Information Today
Volume 19, Issue 4 April 2002
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bigchalk Debuts Two New Library Databases

bigchalk, a digital learning source, has announced the release of the bigchalk Literature Online for Schools and ProQuest Health databases.

bigchalk Literature Online
bigchalk Literature Online for Schools combines information, resources, and works with an intuitive interface.According to the announcement, it goes beyond the standard database offering of biographies and critical articles to include the actual texts of over 100,000 poems and close to 2,000 plays and works of prose. These are augmented by critical readings, contemporary reviews, current articles, and Web links to related sites. In addition, teachers can use bigchalk Literature Online for Schools as a curriculum supplement.

The information within the database is grouped into study units. Initial search choices are by authors, texts, or works. Search results contain additional contextual links for exploration of a range of related material. A text search might be used to locate all database texts containing a specific word or phrase, or to find texts selected by period or author. A student looking for a specific piece of literature would conduct a works search to go directly to it.

In addition, bigchalk Literature Online for Schools offers over 30 different Thematic Modules. These pages provide a genre overview as a starting place, covering such topics as African Literature, Satire, The Metaphysical Poets, and War in Literature. The Knowledge Notes section offers in-depth analysis of over 200 frequently studied texts.

The database also provides a reference shelf that includes the full text ofThe Concise Oxford English Dictionary, a searchable full text of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible, and other standard references.

ProQuest Health
The ProQuest Health database delivers health-related and scientific material to school libraries in layperson's terms. Content is derived from a wide range of materials and includes health-related reference books, annotated Web sites, and reference and encyclopedic sources. ProQuest Healthalso offers full-text health and medical journalarticles from more than 80 publications. The database is updated to provide access to the most current sources, which have been selected by librarians with the help of healthcare professionals.

The user interface is searchable by topic or keyword. Data may be sorted several different ways to facilitate research. ProQuest Health allows searching and browsing in any of eight different sections, which are differentiated by on-screen icons. Thosesections include The Human Body, Diseases + Conditions, Medical Tests, Surgeries + Procedures, Medicines, Pregnancy, Alternative Medicine, and Nutrition. Buttons that link directly to Health News and Web Resources offer a quick route to bringing current information to the top of a results page.

"With bigchalk Library we've proven our ability to create compelling, easy-to-use digital products. We know that students have embraced digital content and they enjoy doing research on computers," said JackLynch, bigchalk CEO. "These new products are two key elements in our quest to provide complete support for the core curriculum. They exemplify our ongoing commitment to providing the most effective and complete database offerings in the K-12 market today."

bigchalk is the exclusive K-12 distributor of bigchalk Literature Online for Schools and ProQuest Health through an agreement with ProQuest Information and Learning.

Source: bigchalk, New York, 800/860-9228;

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