Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's in granny's pillbox?

Check out Pillbox, a new National Institutes of Health -- National Library of Medicine resource that lets you identify pills both visually and via text search (i.e., drug name etc.).

Designed for use by emergency physicians, first responders, other health care providers, Poison Control Center staff and concerned citizens, Pillbox enables users to identify solid dosage forms of medications based on physical criteria: imprint (characters or number printed on a medication), shape, color, size, and scoring.

For more details (and disclaimers), please view the Pillbox FAQs.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Legal e-Resources @ Your Library

Recognizing the need for ready access to reliable legal materials, Fauquier County Public Library offers access to several legal databases and e-resources.

CaseFinder Web (in-library use only)
Provides Virginia case law including:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal 4th Circuit
  • Eastern and Western District Courts
  • Virginia Supreme Court, Court of    Appeals
  • Workers’ Compensation Commission
  • Selected Virginia Circuit Courts
  • Attorney General Opinions and
  • Legal Ethics Opinions

Virginia Legal Forms Library (use your library card to access from home)
Provides a wide selection of forms including:

  • Real estate contracts
  • Wills
  • Premarital agreements
  • Bankruptcy
  • Divorce
  • Landlord tenant
  • Comprehensive state directory of attorneys
  • Dictionary of legal terms

Lexis Nexis Total Research (in-library use only)
Includes the National Primary Library, as well as:
  • Federal case, legislative and administrative law
  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • U.S. Public Laws
  • Federal Court Rules
  • Case law for all 50 states
  • Martindale-Hubbell listings
  • Michie’s Jurisprudence for civil and criminal law in Virginia
  • Virginia Model Jury Instructions: Civil and Criminal

State & Local Legal Resources Online (see our website for a complete list)
  • Code of Virginia
  • Administrative Code
  • Regulations
  • Circuit Court Information
  • Virginia Lawyer’s Directory
  • Fauquier County Code of Ordinances
  • Fauquier County Circuit Court
  • Warrenton Code of Ordinances

For complete details (including links) on the library's legal resources available online and in print, check out the Legal Resources page on our website.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Version of OverDrive Media Console Coming Aug. 20

OverDrive is releasing a new version of their OMC on August 20th. OMC v3.0 will feature:
  • A redesigned user interface with an all-new look, streamlined navigation and a one-stop reorganized menu. App functions are just a swipe and tap away.
  • Users will be able to sync bookmarks and reading progress across multiple devices using a free, opt-in registration service called OverDrive One.
  • Variable speed playback for iOS. Audiobook users’ most requested feature.
  • First run tutorial screens. The app now prompts first time users to add libraries and get books.
  • System Requirements: OMC v3.0 for Android users requires Android OS v4.0 (or newer). OMC for Android v2.6.5 will remain available for download. OMC for iOS requires iOS 6 (or newer). If you have an older version of iOS, you can still use the older version of the OMC.

This is just like any other app update (you'll see it pending as an update) in that all of your titles will transfer over, your Adobe ID will transfer over, etc.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summertime and the learnin' is easy (and free!)

A few websites that readers may find of interest...

Life-Long Learning, Homeschooling
With Back-to-School season starting, consider trying's free and open courses. Along with university-level and professional development courses, homeschoolers might appreciate that the non-profit recently started rolling out free K-12 courses, developed by a team of experienced educators and staff and fully aligned to the US Common Core State Standards. The first to launch are for grades 6-12 in English language arts and mathematics.

Watch fast-paced introductions to U.S. History (with John Green) and Chemistry (with Hank Green) on the Crash Course YouTube channel. There are also past lectures on World History, Biology, Literature, and Ecology. Note to homeschoolers/parents - while the lectures are often funny and geared at engaging a teen/young adult audience, some of the Greens' remarks could be considered PG-13 material, and John inserts his opinion in a number of instances in the history videos (so theys are not unbiased). Probably best for a more mature middle school or high school student.

Genealogy and Local History
The Federation of Genealogical Societies has a new free webinar (presentation + video) Discovering State and Local Militia Records. The webinar, which runs about an hour, allows you to take a closer look at the wide variety of records documenting local militia companies. From annual muster to supplies and appointment of officers, learn how these records may be used in your family research. Learn more about the military organization of citizens called for the purpose of local defense, who served this country from the Revolution through 1812 and on to the development of the National Guard.

