MeL Databases Help
Finding Articles in Magazines, Journals and Newspapers
See here for video tutorials on a variety of MeL databases
MeL Databases is where you go to find the full text of articles from magazines, journals, newspapers, digital books, tests, podcasts, maps and much more. They cover all topics and offer research information for all ages. These are articles and digital books you will not find on general Internet search engines because there is a subscription cost. This cost is paid for the residents of Michigan and by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library of Michigan. MeL offers many different sets of these resources (databases), so how do you know which one to use?
On the MeL Database list page, there is a title and description for each set of resources. The “recommended for” phrase is the first thing to look at. It can help you decide if this is for you or not.
Next read the description, which tells about the types of topics covered in this set of resources. If it seems like this fits your question, click on the link and try a search.
Below we highlight some of the databases in MeL. The following will give you a good idea of the scope of MeL, as well as some of our specialty products.
Logging In to View the Databases
In order to access the MeL databases you must demonstrate your Michigan residency by entering your driver's license or State ID number or your library barcode (if your library participates in MeLCat). Entering this information will not track you in any way - MeL is not tied in to the Secretary of State's office or any other state or local governmental agency. The reason Michigan residents need to log in is because the databases were purchased specifically for Michigan residents.
Commonly Needed Topics
MeL has pulled together Gateways to help you find resources on some of the most commonly needed topics including
If you're looking for information on one of these topics, check out the Gateway and use the Key Resources. Descriptions of each database can guide you to the one that will be most likely to meet your needs.
If you need a good place to start on any topic, General Reference Center Gold has information on almost any topic. It has magazines, journals, newspapers, and podcasts on just about any topic. The articles are full text, not just summaries. It is updated daily and contains millions of articles. The reading level is for the general public.
Once you type in a search term, just click on the search button to see your results. Tabs will tell you the type of materials and how many there are. Pick the tab that you want. Next, click on the title of any article to get the full text. Now you can print, email, or download the article.
Click “Results” at the top of the page, or use the back button, to get back to the page of results.
Keep reading to find out more about some great specialty areas that MeL databases cover.
News and Current Events
You can use InfoTrac Newsstand to find almost 900 full text newspapers from all over the United States and the world. It includes the New York Times. Most of these papers contain articles back as far as 1980.
You can use Newsbank Michigan Newspapers to locate articles from the Detroit News, the Grand Rapids Press, and the Traverse City Record-Eagle.
You can use ProQeust to locate articles from the Lansing State Journal.
All these newspapers are updated daily to help keep you informed.
Online Practice Tests
Whether you need to prepare for the ACT, a Civil Service exam, a licensing exam, a graduate school entrance exam, or are preparing to become a U.S. citizen, Learning Express Library is the place to go. There are hundreds of tests for all ages and topics.
Because your test scores are saved for you, you need to create an account first. It works best if your username is your email, and your password is your email account password. That way you won’t forget it. For example, something like firstname.lastname@example.org, with the password of passthetest. You can set it up however you like, but if you forget it, there is not way to retrieve the information, so write it down somewhere safe.
Once you have created your account, you can log in to it as a returning user. If you have taken tests, you can review your answers. Explanations of why your answer was correct or incorrect can help you prepare to do a better job on the upcoming test.
Parents, there are tests for school age children to practice important skills. There are also tests with the directions in Spanish.
Home users need to be aware that some computer security settings might interfere with use of Learning Express Library. If you have difficulty creating an account at home, sometimes it is easier to create the account while at your local library. Then you can go home and log in as a returning user to take or review tests.
Whether you want to work on your own vehicle, check a warranty recall, or just learn more about a vehicle problem so that you can be informed when talking to your mechanic, ChiltonLibrary.com is a great resource.
You need to select a year, make, and model on the left side of the screen, then select Bulletins/Recalls, Maintenance, or Repair. Finally, just pick the topic you need on the left and keep narrowing it until you find what you need. Many of the articles even include pictures to help you.
If you need peer-reviewed journals and highly academic sources, go to Academic OneFile. This database is probably of most use to college students and professionals, since the journals and sources there are highly specialized. Many are in the language of the original research report.