Last year, more than 12 million people visited the Los Angeles Public Library . With nearly 20,000 programs a year, a collection of more than 6 million books in many languages, electronic databases, and downloadable books, music, and films, the library decided to expand its reach even more through a virtual library. Gale Gateways, a collection of thematic online resources and databases, was implemented to assist the library in meeting its goal of building a virtual library, as well as a goal of helping students succeed. LAPL operates the largest after school program in the city of Los Angeles, which includes 22 literacy centers citywide that help adults learn to read.
Peggy Murphy, collection services manager at LAPL, says, “The Gale Gateways help us to achieve these goals by making information readily accessible to the patron in one place.”
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, promotes Gale Gateways  as an innovative program for public libraries that’s designed to represent the unique way in which a community interacts with its public library. Gale Gateways bring together thematic products and services to provide an organized approach to help patrons find and use information.
Gateways’ first few themes include Homework Help and Jobs and Career, both of which have been very popular at LAPL. The educational gateway accesses 14 different databases and enables students to see the various places they can go to gather information. Additionally, users can access ebooks, Live Homework Help, homework help websites, safe web search websites, parent/teacher resources, homeschool support, and educational fun and games.
The Jobs and Career Gateway accesses seven different databases. “We highlight selected recent books on job hunting, résumés, and interviews that take the patron straight to our library catalog,” Murphy said. “We have an ebook collection of more than a hundred different job and career titles. All of this information is in one place, easily accessible by anyone interested in jobs and careers.”