News from the Reference Desk Category: Technology

New Genealogy Resource

October is Family History Month, and the Library is celebrating by announcing the acquisition of My Heritage, a genealogy subscription database. Like Ancestry Library Edition and Ancestry.com, My Heritage has indexed census, vital records and family tree information. My Heritage,however, can be accessed at home by Mount Prospect Public Library cardholders! To find more clues to your family MyHeritage web resource iconhistory check out this resource either in the Library or at home. Please remember that the Library Research Services staff is available to help you search this database and any of the others in our collection. You may also set up an appointment with Genealogy Librarian, Anne Shaughnessy. Let’s celebrate our families, past and present!

December is National Write a Business Plan Month

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, budding small business owner or seasoned veteran of owning your own business, one thing you’ll definitely appreciate is the importance of having a solid business plan. Just in time for December–National Write a Business Plan Month–MPPL is here to help. Check out our collection for books on writing business plans, or dive right in by accessing Gale Small Business Builder from our list of web resources! GSBB is a user-friendly database that walks you through a step-by-step process for writing a business plan. It even works in tandem with related Gale Business databases to help you create a comprehensive plan designed for whatever your business, from retail to consulting and beyond. Try it this month and check out this video tutorial!

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials and exceedingly relevant  for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999.  In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer but unknowingly provides the means to do so.  For example, libraries safeguard against infringement liability by requiring patrons to acquiesce to not partake in ‘Conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement. before using our internet services.’  Copyright Trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant.  Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.

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!

Making Rare Materials Visible to the World

Scanning all kinds of material has become a common task thanks to the availability of devices like Flip-Pal and special phone apps like Pic Scanner for iphones or Google PhotoScan for android phones.  But what do you do with a book that is nearly 6 feet by 7 1/2 feet when opened?  The British Library recently faced this challenge when it digitized its copy of the 1660 Klencke Atlas, one of the world’s largest books.  The library made a video of the process available on YouTube recently. The Klencke Atlas contains 41 wall-sized, extremely rare maps.  These maps reveal what Dutch cartographers knew about the world during the High Renaissance period.  The public domain images of the atlas are part of the British Library’s Picturing Places online resource.

If you are looking for a digitized collection of items closer to home, go the the MPPL digital collection Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect.  This collection includes an image of an 1873 map of Mount Prospect.