The State of Tennessee has signed a contract with Gale, a research and reference publisher for libraries, to give its citizens desktop access to thirteen premium databases through its Tennessee Electric Library (TEL). The databases, which provide resources for health, homework, business, and general research, are designed to arm all Tennessee libraries with reference services on a par with many major research libraries. The contract became effective October 1 and will cover a three-year period. Tennessee citizens can connect for free at their library or remotely from home, school, or office. The URL and password are available at any academic, public, or school library. Supported by Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, learning, TEL includes databases that serve most information needs. Students can complete homework assignments with Contemporary Literary Criticism and a variety of magazine and newspaper databases that include thousands of articles--and from magazines that are appropriate for children and young adults. Several health databases provide information on medical issues and topics. "What Do I Read Next?" is a kind of electronic librarian that gives advice on books based on what readers have enjoyed in the past. Since its launch in 1999, TEL has been a popular resource for schools and small public libraries. The service has expanded the resources these libraries are able to offer their students and patrons for research. In schools, TEL offers a safe alternative to students' searches on the free Web.
(http://www.gale.com), (http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/tel), (http://www.thomson.com)