News from South Carolina's Virtual Library

Spring 2015 
Man and woman with laptop
New Explora is Coming to Discus!


Explora is EBSCO's new interface that is designed to replace a familiar student interface and to also provide a brand new experience for public library users.

The current student interfaces for Searchasaurus and both Student Research Centers are being replaced by Explora. Users will find that Explora delivers relevant results in easy-to-browse categories organized by popular topics. For those who need a starting point for research, topic overviews appear in the result list to provide an introduction and enable further exploration. Associated Press videos, Lexile reading level indicators, and text-to-speech functionality are all available for students via the new Explora.

Public libraries are also benefiting from this new design due to a version of Explora that is dedicated to the search habits and needs of their users.

Since Explora is an interface, institutions can select from a group of compatible databases that may be searched within it. Those who serve as Primary Contacts for Discus can customize Explora to make it most effective for the users at their institutions. Customizations are accomplished by logging in to the EBSCOadmin portal. The Discus Office will provide additional information about implementing Explora to institutions within the next few weeks.

To allow users to become acquainted with the new product, the Discus website will soon include links to Explora alongside the current links to Searchasaurus and the two Student Research Centers. Both sets of links will remain available during the transition period.

Explora's colorful, mobile-friendly design is sure to become popular with a wide variety of library users. More information is found in the FAQs and in the short introductory video.

Resource Updates to Know About 


Auto Repair Reference Center
Content additions include the latest repair information for hundreds of makes and models spanning the past decade, with the majority of additions covering the most recent five years including 2015.
These additions allow you to continue to serve your patrons' automotive repair projects with the latest information available. If you have any questions about the new content additions, please send a message to EBSCO at this address:

Bloom's Literature
New material on Shakespeare's life and works, new critical essays on A Raisin in the Sun, and new full-length videos of noted film adaptations of famous literature works are now in the database. Learn more in the Bloom's Literature Support Center.

Ferguson's Career Guidance Center

This product has been redesigned and sports a clean modern look. There are new filters for search results, better save-to-folder options, improved mobile viewing for videos, and translation tools in 80+ languages.    


LearningExpress Library

With responsive design, LearningExpress Library now provides a superior experience on any device, including tablets, desktops, and smartphones.  MARC records are available in the Librarian Resources area of the product and there is considerable new content as well. An overview of the changes is found on the Product Enhancements/Updates Summary.


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Free Event for Families: StoryfestSC


StoryfestSC, the state's summer reading kick-off event, will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the State Museum in Columbia.  Events include presentations and author book signings, storytelling for all ages, crafts, face painting, and visits from USC's Cocky and ETV's SmartCat.


StoryfestSC fosters an excitement for reading during the summer months. Check out the full details and make plans now to bring your family to this fun event!   


Spotlight on Databases!   

MasterFILE Premier
This product, designed for public libraries, is a large collection of magazines, reference books, images, and primary source documents.  MasterFILE Premier contains extensive backfiles for some key publications:
  • Consumer Reports (1991 to present)
  • History Today (1975 to present)
  • Library Journal (1975 to present)
  • National Review (1975 to present)
  • Newsweek (1990 to present)
  • Saturday Evening Post (1931 to present)
  • Time (5/7/1990 to present)
Libraries may create permalinks directly to the publication details page for a specific magazine by using the 'Share' functionality. The Discus Office is happy to provide assistance with this. 

Credo Reference
Credo Reference provides access to hundreds 
of full-text reference books on most major subject areas and is useful to those of middle school age through adults. Credo returns results from its own collection of books and also communicates with other Discus databases to retrieve relevant results from them as well.  Browse through the Credo Toolbox to learn more about this amazing product. 


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SmartSearch Makes It Easy!


Have you used SmartSearch by Discus lately? With SmartSearch you can perform a single search and retrieve information from numerous electronic resources provided by Discus.  It's easy, fast, and eliminates the need to be familiar with multiple search interfaces of individual products.  Test drive both SmartSearch versions soon!


PowerSearch, EBSCOhost, and SmartSearch...So What's the Difference?
With three amazing tools available for searching multiple databases at once, some confusion about what each of them does is understandable!  Let's shed a little light on the situation.

Linked on the A-Z List of Discus Resources, this tool cross-searches only the Gale databases: Biography In Context, Nursing and Allied Health Collection, and Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

When a user selects EBSCOhost Research Databases, also found on the A-Z List, an extensive menu displays.  All of the databases listed are from the company known as EBSCO.  So EBSCOhost enables the user to select and cross-search many EBSCO products at once.

Both of the previous tools are highly effective, but they are clearly specific to each of the companies mentioned.  SmartSearch, however, is designed to cross-search databases that are owned by numerous companies.  It retrieves results from most of the eight companies that provide resources to Discus.   
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Have a Training Need?


If you want to learn more about something related to Discus, chances are good that others may benefit from that information as well.  Send your training topic to the Discus Office and we can probably create either an onsite or online training to address it.  


In This Issue
New Explora is Coming to Discus!
Resource Updates to Know About
Free Event for Families: StoryfestSC
Spotlight on Databases!
SmartSearch Makes It Easy!
PowerSearch, EBSCOhost, and SmartSearch...So What's the Difference?
Have a Training Need?

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Discus will be represented at these upcoming events!

June 6, Columbia

SC Midlands Summit June 10-11, Blythewood

Social Studies Leadership Chautauqua Institute
June 18, Charleston

July 7-8, Greenville

August 4, Columbia

Kershaw School District Instructional Fair
August 11, Lugoff

Discus is a service of the South Carolina State Library.