>>>See related e-Resource News posts covering online learning.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"How-to" sites

There are a number of "how-to" sites available, some of which leave much to be desired (wikiHow, for example, seems to have a lot of extremely basic articles, including some of which strongly resemble advertising). Whether it's a video on refinishing a wood floor or directions for refurbishing an old computer, the following websites provide a good amount of free, usable content (and inspiration) that you can use to help you achieve some of the projects you may have on your "honey do" list.

Here you can access over 100,000 documented projects on everything from creating Easy Refrigerator Pickles to a raised garden on a hillside. You can sign up for a free account, but if you want to be able to download or save PDF e-book copies of instructions, you'll need to upgrade to an Instructables Pro account (Instructables provides free pro memberships to teachers).

DIY Network (makers of HGTV and Food Network) offers creative Home Improvement projects for do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

do it yourself
Articles, videos and expert advise on home improvement and repair projects.

This popular site covers over 30 categories, organized under channels such as home, mom, style, tech, food, money and health, with articles/videos and an active online community to boot.

How-To Geek
One of my favorite sites for tips and directions to help you address common technology issues.

Pinterest DIY & Crafts
If you need to get inspired, try Pinterest, an online pinboard, where users share all kinds of projects.

This Old House
Select the How-To + Repair tab and access expert advice and step-by-step instructions for your home and garden.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Thursday, August 1, 2013

E-Resource of the Month - ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA, which you can access for free using your Fauquier County Public Library card, provides access to information on over 25 million businesses and more than 262 million consumers. Business listings include such data as company names, phone numbers, complete addresses, key executive names, SIC Codes, employee size, sales volume, geo-codes for mapping, contact details, franchise and brand information, news, liens, judgments and bankruptcies and credit rating scores.

Residential information comes from more than 5,200 White Page telephone directories, with each listing as it appears in the phone book. Information is available 8 to 12 weeks after the phone book, and the residential listings are processed through U.S. and Canadian National change of address records monthly. U.S. residential listings also contain recent census information, including median household income, median home value, latitude/longitude, and percentage of owner-occupied housing. The database is continuously updated.

Other available databases, including U.S. Businesses, Canadian Businesses, U.S. New Businesses, U.S. Healthcare (Physicians and Dentists), U.S. Standard White Pages, U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles, Canadian White Pages, and U.S. New Movers/Homeowners.

All the available databases allow both a quick search and a custom search mode, with the former finding bare-bones information (for example, company name, executive name, city, state, and phone for U.S. businesses) and with custom options that allow for granularity and targeted list compiling.

For example, the Custom Search in the U.S. Businesses database allows users to query the data by such factors as company name; brands and products; executive name, title, gender, or ethnicity; keyword/SIC/NAICS; major industry group; geographic limiters from state down to neighborhood; map-based search, area code; number of employees; sales volume; public/private company, foreign parent, home-based business, government office, stock exchange, ticker symbol, credit rating, business expenditures, web address, Fortune 1000, Yellow Page ad size, years in database, year established, and square footage. The successive selection features of the search mechanism make it extremely fast and simple to carry out research.

Several databases, such as U.S. Standard White Pages and Canadian White Pages, are pretty straightforward, offering what you'd expect to find in a business information file. The U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles database is different, however. You can perform a quick search by typical access points such as name, phone, city, and state, and lifestyle categories ranging from apparel/fashion/beauty to charitable donor, personal finance/self-help, and purchase behavior. The file notes that “Lifestyles are scored based on level of interest from 0 to 9 in our database. 0 meaning no interest; 9 meaning heavy interest. Selecting Lifestyles from the categories below will include individuals with a score of 6 and higher (6 to 9).”

While the lifestyles search goes beyond the basics of most files, a custom search allows you to delve into consumer characteristics such as estimated home value, estimated household income, age, marital status, children present, ethnicity, gender, language spoken, religion, political party, female occupation, male occupation, mortgage present, home owner, years in home, year home built, location type, number of units. grandparent present, and veteran present.

If you've never used ReferenceUSA, or have only used it to look up contact information, consider taking a tour, which includes tutorials on how to locate detailed information on competitors and similar businesses by using the ReferenceUSA U.S. Business module (approximately three minutes in length).

Links to ReferenceUSA can be found on the library's website (Articles & Databases -- Business Information; Business/Small Business Resources) and in the library's online catalog.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian