COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 217

October 29, 2004

 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Databases From The Library of Virginia

 

Since 2002 the Library of Virginia has provided free access to Find It Va, (http://www.Finditva.com). Finditva is a website that provides access to a group of information databases that support teaching and learning across the Commonwealth of Virginia to all K-12 schools. Recently an agreement was reached with Thomson Gale to provide additional databases for Virginia's public libraries and K-12 schools for the next three years. This agreement provides students with access to hundreds of high quality resources for research and synthesis of information. The SIRS and SIRS Discovery and eLibrary databases will continue to be provided as part of the Library of Virginias Finditva.com initiative. The initiative represents a substantial savings to schools. If individual schools were to purchase these databases, the cost would exceed $70,000.

 

The Library of Virginias Library Networking and Development division is instrumental in coordinating the financial resources from the librarys Infopowering Virginia initiative and federal Library Service and Technology Act to secure access to these resources. A committee representing public and school libraries and the Department of Education selected the databases and reviewed them for their usability and ability to support the Virginia Standards of Learning. The databases were selected to meet the wide range of academic needs of students in elementary, middle, and secondary schools. Students may also access Find It Va from home by entering their library card identification number after logging onto http://www.Finditva.com. Many schools and public libraries have provided students and their families opportunities to obtain a public library card at school meetings and events.

School divisions that are not current users must first register at http://access.gale.com/va/. Technical assistance for using Gale products can also be found at http://access.gale.com/va/. Technical assistance for the SIRS and eLibrary may be found at http://www.proquestk12.com/products/virginia.shtml.

 

For additional information regarding the databases, please contact Charlie Makela at cmakela@mail.vak12ed.edu, or 804.786.9412.

 

JLD/cm