Are you a surfer, not a seeker? Are you interested in the lives of people both living and dead? I've got something for you to try.
Like most of the other Gale resources we have at the library, Biography in Context, opens a new window opens on a splash page. The top center link has an image of the person, with a line of information about the person. There are five that cycle in a visit. If you hover over the circles placed in different spots on any of the pictures, you will get little tidbits about the person without having to click on anything. You can click "View More" below any of the cycling images to go to that person's page. To the right of the center image is a feature video, either of or about the person. Below the video is featured news directly related to people of note, and below the center image is a collection of names to start clicking. These are grouped by type, which could include anything from "Singers" to "Hispanic Americans".
There's even a button right below the logo that says "Browse People." This is exactly what you think it is: The full breakdown of names as you might find them in their classifications. "Criminals." "Notable Olympians." "Psychologists." You want it? You've probably got it.
Click anywhere. See where it takes you. See an interesting name? Click on it. Intrigued by a picture as it appears and disappears again on the home page? Make it come back. And then click on it. Just keep clicking.
When you first enter a person's biography page, you'll have an image, a brief biography, and links to every section of the page. If there is a lot of information about that person, you'll be able to tell in the breakdown. Looking for a historical figure, there will probably be a big number in "Academic Journals." Want to read up on a celebrity? Might be more in "Magazines" or "News."
On the right side of the page you'll get a factbox, with key information about the person. Click "More Facts" to get a few more tidbits about your interest. See someone under "Related Topics" you're interested in? Click there! Keep clicking around until you can't click anymore. (Don't forget to read a little bit, too. That's the whole point of this, right?)
When you hit a rut, head back to the home page. There, you'll find another source of browsable material: news.
The "Featured News" section to the right of the source list is nothing if it is not full of interesting current events. How up to date are you with the current faux pas of popular authors, or important people in current affairs? What do you want to know about people who might be up for Academy Awards this year?
Obviously, Biography in Context is a great resource for someone who is actually looking for information about a particular person. They might be writing a history report or a newspaper article. But it's also fun to just hang out in and explore.
What browsable resource have you used recently?