Friday, May 13, 2011

Literature Resource Center

Title: Literature Resource Center

Publishing Company: Gale and Cengage Learning

Summary: The Literature Resource Center has limited access for users and requires a library card. Within, it contains biographies, bibliographies, and critical essays on authors from all different literary disciplines, ranging from the classics to science and business writers, as well as popular magazines. Like most databases, the Resource Center has a range of search techniques that range from the basic search to the advanced search. The results are sorted into the categories of Literature Criticism, Biographies, Topic and Work Overviews, Reviews and News, Primary Sources and Literary Works and Multimedia. This allows users to limit their results even without having filled out an advanced search form. The Resource Center, along with the basic and advanced search, also provides a person and works search. The downloadable Guided Tour provides a step-by-step introduction to the database for new users. Providing an entire list of the journal titles is a helpful addition that allows users to browse without having a search topic set up.

Critical Evaluation: The Literature Resource Center is an invaluable resource for both teenagers and students of all ages, whether they are currently in school or not. It provides numerous critical articles which are helpful not only as citations for papers but as articles that stimulate intellectual thought regarding a book that is currently being read. For example, when Don Quixote is entered in a basic search, 630 critical articles are retrieved that analyze everything from the dynamic between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to a comparison between Don Quixote and Hamlet. These articles could help inspire a paper topic that had previously not been thought of. The Reviews section also contained News in which Don Quixote was recently referenced, which was amusing to see how classic literature still has comparisons to modern life. While some users may find it easier to use Wikipedia for an author biography, the Resource Center also provides biographies through the Gale Online Encyclopedia.

Reader's Annotation: The Literature Resource Center offers resources on literature from across a whole range of disciplines at the click of a mouse.

Information About the Company: Gale is part of Cengage Learning and strives to perfect online and educational publications for learning across all ages. Its multiple divisions target different age groups, from school aged students to adults and public libraries.
Gale also deals with licensing issues and is based in Michigan. Read more about the company at its website.

Genre: Database; Literature

Curriculum Ties: English Literature

Booktalking Ideas:
  • The Literature Resource Center is an essential database for teen students who are researching articles for papers or just brainstorming ideas on paper topics.
Reading Level: 15+

Challenge Issues N/A

Why This Database?: Staff Recommendation

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