Consumer Health Complete Database

We are continuing our look at the “Consumer Health Complete” database accessible through the Denison Public Library website.  There are a number of interesting things to look at with this database.

Near the top of the page is an advanced search tab for when you want to do detailed searching.  One box you may want to check off on this page is the “full text” box.  A number of articles come with only a citation page and abstract about what the article is about but not the article itself.  This can be frustrating when you think you have found an article with the information you need only to realize the full article is not available.  These types of advanced searches can take some practice to get the most out of them but can also be interesting with the results you can get.

Next to the “advanced search” tab is the “Medical Dictionary” tab.  This tab contains, “Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary” which can be very useful when you are not sure the full spelling of a word.  If you know the first couple of letters of the term you are looking for just click on that first letter and scroll down till hopefully you find the word you are looking for.  There are a couple of interesting and useful parts to this page.

When you click on the term you are looking for the definition and pronunciation will both come up.  On some terms there are links to related topics and information that can be useful when researching a subject.  Another useful part of this page is at the bottom where you will find, “Search for your word in Consumer Health Complete.”  Clicking on that tab will bring up all related articles in “Consumer Health Complete” that are related to that subject.  This can be useful in that it widens your search and brings in articles with information on your particular subject that you may not have thought of before.  It is a way to do research in a general way without having to worry about doing an advanced search that can be frustrating if you’ve never tried it before.

Below these searchable tabs are a number of interesting tabs that allow you to search through a number of different resources including: evidence-based reports, encyclopedias and reference books, fact-sheets and pamphlets, news and magazines, drug and herb information, alternative sources, images and diagrams, and videos and animations.

Each one of these tabs can be useful in their own way.  Are you pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and want to know what the baby looks like at a particular point in the pregnancy?  “Images and diagrams” has a number of articles that show the baby’s development throughout the pregnancy so that you have a clear understanding of your child’s development.

Perhaps you are worried about Diabetes but are not sure exactly what it is or anything about the condition.  Look under the, “Fact sheets & pamphlets” page to find an explanation of what the disease is and other information about it. We will look at more from this website in the future.


Consumer Health Complete

We have covered several databases provided by the Denison Public Library and in this month’s newsletter we are going to cover the Consumer Health Complete database.  This database can be found on our library website.  Look to the tabs along the left side of our website and click on the one that says “Databases.”  Move your cursor over to the list of databases and choose “TexShare Database.”  As with the other links on our website you will need a valid Denison Library card to access this database.  We have the info for password and userID information here at the library.

So, what is the Consumer Health Complete (CHC) database?  A description of this valuable resource can be found under the “Database Help” tab.  The description is as follows, “Consumer Health Complete (CHC) is the single most comprehensive resource for consumer-oriented health content. It is designed to support patients’ information needs and foster an overall understanding of health-related topics. CHC provides content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine. This full text database covers topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children’s health, men & women’s health, etc. CHC offers a unique search interface designed to call attention to the full text content available from many important source-types, and provide an intuitive means for searching this specific information. Information provided in this database should not be viewed as a means for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.”

While it is your doctor who should be the go to person when it comes to your health it is important that the other sources you use for your health information come from a reputable source.  The CHC database is part of HONcode, a group that works with the World Health Organization to ensure the information they approve is reliable and trustworthy so that you can feel assured the health questions you have are being answered with solid, fact based information.

It is easy with a database to jump in and start doing searches right away and you can certainly do that with this database. To get the most out of your searches however, it is always a good idea to go to the help page. Besides information about the database there is a wealth of information on how to search and use the site to its fullest.  Students may want to look over the help page as it helps with linking and citing articles that may be used for a school report.  There is even a section on citing articles in different styles such as AMA, APA, MLA, and others.

All users will benefit from the search tips that can be helpful when searching subjects that do not give the desired results the first time around but may be able to be found by using a different combination of words or searching techniques.  Next time we will look further into this valuable resource on health information.

Summer Fun for Adults

Summer is always a busy time in a library and the Denison Public Library is certainly no exception.  With the addition of our new adult programming librarian, Zoe May, there is more of an emphasis on programming for those outside the kids and young adult age range.  Of course, there is still a ton of children’s programs and events as well.  Zoe has a degree in music history which coincides perfectly with our Summer Reading Club theme of Libraries Rock!

