Blog module icon

From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

Jan 30

Listening Feature Available on Some State Library Databases

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM by Sarah Tenfelde-Dubois

The State Library’s databases are used for researching topics whose articles are suitable for all age ranges and reading levels, but did you know some of our databases have a "listen" feature for the articles too? This listen feature is great resource for persons with disabilities, and young readers who may need some extra help.

The databases that have the listen feature include Ebsco and Britannica.  For example, the listen feature in Britannica is available by clicking on the icon in the upper right corner which looks like a speaker with sound waves. This will begin reading the article.  There is a way to pause it, and skip forwards or backwards.  One other interesting note is that the listen feature highlights the sentence it is on too.

For Ebsco databases, the listen feature is also within whatever article that is searched for and can be found at the beginning of the actual full-text article. The listener can change the type of accent, and can also change the settings of the reading speed and highlighting options. Similar to Britannica, the listen feature in the Ebsco databases can highlight the sentence it is on, as well as each word in that sentence.

Also, both of these databases also have translating features, which can be really helpful for ESL students. In Britannica, the translation feature is just to the left of the read/listen function, with an icon resembling a globe. In the Ebsco databases, the translate feature is right about the title, or can be found by using the Translate Tool link in the right column.

To find these and other databases available to Kansan residents, click on The links on this page work by verifying your Kansas internet provider address. If you cannot use these links, you will need to log in with your Kansas Library Card. Any questions can be directed to Online Services and Programming at the State Library. Their phone number is 800-432-3919,  and support email is

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919

Jan 07

Inaugural Celebrations for 2015

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM by Candace Leduc

The Inaugural Ceremony will be held at the State Capitol on the south steps on Monday, January 12. This swearing in ceremony for the Governor and other statewide elected officials will begin at 11:00. An open house in the Governor’s Office will follow.

The traditional Inaugural Dinner and Ball are set for Saturday, January 10th.  The festivities will begin at 6:00 pm and will be held at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.  A complete list of events around the state can be found at

The Kansas statutes that requires an inauguration to take place is KSA 75-101: .

Celebrations surrounding the inaugural ceremony are customary.  The tone of the event will often reflect the era when it took place.  Below are a few articles and pictures from historic inaugurations. 

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919

Dec 19

Falling Gas Prices

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Brett Rurode

In the last few months, gas prices have fallen considerably.  Although this is a normal trend for this time of year, the drop is more significant than we have seen in years.  Here are a few governmental and private websites on the topic of gas prices.

Facts on why gas prices have gone down:

Government statistics on gas prices:

US Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website:

Fuel cost calculator:

Kansas gas prices:

Kansas gas prices organized by county:

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919