Enhancements to BrainFuse


From the vendor:

Our newest addition to the HelpNow suite is the Adult Learning Center. The Adult Learning Center draws from many of the successful services in HelpNow but has been specially designed for the needs of an adult population. The Adult Learning Center offers test preparation (including the GED and the USCIS citizenship test), and a unique academic skills center featuring live, online tutors.  The Adult Learning Center consists of the following services:


  • LIVE ACADEMIC TUTORING: Adult learners who need help with an assignment in class or need academic support for any other reason can connect with a live HelpNow tutor through an online classroom that has been completely specially redesigned for adult patrons. Tutors are trained to not simply provide answers but to help Patrons master underlying academic concepts.


  • LIVE SKILLS TUTORING: Our skills building service draws upon the successful skills building model of our K-12 HelpNow service but has been completely redesigned for adult learners who want to go beyond basic homework help to master an academic skill. 


  • WRITING ASSISTANCE: The Adult Learning Center offers both live writing assistance and an intensive writing lab to help patrons produce business letters, term papers, job resumes, or any other piece of writing:


  • TEST CENTER: Our Adult Test Center provides 24-hour access to an ever-expanding library of tests designed for adult learners, including academic skills-assessments, GED tests, and unique U.S. Citizenship Test course developed with the San Diego County Public Library, consisting of sample tests and a full audio tutorial.  After completing one of our online assessments, patrons instantly receive their results, broken down by specific skill sets that can be shared with a HelpNow tutor for targeted skills building.


  • 24/7 QUESTION CENTER: The 24/7 Question Center is ideal for patrons who have questions outside of service hours or who require a detailed, structured explanation of a difficult academic concept. Simply submit your question (and even attach supporting documents) and we will respond within 24 hours.

Signing Off on a WTBBL Application

You may have been or will be approached to sign a certification of eligibility for a Washington Talking Book & Braille Library Application for Free Library Service.  Individuals are instructed to have a doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, nurse, therapist, or a professional staff member of a hospital, institution, social welfare agency, or a library certify their eligibility.   This is something that we CAN do.

Before signing the Certification of Eligibility, you must ask which condition they claim.  You can sign off if they indicate Blindness, Visual Impairment, Physical Disability, or Deafness and Blindness.  You cannot certify Reading Disability as federal law mandates that only doctors of medicine or osteopathy are allowed to certify cases of reading disability.

Because the application requires a professional staff member, applicants may have to schedule a meeting with a branch librarian to get their application signed in some of our medium or small library buildings.

Any questions?  Please contact Terry Beck, x7016.

Statewide Database Trials 2009

The Statewide Database Trials for September-October 2009 are now up and available. Trials will run through October 30, providing about 6 weeks to check out some interesting resources. This batch of trials focuses on “current events” resources, and includes some great information on government, controversial issues, world news, environmental and energy issues, and much more. Check them out at www.secstate.wa.gov/quicklinks/Trials09a.

If you think Sno-Isle Libraries should take a closer look at any of these databases, please leave your comment here or contact Christa Werle.

ProQuest Maintenance & Historical NYT Enhancement

The next ProQuest platform maintenance window will be on September 26, 2009. A twelve (12) hour maintenance window will take place for infrastructure maintenance and to install an exciting new enhancement. The window will take place from Saturday, September 26, 2009, at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time to Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 7:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.

Historical The New York Times (1851-2005) with Index (1851-1993) Enhancement:

A subject term browsing feature has been added to this database. With the addition of a topic browse tab, users can access more than 3 million historical subject terms-just as they appeared in the print version of The New York Times Index from 1851-1993.

Columbia Gazetteer Contract Expires

Columbia Gazetteer changed it’s content model to a one-time purchase of existing content this past year.  In July, based on cost-per-use and our current budget, the Reference Services Committee decided not to make a one-time purchase of this content which would no longer be updated.  The expiration date of this resource was 7/31/09.  It has been removed from our site and catalog.  The website now has appropriate notes and referral.

While the Cat’s Away…

…Dawn & Christa will be at play!!

Terry Beck, Adult/Teen Services Manager, will be returning to the office Monday, September 28th.  In her absence please contact Christa Werle (Electronic Services Coordinator, x7160) with your questions about Reference Services, Databases & Electronic Resources, or Reference RINCs.  Dawn Rutherford (Teen Services Coordinator, x7069) will field your questions about Programming, Reader’s Advisory, and any remaining “Big Read” loose ends.