Full-text databases keep the state of California grounded in facts

Librarians, using research technologies like electronic databases, make complex organizations credible and efficient. Librarians, through their access to most published work in infinite professional fields, open doors to documented dissenting opinions - to critical thought.

The California State Library (CSL) is California state government’s leading research library. The librarians in the CSL’s services bureau help state employees ground California’s administrative and political world in fact by showing the way to statistics and arguments that become the foundations of California policy.

As one of their services to government workers, CSL librarians will email, fax or interoffice an article from, say, a News Bank source like the Los Angeles Times to a government worker’s workplace. Or, if the researcher has time, he or she can travel to a CSL branch in Sacramento or San Francisco and log onto the CSL databases and explore.

Sometimes though, the time it takes for a librarian to retrieve and fax an article is too long for a deadline-pressured researcher to wait: five minutes is a lifetime when your boss needs stats for her speech in an hour about 2000’S welfare cuts.

That’s changed. The CSL’s electronic databases are now available on every state worker’s PC desktop in the state of California.

CSL librarian Julie Davidson, in an article for Today’s Supervisor, explains the program to state workers:

Working with departmental libraries and state agency information technology staff, the State Library has recently started connecting agencies to databases via desktop Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. When connected at your agency you will be able to go to the library web page, Newspapers and Journals for State Government http://www.library.ca.gov/csl/csldatabases.cfm and search a wide array of electronic databases that have the reliable articles and stats that can make your job easier.

Included in the databases are a broad range of 1) scholarly, full-text journal articles on many subjects, including business, health, education, engineering, and the social sciences (EBSCOHost), 2) full-text coverage of over 140 newspapers from throughout the United States, including major California newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register and the San Diego Union Tribune - with coverage for some newspapers available for many years back - (NewsBank), and 3) California statistics covering topics such as, business, economics, demographics, education, health, crime and criminal justice, environment, energy, agriculture, natural resources, insurance, housing, social services, employment, and public finance (RAND California).

For more information contact Sabah Eltareb, California State Library senior librarian, at (916) 654-0040/ seltareb@library.ca.gov or John Jewell, Chief of State Library Services at (916) 653-0293/ jjewell@library.ca.gov.



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