Consumer Financial Education

With many of our patrons out of work or underemployed, it is a great time to share information with them to help them make the right financial decisions.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help. CFPB is one of the newest government agencies. It was created in 2011 in response to the financial crises of 2008.

The website itself provides information directed towards the computer savvy patron. But one of the best aspects of the CFPB is the amount of materials available for libraries to distribute to its patrons.

The library resources page provides free publications and online educational tools. They also offer program ideas and outreach materials.

Money Smart Week is coming (April 10-17) so be sure to check out their site as well!

Tracy – Monroeville

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Explore Pittsburgh’s Rich History

Calling all history buffs! Historic Pittsburgh, found on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s website, contains a wealth of primary and secondary resources about the city’s history and surrounding areas. This is a great tool for those who are interested in the general history of Pittsburgh.

historic Pittsburgh text

This resource includes features such as:
City directories
Maps of Allegheny County and its surrounding boroughs
Historic photographs
Letters and memorabilia from prominent local figures

historic pittsburgh homepage

You can browse the site by clicking on one of the six boxes on the homepage or choose to perform a general or advanced search.

The side links that appear on the results screen allow you to explore related topics and other collections.

One feature that I found interesting was the Exhibits section, which features articles on past exhibits by partner organizations such as Chatham University.

suffrage women and horse

Have fun exploring!

Erin Weaver, Bridgeville Public Library

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Pics Or It Didn’t Happen

Helping a patron search for images of dress styles from the turn of the century for their school report? Want to see what an electric car looked like in the 1970s? Or maybe you need photographic evidence of a building that you swear used to be somewhere so you can win a bet with your friends?

Look no further than the Library of Congress (LOC) Prints & Photograph collection!

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs

This collection has records for over 1 million photographs, prints and drawings dating back over 1,000 years. The majority of the collection is primarily from the 19th & 20th centuries and covers a large span of topics, including: architecture, portraits, military, sports and daily life.

Quickly narrow down your search by subject, format, collection, date, contributor, etc., with the easily-accessible filters in the left-hand column. Then download high-quality versions of the images you find – from JPEG to PNG to TIFF.

And when you find one image you like…

…scroll down for additional suggestions for images related to that record.

One downside of this valuable site that must be mentioned is how often this message appears:

“Full online access to this resource is only available at the Library of Congress.” Records with this message are such a tease, though sometimes the metadata included in the record can be very helpful. Other times, these listings can link you to additional useful images or collections that are available to view full-scale images online.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this dreaded message altogether: use the “Access Condition” filter on the left to select “Available Online.” This narrows the results to show only records that have viewable images. Huzzah!

While the LOC Prints & Photographs collection is helpful to search, it is equally as fun to browse.

There are curated collections available. Some are cumbersome to navigate (e.g. the Lewis Carroll Scrapbooks and Prairie Settlement collections) but others are very easy to access (e.g. African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition & Aaron Copeland Collection). In the image below, you can see that certain collections have links below the descriptions that say “Collection Items.” Those are the collections that are easier to navigate.

I personally enjoyed searching for historical images of the Pittsburgh region. My favorite record find: “Quack doctor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”

I am dying to know: who wrote the caption card from which this item was named? When? What led to this description?

Hopefully your research leads to more answers than questions! Happy searching!

Richelle @ Sewickley Public Library

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Marketing Udemy

The county’s newest addition to our superb assortment of e-resources is Udemy! 6000+ courses offering upskilling in business, tech, and personal development across 75+ different categories. So let’s talk about how to get word out to patrons that Udemy is awesome. I’ve had great luck with physical displays (of course, that’s not entirely possible these days, but if you put on your thinking cap, it can easily be done on your website or virtually in so many ways!) I have a ‘read this book – take this class’ approach. I find some juicy lonely nonfiction, pull it out and create a little bookmark to slip in that highlights a related Udemy class or CreativeBug or any other resource you’re trying to showcase. Here are some examples to get you started:

Kelley – Cooper-Siegel Community Library

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