Using Search Engines (Such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) and Navigating Databases: Why Boolean Search Terms Are My Best Friends

Have you ever spent hours searching for a specific item or article without ever finding what you needed? I certainly have. I want to tell you about a few magic words that can, in most cases, help you find exactly what you want. These particular words are referred to as Boolean Search Terms. Boolean is pronounced Boo-Lee-uhn, with the ending sounding like the "-lian" in "Lillian."

They are as follows:

Make a Mid-Year Resolution, GymAmerica Can Help

If you celebrated Christmas in July, then it’s time to celebrate the new year in August. This is a great time to start losing weight and getting healthy. One of MCPL’s newest databases, GymAmerica, can get you started with a custom diet plan and fitness tracker. The online personal trainer/nutrition system creates exercise and diet plans based on your individual needs, goals, and schedules. 

Get Book Recommendations with BookPsychic!

Recently, I was trying to find something new to read. None of my favorite authors have anything coming out in the near future, so I was a little stumped on what to read in the meantime. It just so happened that MCPL recently introduced a new Books and Reading database called BookPsychic. It looked interesting and had a catchy name, so I decided to give it a try.

Missouri Death Certificates

If you are researching a person who died in Missouri between 1910 and 1962, you are in luck, because you can view a digital copy of their death certificate online at Missouri Digital Heritage. Go to:, and click on “Search Death Certificate Database.” You will be prompted to fill in boxes with last name, first name, county, and year for the basic search.

Who, What, When, & Where?

Have you ever tried MCPL's database, Books & Authors? This database allows you to search for your favorite books and find other books with similar subjects, settings, time periods, or main characters. You will find information on fiction titles as well as popular nonfiction books.

Did They Skate?

Recently, I visited the open ice skating rink at Crown Center in Kansas City. I was pleasantly surprised to see people of all ages. I started skating. Naturally, I started thinking and comparing my experience with how it could have been in the past. Did our ancestors enjoy any such pastimes?

New Records Are Marching Onto the Ancestry Website

Did you hear the news? The Ancestry Company signed an agreement with Family Search International, thanks to which Ancestry will add more than one billion already digitized records from more than sixty countries to its databases. Moreover, it will be adding approximately a billion never seen or published records from the Family Search vault in the next few years. Isn’t it fascinating?  

Combatting Summer Loss

Summer Loss occurs when children do not have access to books or reading over the school summer break. Kids who don't read over the summer can actually lose 2 or more months of acquired reading skills. I encourage parents to look at summer as an opportunity to keep kids moving forward in their reading ability.

What's It Worth?

A friend recently came into the possession of about 30,000 baseball cards, many of them still shrink-wrapped in their original multi-pack boxes. The majority of these cards were from the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. He was so excited. He was positive he had a veritable gold mine of image-laden, thin pieces of cardboard depicting baseball players from a few years ago. He could hardly control his excitement when he asked, "Hey, man! Think you could help me sell 'em? I will cut you a percentage of the profits! Should make us a ton of money! How much do you think we can get for them?"

Go to the Head of the Class

Mid-Continent Public Library offers so many ways for you to learn. Most obviously, we have books on almost any subject you could think of. We also offer a wide variety of live programming. Our near 300 databases provide you access to tons of information online.