News from the Reference Desk Category: Web Resources

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.

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.

The Great Courses

black death great coursesIf, like me, you regret not having access to our awesome and extensive DVD & CD collection of The Great Courses, you can bear up because there are other ways to get access via our streaming subscriptions.

The first of our streaming options is through Kanopy.

Kanopy provides free access to mainly educational videos, PBS shows, and art house films. Apps are available for Smart TVs as well as mobile devices.

Here are the results of The Great Courses on Kanopy as they appear in our Library Catolog. It is easy to go from the catalog record into Kanopy.  Just click on the “Streaming Media” icon from the Search Results page. If you are in the record, click on the blue Borrow bar on the right hand side of the page.

To locate The Great Courses in Kanopy while using the Smart TV app:
Scroll down to the The Great Courses line to see the courses available.

The next way to enjoy The Great Courses is in our Hoopla Digital Media app. This streaming service has  ebooks, audiobooks, comics, music & TV.

To locate The Great Courses in Hoopla Digital:
Search for The Great Courses Audio. There are more than 150 Great Courses from which to choose.
As the name implies, Hoopla’s The Great Courses are audio editions only.

National Geographic History

national geographic magazine coverNational Geographic History magazine is coming to our subscription of the National Geographic Virtual Library which contains every page of every issue ever of National Geographic & National Geographic Travel. As of the time of publishing this blog post, History is not yet part of the browse function but will show up in search results. National Geographic Travel magazine will cease to publish at the end of this year but the issues we have already will not vanish from the Virtual Library.