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Short introductions to databases for Members’ offices

We, the staff of the EP Library, often visit Members’ offices to give a short introduction to information sources, or our subscription databases and press agencies.

Ask the Library: “The first time we used it, we got a fast and precise answer on child care” (S. Rensfeldt)

Not long ago, I visited Sandra Rensfeldt, assistant to Swedish MEP, Anna Hedh, to show her the Mediearkivet Retriever database, which covers Swedish press and other Swedish news sources (coverage of Swedish press in general press databases like Factiva or Nexis is almost non-existent). As the national delegation works in Swedish, Sandra and Anna said that this is an important source for them.

Sandra told me that she found the Library originally via the icon on her desktop, but colleagues had already told her about Retriever, as well as about the Ask the Library service, the EP Library’s virtual reference desk.

During these introductions Library staff are often asked about Library services in general, and indeed we take advantage of this face-to-face contact to present services that we believe might be of interest to a particular Member or assistant. In Sandra’s case, we could point her to the “Alert on new publications on Public Procurement” in the Internal Market  policy area. Alerts on Policy Area pages  send references to new documents straight to the user’s mailbox. Together, we set up further alerts on Public procurement in a press database and in the News area of the Library website, where two European newsletters; Agence Europe and Europolitics and press releases from the main national press agencies are stored. These alerts then notify the Member’s office of new articles in the area of their interest in the languages and, importantly, at a frequency they set themselves.

When asked whether she would prefer to come the Library of if she likes the idea of the Library coming to her office, Sandra concluded :I “think it is good idea that the Library comes to our offices, it is often a problem to leave the office unattended.”

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