News from the Reference Desk Category: Web Resources

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.

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.

Facial Recognition Activity

FamilySearch has a fun new feature as a part of their free family tree service. It uses facial recognition software to compare one face with another. Results vary depending upon quality of the picture, angle of the head, and age of the subjects, but it can help answer the question, “Do I actually resemble my mom or my dad?” How about grandparent? The results may amuse or confuse you, but it is fun way to kill some time and reflect on your family.

family search compare-a-face family search compare-a-face

For more information about this activity click here.

 

Historical Newspapers

Canvass_for_Funds Newspaper_ArticleSomething you might wonder about when staying safe inside is how people rose to meet other challenges in history. A good way to find out is through historical newspapers. In these you will be able to find headlines, articles, pictures, opinions and the even the weather report at that time. Here are Mount Prospect Public Library’s top three historical newspaper sources:

1. Newspapers.com Library Edition. This is a sibling database of Ancestry.com Library Edition. It has millions of pages from sixteen thousand newspapers extending back to the 17th Century.

2. Newspaper Archive contains hundreds of Illinois papers, including the archives of The Daily Herald. If you browse papers by cities, the full run is found under Arlington Heights.  Now available to home users!

3. The Chicago Tribune through the ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Here you can read every issue from 1849 to 1996. It is the easiest to search.

New Web Resource: Newspapers.com Library Edition

Newspapers.com Library Edition is an extensive online database of 4,000+ historical newspapers from the early 1700s into the 2000s. It contains a diverse blend of well-known regional and local newspapers in the U.S. and other countries. Here, you will find articles from The Daily Herald from 1902 to 2009.

Web Resources