At the Library: Take advantage of the library’s online tools

At the Library: Take advantage of the library’s online tools


Westerly Library is part of a consortium, Ocean State Libraries (OSL). What that means is that we all share some resources — the OSL consortium is what allows Westerly patrons to order books and other items from any Rhode Island library and have them delivered within a few business days to Westerly. Another benefit is that we can subscribe as a group to online databases, which enables us to get them at a lower price. This is a great deal for our library patrons — for the cost of a library card (completely free to Rhode Island and Stonington residents) you can connect from anywhere you can get on the Internet and use these fabulous resources.

To get to these databases, you would go through Rhode Island’s Statewide Reference Resource Center, more commonly known as AskRI. To access it, just go to the library’s catalog ( and click on Reference Resource Center, or type into your Internet browser. Rhode Island public librarians have tried to offer something for everyone with these databases.

AskRI’s offerings include World Book Online, which is an online research tool that includes more than just encyclopedia articles. There are primary source collections, educator tools, student activities, pictures, audio, and video, complemented by current periodicals and related websites. The activities pages are especially great because they include projects that help learning!

One of the more popular databases is Mango Languages. Mango offers lessons for languages such as French and Spanish, but there are many more unusual options like Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi (Persian). It’s divided into lessons, so you can learn at your own pace whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Creating a profile takes just a few minutes and allows you to stop lessons and pick them up at another time. Another fun feature in Mango is a translation tool which allows you to type in up to 500 characters and translate it into another language. Additionally, there are many lessons for people who speak another language and want to learn English. You can learn Pirate just in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19!

Preparing for the SAT or ASVAB and you need to start studying today? Unfortunately, the exam prep books often go missing from the library, plus they get outdated quickly. No need to worry though! There is an extremely valuable resource called Learning Express Library which offers practice tests, exercises, and skill-building courses. Some of the tests available include electrical, plumbing, U.S. citizenship, and the GED. You’ll need to register, which involves creating a username and password, but you’ll be able to start studying immediately. Learning Express even has a new section that will help you with designing your resume and writing a cover letter.

Although I am sure we are all sorry that summer has drawn to a close, the library is here to help ease the transition back to school, work, or job-hunting. Log on anytime!

Top-requested books

1. “Camino Island” by John Grisham

2. “The Late Show” by Michael Connelly

3. “Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton

4. “Glass Houses” by Louise Penny

5. “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand

6. “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins

7. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child

8. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

9. “Don’t Let Go” by Harlan Coben

10. “House of Spies” by Daniel Silva

Top-requested movies

1. “Going in Style”

2. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

3. “The Big Sick”

4. “The Mummy”

5. “The Zookeeper’s Wife”

6. “Baby Driver”

7. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

8. “Dunkirk”

9. “Wonder Woman”

10. “The Book of Henry”

Top billing

For All Ages

TUESDAY — 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Talk Like a Pirate Day – Shiver me timbers! Join us in the Children’s Room for a treasure hunt and pirate craft; 4:30-5:30 p.m., MAJEHN-Teen Book Club – Enjoy some snacks, talk about your latest reads, and check out the latest ARC’s from Kelsy at Savoy; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:30 p.m., Word Basics 1: Basics of Word Processing – This free workshop will help you become more comfortable with Microsoft Word and the basic tools and commands.

WEDNESDAY — 11-11:45 a.m., Homeschooler Book Group (FULL) – Our book for this session is Capture the Flag by Kate Messner. Books will be provided at the first session, please do not read the book beforehand; 4:30-5:30 p.m., Create Club: Space Shuttle Build – Kids 8 years old and up are invited to join us in making a space shuttle with a MakeDo kit; 6-7:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics – Shoreline Robotics will be meeting in our Makerspace biweekly. Meetings are for teens aged 12-17 only.

THURSDAY — 4-5 p.m., Teen Advisory Board – This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours, while giving the library helpful feedback and ideas on improving the Teen Space; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome. Chess sets and roll up boards will be provided; 6-7:00 p.m., Word Basics 2: Page Setup and Formatting – Learn to setup and format your document.

FRIDAY — The library will be closing at 4:00 p.m. today due to the Tour Through Time. 4:30-8 p.m., Tour Through Time – Back by popular demand, guests will be led on an hour-long tour through the Westerly Library, including areas that are generally closed to the public. Learn about the great history of the building, and help us celebrate out 125th Anniversary! Visit our website to purchase tickets before they sell out!

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Master Gardner Kiosk and Soil Test – URI Master Gardeners will answer your gardening questions, test your soil sample, and provide suggestions for improvement; 10-11:30 a.m., Native Gardens of Wilcox Park – Meet at the fountain for a 90-minute guided walking tour of the park, and learn about some of our beautiful native plants; 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Make & Take Crafts – Drop in with your kiddos anytime between 10 and 2, and create an awesome craft project; 1-3:45 p.m., Getting Ready to Run – This informational session will get you ready to run for local and state office.

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Librarian.

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