How many of you were given an assignment in a high school or college literature course to find "critical reviews" of some obscure author, and despaired of finding anything meaningful before you found - or were directed to by a librarian - the gold mine of the "Big Brown Books"? Actually different series, entitled Contemporary Literary Criticism, Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism, and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, these books compile information from a number of literary journals and poetry magazines, and arrange them by author. Each title now runs to well over 100 volumes, and Central Library has a complete run of all three titles.
But now comes Literature Criticism Online, and all volumes are available online through EVPL's databases page. So, not only can you browse them from the public computers at any of the EVPL branches, you can browse them from home, 24/7!
Logging in to Literature Criticism Online presents you with options for a basic or advanced search. Below is a screenshot of the Basic Search window, and you can see there are tabs for an advanced search, as well as for browsing by author, or by work. You can limit your search to one of the titles, e.g. Contemporary Literary Criticism, or choose to search all held titles with one search. The drop-down menu beside the search box allows you to search by keyword, full text, named author, or named work.
Search results present you with a list of links to pdf versions of the original print materials, so that what you find online is visually identical to what you would find in the original printed books. There are cases where copyright restrictions end up presenting the message "Text Not Viewable Online," but they are very few and far between.
So check out Literature Criticism Online, look up your favorite author or work, and find out what the critics had to say!