You can look on our website for programs and events in more than one way.  For a quick look you can try the calendar tab and look at a list of programs going on for that month or you can hit the week tab for programs for the week or the month tab for programs happening that month.  If you want to print the calendar you can go to the library’s homepage, hit the calendar tab and then hit the monthly calendar tab.  This will bring up a list of separate adult and children’s programs calendars.  When you find the one you want simply click on it and print it out.

There are lots of programs for adults and families in July.  There are musical performances or classes each Saturday morning.  On Saturday, July 7th, there is a Caribbean Music and Movement show for all ages at 11:30.   This follows the Hampstead Stage Production of American folktales and songs on July 2nd.   Check out our website for other Saturday performances.   If you would like to enjoy a movie, we are continuing our Texoma Film Club summer series of Hayao Miyazaki films from 7-9 pm each Tuesday night.   We also have movies on Friday and Saturday afternoons, including Black Panther, Ray, School of Rock, The Miles Davis Story, and Phantom of the Opera.    Each Tuesday in July, from 5:30 to 6:30 we have music themed classes or activities, including a Decades of Music class and an Introduction to Opera.    If you are in the mood for some fun relaxing activities, we have a Coloring and Coffee activity on July 3rd and a “Playtime for Grownups” class on July 24th, demonstrating the Makey Makey product.   On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm, we have a Role-Playing Game group that meets in the Teen area.   We will also have a Dungeons & Dragons/ Role Playing Game camp in July.  See the library calendar and Facebook for times.

Zoe is continually looking for fun, interesting, and educational adult programs to bring to the library.  If you have ideas or thoughts for programming in the future there is a suggestion box at the circulation desk at the front of the library where you can let us know what programming you would like to see.   We cannot guarantee your idea will become a program but if we can make it happen there is a good chance that it will.   We want to make our adult programming a success.  Your input is an important step in making that happen.

Sarah Cheek, Youth Services Librarian

Meet one of our newest team member, Sarah Cheek. Sarah received her bachelor’s at Austin College and her Masters of Library Science at TWU. Sarah has worked or volunteered for the Denison Public Library since she was a teenager. This inspired her to pursue a career in Library Science.  In 2006, Sarah was assigned to help with the Youth Services Department to help with Summer Reading Club. “Going into children’s was totally accidental… I was hugely impressed by the work Joyce had done, transforming the children’s program and have been a part, in some capacity since that time.” Sarah is excited to now be a full-time member of the team and will be specifically focusing on the Teens. She will be working with our Teen Advisory Group and the lead facilitator for the 5th-8th graders during the Summer.

Sarah also announced a special program for teens: The Edge of Imagination Station stop-motion workshop.  This has limited capacity so teens will need to register for this event. It is open to teens 13-17 or entering 7th-12th grade. Those interested should register at

“The library has always been my second home… A library’s goal should be to produce lifelong learners. We strive to produce programs where the children, parents, staff, and volunteers all learn a little something, stretch themselves.”

Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to Sarah.

Zoe May, Adult Program Librarian

If you have looked at our website and social media outlets you have seen a growing number of programs for all ages at our library.  We have been bringing quality children’s programs to our patrons for many years but want to expand programming for adults and to accomplish that goal we now have Zoe May as our new adult programming librarian.  Zoe has been percolating ideas with staff and patrons to find programs that that are useful, educational, and just plain fun to our patrons and community.

Zoe worked for IBM in Austin for many years as well as living in Wyoming where she loved the scenery and adapted to an environment that sometimes went to 20 below zero.  She is glad to be back in Texas and is excited by this opportunity to bring innovative ideas and programs to our library.

This summer some, but not all, of our adult programming will be musically themed to coincide with our Summer Reading Club theme “Libraries Rock. “  This fits perfectly with Zoe’s degree from the University of Texas in music history before earning her degree in library science from the same school.  One of her adult programs will be about classical music which will include a TED talk on the same subject.  Zoe plans to show a couple of documentary films one of which will be about the making of the musical West Side Story as well as a film about the great composer Mozart.  The library will be showing the movie West Side Story on June 23rd as well as Oklahoma on June 9th.

While we are bringing musical programming to the library many in our community are not aware that our library has a music lab that is free to use with a library card.  In our music lab we have keyboards, acoustic electric and bass guitars along with an electric drum set.  You can check the room out for an hour at a time and work on improving your skills at your own pace.  And don’t let age dissuade you from using the music lab.  The young, not so young, and all ages in between have been using and enjoying the room over the months we have had it and with the doors closed there is enough privacy to let your inner musician out.

