In a money-saving move, the Evanston Public Library has switched vendors for online news databases to one that does not include the city’s traditional weekly news source, the Evanston Review.
The library recently switched from NewsBank to ProQuest. Library Director Mary Johns says ProQuest offers a more robust product overall, with more complete content, including photos and graphics for some publications. She said the overall cost saving amounts to between $4,000 and $5,000 a year.
Reference librarian Margaret Schatz said the library still does have bound volumes and microfilm copies of the newspaper from its launch in 1925, as well as a partial card index of news stories from 1972 to 1999.
Folks interested in researching local issues online do have some alternatives.
Free access to summaries of Evanston Review news stories from 1996 to the present is available on the website of the Pioneer Press publishing group. But getting the full text of a story there will cost you $2.95.
If you have time for a trip to the library, you could use the free summaries to look up the full text of the stories in the library’s bound volumes.
Other, newer, Evanston news publications provide more extensive free access to their archives. For news since early 2006, you can get full free-text access to stories here on Evanston Now.
Johns says the library is also exploring technology that would scan microfilm copies of newspapers and create searchable computerized indexes from the film.