GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Public Library patrons can now use their library cards to access local news.
Its new online database, NewsBank, gives people access to articles from the Grand Rapids Press starting from 2000 and reaching to the present day.
“We have an annual subscription, and through the money the library pays, it allows library cardholders to access current articles: same-day edition, full text, full image of the print articles,” Ann Neff-Rohs, the director of collections at GRPL, explained.
Patrons can also use the search function to look for a particular topic or article.
Neff-Rohs explained that staff members often have people ask for help to find a particular article.
“Our current path to find those articles were to go through our paper copies of our papers to help patrons locate that,” she explained, adding they also help patrons navigate through searches online.
If there was no paper copy, they’d have to find it in their microfilm and print it off.
“Now that we can go back to the year 2000 with a quick search and retrieval, it’s going to really change that experience for our patrons in the library,” she said. “… The best part is that people can do it from home with their library card on their own.”
All you need to access the paper is your library card.
September is Library Card Sign Up Month. If you don’t have one already, Neff-Rohs encourages you to stop by.
“If you don’t have a library card, we would love to see you down at the library to help register you for a card and let you know what other amazing things are available,” she said.
She said there are so many different things patrons can use the new service for. If you’re an “ArtPrize enthusiast,” for example, she said you could use the resource to do a deep dive on past contests.
The new resource is funded by Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation at the Titche Family Fund.
“Marilyn Titche was part of the Grand Rapids Library Foundation Board for 21 years and is remembered fondly in this launch for this resource,” Neff-Rohs said, adding Titche also supported the Small Business Resource Center.
To help support the service, Neff-Rohs said you can donate to the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation and note where you’d like the money to go.
— Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Ann Neff-Rohs and Marilyn Titche‘s last names. We regret the errors, which have been fixed.