Attractive Statesville

Local History Notes

Notes about the history of Iredell County by Joel Reese, Local History Librarian.

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Apr 17 free & online databases

Posted on April 17, 2020 at 1:02 PM by Jenny Levins

Have you seen the TV commercials promoting Well, I have some great news. Ancestry is allowing Iredell County Public Library patrons free remote access from home through the end of April, 2020. Just go to the library homepage at and hover your mouse over “Research and Learning” and then click on “Local History and Genealogy.” The link will be on the local history page along with the links to the other newspaper, history, and genealogy online databases we provide.

You can also go directly to the page at You will be asked for your library card number which is on the back of your card and your pin number that was set as the last four digits of your phone number when you got the card.  Many of our patrons are on temporary layoff from their jobs and are pretty much staying at home as recommended by health officials. For them, this is a great opportunity to learn some new job skills while at home.

College students today are usually required to learn a second language as employers want to hire employees with foreign language skills. Having an employee on staff who knows Spanish can be particularly helpful. The Iredell County Public Library Reference Dept. provides our patrons with access to the online Mango Language software through NC LIVE. Mango teaches Spanish along with over 70 other world language courses and over 17 ESL/ELL courses and gives you a user-friendly mobile app.  

To start learning the foreign language of your choice just go to the library’s homepage and click on “Research and Learning” and then “Online Learning”. You will see “Mango Language” listed along with other online databases the library offers free to its patrons. You will also see “Universal Class” listed. “Universal Class” offers over 500 online continuing education classes taught by dedicated instructors on almost any topic you can think of.

“Universal Class” allows you to learn important job skills at no cost through the library’s website.  You can learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook all from home. Imagine being able to type a document, make a spreadsheet, create an online presentation, or make a newsletter or flyer. If you are like me you have used all these programs and know a little about them, but have never taken a course.

Google has its own versions of a word processing document, spreadsheet, and presentation program available at You just need to sign up for a free Gmail account. “Universal Class” teaches Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Business Math. You can also take courses in Accounting, Estate Planning, Real Estate, Creating Webpages, E-bay, Adobe Photoshop and Elements, Pinterest, Medical Billing, Coding, Medical Terminology, Insurance, and Business Law.

Everyone and especially students should take a course in Typing & Keyboarding or else you will spend the rest of your life pecking like a hen at a keyboard. “Universal Class” also has a course to help you create or update your resume. In fact, in the “Careers & Test Prep” section you can use “Cypress Resume” to make a professional looking resume in minutes.

The “Careers and Test Prep” section provides a free subscription to the “LearningExpress Library” where you can take classes to prepare you take the GED, SAT, GRE, ACT, ASVAB, AP, ACT, TOEFL iBT, IELTS, PSAT/NMSQT, exams. There are numerous classes on Nursing and preparing for the Nursing exam.  There are classes to help you prepare to take exams in the Electrician and Plumbing, EMS, Firefighting, Law Enforcement, Military, Real Estate, Civil Service, Teaching, Culinary, Cosmetology, and Social Worker fields. You should also check out the “Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center” and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The library is able to offer many of these databases such as the foreign language site Mango through NC LIVE provided by the State Library of North Carolina. North Carolina Libraries for Virtual Education or NC LIVE was started by the State Library on April 19, 1998 as a way of leveling the playing field between the wealthier public library systems such as Charlotte Mecklenburg Library whose budget in 2018/2019 was $43,820,514 and say the Alexander County Public Library who had a budget of $639,602 for the same period.   

NC LIVE pays the access or subscription fees to databases that most libraries cannot afford. With NC LIVE are able to offer our patrons in the “Business” section of “Online Resources” access to the Wall Street Journal, Morningstar, Consumer Reports, ProQuest Entrepreneurship Database, Reference USA, the Foundation Center Funding Information Network, and the ProQuest Business Market Research Collection. You can go to “Simply Analytics” and use a Web-based mapping application to create professional maps, and reports using demographics, business, and marketing data.

If that isn’t enough to keep you busy you can also look under “Online Learning” and check out the Auto Repair Service which offers up-to-date auto repair and service information on more than 38,000 vehicles. Finally, you can look in the same section for NC LIVE Resources to see the many databases brought to you by the State Library through NC LIVE.

Joel Reese, Local History Librarian

Iredell County Public Library

This article appeared in the Statesville Record and Landmark on Monday, April 13, 2020 on pages 1 and 7A.