SJPL Database Delight Training

Archive for June 2010

Reference USA , a detailed business directory for business/competitor research, features more than 14 million U.S. businesses.  All data is verified and updates are made monthly to maintain accuracy of information.

This database can assist small business owners, entrepreneurs, and job seekers research companies.  Researchers have access to company information such as, but not limited to, address, telephone number(s), number of employees, sales volume, maps, credit rating, and nearby competing businesses.  This information is particularly helpful for potential small business owners to research if there are competing companies in the area of where h/she may want to open up shop.  Or perhaps a job seeker wants to locate all the construction companies in San Jose so h/she can get contact information.

Reference USA has a wealth of information, I suggest you play around with Custom Search and see all the information that is available. This is the database to keep in mind when customers have business start-up questions or any time a customer wants detailed company information.

Researchers can use the Quick Search or Custom Search function to locate information.  Users are allowed 50 downloads per search.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Can you tell me who the owner is of Café Pomegranate?
  2. Can you tell me the nearby competing businesses of Café Pomegranate?
  3. How many employees does Café Pomegranate have?

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


Rich’s Online Directory – California includes over 30,000 firms in Northern and Southern California. Access over 75,000 contact names, 16,000 websites, and 12,000 email addresses. Includes high technology, financial services, manufacturing, distributors, transportation, wholesalers, and business-to-business services.  Search results may be viewed, but downloads are not available to SJPL users.

Search Selection Criteria includes:  Contacts, Company, Counties, NAICS, SIC Product Codes, States

No Help screens are available.

This database is accessible from SJPL public computers and outside of the library with a San Jose Library card number and PIN. 


1.  How many company records are there in Rich’s database for Santa Clara County containing the name “Varian”?

2.  Can you find an email address for any executives of Nvidia?

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



Novelist Plus (Adults, Kids, & Teens)

Novelist K-8 (Kids and Teens only)

Customers think that anyone that works in the library knows about every book out there- non-fiction, sci-fi, mysteries, romance, you name it, you should know about it.  I like to tell customers that I work in the library therefore I don’t have time to read.  Of course, it’s impossible even for the well read amongst us to be able to recommend books in every genre.  Anyway, the point is that you don’t have to be well read to help customers find books to read.  NoveList can help.

NoveList can help you find new books for customers based on other books and authors they like.  You can search by author, title, series title, or by describing a book plot.  You can also limit by age group- younger kids, older kids, teens, and adults.  Novelist covers fiction and non-fiction titles.

Novelist Plus is comprehensive covering adults, kids and teens whereas Novelist K-8 covers kids and teen titles only. In addition, each listing has an SJPL library catalog link and you can instantly check if the library has the book. NoveList is also great for figuring out the order of series book titles.  For example, a customer may ask for the 3rd book in the Left Behind Series. You can look up the series title in NoveList Plus/ K-8 and it will list in order (with publication date) the books in the series.  There are also book discussion guides, lists of award winners, and book talks.

NoveList is really a powerful tool.  Here’s a sample of what you can find within a book listing in Novelist Plus/ K-8:

  • Link to our library catalog
  • Grade level, Reading Level, and Lexile of book
  • Link to Similar Books
  • Book Reviews
  • Book Summary
  • Series Information (if applicable)

I highly recommend you check out NoveList and explore this database.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Read this
  2. Use the Describe a Plot search limiter in Novelist Plus.  A customer says she’s looking for a book but doesn’t know the title or the author but she remembers it was about a woman who went through a divorce and made a journey to India. What is the title of the book?
  3. Can you tell me what the grade level is for Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
  4. A parent wants recommendations for her 10 year old that wants fantasy books. Hint: use the Recommended Reads link under the appropriate age group.

Access 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!

Consumer Health Complete (CHC) provides content covering health and wellness in plain English for non-medical experts.  Content ranges from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated medicine. This full text database covers topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children’s health, men & women’s health, etc.  Not only does CHC include full text articles and reference books, but also includes images, diagrams, and video content.  Also included is information on prescription drugs and some herbal remedies.

Two tips: CHC does not contain a thesaurus of subject terms so you have to know the exact term for subject searching. It can also be difficult to intuitively find the area for browsing publications by title (first go to the advanced search page and then select the link for “publications”).

This database, like our others, is accessible from SJPL public computers and outside of the library with a San Jose Library card number and PIN.

For a good walk through of CHC, check out the Consumer Health Complete Tutorial.


  1. How many news reports with the subject “H1N1 (2009) influenza” were published in November 2009?
  2. Which publication is NOT available through CHC? (1) Nature (2) New Beginnings (3) Eating Out.
  3. Alli is a nonprescription supplement  for weight loss available over the counter in many drug stores.  A friend is considering buying  it and asks you to find out more information. Find a fact sheet in simple or plain English that that answers the following questions:  What are its side effects?  Who shouldn’t take this supplement? Do you need to be on a special diet? (Note: Alli is a brand name: this supplement may be known/marketed under other names.)

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

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