Have you ever gone to the library only to find out the book you need is already checked out or in another location?

Our reference staff has purchased some titles that can be a solution.

In addition to the print copy of the book, we also offer online access to the contents of the book.

While looking in the catalog if you see a small box under a title that says -> Available Online you can just click on that and enter your library barcode to sign in. Once there, you have access to the table of contents and can also browse or do a keyword search.

The titles we have purchased are: “Addictions, Substance Abuse & Alcoholism,” “American Reformers, Civil Disobedience, Social Justice, Nationalism & Populism, Violent Demonstrations and Race Relations,” “Constitutional Amendments, Defining Documents in American History,” and “The Gun Debate.”

The county library system, with help from the Winding Rivers Library System, has some databases available through our webpage www.lacrossecountylibrary.org.

In addition to databases like Mango and ReferenceUSA, there are the Gale courses.

There is a wide array of courses available, too many to list here. A few that caught my interest, and also solved the problem of finding a book on the subject, are the College readiness courses.

If you click on Test prep you can find courses on SAT and ACT preparation. Also GMAT, GRE and GED preparation. Under the Healthcare and Medical tab you can find courses on how to become a veterinary assistant or open your own pet-care business.

If you are looking for a sign-language course, just look under the Personal Development tab and Languages to discover the sign language course along with other language classes.

The Gale courses do require you to create a login and take the courses at a specific time and date. They are similar to taking an online course from a technical school or college but without a student loan or tuition payment.

An underutilized resource that your state tax dollars pay for is Badgerlink.

A link to it can also be found on our homepage. Badgerlink is called Wisconsin’s online library.

Besides just a magazine index (do some of you remember the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature?) it is licensed, trustworthy content not available from free search engines.

There are many different databases that cover popular magazines and professional journals, most are full text. There is an auto repair database [for when the Chilton manual you need is unavailable]. There is HeritageQuest online, which is somewhat like Ancestry in that it has census data but has other options too.

The Learning Express Library caught my eye when trying to help a patron study for an exam. In addition to the usual college test prep, it also has test prep for occupational exams such a postal worker, law enforcement, CDL, firefighting, teaching, social work, plumbing and many others.

Any of these databases are available from home or in our libraries.

If you need assistance, any of our staff can help you get started or set up a time with one of our reference librarians for a one-on-one session.

All of this information and more is just a click away on the homepage of the La Crosse County Library at www.lacrossecountylibrary.org.

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Susanne Strancis reference librarian for the La Crosse County Library, Holmen branch.

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