News from the Reference Desk Category: Web Resources

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.

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!

Enjoy Complementary Access to The New York Times

The New York Times web resources iconPerhaps you have noticed when you follow links to articles from the New York Times that you get a countdown saying that you can only read five a month? Well, now Mount Prospect Public Library’s newest subscription service will let you read as many articles as you wish. You can access it by going through our Web Resources page or by following this link: The New York Times. You will be asked to register your name and email but will not be charged for a personal subscription, and you will need to use our link as your portal.

 

Announcing Rosetta Stone

I am pleased to announce MPPL now has a subscription to the well-known language learning resource, Rosetta Stone Library Solutions. This package features all 30 languages with all levels available to you. From experience, this resource works best an app on a mobile device though is still effective on a desktop computer if you have a microphone. There is a trick to opening the app after you have downloaded it so please read the instructions on our Library Apps webpage. You’ll get the hang of it because the steps should be easy for anyone with the motivation to learn a new language.

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.