News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Money Smart Week Goes Virtual!

Money Smart week, originally scheduled for April 4-11 this year, was canceled like almost everything else due to the COVID-19 precautions.  Financial literacy doesn’t stop being relevant, however, and so in an expanded celebration of Financial Literacy Month all April, the good folks behind MSW have created useful, educational, and insightful webinars on various topics. Each topic is uniquely relevant to our current environment and is pre-recorded so you can view them when it is most convenient for you! Just click on the links below:

-Take Control of Your Finances

-Inside America’s “Financial Diaries”

-Money and Budgeting for Kids!

-Medigap Insurance: How to Pick the Right Plan
Another canceled MSW program that will give you insights into which plan is right for you and how to use the tools available at MPPL to access related information.

 

RBdigital Big Bonus!

The Library is a longtime subscriber the magazine streaming resource RBdigital. Just recently we’ve upped the game. From only 55 different magazine titles, we now have thousands. I was up to page 7 on the results list when I gave up counting.  Some that I’ve been enjoying the past week include Archaeology, Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit, GQ France, Architectural Digest India, and National Geographic Mexico. If you have a printer and crayons, you can print pages from the coloring books for adults! Yes, there is an app.

Our other magazine streaming site is PressReader. It has some of the same magazines but thousands of others as well as newspapers including Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. It also has a great app.

Kale and Lettuce Seedlings

Kale, lettuce and other greens can be started inside and, for some, a preferred method of planting these cool weather vegetables as opposed to direct seeding outside.

kale seedsPlanting these smaller seeds in a controlled environment is the best method to ensure strong seedlings. Direct seeded vegetables, especially cool weather ones, have more unreliable germination rates due to variable weather conditions and animals, i.e. birds and squirrels. But starting seeds inside is more labor intensive as containers need to be filled with growing medium, seeds need to be planted, seedlings need to be thinned/transplanted and hardened off before planting outside in the garden. With direct seeding, you plant the seeds and then wait and hope you get some germination.

kale and lettuceThese kale and lettuce seedlings under grow lights were started about March 27 and have just been transplanted to larger containers. When temperatures start staying in the 40’s at night, they will go outside to be hardened off and acclimated to the outside conditions. After about a week or so they can be planted in the garden.

For a selection of current magazines related to vegetable gardening (or any subject you can imagine!) check out our offerings from RB Digital.  You will need your current MPPL Library card number and PIN–then follow the instructions to get started.

If you need assistance with access or other questions, please contact us via Live Chat: bit.ly/MPPLlivechat; email: info@mppl.org; or phone: 847-253-5675 and leave a message–we’ll call you back.

Earth Day 2020

April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

shot of earth from space

Earth Day 1970 marked the beginning of the environmental movement in the United States:

By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act,  the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act.  Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act.  A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.–earthday.org/history

On Earth Day 2020, the Earth Day Network is organizing Earth Day Live–a digital celebration of our planet!

Visit earthday.org on April 22 as we build an Earth Day unlike any other — We’re flooding the digital landscape with livestreamed discussions, a global digital surge, and 24 hours of actions that you can take, right now and from wherever you are.

But you can also celebrate Earth Day in the real world around your own home: 

Plant some vegetable or flower seeds
Start a compost pile
Commit to stop using single use plastic products (e.g. water bottles and yogurt containers)
Clean up your garden
Go for a walk (while social distancing, of course!) or ride a bike
Read a book instead of watching media/being online
Prepare and eat only plant-based foods

I’m sure you can think of other eco-friendly activities!

Happy Earth Day!

Tinker with Your Car with Library Resources

U.S. road signs

If you’re like me, you aren’t driving a lot lately. I love cars and driving about in my comically small SmartCar. So I was thinking about finding activities to do with my car that don’t involve driving in circles. Mount Prospect Public Library has two auto resources. One is Auto Repair Source. This is one of the most comprehensive collection of automobile repair reference information and contains repair and maintenance information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles. New repair procedures and updates are added to the product on a regular basis. I have used it to read up on service bulletins, get a chart on when various fluids should be changed, and learned how to change my headlamps.

Our other resource, Driving Test Prep, is a lot more fun. By “fun”, I mean testing myself on Illinois’ Rules of the Road, and I’m only half joking about it being fun. There are practice tests set at levels of Easy, Hard, and Hardest for getting your license to drive a car, a motorcycle, and commercial truck.  If I needed a copy of the Rules of the Road, I can download a PDF of it in English, Russian, and Spanish.

Here’s a sample question:

If a driver behind you repeatedly flashes his or her headlights, you should do which of the following?
1.  Switch on your high-beam headlights.
2. Increase your speed and move ahead.
3. Get out of the way.
4. Switch on your low-beam headlights.
I said #2, but the actual answer is #3. Get away from aggressive drivers.
Aggressive driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. If you notice a driver behind you repeatedly flashing his or her headlights, you should not retaliate or engage the other driver in any way. Get out of the driver’s way and allow him or her to pass.
This is the one thing I have not missed about commuting – aggressive drivers. I can’t wait to get back to the Library and help people face-to-face, and when we do my car will be in top shape as will my knowledge of how to be the best driver I can.