Gale Virtual Reference Library is licensed by the SD State Library, and these resources are available to an unlimited number of users at one time. They can be accessed at Potter County Library, or with your SD State Library e-card at http://www.sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=gvrl This is a core collection of online reference books in the following subject areas: health, history, government & law, science, education and business.
This week my first task was to get to know the collection by clicking “Title List” to view all of the titles available. Next, I chose a title of interest to me, World Religions Reference Library. I then accessed an article “Greco-Roman Religion and Philosophy,” which was found on p. 207. I noticed that I had many options for using the information including: print, email, download, citation tools, download MP3, download PDF to reader, translate and listen. I could find anything I needed to know about world religions in this resource, which would be fabulous for research papers, particularly at the college level. I did notice that most of these resources were rather dated though, with copyrights ranging from the 1990’s to about 2007. Perhaps this might not be too much of an issue when researching historical topics like these.
My next task was to go back to the home page for World Religions Reference Library, and type in a search term at the top of the page. I used “creation” first, and 5733 results were given, so I narrowed my search topic to “Christian creation,” and 27 results were found—this was a much more manageable amount of information. At this point I selected the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics from my list of 27 resources, and I tested the “listen” feature. I was pleased that as the pages were read aloud, the words were highlighted. I was really impressed that anything in this database could be translated into 12 different languages—a priceless tool for our ESL students, or for foreign exchange students. This is a great tool for research.