Getting to Know Gale

Resources for business development, research on education, planning your vacation, local information…

In the course of developing your family tree, have you ever had the need to try and find an obituary that may have appeared in a local newspaper?   Do you need information on events in a specific locality, or find out where’s the best place to advertise?  Have you wondered which companies have proven popular in response to surveys?  Are you looking for a wholesaler or distributor for a specific type of product?

The Mercer County Library System database collection has an ensemble of directories available online that can be used from home or work, or at any of the branches in our system.   This sub-collection, Directories, contains four important titles with valuable information on education, business, media, and nonprofit organizations.  They are:

If you need to find hardware distributors in Pennsylvania, for example, the American Wholesalers and Distributors Directory would point you in the right direction, providing a staff list with contact information in vcf (Outlook business card) format, website URL’s, business descriptions and classifications, and sales volume information.

The  Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media is a comprehensive directory of periodical and serial publications, as well as trade magazines, radio and television station information that includes circulation statistics and dates of publication.   If you need to find sports stations in Pittsburgh to announce a new product or service, this directory will target sports broadcasters, indicating their frequency, wattage, owner information and advertising policy.

A search for public charities located in New Jersey that are exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that specialize in education in the National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations would return a list of  211 entities with contact, EIN and basic financial information, the group’s website address and the date each received its exempt status.

If you wanted to know the 10 best large companies to work for in New Jersey, the  Business Rankings Annual would tell you which companies those are, based on surveys of people working in organizations with 250 or more employees. 

Two other directory resources that have proved to be helpful are found in the Gale Virtual ReferenceLibrary section of our database collection.  The first, the College Blue Book, is a classic, 6-volume directory of institutions of higher education throughout the U.S. and Canada.  In addition to individual profiles of colleges and universities, the Blue Book offers listings of degrees offered by school, an overview of distance learning programs, and a volume dedicated to occupational education.  Included in the summaries for each school are student profiles, costs, room and board information, entrance requirements, extracurricular activities and statistical material such as retention rates. 

Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans: A Guide to Education-Related Financial Aid Programs for Students and Professionals provides access to more than 7,000 sources of education related financial aid for students and professionals at all levels. Its scope ranges from undergraduate and vocational/technical education through post-doctoral and professional studies. Students and others interested in education funding will find comprehensive information on a variety of programs in all educational areas.

Lastly, for those beginning to think about spring and summer plans, yet another subcollection we have in the Gale Virtual Reference Library is the Travel Collection.  In this section you’ll find a collection of 33 Dorling Kindersley and Rough Guide series travel guides for U.S. and overseas destinations in electronic format.  The full text, photos and other graphics for each title can be viewed in HTML or PDF format on computers as well as other electronic devices.  Patrons can download individual eBook articles and view them usingselect mobile devices, including iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android basedsmartphones.

All of the sources described here are provided free of charge to library patrons.  If you’d like more information, just call or stop by the reference desk at any branch.

- Jim S.


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