News from South Carolina's Virtual Library

Fall 2011 
Man and woman with laptop
DISCUS Database Evaluation Project

As with any library collection, whether print or electronic, the DISCUS resources must be examined periodically to ensure that they meet the needs of those who use them. Beginning in May 2011, an evaluation project was launched to determine the information needs of DISCUS users and to explore a possible re-mix of products to provide the best set of resources for the dollars available. The evaluation project included a review of the resources that are currently provided by DISCUS as well as exploration of many other products available in the market.


After evaluating all the feedback, the DISCUS Database Assessment Committee has met and recommended several possible combinations of resources for DISCUS. The State Library is in the process of finalizing the evaluation project. Resources selected for inclusion in the DISCUS collection will be licensed and available on July 1, 2012. Watch for further exciting announcements to come!  


Juvenile Titles in Career eBook Collection
Need career resources for younger students?  Take a look at some of the titles found in the Career eBook Collection.  Here's a sampling:
  • Young Person's Occupational Outlook Handbook, c2007.
  • Discovering Careers for Your Future: Space Exploration, c2008.
  • Virtual Apprentice: Cartoon Animator, c2008.    
Software Tutorials and Computer Basics in LearningExpress Library
LearningExpress Library now includes specialized learning centers containing tutorials on popular software, basic computer, and Internet topics.

Look for the Popular Software Tutorials, which are interactive courses to move the user's computer skills to the next level. The Computer & Internet Basics courses are perfect for beginners, providing basic instruction in straightforward, non-technical language.  All of these courses allow the individual to proceed comfortably at his or her own pace.

In order for users to find this content more easily, libraries may link directly to these specialized learning centers within LearningExpress Library using these instructions .  As with all the content in LearningExpress Library, it is still necessary to create an account within the product in order to use the tutorials.

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CultureGrams Maps Enhanced
MapCultureGrams has released Fall 2011 updates and the map enhancements, from the French map company GeoAtlas, now include simple, outline, political, and physical versions. Select the desired version from the country home page.  Use the small drop-down box under the map displayed on every country home page.

Ever heard of the Faroe Islands and do you know where they are?  Entries for the Faroe Islands, as well as for Antarctica and Greenland, have been recently added to the CultureGrams World Edition.

By the way, the Faroe Islands lie midway between Iceland and Norway.  Check out CultureGrams to learn more about them!

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Especially for Educators
Britannica Online School Edition has Linkable Features
Did you know that you can link directly, from your own school or district website, to specific Britannica features to provide quick and easy access for your students? 

There are wonderful elementary, middle school, and high school resources in Britannica that your students may not know about or use regularly.  Check out the list of Britannica Linkable Features, place links on your website, and quickly connect your school community to some amazing content.

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New to DISCUS?  Start Here! 
Are you new to DISCUS?  Or do you have a colleague who wants to know more about the program and what it provides?  We have the perfect training to fill this need.  Each month we offer a one-hour webinar titled "New to DISCUS?  Start Here!" that explains the program and provides an opportunity for Q&A. 

Never participated in a webinar?  Just read our Online Training FAQs to learn how easy it is.  Information about DISCUS training is found on the Training Tab of our website.  Take advantage of some free training in 2012!

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StudySC logo Check out
StudySC and WorkSC

Though not part of DISCUS, StudySC and WorkSC are two web portals provided by the South Carolina State Library and are well worth a look.  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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Mug Winners at EdTech Conference
Photo of mugEdTech 2011 was held during the last week of October in Myrtle Beach and, once again, DISCUS - South Carolina's Virtual Library and the State Library were represented in the exhibit hall and in the breakout sessions.

The EdTech conference provides professional development opportunities in all areas of educational technology, making it a valuable experience for South Carolina educators.


The DISCUS program solicited feedback from educators about the impact and use of the statewide electronic resources at their schools. Those who provided feedback were eligible to win a DISCUS mug. Congratulations to these lucky winners who can now sip a favorite beverage from their new insulated DISCUS mugs.

  • Tina Humphries of Spartanburg School District Two
  • Anne Lemieux of the Kershaw County School District
  • Karen Tisdale of School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties

Feedback about the DISCUS program is welcomed at any time and can be submitted to

The Best of the Season to You!
Warm wishes for a holiday season of peace and joy to all of the wonderful library staff members and educators who we are privileged to work with throughout the year!

Amy, Ruth, and Flora  
In This Issue
DISCUS Database Evaluation Project
Juvenile Titles in Career eBook Collection
Software Tutorials and Computer Basics in LearningExpress Library
CultureGrams Maps Enhanced
Britannica Online School Edition has Linkable Features
New to DISCUS? Start Here!
Check Out StudySC and WorkSC
Mug Winners at EdTech Conference

Join Our Mailing List
DISCUS will be represented at this upcoming event!

  South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Conference,
March 14-16, 2012




DISCUS is a service of the South Carolina State Library.