online reference

Some weeks back I wrote about how disappointed I was with the online reference capabilities of the Hemet Public Library, especially when compared to the Santa Clara County Library System (SCCL). One of my regular readers suggested that maybe I could continue to use the SCCL online resources and send the occasional donation. That promoted me to go to the SCCL Web site, where I saw the post, “Starting July 1 2015, Santa Clara County Library District is offering free cards to everyone regardless of where they reside.”

How cool is that? So I can use the SCCL online resources without guilt. I love having full access to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online and the full Oxford English Dictionary, not to mention a host of other resources.

Of course, sometimes Britannica is not sufficient. I heard mention one day about how an aspect of her personal life tainted, for some, the fictional work of Marion Zimmer Bradley. That aspect certainly seemed at odds with much of her writing, the speaker said. I remembered something about that, but I didn’t remember what it was. Britannica had nothing on this. Wikipedia tackled it head on: it was child abuse.

And Britannica is not always above reproach. Some earlier editions had articles by Thor Heyerdahl whose theories about South Pacific migration are generally discredited by mainline scholarship.

But I digress. I’m simply happy to have access to the SCCL and its wealth of reference material.

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