News from South Carolina's Virtual Library

Fall 2014 
Man and woman with laptop
Changes, Changes!


This issue contains information about updates to several of the Discus resources that you'll want to know about.  And we have some in-house news as well!  


The State Library is pleased to announce that Patricia Sinclair has joined the library as the new Electronic Resources Coordinator.  Patricia will direct the overall operations of the library's electronic resources, including Discus - South Carolina's Virtual Library. 


Patricia oPatricia Sinclair photobtained her MLIS from the University of South Carolina and brings specialized knowledge of implementing, managing, and monitoring electronic resources.  She has considerable experience working with library management teams and negotiating with vendors.



Patricia is looking forward to working with the Discus-participating institutions to assist them in effectively using the statewide resources.  She can be reached at, 803-734-8851.

Resource Updates to Know About 


Kids InfoBits
The Encyclopedia Britannica Elementary Collection now appears in Kids InfoBits.  It is a collection of 63 nonfiction ebooks with simple text and lots of images and is geared to the lower elementary grades.  Examples of book titles include Creeping Crawlers, Even or Odd?, and Measuring: Seconds, Minutes, and Hours.

The "Highlights and Notes" tool, explained below, is also available in Kids InfoBits. 

Biography In Context, Opposing Viewpoints In Context 
Now users of these products can take notes easily without opening a separate program.  The "Highlights and Notes" tool allows you to select text from a document, highlight the important sections, add your own notes, and save to a new "Highlighted Articles" page.  Within the same session, the highlighted sections can be easily viewed, printed, downloaded, or sent via email (no user account within the database is required).  The Gale Blog explains more about this new feature.

Gale's PowerSearch Databases

Biography In Context, Nursing and Allied Health Collection, and Opposing Viewpoints In Context: searching these three databases via the PowerSearch interface provides an interesting visual search tool called Topic Finder.  Conduct the search using PowerSearch and -- once results are displayed -- use Topic Finder on the left to view the results visually.  Topic Finder creates connections between topics, helps to focus broad topics, and also enables discoveries that might otherwise go unnoticed.


NoveList K-8 Plus, NoveList Plus

Changes have been made to the printing and delivery options to provide more effective ways to use the read-alike recommendations and lists. And if your work involves readers' advisory (RA), you'll love the redesigned RA Toolbox.  Read about all the improvements to your NoveList products!  And consider subscribing to a NoveList newsletter as well.    


LearningExpress Library

Instead of going straight to the LearningExpress Library homepage, have you ever wished you could create a direct link to specific content, such as the Computer Skills Center?  If your institution is an academic or public library, you can!  Download the instructions for creating direct links and begin customizing at your library.  


Bloom's Literature
The latest update to Bloom's Literature includes:
  • 39 new full-length videos of noted film adaptations of famous works of literature;
  • extensive new material on the life and work of Mary Shelley; and
  • new critical essays on Ibsen, Death of a Salesman, and the short stories of Salinger, Twain, and Fitzgerald.

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Though StreamlineSC isn't provided by the State Library, the Discus Office sometimes receives questions about the amazing video-on-demand resource made available by ETV.  Of course we're happy to refer the questions to the helpful staff at ETV or you can view their contact list to reach them directly.   

Spotlight on Databases!   

Consumer Health Complete is an easy-to-navigate database designed to inform patients on important health-related topics. You can use the search box to find evidence-based reports, reference materials, fact sheets, images, and videos. There is a 'Search by Topic' area that includes information about Children's Health, Surgeries and Procedures, Parenting, and many others. There is also a section with popular sources such as Shape magazine, Healthy Recipes, and a complete guide to Prescription & Nonprescription Drugs. This database is for high school students through adults.

BrainPOP Jr. is a great resource for the K-3 community. Although it is for children, there are resources for teachers as well. This wonderful database includes animated movies, quizzes, activities, and reading recommendations. There are lesson ideas to incorporate Science, Health, Reading and Writing, Social Studies, Math, and Arts and Technology. If you are looking for ideas of how to explain to your students the Solar System, the Digestive System, Basic Probability, or a host of other topics, maybe BrainPOP Jr. is the place to start. From the BrainPOP Jr. homepage, choose 'Free Stuff' to get started. 


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Sharing Discus in the Information Age


With the abundance of information available online, copying URLs and sharing them with others has become part of our everyday lives. Creating bookmarks is also a common way to curate useful information to access again.  Both of these actions are based on the idea that the links/addresses remain persistent over time.

When sharing resources from the Discus products, however, the URLs found in the address bar of the browser are not always persistent.  In some of the databases, the URL in the browser is specific to that search session; shortly after the session ends, using the URL will no longer successfully return the desired result.  

Fortunately, the databases that operate this way have special built-in features that create reliable, persistent URLs for future use.  The features are known by different names depending upon the database.  Look for these terms to find such functionality: Record URL, Bookmark, Permalink, Share, and Display Link to Search.

If you need assistance with creating persistent URLs, please contact the Discus Office.

There will be webinars on the spring training schedule that are focused on creating persistent links, so watch for those to be posted.


Save the Date for Destiny & Discus!
FollettLogo Discus is partnering with Follett representatives to present a conference session at the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) conference in 2015.  The session is scheduled on Friday, March 13 and will focus on incorporating the Discus resources into Destiny's One Search.  We hope to see many media specialists in the session!            


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The Best of the Season To All

  Image of Poinsettia

The Discus staff sends our very best wishes to everyone who uses and promotes South Carolina's Virtual Library throughout the year!  We appreciate your ongoing support.



"Creative Commons Poinsettias" by Martin LaBar is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 


In This Issue
Changes, Changes!
Resource Updates to Know About
Spotlight on Databases!
Sharing Discus in the Information Age
Save the Date for Destiny & Discus!
The Best of the Season To All

Join Our Mailing List
Discus will be represented at these upcoming events!

January 30, 2015
SC Adult Education Spring Training Institute in Columbia

 February 13, 2015
Hampton School District One Instructional Fair in Varnville

March 6, 2015
Diocese of Charleston Teachers' Education Conference

SC Association of School Librarians Conference in Columbia

Discus is a service of the South Carolina State Library.