The Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office will be adding a new session to the What’s Up Wednesday series that started in 2020. This year we will be adding Get INSPIRED sessions on the second Wednesday of every month. INSPIRE is Indiana’s virtual library of databases made available to residents free of charge across Indiana. It has existed for the past 22 years and, although that is a long time, there are still people who have never heard of INSPIRE. So, we want to help people learn what resources are available as well as how to use them.For example, did you know that you can access Consumer Reports or learn a new language with Rosetta Stone by using INSPIRE? There are also a variety of databases for health research and these are reliable sources of information that you can trust, not something you read on Facebook. The list of health databases includes Alt Health Watch which focuses on holistic medicine and therapies. Consumer Health Complete covers key areas of health and wellness and it does this by being available in 16 different languages. Health Source – Consumer Edition provides access to 80 consumer health magazines like Men’s Health, Prevention, Bicycling, Golf Digest, Health, Parenting and more.
If you are a parent who is homeschooling, or a parent helping your child with homework, Explora is available for different grade levels – elementary, middle and high school – and allows the student to find articles on their grade level about a wide variety of topics. We have also increased the number of eBooks available to more than 75,000. The eBook collections are divided into grade levels K-8 and High School. TeachingBooks offers resources related to fiction and non-fiction books for school-age children. You can meet an author, hear the author pronounce their name, read a portion of their book, watch book trailers and many other activities and resources related to books. The Points of View database is an excellent place to start if you are doing a speech or trying to decide on a topic for a research paper. Learning Express Library offers practice tests for the SAT and ACT as well as study guides.
INSPIRE offers a rich collection of research databases for academic institutions, as well. These include Academic Search Complete, Humanities Full-Text, Literary Reference Center Plus and other databases that are subject- specific like History Reference Center, Science Reference Center and Social Sciences Full-Text.
For people looking to start their own business, they can access databases such as Small Business Reference Center, Entrepreneurial Studies Source, Business Wire News and Legal Information Reference Center. Census.gov offers demographic information that can help when writing a business plan.
Indiana-specific databases offered by the Indiana State Library through INSPIRE include Hoosier State Chronicles, which offers access to historical collections of newspapers from around the state that have been digitized. Indiana Memory is a collection of primary sources (i.e., letters, photos, maps, etc.) that have been digitized so that people can access them virtually.
As you can see, INSPIRE offers access to a vast collection of resources related to many subject areas and interests. We hope that you will join us on the second Wednesday of every month to learn more about INSPIRE. The session in February will be an open Q & A session where attendees can submit questions in advance to George Bergstrom and he will answer as many as he can during the session. Each What’s Up Wednesday Get INSPIRED training session is worth one TLEU.
This blog post was written by Kara Cleveland, Professional Development Office supervisor at the Indiana State Library.