A few months ago, I told you about some of the amazing databases (aka online resources) at the Anchorage Public Library.
But that was just scratching the surface. Now I have more to reveal.
First thing, go to the APL webpage (http://www.anchoragelibrary.org), click on the Resources link on the top right, and choose Databases A to Z. Then jump to T.
You do have your APL library card, don’t you? You’ll need it for these gems unless you are inside one of the public library locations.
Even though school is out for the summer, there are still many excellent features in the Testing and Educational Resource Center.
If you are a high school student, you can find test preparation tools for AP or SAT subject tests, or for college entrance exams. You can search for a private secondary or career/vo-tech school, or find schools and scholarships for after high school. You can study for a GED, HISET, or TASC exam for high school equivalency. And there are tutorials for English/writing, math, and STEM resources.
If you’re a college student, you can practice for college entrance exams, take a DSST or CLEP test, find a school or scholarship, get career advice, or create a resume. Graduate school students receive many of the same resources as college students.
There are tools here for international students and teachers, too. You can prepare for the TOEFL or TOEIC, and get US citizenship information.
For those of you who aren’t necessarily looking at further schooling but still have learning needs, check out Lynda.com by choosing L within Databases A to Z.
You will definitely need your APL library card to access this, even within the library, but it’s worth it. Here you will find online tutorials for computer software and hardware, management and marketing information, even tips for songwriters. You create an account for yourself—it’s really easy—then either search for what you want to learn about, or browse the offerings.
You can decide if you want beginner, intermediate or advanced level courses in your topic. The video tutorials can be as short as a couple of minutes, or can be full-blown certification programs. Each one has a written transcript below the video window so you can follow along. You can pause at any point, either to take notes (which Lynda saves for you in your account) or to take a break and come back later to resume. You can choose from curated playlists in the topic of your choice so you aren’t flying blind.
Or maybe you plan to spend your summer outside, and you need to tune up your ATV or boat. Check out the Small Engine Repair Reference Center (select S within Databases A to Z to get there).
It has the full set of Clymer repair manuals for ATVs, generators, boats, snowmachines, lawn mowers, chainsaws, rotary tillers, snow throwers, motorcycles, tractors, and personal watercraft. Under motorcycles, for example, there are repair manuals for more than 30 makes including Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Ducati, Suzuki, Yamaha, Triumph, and—of course—Harley-Davidson.
For folks looking for employment in the food service industry, we’ve got access to the Municipality of Anchorage Food Work Test.
Choose M within Databases A to Z to get to that site. There are links to the free study guides in English and Spanish on the front page. The test itself is available in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. The course and card fee is $10, and must be paid before you can access the online exam.
If you believe you are missing some form of identification for employment or other purposes, check out Get Your Identification by choosing G within Databases A to Z.
You can mark checkboxes for the IDs you currently have, and the site will tell you if you meet I-9 eligibility requirements. Companies are required to check to see if you meet these requirements before hire. If you are missing what you need, there are links for how to get the following forms of identification: passport, Social Security card, Alaska State ID/driver’s license, birth certificate, or tribal ID.
This is far from an exhaustive list of the online resources available through your public library.
If you have any questions or want to have a guided tour through our offerings, come in to any Anchorage Public Library location and staff will be happy to help you!
Nancy Clark is a lifelong Alaskan raising her family in her hometown. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a librarian, and currently serves as manager of the Chugiak-Eagle River Branch of Anchorage Public Library. In her spare time, she reads, cooks, gardens, and writes fiction. To reach Nancy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org