News from South Carolina's Virtual Library

Spring 2013 
Man and woman with laptop
Collection Changes Have Gone Smoothly 


By now most DISCUS institutions are aware that significant changes to the collection of resources took place on July 1, 2012 as a result of the extensive 2011-12 evaluation project. The feedback from the user communities has been very positive and the resources are receiving lots of use. There have been a few bumps along the way, but, with your patience and cooperation, we are working through them. We appreciate your continued support.


FAQs About the New Resources


Is there a product to assist with readers' advisory?
Try NoveList K-8 Plus or NoveList Plus for recommendations of both fiction and non-fiction titles.  There's even a series search that will list all the titles in a given series!

Since the Pro vs. Con Leading Issues content from

SIRS Knowledge Source is no longer provided, what should we use instead?

There are two helpful resources for current issues:  Points of View Reference Center and Opposing Viewpoints In Context.


What is EBSCOhost?

EBSCO is a company that provides a large package of resources to DISCUS.  EBSCOhost is a method to search many (though not all) of the EBSCO resources at once.  You can select the resources to include in the search from the EBSCOhost menu.


I've heard that Consumer Reports magazine is now provided by DISCUS.  How can I find it?

The full text of articles in Consumer Reports back to 1991 is available in the resource known as MasterFILE Premier.  Browse to Consumer Reports by using the Publications link in the upper left of the MasterFILE Premier homepage.  


The DISCUS website states that Credo Reference provides more than 600 full-text reference books.  Where can I see a title list?

Open Credo Reference and select the Find a Book link on the blue bar.  Three tabs will display and the titles can be viewed by subject category, alphabetically, and by type (books of quotations, for example).


What happened to Literature Resources from Gale?

An additional six months of access was negotiated on three Gale products, making them available until the end of 2012.  The products that are now discontinued are Literature Resources from Gale, U.S. History In Context, and World History In Context.  New products in the DISCUS collection to cover the study of literature and history are Bloom's Literary Reference Online, Literary Reference Center, and History Reference Center.


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Linking to DISCUS is All-Important    


How do participating institutions in South Carolina access DISCUS resources?  There are two methods.
Linking Image Many institutions link directly to the DISCUS website for their access.  The links on the DISCUS site are maintained to be current and accurate, even if the actual URLs change or databases are added to or removed from the collection.  

The second method -- used by most public libraries, colleges, and universities -- is achieved by adding the database links into the look-and-feel of the institution's own website.  If your institution links in this way,a linking audit is highly recommended in light of the 2012 changes to the DISCUS collection.
Public libraries, colleges, and universities may print the Resource List to use as a checklist to ensure that their websites have links to all the resources provided by DISCUS.  Logos and detailed linking instructions in the Toolkit will assist with making the resources available to your users.  It's especially important to remember that links to products that are no longer provided by DISCUS must be removed, UNLESS your institution has licensed those products on its own. 

New SmartSearch is Coming Soon 
SmartSearch logo Have you noticed that the green search boxes are gone from the DISCUS website? SmartSearch, 
the method of searching multiple databases at once, was temporarily removed from the site last June. This move was necessary because the behind-the-scenes service that powered SmartSearch was discontinued as a product. 

DISCUS has now licensed EBSCOhost Integrated Search to provide this functionality, along with the geolocation authentication that makes it easier to use DISCUS at home.

Watch for the upcoming return of SmartSearch to the DISCUS website.  Live webinars and a recorded tutorial will be offered to get everyone on board with this great new way of using DISCUS resources. The webinars will be posted to the training schedule soon.


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EBSCO Support Resources 


Many of the DISCUS databases are now provided by EBSCO Publishing, which has an extensive support site to help you learn about the new resources.  Included are promotion ideas, on-demand and live training sessions, a large selection of help documents, and numerous video tutorials.  Take a look today to get the most from the new EBSCO resources!   


Does DISCUS Have Your Institution's Correct Information?


Every institution that participates in DISCUS designates a person to serve as its Primary Contact, a role that is extremely important for effective implementation and use of the resources.  Primary Contacts are the main communication liaisons between DISCUS and the schools and libraries it serves.  
Primary Contacts are asked to share DISCUS news and updates with appropriate staff and also to keep the DISCUS Office informed when their institutions have relevant changes (i.e., IP addresses, physical addresses, new school or branch locations, website URL, names and contact information for the Administrator, Primary Contact, and Technical Contact).  Changes may be sent at any time to


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Download and Save This Document!


Despite our best efforts, Web servers occasionally decide to take a day off.  If your institution uses the DISCUS website as your access point, please consider downloading and saving this document of current database links.  It will allow your users continued access to the great collection of electronic resources in the event that the DISCUS website is temporarily unavailable. 


In This Issue
Collection Changes Have Gone Smoothly
FAQs About the New Resources
Linking to DISCUS is All-Important
New SmartSearch Is Coming Soon
EBSCO Support Resources
Does DISCUS Have Your Institution's Correct Information?
Download and Save This Document!

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DISCUS will be represented at these upcoming events!

 SC Emerging Technology Conference, Columbia
Feb. 8-9, 2013

SC Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Conference, Columbia
March 6-8, 2013

DISCUS is a service of the South Carolina State Library.