LAV has declared that 2010 is ”The Year of the Database.” This is the first in a series of posts about the extensive suite of electronic resources available to Carnegie Library cardholders. We hope the resources explored in this series will enrich and enhance your library experience.
Did you know that your library card grants you an all-access, year-round pass to information about black history and culture? Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh users can read, print, or e-mail materials from The African American Experience, one of the many subscription databases we offer for your recreational and research needs.
Why a subscription database, you ask? Good question. The free web does have many credible resources, and it’s getting better all the time. However, subscription databases contain information a Google search won’t turn up, written and published by companies with high standards for accuracy. And when you’re trying to learn–especially when you’re pressed for time–do you really want to sacrifice quality for quantity?
Not that The African American Experience skimps on either aspect: you could spend days browsing the subject headings, which include:
- Arts and Media
- Civil Rights
- Children and Families
- Religion and Spirituality
- War and Military Service
The database also bundles information into monthly featured topics like “Jazz Music” and “The Great Migration.” These spotlight bundles include slideshows, timelines, key works, and links to other resources, so that you can explore a new topic every month with ease.
Other treasures in The African American Experience include:
- Audio samples of historical African American music
- Interviews with key historical figures
- More than 5,000 primary sources, including full-text speeches
- 4,000+ WPA interviews with former slaves
- Over 2,500 photographs, illustrations and maps
- Lesson plans and classroom guides
- A writing/research skills center for students
The very best part of The African American Experience is, however, the fact that you can use it from any computer that has internet access, provided you have your Carnegie Library card handy. Whenever possible, we provide 24/7/365 access to our digital resources, so that even when the physical library is closed, you still have access to the very best information.
Think outside the month. Take a look at The African American Experience and consider making 2010 your own personal Black History Year.