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The New York Public Library subscribes to hundreds of online databases and other information tools. Some are available onsite while others can be accessed at home using your library card number. This blog channel offers tips and tricks on getting the most out of online resources.

October Reader's Den - "The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary"

Welcome to the October Reader’s Den! Did you know that the word den has its origins in the Old English denn, meaning habitation of a wild beast? According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the first recorded use of denn is in Beowulf, around the year 1000. The figurative use of the word, meaning a 

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When They Trod the Boards: John Lithgow

We hereby announce the new blog series When They Trod the Boards, designed to highlight notable film or television actors who have a substantial background in stage work as documented in the collections of the Library's Billy Rose Theatre Division. We launch the series with John Lithgow and his new memoir, 

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Hey! Got Homework?

Does the word homework make you cringe in your seat?

Well, you can find complete, trustworthy information a lot faster using the Library's databases.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases:

  Go to www.nypl.org   Go to "Research"   Click on "Articles and Databases" (databases are listed in alphabetical order)

If you are not accessing the database on site at the Library, simply enter the number on the back of your library 

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Many Backgrounds, Many Stories ... One American Spirit

Photo: Pura Belpre (1899-1982) Author, Storyteller and first Puerto Rican Librarian at the New York Public Library

It's Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15), the time of year to celebrate and recognize the contributions made by people of Hispanic descent to this great nation. This year's national theme is Many Backgrounds, Many Stories... One American Spirit.

According to the 2010 Census, 16 percent of the US population is Hispanic. Hispanic Americans include people from the following 

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Treasures of Small Business Research: Sample Business Plans

Starting a business? Take my word for it — you don't need a business plan. Oh, and while we're at it, I have a nice bridge I can let you have at a very good price...

Well, you don't have to have a business plan — maybe — if you have plenty of cash and don't mind doing without a few things. But here's what the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website suggests as why you might want one: "Many factors critical to business success depend upon your plan: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of 

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Researching and Finding Historical Newspapers in NYPL

In NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, we have an extensive historical collection of regional, local, and international newspapers from Colonial America to Imperial Japan. This blog post will explore how one 

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Adventures in Marketing Research: First Research

A little while ago, I gave a presentation at a session for FastTrac® GrowthVenture™. These sessions have to be held outside the Library, and they're very brief with lots of information to cover, so there's no chance to do a hands-on demonstration. This time I was told by one of the participants that she had been to visit us here at SIBL, but wasn't able to find current industry information in her business area, cleaning services.

While I thought that didn't seem right, there 

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Adventures in Marketing Research: SimplyMap

It's already been a couple of months since I and a colleague attended a morning of presentations by budding entrepreneurs finishing up their session of FastTrac® NewVenture™. Two weeks before that event my colleague and I did a presentation here at SIBL for them - our Market Research and library resources "boot camp". Now we had a great opportunity to see for ourselves how, and to what extent, these folks have used our SIBL resources to help create a five minute "pitch" of their 

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Parallel Parking Will Not Be Your Only Challenge in Life: Learning Express Library

My friend arrived at my home wet and hungry. On the way to my house her windshield wipers stopped working which was problematic since it was raining. She couldn't make out which lane she was in but she could distinguish the wiggly globs of red and green as traffic lights. She wanted to stop and get a bagel on the way but there was nowhere to park in the parking lot of the bagel store. Well there were available spaces but her car no longer does that thing, the thing where you go backwards, you know, 'reverse,' so you have to really plan out your parking 

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"Say What?" Look at What the Library Has in Your Language

In the "melting pot" of New York City, people from all over the world come to visit The New York Public Library. Luckily, New Yorkers can get information in languages from all around the world. Check out these databases, available from home.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to www.nypl.org 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ 4. Databases are listed in alphabetical order. If you are not accessing the 

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Award-winning Startup: SkyStem LLC. Can You Guess its Business Service?

Hearing the capstone presentations of 20 aspiring business owners in a FastTrac New Ventures program last week inspired me to talk to Shagun Malhotra, who recently told Crain's New York Business what she learned at FastTrac en route to taking second place in SIBL's 2010 New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition.

Shagun, here's your 

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ALLDATA: Car Repair & Maintenance

Used by professional mechanics to diagnose and repair cars & trucks sold in the United States since 1982. Get the latest TSBs (technical service bulletins) or Recall Notices for your car or one that you might be interested in purchasing.  Access OEM wiring diagrams, maintenance tables, diagnostic trouble codes, labor estimator and so much more.

This online database is available at the following libraries:

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Fashion History at Your Fingertips: Celebrate at the Library on April 5, 2011!

Oxford University Press has launched its award-winning database, the Berg Fashion Library, and I'm so happy to have at my fingertips this comprehensive online resource that offers integrated text, image, and journal content on world dress and fashion. From the history of the corset to the beads of Mauritania, this database has it all, and I'm guessing that there are lots of you out there who will love the Berg Fashion Library too.  If you want to 

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My Library: Debbie

Debbie is a literary agent and all-around superpatron at Jefferson Market.

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The Haunted Library

A library patron (Marie Hansen, Young Adult Librarian) is returning her overdue items at the Jefferson Market Library in New York City. She soon discovers the library to be inhabited only by a strange and terrifying Ghoul (Frank Collerius, Branch Manager)! Created for The New York Public Library.

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Strike a Pose: Berg Fashion Library

The Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, long-considered one of the most indispensible resources for the history of dress, is now online—with a host of other content—through Berg Fashion Library, a resource available at all NYPL locations and from home or school with a library card number.

Berg Fashion Library contains the entire run of the Berg encyclopedia (updated twice a year), sixty fashion 

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New Year's Waltz

New year's wishes to everyone!

Just a few words on the music pictured above.  This anonymous piano work was published around 1827 by Samuel Bromberg of New York City.  The address listed on the music is 395 Broadway, but in the New York City directory of 1829-1830, the publisher is located at 80 Broadway "upstairs."  Bromberg apparently came from Denmark: his petition for naturalization was made on June 9, 1835.  (These immigration and naturalization documents are available online through

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PressDisplay: An International, Virtual Newsstand

Gone are the days of newsstands on every corner with titles reflecting the vibrant international community of readers in New York City. Gone are the newsstands, but not the readers. New York City is home to 2.9 million foreign-born residents, many of whom still want to read the newspapers of their home country. To that end, the New York Public Library is pleased to offer PressDisplay at all NYPL locations and to all 

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Best of Reference 2010: Thrifty Reference

Knowledge is power, and in hard times, finding the best information can be even more important. These books, websites, and electronic resources, available through your local library, can save you both time and money! 

Selected and presented by librarians from all three NYC library systems, Best of Reference is sponsored by The New York Library Association's Reference and Adult Services Section.

Coupon Clipping   Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend Anthony S. Mercatante and James R Dow, eds. ... Read More ›

Dazed and Confused

So, you find yourself feeling poorly and make an appointment with your doctor. After the examination she decides to prescribe a drug for what ails you. She describes what the drug should do and answers your questions. Feeling satisfied, and with a prescription in hand, you leave the office. Halfway down the block, however, some doubts start to come to the surface: Did I ask all the right questions? Can I take the drug with grapefruit juice? How am I going to pay for it? You may feel the need for additional information.

You are not alone. One of the top types 

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