News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

DNA Tests and Your Family History

The holidays are a time when many families are together to share meals, stories, and special events.  The memories which result can bring both pleasure and pain but form the core of our family histories along with vital documents and other official records.  In recent years DNA tests for discovering family ethnic origins have become more affordable and more available to the average consumer.  There are many companies which offer these tests.  But which one is best for your needs?  What do I do with the results?  How accurate are the results?  A genealogist with 30 years of experience offers some answers in this article.  In the Library’s Harold Weary Genealogy Room there are several books which explain the variety of DNA tests, what the results mean and how to use them to enrich the understanding of our family histories. Books from 2017 include Swabbed and Found: An Adopted Man’s DNA Journey to Discover His Family Tree  and The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.  The book Genetic Genealogy in Practice from 2016 is considered by expert genealogists to be one of the best sources for understanding how to use DNA results in genealogy. So, when you see those advertisements for DNA tests from Ancestry or 23andMe, consider sending away for the kit.  The Library is here to help as you take this next step towards understanding your family history.

Seven Kinds of Easily Accessible Legal Forms

Everyone needs legal assistance at one time or another. Rest assured MPPL has Gale LegalForms resource at the ready.

State-Specific
Gale LegalForms is relevant to Illinois laws. There are categories like divorce, bankruptcy, power of attorney, and incorporation (among others). You simply choose a category and then choose from a list of available forms. Each form gives a full description to help anyone choose what they need. With one click, the form opens with spaces to click and fill in your own information like your name, city, and even case number. Forms are available in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Word, Rich Text, PDF, and sometimes even Word Perfect. The forms included in the database are official forms that law firms use, so you never have to wonder if they will be accepted by the court system.

Highly Searchable
Forms can be keyword searched by category or title too. This makes finding a form by keyword very easy. For example, if you need information about “quit claim deeds” and you didn’t know that was a real estate term, you could just search “quit claim.” The search results include every available form related to those keywords.

Sample Letters
One of the categories provided is “Sample Letters.” There are letters to use for requesting a credit report of a minor, to remove your name from a mail marketing list, employment letters for suspensions, warnings, and disciplinary action, and a sample letter to request an extension on a lease from tenant to landlord. These are just a few of the handy sample letters available.

Tax Forms
There are also links to tax forms available in Gale LegalForms. When you choose a state, the database links you to that state’s treasury department web site. It is a quick, easy way to find the list of available tax forms for your state without having to navigate the whole of the state web site.

Attorney Directory
An Attorney Directory is also built into LegalForms. You can find an attorney practicing in a particular field of law very quickly by browsing the practice area categories. There is a description of the firm under most entries that includes information like when the firm was established, what the firm specializes in, who to ask for, or how many attorneys are practicing there. Once you find a promising entry, you can click on “Start” next to the name and fill out a client intake form that goes directly to the attorney’s office.

Additional Resources
There are external links from LegalForms too.  Here you can find links to places to get vital records, the IRS, or the court system. Again, having these direct links help you find specific agencies of the law quickly and easily. You may not always know what different agencies are called, or what they do, so having direct links brings you  one step closer to the right information.

Easy to Use Interface
The left side menu remains consistent throughout your use of LegalForms. It includes the search box, but also a link to “Definitions.” Within definitions is another search box to search for a specific legal term, or choose from A to Z to browse a list of terms under each letter of the alphabet.

Similar in style to the definitions is a “Law Digest” in that left side menu. This is more of a legal encyclopedia, as it goes into more detail about legal terms than just a definition. For example, the entry on “Environmental Protection Agency” includes articles about the agency’s various activities and even a bibliography with links for further reading.

The third item in the left side menu is a “Legal Q & A” button. Here you can choose a category of the law (like “automobiles – insurance” or “civil actions – liens”) and read questions and answers on that subject.

As you can see, LegalForms contains a wealth of information on virtually any legal topic. You can easily find the right form and open, edit, and save it immediately for personal use. Legal situations can be emotional and overwhelming, so having trustworthy and convenient links to legal information puts everyone at ease. With remote access to LegalForms, you can be assured that your privacy is respected.

Spice is the Variety of Life

If you think that spice is the variety of life and love international cuisine, AtoZ World Food has you covered. Our newest web resource contains traditional recipes for 174 countries in all course categories: appetizers, soups, salads, breads, main courses, side dishes, dessert, and beverages. That’s over 6,000 recipes and 9,000 food photos. And if you’re interested in beer, that are over 750 world beer reviews!

NEFE Has Financial Education Resources for You!

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is the leading private nonprofit 501(c)(3) national foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life. With more than a quarter-century of dedication to the public good, NEFE continues its legacy of service with commitment to providing financial education and practical information to people at all financial levels, including high school and college students, folks planning for retirement, and overspenders. NEFE provides objective and credible information through its programs and partnerships. Their materials continually evolve with the changing financial climate, technological advancements, and societal trends to meet consumers’ shifting needs. All NEFE resources and teaching materials are provided at no cost: consumer and educational resources, current financial news, programs and initiatives and more–check it out at www.nefe.org today and find something to help your own financial literacy grow!

Mount Prospect Introduces Organics Collection Program

Mount Prospect has replaced their existing yard waste collection program with a new Organics Collection Program. Yard waste will still be accepted along with organic material including fruits, vegetables, meat etc. All yard waste and organic material will be collected in unlimited quantities for no additional charge, but residents must provide their own rigid container. The Organics Collection Program will run from April through mid-December.

Organics Sticker

For more detailed information on the Organics Program and other solid waste information: Solid Waste Edition Mount Prospect Newsletter, September 2017