HomeAccess to general databases
HomeAccess to databases for children and students

New contract allows cardholders to "go to the library" on their own PCs

(Poughkeepsie, NY 9/20/00) -- September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month and there's more reason than ever to get a library card (or dust yours off) if you're a resident of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam or Ulster county. The Mid-Hudson Library System is unveiling HomeAccess, a new program that allows library cardholders to access the library's Internet reference services from home or office. By going to their public Library's homepage from their home or office computer, cardholders simply click on the HomeAccess logo and enter their library card number.

"We're putting an entire reference library on all our cardholders' home computers," said Andrew Dancer, Director at the Catskill Public Library. "It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can wear your pajamas and it's absolutely free. It just doesn't get more convenient than this."

Through a contract with the Gale Group, a Michigan-based information provider, the Mid-Hudson Library System offers cardholders access to thousands of newspaper and magazine articles that can be viewed on the screen or downloaded to print. Homework reference classics like Contemporary Literary Criticism and Contemporary Authors will allow high school and undergraduate students to complete research for coursework at home. Two children's reference services are designed to search scores of kids' magazines for information that will help them with school assignments. Articles are delivered within seconds to home computer screens or printers.

HomeAccess isn't just for school assignments. Mid-Hudson Library System has also arranged for access to Health Reference Center from the Gale Group. Health Reference Center, a part of the free EmpireLink resources provided through the New York State Library, is an award-winning Internet service that provides research on any health or health-related topic. Users simply key in the topic for which they want information and the service searches thousands of health journals, periodicals and pamphlets for relevant articles. This information can be viewed on the computer screen or downloaded to a printer. "We think our patrons will be very pleased with Health Reference Center. It's especially convenient to be able to gather health information in the privacy of your own home, " said Andrew Dancer.

HomeAccess is available to library cardholders served by the Mid-Hudson Library System. If you're a resident of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam or Ulster counties, visit your local library to sign up for your library card. If you already have a library card, log on to your public library's home page and try out HomeAccess. If you have problems getting to your library's Web page, HomeAccess is available from the logos above.

Media Contact:
Andrew Dancer III, (518) 943-4230 [Catskill Public Library]
Denise A. Garofalo, (845) 471-6060 x34 [Mid-Hudson Library System]