Buffalo's Public Libraries are Online

A most welcome addition to the Internet is the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library at http://www.buff alolib.org. The Central Library at Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo and its more than 50 branches contain many books, periodicals and media resources not owned by UB, and its collections of standards and patent information, trade magazines, career information and children's literature are second to none in Western New York.

Now you can search these collections online through the Central Library's new Web-based catalog, BEACON, and (when you type in your public library barcode number) a variety of InfoTrac databases from home, office or other libraries.

From the main menu, you can click on "About the Libraries" and connect to general information, such as borrowing policies, library hours and descriptions of the Central Library's various departments.

"Reference Desk" features an Internet tutorial, plus links to numerous search engines. A link to California State University's "Librarians' Index to the Internet" allows you to select categorized lists of Web sites from a wide range of topics. You also can click on an extensive list of business-related subject directories via the Central Library's Online Business Center or a myriad of local and regional Web resources via the Buffalo Free-Net.

"Kids' Corner" and "Teen Page" are aimed at youthful concerns, with age-appropriate reading lists and online homework help. Here K-12 students can find advice on using the Internet to do school work, as well as links to basic reference tools, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and atlases. There's also a useful link to college information aimed at high schoolers.

A listing of all Buffalo & Erie County Public libraries allows you to click on their individual Web pages for location, hours, directions and information on programs. These neighborhood collections are a tremendous asset to our community and now you can enjoy them virtually, as well as in person.

Another way to access the BEACON catalog is via BISON (the UB Libraries' Web-based information system) by clicking on "Online Resources" then "Other Library Catalogs" and "Western New York/ Southern Ontario Catalogs." Or go directly to http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/e-resources/wnylibs.html for a list of links to regional library catalogs, including Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Niagara University, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Bonaventure University, SUC-Brockport, SUC-Fredonia and University of Rochester.

For assistance in connecting to the World Wide Web, contact the CIT Help Desk at 645-3542.

-Will Hepfer and Nancy Schiller, University Libraries

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