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Introducing Niche Academy: How-To Tutorials on Using Library Digital Resources & Databases

by Josh Commander on 2019-04-10T15:21:00-07:00 | Comments

Recently, Jackson County Library Services added several new handy eResources for patron use, such as BrainFuse, Gale Courses,, and TumbleBooks (more on these below). In order to make these and other resources more accessible to patrons, we also enlisted the services of Niche Academy, an online learning platform that provides step-by-step tutorials on how to use library databases (such as Academic OneFile), business and job search tools (like AtoZdatabases), eBook/Audiobook apps and collections (e.g., Libby and Hoopla), and other digital tools.

What I particularly like about Niche Academy’s online tutorials is that it caters to diverse learning styles and is accessible to the novice computer user and the seasoned techie alike. Each Niche Academy tutorial offers two forms of presentation: a video tutorial and a self-paced text and screenshot tutorial—you can use either or you can review both for even better retention of the learning material.


To access Niche Academy’s tutorials, simply go to, hover your cursor over Research, and click Tutorials. Below I’ve also included a list of each of the databases and resources that our Niche Academy webpage offers a tutorial on, as well as the tutorial’s link, a brief description of the resource, the database’s link, and an example of the sort information that can be found through each resource.


Academic OneFile: Access to Millions of Scholarly Articles


Ancestry Library Edition: Access Billions of Genealogical Records


AtoZdatabases: Business, Person, and Job Reference Data

  • Whether you’re starting a business, searching for relatives, or on a job hunt, AtoZdatabases can help you find what you need to make your goal a reality.
  • Tutorial Link:
  • Database Link:
  • What I found there: A Park Ranger Position in Florence, OR (tempting…. Wait, does that mean I’d have to be called ‘Ranger Commander’? Nevermind then!)


BrainFuse: Tutoring & Study Help


ChiltonLibrary: Automotive Repair Instructions

  • ChiltonLibrary not only serves as a DIY auto repair instructional service, but it also provides automotive students prep and practice tests for the Automotive Service Excellence Certificate. Use its detailed and illustrated instructions to perform your own automotive maintenance or look up estimated labor costs for professional repair.
  • Tutorial Link:
  • Database Link:
  • What I found there: How to change oil on a 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (‘twas my first car and ‘twas a good‘un)


Gale Virtual Reference Library: Online database of encyclopedias and other reference materials for multidisciplinary research.

To proceed on to Part II of this blog, please click this link.

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