The Illinois Secretary of State makes available on an annual basis access to a variety of electronic databases that are available for libraries to add to their collection for a fee. Trying the databases can give the user feedback as to whether the database is good and useful to that user.
The Illinois Secretary of State calls the trial “Try-It! Illinois 2013″.
The Illinois Secretary of State will provide you with a Log In ID and Password that will allow you to visit the databases and give them a test run to see if there is material of interest to you. If you find a database of interest that your local library is currently not subscribing to you can then provide your input to that library to see if the database access can be obtained by that library for ongoing use.
You can go to the site where Try-It Illinois 2013 information can be found. At this site you can also submit a request to obtain a Log In ID and Password that will allow you access to the databases available during the trial. Here is the site to begin your trial access to a multitude of databases:
This trial is open to users through November 30, 2013.
Here is a little internal memo I received from our technical librarian describing more about this Try-It Illinois 2013 access:
Welcome to Try-It! Illinois 2013, the fourteenth annual statewide database trial, sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library. Try-It! Illinois offers the library staffs and users of the more than 5,000 ILLINET* member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.
Once I logged in to the trial, I was able to select the “subject” category and it presented me with a list of subjects one of them being “Genealogy and Family History”. I think selecting the “subject” category will be your best manner of looking for databases rather than the other categories. Within that category I saw there was a list of 27 databases that had been categorized with this grouping. You can select a database of interest that will get you to the provider of the database. With a few more clicks you will ultimately get yourself to the database to actually try it out.
Many of the databases within this list are databases our library currently subscribes to. Many of the databases on the surface are named in a manner that would make you wonder how it got categorized as a genealogy type database! e.g. “Visual Thesaurus”. But, nonetheless, it is in the list of 27 databases.
You also have access to the hundreds of other databases available during the trial, not just the genealogy databases. The list of databases will be presented to you in alphabetical order by name (Product). You can also look at the list by “Company” or “Library Type” or by “Subject” as I did to find the Local History and Genealogy Databases. ( I recommend using the “Subject” method to find databases of interest within a subject category.)
Jeffrey Bockman, our recent genealogy program speaker, had a good portion of his presentation on “Maps” devoted to making the audience aware specifically of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. It just happens that the Digital Sanborn maps are one of the available databases within this trial for you to use! You can access this database through November 30, 2013 through Try-It! Illinois 2013.
So just head on out to the Try-It! Illinois link I provided above and submit your request to obtain a Log In ID and Password from the Illinois Secretary of State to begin accessing this multitude of databases, 27 of which are identified as being Genealogy and Family History oriented.
We should give a big “thank you” to Jessie White, the Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian for making this access available for trial on a recurring basis each year for a rather lengthy period. This trial is open from October 1, 2013 to November 30, 2013.
Check out the databases, especially ones that you have not previously accessed or even knew about. There are literally hundreds of databases to sample across a myriad of subjects. You have access to all of these not just the 27 databases categorized as being for Genealogy and Family History.
See what you think.
Schaumburg Township District Library