In 2012, approximately 16.6 million individuals (or 7% of the population) over the age or 16 were victims of identity theft in the United States according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increasing number of security breaches occurring just in the past few months has made it imperative that consumers take precautions to safeguard their private information and to know where to turn and steps to take if they become victims themselves. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website has an Identity Theft guide which provides useful and detailed information for victims and tips for those who would like to safeguard their identity. Specific sections (e.g. initial steps to take if you are a victim; what to do later in the process; how to safeguard your identity and different types of identity theft) are presented in an easy to understand format with helpful checklists to simplify the process.
News from the Reference Desk
Con artists pretending to be IRS agents call unsuspecting taxpayers and tell them they owe money and must pay using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Those refusing to pay are threatened with arrest, deportation (many of the targeted victims were immigrants) or loss of a business or driver’s license. Estimates that at least 20,000 of these calls were made and victims have given over $1 million to the scammers, making this the largest tax scam ever. The real IRS first makes contact by mail, not phone, about taxes due and they never ask for payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. For more info: Tax phone scam ‘largest ever’
Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center‘s four comprehensive school search databases offer detailed profiles of undergraduate, graduate, nursing, and vocational and technical schools in the United States and Canada, providing an indispensable tool for students researching and planning their education. Frequent updates keep the data–from Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC–current, accurate, and reliable.
The undergraduate school search, for instance, offers in one convenient place the most current information on more than 4,500 schools in the United States, Canada, and related regions that offer two-year and/or four-year degrees. All schools included have full accreditation or are pre-accredited and grant degrees at the associate’s and/or bachelor’s level. Users can search based on location, institution type, enrollment, faculty/student ratio, tuition, sports, campus setting, campus housing, admissions difficulty level, and areas of study.
Coming Soon: Significant updates to the graduate school data!
Achoo! This time of year, colds and flu knock many of us off our feet. And while many seasonal illnesses are only treatable with rest and chicken soup, sometimes a call to the doctor is in order. The most important way to ensure you get high-quality health care when you need it is to establish a relationship with a good primary care physician. Checkbook.org features ratings of local primary care doctors, along with tips on how to “check-up” on any doctor, and how to know when it may be time to find a new physician.
A new version of our powerful online learning resource has arrived. LearningExpress Library 3.0 features a new tutorial and test-preparation platform, with easier access to skill-building resources and new features designed to help students and adults prepare for success in school and at work. Upgraded features include learner, exam, and simulation modes. These timed and untimed practice modes help students and adults prepare for a wide range of academic exams such as GED, COOP, HSPT, SAT, ACT, AP, PSAT, and career certification tests such as NCLEX-RN, Praxis I and II, and more. Call us or stop by the Reference Desk to learn how you can have online access to these extremely beneficial learning resources for work and school – anytime, anywhere.
The Library now subscribes to a new exclusive web resource which you may have heard about before. It is Lynda.com, an online training library that covers many software titles, scripting languages, design and web development platforms, and popular online sites. You can find out how to use Word, Excel, how to take and edit digital photography, create 3D animation, and how to use your smartphone. There are also business topics such as management fundamentals, communicating across cultures, and how to run businesses.
What makes Lynda.com appealing is that these course are all video because seeing something in action helps to learn new skills, especially when it is a computer skills.
And it’s free to Mount Prospect Library card holders.
All you have to do to get it free is follow this link: http://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=lynda
And if you want to see what else we offer, here is a link to all our exclusive web resources: http://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=Premium
Mango Languages has added a layer to its unique language learning program. If you are studying Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, or English for Spanish Speakers you will have added courses that involve watching foreign films. You can watch the movie all the way through reading subtitles in English, the original language, both at the same time, or your own comprehension. You can be more engaged in the “Engaged Mode”. You will be prepped with a scene instruction and find a list of words you will encounter.
Films currently available:
Kung Fu Dunk (Chinese Mandarin)
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge (Japanese)
The Diary of Anne Frank (English for Spanish Speakers)
I’ll Believe You (English for Spanish Speakers)
Mango will be adding new films in the future.
You can now access Chicago Consumers’ Checkbook from computers outside the Library if you have an MPPL card. You’ll need to register the first time you use it, but this will give you the privilege to submit reviews for all kinds of local services. It’s kind of like Yelp or Amazon, but you don’t have to write clever reviews, just concise.
The popular Chicago Consumers’ Checkbook contains articles and ratings on a wide variety of local service firms, professionals, and stores. Includes ratings for insurance companies, plumbers, heating and air conditioning contractors, auto repair shops, dentists, doctors and more. The Chicago Consumers’ CHECKBOOK online database also includes their national online Guide to Top Doctors, which lists 20,000 of the top-rated physicians in 35 specialties across the country, as well as their Guide to Hospitals which provides detailed information and ratings of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide.
Steven Browne, Reference Librarian
The Library has many ways to help you understand and get a grip on your legal needs.
Web Resources: LexisNexis and Westlaw are both similar in that they provide access to U.S. Supreme Court cases, Court of Appeals decisions, Federal and State codes and regulations. Westlaw is useful because it helps you understand what portions of laws are obsolete. LexisNexis lets you email the documents to yourself or others. However, they also both share the stipulation that they can be accessed only through computers within the Library.
Legal Forms: Whether you need Power of Attorney, divorce papers, to write a will, create a lien or a lease, or thousands of other things, we most likely have it in Gale Legal Forms or Westlaw. You can search and download the forms from home from Gale Legal Forms, but for Westlaw you will have to use computers in the Library.
Program: Legal Research with LexisNexis. On Wednesday November 6 from 7 to 8:30p, a representative from LexisNexis will discuss how to search state and federal cases, statutes, codes and regulations, and law reviews and journals. You’ll get a demonstration of the product’s features, discover search strategies, and have a chance to ask questions.
And of course, Library Staff: Our librarians are not lawyers but can offer limited help using the products mentioned above.
Steven Browne, Reference Librarian
Choosing Wisely is a composite of U.S. specialty societies which represent more than 500,000 physicians.
They worked to develop lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures. Here are practical treatment guidelines, and suggested patient/advocate questions to ask in easy to understand language.