Call in professionals for your information expeditions

Traditionally reference librarians were scouts in guiding and locating information from a seemingly barren desert landscape. The rise of the digital medium turned the librarian’s mission on its head. In today’s world, reference librarians help wade through an information ocean to retrieve what’s credible, accurate and useful for library users.

So when you feel overwhelmed in trying to find useful information among the tsunami of noise, opinion, deception and propaganda of the Internet, call in the professionals. The ZB Library’s staff of reference professionals can guide you in that exploration. Whatever the scope of the request, reference librarians can assist in retrieving the information, data or item you seek.

The sherpas on the Adult and Youth reference desks are every cardholder’s best information resource. Skilled and experienced in the craft of finding sources of information, they cut right to the chase to guide you to information that’s credible and verified.

Asking a question to a reference librarian is not a bother. It’s what they do. They provide assistance and instruction in exploring the library’s collections and using its services, including assistance in identifying library materials and services needed to answer a reference question, the location of materials and use of the digital catalog, and instructions on how to use all components of the public computer system.

More than just producers of information, ZB Library reference librarians are your personal information literacy consultants who specialize in retrieving information from the digital ocean. The basic technique they use is a reference interview, in which they’ll ask probing questions to determine your specific need and the scope of your inquiry. Information from the interview will give them an idea of where to explore to retrieve good information that will meet your reference request.

Reference librarians will also teach you how to use the library’s extensive array of electronic resources, to help guide your information expedition and others you might have in the future.

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Enterprise offers personal connection to library collections

Access to the ZB Library’s extensive collections and resources is open using Enterprise, a digital catalog offering a full inventory of what the library has available and connects you to the collections of more than two dozen public libraries in northern Illinois.

Creating a personal account powers up the Enterprise experience. With an account, you can make holds, request interlibrary loans and compile personal lists to organize items of interest. It also provides:

  • links to the ZB Library’s online resources, including its online academic tutoring service; ebook, videorecording and audiobook collections; program and event schedule; and other resources;
  • links to your personal account at the library, including information on your checkouts, renewals, holds and reading lists;
  • listings of recent activities and lists posted, recently rated books, new additions to the collections, award-winners and bestsellers.

For most of these tasks, you register a personal account in Enterprise through the ZB Library. Here is a pathfinder to access your account:

  • Go to
  • Select “My ZB Library” brings you to the Enterprise home page
  • Select “My Account” to log in. If you are a first-time user, enter your library card number and default password, which is patron
  • First-time users will verify some personal information and create a username
  • Enter your email address, which is used to recover your password and receive notifications about due dates, overdue notices and to notify you when reserved items are ready to be checked out
  • Accept the posted terms and conditions

To start the optional notification service, access your “My ZB Library” account, select “email notification.”

While Enterprise is the direct online portal to the ZB Library’s collections, cardholders have access to a collection of additional library apps at the website. Enterprise delivers power with simple searches and makes you master of a universe of information and knowledge.

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Check it out: New high-rated e-books and e-audiobooks

The ZB Library’s online resources collection is always open and includes sites to check out and download e-books and e-audiobooks to a computer, tablet or mobile device. Here are a few newly-added items available in the e-resources collection:

From MyMediaMall

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)wonder

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

 Sharp Obsharpjects (Gillian Flynn)

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims–a bit too strongly.


 From Recorded Books OneClickDigital

e-audiobook: The Children Act (Ian McEwan)

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She ischildren fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Voyage in the Enterprise online catalog

With the rise of digital medium, the first medium change in five centuries, card catalogs in libraries are no more. Instead of sifting through a drawer of index cards, the modern catalog merely requires a handful of information bytes to find what you’re looking for in seconds. To find an item in the ZB Library’s collections, you use our online catalog called Enterprise, which can be accessed at our website.

To start a basic search for an item, you use the search bar at the top of the page. search boxThe left-hand box is the location of the search. The ZB Library is the default setting. Next to that is the category field that tells the computer the way you want to search, and the longer box is where you put the information for that category.

For example, if you want to search the ZB Library’s collections for items by Mark Twain, you would select “Author” from the pull-down menu in the category box, type “Mark Twain” in the right-hand box and click the “Search” button.

The search results page will list items in every available format: book, audiobook, e-book, videorecording, large print and playaway. To find out the location of the item, click on the title. search resultsYou can also use the right-side buttons to put the item on hold or text yourself a link to do it later. To check out e-books and digital audiobooks, you will be directed to the library’s online digital book site.

The ZB Library is part of a system of libraries in northern Illinois that share items through interlibrary loans. If the library does not own an item you want, you can search the collections of these other libraries by checking the “All CCS Libraries” on the search location box.

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Library is the place for reliable Ebola information

When calamities like the Ebola outbreak occur, misinformation in the form of rumor, lies, propaganda and other untruths comes at us from every direction. Residents of Zion, Winthrop Harbor and Beach Park, however, can get reliable, factual and verified information on Ebola and other infectious diseases in person, online or over the phone from reference librarians at the ZB Library Adult Services reference desk.

These reference professionals can access and share research from peer-reviewed and scholarly sources of factual information, including biomedical journal articles from the National Library of Medicine and several National Institute of Health websites.

In addition to articles and print resources, reference librarians can provide cardholders with illustrations, infographics, timelines and maps when outbreaks occur.

There are even a few sites that are only accessible to libraries that provide up-to-the-minute breaking news and other vital information. These sites allow the local library to share information with first-responders.

With infectious disease outbreaks like this one, the ZB Library can provide information on several aspects, including:

  • basic science and sequencing of outbreak events
  • public health practices
  • clinical care and infection control
  • availability of health care
  • implications for well-being
  • long-term effects
  • social stigmas

In addition to providing reference information, the ZB Library’s online resources collection includes MedlinePlus, available online to cardholders. MedlinePlus is a National Institute of Health site offering trusted, comprehensive information on everything related to health, wellness and medicine.

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