Friday, June 20, 2008

Drive a Green Machine

With gas prices soaring, more people are turning to hybrid and other more fuel-efficient vehicles. If you're looking to make a change to your automobile situation, the edmunds.com Green Car Guide is a great place to start. Highlights of the Green Car Guide include:

  • Car buying tips during a slow economy
  • Diesel vs. Hybrid
  • The real cost of owning a hybrid
  • Tips on improving gas mileage

Related links:

For additional resources on car buying in general, check out my posts:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Small Business 101

Over ten million people each year consider starting a business. As a result, more than three million new small businesses are started annually. A number of free online courses are offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help prospective and existing entrepreneurs better understand the basics about starting and running a successful small business.

Topics covered include:
  • Starting a Business
  • Business Planning
  • Business Management
  • Financing & Accounting
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Government Contracting
  • Small Business Retirement
  • E-Commerce
  • International Trade
  • Federal Tax Training
In general, the courses are all self-paced and should take about 30 minutes to complete. Most of the courses require a brief online registration. Many of the SBA courses are in Spanish.

The library also has a number of items in the collection to assist you with business planning and management. Check out the 650s in the nonfiction section of your local library.

Want to be computer-savvy as well as business-savvy? See my earlier post on free and easy computer tutorials.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

e-Resource of the Month for June: Gale Legal Forms

We've all heard the phrase, "Get it in writing." Failure to have agreements in writing can lead to needless disputes and misunderstanding, as well as failure to provide a remedy. Many contracts must to be in writing to be legal and enforceable. Where to begin, especially if you have no legal training? This month's e-Resource, Gale Legal Forms, provides FCPL library card holders a wide selection of state-specific (and multi-state) legal forms across the most popular legal areas, including real estate contracts, wills, pre-marital agreements, bankruptcy and divorce documents, landlord tenant agreements and many others.

Where do these forms come from, you ask? The forms are drafted by attorneys for a particular legal matter, forms from public records and participating companies and attorneys. "Official" forms for many states are also included.

The Gale Legal Forms database also includes a comprehensive Attorney Directory and a dictionary of legal definitions explained in layman's language. The Attorney Directory is a unique listing of attorneys who have agreed to offer their services at some of the most competitive rates available today. The Attorney Directory is a good place to quickly get in touch with attorneys who can help you.
While the Gale Legal Forms database does not negate the need for an attorney, it's a great place to start when you need to draft business or litigation forms. And best of all, it's free!

NOTE: See my previous post on Gale Legal Forms' documents that assist victims of identity theft. You'll also want to check out the library's complete collection of legal resources.