I didn’t get to watch the 5 minutes tutorial video at all because we don’t have the flash player program installed here at all :/

As for the Literary Reference Page, I’d say it’s wicked cool due to all of the ways that you can narrow your searches. However, it took mne roughly 30 minutes to figure out how to find works with California as the setting (?) until I saw the Advanced search and the LITERARY LOCALE one.

I’ve also browsed through one of teh most studied author — Vladimir Nabokov– and all of the words that were used to describe him in the abstract sort of thrown me off the page. It would be great if the page also include some sort of glossary/dictionary link for words such as “lepidopterist,”etc.

This database should provide answers for most people. My search for significance of the albatross in rime of ancient Mariner probably would be adequate.

I really enjoyed browsing through this web site, it has a lot of info that would be useful!

One of my favorite weeks! I will gladly pass this along to my Book Club members and other customers.

It is quite useful for students.

Kim Nguyen @ Biblioteca

This is a great database with user friendly interface and comprehensive information. The users can search by author, work and most studied. The advanced search gives even more options. The students will benefit from many literary criticism articles when they research an author or the work.

Great resource, I just wish I knew about it when I was in high school. Very useful!

In the past I was always intimidated by the database. Thank you for this delight training, now I understand our resource is so amazing. It’s also very helpful for students.
I got into the tutorial very easily. Anything I’m not sure, or confused, I just use “help”. So the same with this lesson, the HELP (by the LANGUAGE box)will guide the customers to LRC introduction page. On the left side with WELCOME we can find the LRC tutorial option.
I think we should introduce to our customers the resourceful database in the Internet class for advanced learners, and students of all levels.

i loved this database… i quickly searched the counterculture movement, just to get a hang of it (i usually dont view the tutorials just because i think it is easier just playing with the page).
i mostly used it for latin american authors and it just led me to great reads and great information! i will definitly use this for personal use.

great choice this week=)

Great database. I will totally use it in in the future for school related topics.

Great database! Useful and I loved browsing through the books. The video was interesting, however, I had a bit of trouble with the countercultures.

This database will present a little of a challenge for our customers to use for it is not easy to use (not intuitive). Once you get the result of the article that contain the information you need, you are given the options like other EBSCO database to use the information. On this one, I miss the Gale database version of this literacy resource database.

The site seems very plain but on the whole it seems rather useful for many reasons. Great for English Majors or literary professionals.

It’s well-organized and was reasonably easy to find the items this post asked of us. However, it is slightly behind the times. But! Not so much so that I’d hesitate to recommend it.

Okay….4 more to go!

I’m glad I watched the tutorial. I discovered features I’d been unfamiliar with.

Excellent resource!

Good database with nice browsing features. I think sometimes we overlook the value of browsing in our rush to do a keyword search. The Discovery Exercises were very useful for learning more about this resource.

Good database (Week 9)

interesting database

Week #9 completed.

Clear and user friendly.

The Literary Reference Center is a great database. It is easy to use and very user friendly.

Nice database that I have used previously for school research papers. Will use it again.

I’m not sure what counter culture is but apparently Walt Disney may have had a hand in developing it: “From Walt to Woodstock: How Disney Created the Counterculture.”

Great database. Took a trick to find, but definitely handy.

Oh, and links that are double-checked to work would be great…

Great database, and a excellent resource, hard to find would be the only complaint.

WOW! this database is really cool! Looks like a great place for me to catch up on my classics or do English research papers 😀

Great Information, but had trouble accessing the page. I am sure I will be visiting this website again.

I liked this site. It will be valuable to university students and high school honors english students.

I delayed visiting this database because I couldn’t view the tutorial, but the site itself was user-friendly and no problem without the tutorial.

I hope I have more time to explore more about this database.

Another great resource for those who really need it, but I don’t really see me needing this resource imo.

so much database (data) and so little time.

Easy to use and explain to customers – good for Children’s books authors, too! Particularly good for just basic research on an author – clear and concise.

I took the Literary Reference Center Tutorial, and was so sidetracked by on article listed in a screen shot, titled, “Why Jo Didn’t Marry Laurie.” Expecting some new insights that I didn’t have when I read Little Women when I was 10, I spent some time trying to find that article. STILL LOOKING for it.
Found an article about “People of the Book” which I am currently reading, but not about its Pulizter Prize winning author, Geraldine Brooks, nor about “March” for which she won it. Found Mel Brooks and Gwendolyn Brooks! STILL LOOKING.

Very easy to use and great resource on authors

This is a great resource and super easy to use!

This is a helpful tool in reader’s advisory. Glad to see children’s books and authors here too.

pretty cool!

Nice database. I like the way it’s set up, it is easy to get around and understand.

this is a excellent source and easy to use.

This will be helpful whenever it’s book report time.

This is great. I’m looking forward to using this database often to find books of which I would not normally be aware .

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