News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Livability Index

In June 2018 AARP released its Livability Index which is a tool of the AARP Livable Communities program. This index rates every U. S. city, town and neighborhood in seven categories.  The categories include Health, Housing, Engagement, Opportunity, Environment, Neighborhoods and Transportation. The data used to compile the ratings comes from 50 sources. Mount Prospect’s rate is 53. The Livability Index is a great source for people who are moving, planning a retirement location or just for those curious about how neighboring communities compare.

Avoiding Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Fraud

Virtual currencies like Bitcoin are the newest buzzword for more and more investors–even if you can’t exactly explain what a Bitcoin “is,” you may still recognize the potential for return. However, as with all new technologies and financial endeavors, the fraudsters are keeping pace in their unrelenting mission to separate you from your money! One place to start before taking the Bitcoin plunge is at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are classified as commodities, the CFTC is the government agency tasked with regulating them. Subsequently, they provide a wealth of information on their website HERE for consumers to help avoid being defrauded and make safe investments in legitimate companies. If you’re considering getting into this financial area, cruise over and check it out!

Worried about an Employment Gap?

When you’ve been unemployed for a while and starting the job search/interview process, this “employment gap” can be worrisome and stressful. What is the best approach in explaining it to potential employers? Is there ANY good way? Well, the folks at CareerBuilder feel your pain, and have offered some tips and strategies for how to deal with this increasingly common issue HERE.

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Gardening in Mount Prospect

Interesting in learning about the spring and summer foliage that grows in Mount Prospect? Want to meet other interested in gardening? Join the Mount Prospect Gardening Club!  The club meets the second Wednesday of each month from September through June.

Image result for gardening

Or check out these books we have here in the library to get started!:

     

 

 

 

 

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Seeing Into the Past

Books and other texts can link us intellectually to the past but photographs and films of other eras take us into those past moments.  Photographs from 1911 are not exactly rare but they are precious.  Film showing motion was only just becoming more available in 1911 so a film of New York City in that year is a very special resource.  A Swedish documentary film company sought to document the most celebrated sites in the world at that time.  Look here to see its film of a New York street scene in 1911.

There are  no films of Mount Prospect in 1911.  The  town was only just beginning to make a name for itself at that time.  There are some photographs of the people and a business, however.  Go to the Illinois Digital Archives to see children of Louis F. Busse and workers at the Wille Brothers Company in photographs taken around 1911.  The original photographs are in the collection of the Mount Prospect Historical Society.

New Web Resource: National Geographic Virtual Library

The Library now subscribes to National Geographic Virtual Library and National Geographic Kids (brought to you by the incredible database company, Gale Cengage). The Virtual Library contains every single page of every issue of National Geographic since it began publication in 1888, all issues of National Geographic Traveler, published since 2010, and over 300 books.

The incredible photography takes on an amazing glow. Take a look at the about the Photo Ark article for proof of that. Every Last One. 

All articles can be saved to your computer, Google Drive, or saved to your folder in a Gale account. You can print them or email them to yourself or others.

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Investing in Illinois

Did you know that the Illinois Treasurer serves as the state’s chief investment officer? It invests approximately $25 billion on behalf of the state, units of local government, and families saving for college. Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs maintains, however, “that we must also invest in people. The best way to do that is to provide people the tools to invest in themselves.”
One way is to capitalize local banks and lending institutions. The Treasurer’s office provides money at below‑market rates in return for their commitment to loan that money to individuals and businesses trying to better themselves and, by extension, their community. Farmers are familiar with their popular Ag Invest program which has provided more than $1 billion in loans over the years. Some homeowners are familiar with the Finally Home program that helps homebuyers who barely miss qualifying for a conventional mortgage. This year, it has added a new program to the portfolio to help small businesses still wading through the ripple effects of the recession. The Community Uplift Program commits $500 million in new money to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates to fund business growth or expansion. The program provides capital in a manner that supports community development while meeting primary investment objectives of safety, liquidity, and return on investment.
Currently, 300 lending institutions are qualified to participate. Growing the number of institutions willing to participate in just one of these loan programs will help strengthen Illinois. If you are a business owner, farmer, or potential homeowner, click here for more information. Bankers and other lending institutions can click here.

A Fan of True Crime? Check out these Chicago True Crime Books!

Dean Jobb, the author of Empire of Deception, the true story of 1920s Chicago swindler Leo Koretz, reviews some popular books about true crime in Chicago.

Check them out here!

Gangland-Chicago   H-H-Holmes The-Gambler-King  Al-Capones-Beer-Wars   Ugly-Prey

Dean’s next book will recreate the crimes of Thomas Neill Cream, a Victorian-era doctor who murdered at least ten people in Canada, Chicago and London.

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Cook County Marriage Applications

Cook County Clerk David Orr recently announced a new online feature allowing soon-to-be newlyweds the opportunity to fill out most of their marriage application license information online.  Illinois law requires that before a couple marries, they must appear before the clerk in the county where they will be married to sign and complete their marriage license application and pay the fee ($60 in Cook County).  In the past the couple had to complete the whole process in the Clerk’s office.  Now they can start the process at home by going to this section of the county clerk’s website.  The process will still need to be completed at the Clerk’s office but with the online application feature the time spent there will be less than 10 minutes.  For more information about marriage application procedures and requirements please go online to the Cook County Clerk’s website.

The Cook County Clerk’s office has also made an index of Cook County marriage records 50 years or older available online at Cook County Genealogy Online.  This is only an index.  You must still pay for a copy of the actual record.  For $16.75 you can purchase a copy of the full record online with a credit card and receive the record immediately as a zip file.  Cook County Genealogy Online also includes indexes of Cook County birth records 75 years or older and Cook County death records of 20 years or older.

 

Get Smart About Money in 2018!

Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.

Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!