P.O. BOX 2120



September 26, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Online Databases for Student Use


The Department of Education is pleased to inform school divisions that the Library of Virginia is providing access to a number of online research databases. This joint project is in cooperation with Virginias public libraries and K-12 public and private schools. This project is funded through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds.


This initiative provides at no charge access to a selection of online databases directly from computers in classrooms, labs, and library media centers. In addition students will have remote access to these same resources by logging on to the Finditva website, using their public library card identification number. These resources offer outstanding instructional support for students and teachers by providing access to several of the Gale databases. Databases included are:

o       InfoTrac One File

o       Expanded Academic

o       General Reference Center Gold

o       InfoTrac Student

o       InfoTrac Junior

o       InfoTrac Kids

o       Health & Wellness Resource Center

o       Business & Company Resource Center

Detailed information concerning the scope of each of these databases is provided in an attachment to this memo.


BigChalk, a periodical database which includes articles from the Richmond Times Dispatch, Roanoke Times and World News, Washington Post, and Washington Times newspapers will not be included for individual access until January 2004. Until then, BigChalk can be accessed at the Finditva site using a library card.


Schools will continue to have free online access to the SIRS database resources. This will be the third year that the Library of Virginia has provided the SIRS databases for the schools. SIRS is also offering several of its products at special pricing for schools in Virginia.


School divisions will need to identify a point of contact to submit an online registration form that establishes an account or updates their existing Gale account. The online registration form can be found at

There is no need for individual schools to register. The divisions contact person will register the division. Detailed information regarding registration is included in the attachment to this memo. Each school division should submit the name of the contact person to Charlie Makela, educational technology media and research services specialist at by November 1, 2003.


We are very excited about this opportunity to provide this collection of resources for all students. For additional information, contact Charlie Makela, 804-786-9412 or