Reference Blog Entries

April 12 attack on Fort Sumter starts Civil War

Ann's picture

Color lithograph of interior of Ft. SumterDid you remember that April 12th marks the 1861 Southern Rebellion on the Union-controlled Fort Sumter in Charleston and the beginning of the Civil War?  Me neither. But, to honor the anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, here are some of our more unusual Reference resources to learn more about this period in our history:

Photographic History of the Civil War-These are not the same old Civil War photos. A fabulous 1912 series in ten volumes! UAPL is the only library in the Columbus Metro area with this set.

Women During the Civil War: an Encyclopedia –With entries on women in the West, industrial workers, women who fought as soldiers, and family life, this volume will round out any Civil War scholar’s knowledge.

The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia – People think of inland battles, but there are 3,600+ miles along the Mississippi and its tributaries alone! These two volumes cover naval strategies, ships, battles, and new “technology” such as mines and submarines.

The Civil War and Reconstruction – This book of essays looks at the country after the Civil War and its recovery. Read about daily life, as well as important trends and pop culture, such as dime novels, illustrated newspapers, iceboxes, minstrel shows, and the development of professional baseball.

If you want to read from home, try the American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection, part of our Gale Virtual Reference collection available through our Databases.

And don’t forget, you can always contact a Reference Librarian by phone, textemail, or in person for assistance in using our databases and eBooks.


Learn Excel for Fun or Profit

Megan's picture

Woman typing on laptop with workbook and cup of tea

Orderly spreadsheets, bar graphs, and pie charts can be a great comfort in the context of our chaotic lives. Whether you have a huge dataset you need to evaluate, you’d like to set up a family budget and plan for upcoming bills, or you need to record your own data to track outcomes at work, Excel has a lot of cool tricks you can use to avoid headaches. Learn how to create and use spreadsheets in Excel with video tutorials from the LearningExpress Library.

To access these from home:

  1. Go to, hover the mouse over “Research” and click on “Databases”
  2. Scroll down and click on LearningExpress Library
  3. Near the top, hover your mouse over “All Centers” and click on “Computer Skills Center”
  4. Click on “Popular Software Tools”
  5. On the left hand side, you’ll be able to choose whichever popular software tool you want to learn - in this case, click on “Microsoft Excel,” and choose the appropriate version
  6. Click on “Register” to create an account, so you can save your progress
  7. Watch the entire series, or watch only the video that will solve your current Excel troubles - you’ll be able to watch videos and screencasts on all of Excel’s important features

LearningExpress Library will also teach you how to more effectively use other popular software tools – for work or play – including PowerPoint, Word, or Photoshop. If you’re a complete beginner at computers, there’s also guidance on internet and computer basics, and how to use your operating system. If you need more, we also have many helpful guidebooks on Excel.