Thursday, March 19, 2009

Library's Online Collection Astonishes Crowd

At yesterday's Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon and business meeting, Head of Reference and Reader Services Michelle Roubal presented "Strictly Business: Tools You Can Use from the Plainfield Public Library". Many of the attendees were astonished at the breadth and depth of the Library's online offerings. These tools go far beyond what is available free of charge on the Internet. These online tools aren't just for local businesses - they're available to every library cardholder.

Some examples of tools available, using your library card:

MorningStar Investment Research Center, including the Portfolio X-Ray tool you may have seen advertised during financial programs on TV. (Comment from a certified financial planner at the presentation: "That's what I use!")

Records Information System's Public Records database, including felony convictions, DUI arrests, foreclosures, bankruptcies and more. (Comment from a home-based business owner: "I can do my own mini-background check for free!")

Reference USA lists information for millions of businesses and households that can help you research companies or identify leads for direct marketing. (Comment from a small business owner: "I can learn to do that myself? I'm paying someone a lot for that!")

Learning Express Library includes online, self-directed courses in computer skills on software from Adobe Acrobat to Word. Each course is offered for a variety of versions (1997-2007!) from fundamentals to expert level. (Comment from a local banker: "My staff can do that from their desks at their own pace!")

Just look for "Online Resources" on the library's web page. Don't have a computer or Internet access? The Library's got that for you! Need help learning how to use these tools? Call the Library to "Book-a-Librarian" for a one hour session with one of our information professionals!

PS - Thanks, Bill, for the article idea! :-)

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