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DPL increases access with new database

Demopolis Public Library Director Elizabeth Ledyard said that the purpose of a library is to spread knowledge, so the recent addition of NewsBank access, an online research database, to the library was a logical next step for the library.

E-editions of newspapers, journals, scholarly articles, TV transcripts and more are at the fingertips of anyone with a Demopolis Public Library card.

“We want to provide tools to help people find the information they are seeking and this helps them do that,” Ledyard said.

NewsBank users can search for any topic or news source, or click on individual tabs and topics for a more exploratory approach. Topic categories include subjects such as education, people, social issues and sports. The quick link tabs make for easy access to news sources on the local, state, national and international level.

“We have greatly increased the accessibility to knowledge outside of Demopolis,” she said.

When using the search bar, users can include and exclude specific dates, keywords, sources and more through the Advanced Search option.

“It basically does your work for you,” Ledyard said of the research capabilities of NewsBank.

The new technology comes less than a month after Ledyard became director, with the highlight being access to archived online editions of newspapers, some of which are available the day the print edition is published.

“It was a priority to digitize the newspapers so we could bring more papers to the area,” she said.

She also said that training sessions are forthcoming, though patrons can stop by the library to ask questions any time. According to Ledyard, this is not the last of the technology updates that the library will see.

To access the database, go to demopolislibrary.info and click the Access World News NewsBank button. From there, patrons will be taken to the database and asked to input their library card number.

NewsBank access is funded by the Friends of the Demopolis Public Library.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, October 6 issue of the Demopolis Times.)