Off the Shelf: Check out e-resources

Where do you go when you’re searching for answers?

At the North Olympic Library System, a collection of convenient and free online resources, also called databases, can help you tackle some of life’s most pressing questions — from groundbreaking medical treatments to home repair tips to the perfect book for a summer’s day.

This article highlights just a few of the many e-resources accessible from your personal home computer or inside any NOLS library location.

Choices, choices

For up-to-date information about diseases, treatments and wellness information in non-technical language, check out Medline Plus. Utilize this resource after visiting your doctor to look up terms from a report or formulate questions before your next visit.

It also includes information about medications, supplements, clinical trials, as well as surgery videos. Medline Plus requires no login or password and is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.

NoveList, another helpful e-resource you can access anywhere, offers reading recommendations customized to suit your tastes.

If you’ve read everything by a certain author and don’t know what to read next, this database will suggest titles from similar authors or genres you also might enjoy. If you’re reading books in a series, NoveList can provide the order of the books and recommend other series that may be similar.

Many people rely on the reviews in Consumer Reports before making their purchasing decisions. NOLS has long circulated paper copies of Consumer Reports, but new this year is access to the online version of the magazine.

This means you easily can search for reviewed items and buying recommendations. To peruse the online edition, visit any NOLS library or call to receive a password for remote access.

If you want to learn how to make a spreadsheet or find shortcuts to text editing, visit the Microsoft IT Academy, another new e-resource at NOLS.

This virtual classroom provides more than 400 courses to help you learn the basics of Microsoft programs or further your skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.

Access to Microsoft IT Academy is free at NOLS through June 2015 thanks to a partnership with the Washington State Library and Microsoft.

To get started, use your library card to register with the academy and complete your courses from any computer with an Internet connection.

More info

This is just a small sampling of the many e-resources available at NOLS. For a complete list, visit the library website at and click on “E-Resources.”

Once there, you will find a host of databases that contain information as wide-ranging as your curiosity. These are secure, reliable and trustworthy sources, which in today’s world can be hard to find.

If you have questions or want to learn more, visit the Sequim Library at 630 N. Sequim Ave., call 683-1161 or send an e-mail to


Jennifer Jabs is the customer service specialist at the Sequim Library.


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