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November/December 2004 Web News
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Favorite Web Sites: Book Reviews

The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best Free Reference Web Sites List  for the American Library Association  .Here is a list of selection criteria initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites Task Force to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative information on the Internet.

 The database contains over 600,000 full-text reviews from such respected reviewing periodicals as Choice, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist and Horn Book Magazine. Here are instructions for obtaining these reviews. At the web site's main page, enter the book title, author or keyword information in the Quick Search box and click Submit. The next screen will display a title list. If the specific title has a review, a star appears to the left of the title. To see the review(s), click the title link. At the next screen, select the Title Reviews tab to read the available reviews. In addition to the full-text reviews, this area also provides citations and clickable links to book reviews located in other reviewing sources such as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times Book Review. (NOTE: This web site is only available to IU Northwest students, faculty and staff from IU Northwest campus computers and off campus through a VPN connection.) is an in-depth web portal for bibliophiles, librarians and anyone interested in reading. Best seller lists, pre-publication alerts, book club titles and read-alikes are all available here. This web resource also features book reviews, literary criticism, book awards, poetry and much more. BookSpot is part of the StartSpot Network, a family "Spot" sites (e.g. TravelSpot, LibrarySpot and other major categories). In comparison with commercial book sites, BookSpot is superior and its lack of annoying pop-up boxes increases its appeal. (This revised summary used with permission from the MARS Best Free Web Sites Committee.)

This web site provides the most comprehensive information on the book industry by including up-to-date news, author tour information, guides to literary events and book reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and the Boston Book Review.

The electronic version of the New York Times is the most in-depth online newspaper on the Web today. Updated frequently throughout the day, the New York Times' web site offers comprehensive and detailed coverage on the most important national and international news, business, technology, sports and the arts. The web site includes a separate Books section which contains complete full-text book reviews and best seller lists featured in the weekly print edition of the New York Times Book Review. Users are required to register for free in order to access all information provided by the site. This registration also allows you to access the newspaper's web archives for over 500,000 articles dating back to January 1996. Full-text articles published within the past seven days can be accessed for free. Articles posted after one week provide the user with an abstract only. However, these articles can be found at the IU Northwest Library in paper or on microfilm. Registered users can also sign up to receive e-mail updates on specific topics such as new books, breaking news, new movies or today's headlines.

 Oxford Reference Premium Brings a Wealth of Information to Your Desktop

The IU Northwest Library recently upgraded its subscription to Oxford Reference Online to Oxford Reference Premium. The Premium collection contains:

  • All Core collection titles plus 18 titles from the Oxford Companions series
  • Over 919,000 entries with 50,000 longer in-depth signed articles with bibliographies
  • Over 20,000 quotations from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
  • Nearly 5500 illustrations, including line diagrams, maps and tables
  • Over 36,000 essential bibliographies
  • 1,400 external web links
  • Enhanced search functions to access results by category

This web reference resource is updated regularly with new titles, editions, web links, illustrations and bibliographies. Users can also view sample images from the Visual English Dictionary.

IU Northwest students, faculty and staff can use Oxford Reference Premium through IU Northwest campus computers or off campus via a VPN connection by going to the IU Northwest Library's Electronic Information Page. At the main menu, choose the All Databases Listed Alphabetically link under the Electronic Resources heading. At the next screen, click Oxford Reference Online.

Spanish Language Encyclopedia Now Included in Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

 Encyclopaedia Britannica Online now provides a full-text Spanish encyclopedia as part of its subscription. Enciclopedia Universal en Espanol is the most comprehensive electronic encyclopedia entirely in the Spanish language. It features over 47,000 articles plus 8,300 photos and images. This web resource also contains an atlas  focusing on world countries, maps, statistics, major world cities and distribution of languages and religions. This excellent online tool is perfect for native Spanish speakers, bilingual students and anyone learning Spanish.

IU Northwest students, faculty and staff can access Enciclopedia Universal en Espanol  from any IU Northwest campus computer or off campus via a VPN connection by going to .


, Library News Web Editor