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News from South Carolina's Virtual Library

Spring 2011
scdiscus.org 
Man and woman with laptop
Important Enhancements Ahead
South Carolina's Virtual Library continues to change and evolve as our providers enhance the functionality and effectiveness of their
products.  Here are some enriching changes that you can expect to see in the near future.  Implementation dates have not yet been set.
  • PowerSearch, the platform that searches multiple Gale products at once, will soon have powerful new enhancements to improve the search experience.  One of the readily noticeable changes will be the addition of Search Assist to help users find the exact subject, keyword or publication they need.  Spend a few minutes now to get a sneak peek of the upcoming new interface and enhancements.
  • SmartSearch by DISCUS also searches multiple databases at once, but it enables the user to search electronic resources from all seven of the DISCUS providers.  Watch for upcoming improvements to SmartSearch, including the delivery of an integrated single set of results and a clustering feature that automatically creates subject hierarchies as results are returned.  Take a quick look to see what to expect. 
  • The Career eBook Collection provided to DISCUS by EBSCO NetLibrary will undergo a major change as well.  The eBooks in the collection will move to the EBSCOhost platform for viewing.  You may already be familiar with the look and feel of EBSCOhost if your institution subscribes to other EBSCO products.  EBSCO's preview page explains this change in greater detail.

DISCUS Tutorials Now Available in StreamlineSC 
Woman and clockFollowing recommendations from many in the K-12 community, the DISCUS on-demand screencast tutorials are now accessible in
StreamlineSC.  Once you're logged in, do a search using discus as the term and select DE MediaShare as the service.  There are only a few DISCUS tutorials available now, but more are planned for the future. 

Do you have a topic to suggest that would lend itself well to a DISCUS tutorial?  Please let us know at discusoffice@statelibrary.sc.gov.
More Literature Resources in the Gale Virtual Reference Library
Have you opened up the Gale Virtual Reference
Library (GVRL)Books on shelf lately?  The list of literature titles in this collection of cross-searchable reference eBooks has expanded significantly.

Although these titles have been available for some time in other Gale-provided databases in the DISCUS collection, their browsable display in GVRL offers an additional point-of-access that is very user-friendly.

You'll find titles such as Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror (2003), African American Writers (2001), World Poets (2000) and many others.  Take a look today!

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Have You Used This Awesome "Stuff"?!
It's hard to keep up with everything available in DISCUS!  If you haven't explored the useful features and content listed here, you'll want to do so today.
  • The Career Interest Assessment on the homepage of the Ferguson's Career Guidance Center matches personal interests with possible careers via an easy-to-answer series of phrases.  "Build kitchen cabinets," for instance, can be answered by choosing "like," "unsure," or "dislike."
  • LearningExpress Library now places all titles in its eBook collection within the individual Learning Centers and has added practice tests for careers in teaching and medical assisting.
  • Scientific terminology can be tough to spell!  AccessScience provides AutoSuggest in the search box to make spelling and searching a bit easier.
  • SIRS Knowledge Source (SKS) includes an amazingly useful Note Organizer in each of the "Pro vs. Con Leading Issues."  Very intuitive and simple-to-use, it helps students organize and save notes as they proceed through the critical thinking process during research.  Just select one of the SKS leading issues and the link to the Note Organizer is found in the Research Tools area.  The Help button provides a useful, brief video tutorial.
  • Though not part of DISCUS, StudySC and WorkSC are two new web portals provided by the South Carolina State Library and are well worth looking into.  Educators will find links to amazing South Carolina content on StudySC.  And all state residents in the workforce - or seeking to be in the workforce - will find something useful on WorkSC.

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Winning Media Specialists Receive Mugs
The South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) held its annual conference in early March, affording the DISCUS staff a
wonderful opportunity to network with media specialists from around the state.

Those who stopped by the State Library's exhibit booth were eligible to enter a prize drawing.  Insulated DISCUS mugs were awarded to these lucky attendees:  Kathleen Carey of Greenville Middle Academy, Dawn James of Aynor High School, and Kathy Walker of McCrorey-Liston Elementary School.

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DISCUS Questions, Comments or Suggestions 
Woman on phoneThe DISCUS staff members are always happy to hear from all three user-communities (K-12, public and academic libraries) served by South Carolina's Virtual Library.  Please contact us at any time!

Alternate Access Page to Bookmark
During the infrequent times when the DISCUS Web site may be unavailable, users still have uninterrupted access to the resources through an alternate access page.  Check your bookmark to make sure it points correctly to this URL: 

http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/school.html 


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In This Issue
Important Enhancements Ahead
DISCUS Tutorials Now Available in StreamlineSC
More Literature Resources in the Gale Virtual Reference Library
Have You Used This Awesome "Stuff"?!
Winning Media Specialists Receive Mugs
DISCUS Questions, Comments or Suggestions
Alternate Access Page to Bookmark


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DISCUS will be represented at these upcoming events!

DISCUS logo

Upstate Technology Conference,
June 14-15


SC Home Educators Association Conference, June 17-18

 SC Education and Business Summit,
June 26-30


 ETV Technology Workshop,
July 26-28

 

 



DISCUS is a service of the South Carolina State Library.