Remember as you research topics for school, you have access to many published online magazine, newspaper, and book sources. The state of Kansas subscribes to them, and any resident of the state can get to them and use them. The easiest way to find them is to go to the library web site (you are here!) and look at the headings along the left of the page until you find "Magazines." Click on Magazines and then click on Online Databases. A page comes up that looks like this:
That is a lot of databases, and it's kind of overwhelming. For most searches, the best sites to click are Explora (High Schools) and Explora (Middle Schools). Explora looks like this:
You can just do a simple search here. Luke Henson was searching a pretty interesting topic last week. He was trying to find out what personality traits dictators shared, with an emphasis on Hitler's personality. After trying lots of different search terms that didn't work very well, we finally typed Dictator Personality in the search bar.
You can see that the database pulled up 48 pretty good looking articles that included those two words in them. You will notice that they are Full Text articles and that along the left, you can limit them to a particular date range, reading level, publication, or source type. For example, if you just want to search Academic Journals, 2012-2014, you can do that. These are published articles, so they tend to have more depth to them than an average internet source that comes up with a Google search.
If you want to go all hard core and do an advanced search, just click Advanced. I searched Dictator AND Personality and came up with 501 pretty good results. Of course, Luke didn't need that many, so we chose a few of the best ones and went with it.
Looking for solid information on synesthesia, a student was coming up short until she accessed EBSCOhost last week. The search engine here is so much better than some of the magazine databases we have used in the past. She just typed in "synesthesia" and did fine, but I drilled down a little farther just now. I did a 9-12 reading level search, limited to full text articles, of magazines, newspapers, film and video, and books and encyclopedias. The database kicked back sixteen solid articles. Then I conducted the same search at the middle school reading level. There was some overlap, but the resources all looked relevant and accessible.
When you want to search magazines, newspapers, or other material on the State Library of Kansas site, begin with Student Research Center. This is an EBSCO database, and it is easy to navigate and very, very useful.
As you can see from the screenshot below, you can easily control your search. You can search by topic, conduct a visual or advanced search, limit your results to magazines, newspapers, books, biography, media transcripts, maps, primary source documents, country reports, state reports, or film. I recommend that you click on the full text check box so you only get results that have the entire article. You can also just search certain dates. If you want something that is simple to read, you can control the reading level.
The State Library of Kansas provides terrific resources for high school students, and they are free for you to use any time. During the next six weeks or so, I will be sporadically highlighting different databases included here because, as you know, nothing warms a librarian's heart like a good database.