Zoe, along with other library staff, will be bringing adult programming over the next few months outside of our music theme for the summer.  There will be programs on real estate, knitting, making fairy gardens and a craft class.  Look at the calendar on our website or grab a calendar as you come in the door at the front desk.  These are just some of the examples of the variety of classes and events we will be hosting at the library over the coming months.  We are of course open to any suggestions for future classes you may have and welcome ideas to make our classes both fun and educational.  We hope to see you at one of our classes soon!

STEM – Part 2

Developing critical thinking skills in young children is essential in helping them navigate a world that is more complicated than any prior generation has had to face.  Many people think these thinking skills are mainly developed in school and they are, but much of a child’s time is spent outside the school environment.  This is where libraries, including ours, have been able to fill the need of providing children with activities where thinking and creativity are combined to enhance skills that will serve them a lifetime.

As has been mentioned in a prior post, children learn best by doing.  This is where STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) comes in, these activities are hands on so that a child is thinking while doing, they are physically and mentally involved and this combination makes for a much more productive learning experience.  Our library’s STEM kits are all hands on and while they can sometimes be challenging they are also fun.  And if an older sibling or parent or caregiver take a look at our kits they may decide to have a crack at working on them themselves.

The makers of STEM kits have become creative in the variety of ideas they have brought to creating their kits.  Some of our kits follow stories that are fairy tales like, “The three billy goats gruff,” or fables like, “The three little pigs.”  The kits take a central problem from the story and have kids use their problem-solving skills to create a happy ending for the story’s main characters.  As the summary on our web site says for “The three little pigs,” Kids engineer a happy fairy tale ending-as they design a house that can’t be blown down! Our kit helps children discover the STEM in one of their favorite fairy tales and naturally inspires them to explore a challenging situation until they find a solution! Kit includes a STEM-focused story card, 18 foam blocks, 35 panels in 2 sizes, 3 pigs, a wolf, plus student & teacher cards with lesson plans & full support. Blocks are 1 1/2″.Develops skills in using the design process; cause and effect; experimenting with structural stability, size and balance.

As you can see this kit has a lot of parts.  Some of our kits have more, some less.  We do not want to let that fact scare you away from checking out our STEM kits but please be aware these kits are more than just toys and they need to be taken care of so that the experience is the same for each family that checks them out. 

The summary also brings out an important part of our STEM kits.  Kids learn problem solving skills by thinking creatively and by facing problems where the answers do not follow a straight line but can be found by thinking one step at a time.  Trial and error is part of the process and if something doesn’t work then it is time to rethink the answer and try something new.  It is the thinking process that is the key part of these kits and the skills they learn will last them a lifetime.

STEM – Part 1

You may have heard the term STEM and thought what the heck? This term has become more common in the academic and library worlds over the last few years and they deal with a very important topic. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. In this high-tech world these are the jobs of the future and the more children and young adults that become interested in these subject areas the better equipped our country is for handling the challenges we will face in the coming years.

So, what does all this have to do with the Denison Public Library? We believe STEM is a valuable resource that our young people can use to discover new critical thinking skills and learn about these important academic areas with hands on experience. Children learn best by doing. Let a child learn about something by using their hands and they will be learning without even realizing it. This is where our STEM kits come in. Each one of our kits has a number of activities that allow a child to learn at their own pace and explore problems in different ways.

Some of our STEM kits come in clear backpacks designed for children. For instance, one of our STEM backpacks deals with the subject of wind power. This one backpack kit has 75 pieces and a manual discussing wind energy and 10 experiments that can be set up using all the different pieces of the kit. This particular kit is meant for children eight years of age and older. But don’t let that fool you. Learning these things can be fun no matter the age. They can be used by the whole family to play with and experiment with, to explore a subject that is becoming more important as a renewable resource and of course there is nothing wrong with learning about a subject just for the pleasure of it. This description can be found when you look up this item on our library website, “Assemble a wind turbine complete with electric generator and adjustable rotor blades. The blades are designed with complex aerodynamic curves to look and work like modern-day wind turbine blades. Conduct experiments with your wind turbine, including experiments to optimize its performance by adjusting the angle of the blades and the placement of the turbine. Use the wind turbine to light up an LED and charge a rechargeable battery. Convert the wind turbine into an electric fan by using the electric generator as a motor. Build four additional models with the parts included: an electric three-wheeler, electric car, electric helicopter, and electric truck.”

We will be discussing more about our STEM kits in future articles. STEM kits are a great way to get children of all ages interested in fields they may not have even considered in the past. They are fun and interesting and we believe a great addition to our library.