It’s (Always) a Great Time for Consumer Reports

Seasonal purchases. We all have to make them some time. A new string trimmer in the spring, a new air conditioner in anticipation of a hot summer. Don’t forget that you’re in need of a new grill and *BAM*, you’ve already made a list of big commitment purchases.

But this isn’t an advertisement for your local hardware store, oh no. This is a little friendly advice: use Consumer Reports to perform your due diligence before you buy.

As consumer advocates, Consumer Reports publishes their own product testing and consumer-oriented research. Which means you’ll find:

  • Product overviews
  • User reviews
  • Ratings
  • Prices
  • Where to buy
  • Reliability standards
  • Performance scores
  • Safety features
  • So much more

You’ll get all the information on product features and specifications you could hope for. Consumer Reports will be the perfect tool for comparing value and quality among the many brands and styles while in search of that new string trimmer.

If you’re thinking: “Prices and specifications are neat and all, but I’m not an expert in buying lawn care equipment. I don’t even know what to look for in a proper string trimmer!”

Consumer Reports provides a buying guide for every kind of product they review. This is where they explain how they test products, what you should look for to find the product to fit your needs, and things to consider before you buy.

Example of a consumer need: Some people just prefer the smell of two-cycle first thing in the morning.

If you’re wondering: “Is it just appliances n’at?” Great question.

Once you start browsing Consumer Reports, you’ll also notice they have a report on just about everything your money can buy. And I mean everything. Athletic shoes, cars, car wax, diapers, glues, smart watches…

Are you going to make a joke about Consumer Reports even having a report about the kitchen si-

Thanks for setting that up for me.

The bottom line is: Consumer Reports will help you save money. It will help you find something that lasts. It will help you find the right product to fit your needs. Of course, if you ever need help using Consumer Reports, reach out to your local library!

— Derek, South Park Township Library

Continue ReadingIt’s (Always) a Great Time for Consumer Reports

Maximizing Your Libby Borrowing Options

This week is more of a life improvement tip than a professional pick-me-up. As (most of us, I assume) are residents of the wonderful Allegheny County, we are entitled to a lot of electronic library resources—particularly the titles available in Libby. Despite the best efforts of the DRC, some titles are simply too popular, and waitlists can sometimes extend into weeks and months. Sure, you could just find another book to listen to/read, but wouldn’t it be nice to have even more options for borrowing?

Enter the Free Library of Philadelphia.

But wait—we do not live in Philadelphia, how is this relevant? To answer, I would like to emphasize this paragraph from the Free Library’s website:

“A Free Library card is available at no cost to anyone who lives, works, pays taxes, or goes to school in the City of Philadelphia. In addition, anyone who lives in the state of Pennsylvania can obtain a Free Library card without charge.”

This would be a great time to mention a user can load several library cards onto their Libby account. My most recent and favorite success is South to America by Imani Perry. Recommended by a coworker, I was disappointed to see the waitlist extending into the double-digit number of weeks. But, with my handy-dandy Free Library of Philadelphia card, all was not lost:

The process for getting the card was simple and painless, and you can get started HERE. Because I am not a Philadelphia resident, the approval took a little longer (a few days) than for a typical Philly-dweller. Having two large libraries’ worth of electronic resources is proving a vast quality of life improvement.

I am curious if you have any hacks you have learned over your years in the greater PA library system! Please email me at if you have any issues getting a Philadelphia card or want to swap tricks.

Happy reading.

Cameron R.S. Smith – Cooper-Siegel Community Library

Continue ReadingMaximizing Your Libby Borrowing Options

Save Money and Stress with Gale Legal Forms

Legal resources are often expensive and complex. Luckily, we have access to Gale Legal Forms. This database makes it simple to find legal forms for many of life’s milestones and business situations. They offer real estate, leases, corporations, employment, wills, sale of property, loans & financing and other business forms.

Of course, they have forms for common agreements, such as landlord/tenant leasing agreements (even tenant applications!), but the forms can get very specific to cover unique situations, such as Cohabitation and Nonmarital Agreement between Parties Living Together but Remaining Unmarried with Joint Purchase of Real Estate.

There are forms for all business types and side hustles. Some examples:

  • Independent Contractor Agreement with Massage Therapist
  • Pet Sitting Agreement with Pet Sitter – Self-Employed
  • Hair Salon Booth or Chair Rental Agreement
  • Website Design Agreement  

Chances are if you’re entering into an agreement of any kind, you can be sure that Gale Legal Forms has a form for you.

Find marketing materials here!

Leigha Lamont

Wilkinsburg Public Library & Eastridge Branch

Continue ReadingSave Money and Stress with Gale Legal Forms