Safe Travels with Kelley Blue Book

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It’s summer and that means that it’s time for a vacation! Vacation often means hitting the road, but before you do that, you’ll want to make sure that your car is in top shape.

You and patrons can find nearby repair shops using Kelley Blue Book. Select the Car Repair tab, and then select the type of service that you are looking for. We’ll look at Maintenance Pricing.

From this screen, select a vehicle year, make, and model, and then choose a service. We’ll look at a mileage service.

Kelley Blue Book tells us that a fair price to pay would be between $60 to $100. It then recommends some service locations based on the zip code that we are using.

If the worst should happen, and you or a patron need a new car, Kelley Blue Book has you covered. You can find car reviews and browse cars for sale.

Happy travels!

-Erin Weaver, Bridgeville Public Library

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Free and Fabulous – Royalty-Free Media and You

In libraries, every cent counts. Regardless of your zip code, libraries are always interested in pinching a penny, and one easy way is to utilize copyright-free material. From images and videos to music and documents, copyright-free resources can be a game-changer and really up the pizzazz of advertisements and social media posts.

Artist’s rendition of me worrying about copyright law
before I found great online resources.
  • Cost-Effective Creativity

Copyright-free material, available from various online sources, provides high-quality content without a hefty price tag. Many different websites (some listed below) offer thousands of images for free, allowing libraries to create professional-looking materials without breaking the bank.

  • Legal Peace of Mind

The risk of unintentionally using copyrighted material and facing legal repercussions is a daunting prospect for any organization. By relying on copyright-free resources, libraries can avoid legal pitfalls. Free licenses, such as Creative Commons, clearly outline what can and cannot be done with the material, offering peace of mind and the freedom to create without worry.

  • Enhancing Visual Appeal

In today’s digital age, visual content is king. Engaging images and videos can significantly boost a library’s outreach efforts and satisfy the mysterious algorithms behind social media. Whether it’s for social media campaigns, annual reports, or fundraising events, stunning visuals help tell a compelling story, capturing the attention of your audience.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

Libraries often need to produce a variety of content quickly and efficiently (“Oh yeah, that event is next week. Can you make a flyer for it?”). Copyright-free materials offer a flexible solution. Need a background image for a social media post? Infographics for a report? Copyright-free sites provide an array of options that can be tailored to fit the specific needs and branding of any program.

  • Getting Started with Copyright-Free Materials

Ready to dive into the world of copyright-free resources? Here are some websites to get you started:

  • Unsplash: High-resolution photos for free, suitable for any project.
  • Pexels: A wide range of free stock photos and videos.
  • Pixabay: Over 1.7 million free images, videos, and music tracks.
  • Creative Commons: A platform to find works with free licenses.
  • Burst by Shopify: Free stock photos tailored for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Some do require you to create a free account and offer premium versions, but you can often find what you are looking for, especially if you hop from site to site.

We did it! We started using royalty-free images to make our content even better!

What websites and resources do you use? Any tips/tricks you’d like to share? Drop me a line at:

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

Part of this text generated by ChatGPT, May 29, 2024, OpenAI,

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Broaden Your News Search

Allegheny County library users are fortunate to have access to some great newspaper databases covering local, regional, and national papers. Did you know that there are a few other online collections out there that supplement these robust collections?

Chronicling America

The Chronicling America collection includes America’s historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963. The site also features the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Search by state, date, or even by language – with newspapers printed in 19 different languages!

This resource also includes the Newspaper Navigator that lets users search for visual data across newspapers from 1789-1963. 

Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

Google News Archive

Google News Archive is an extension of Google News providing free access to scanned archives of newspapers and links to other newspaper archives on the web (both free and paid). Includes The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Press, other local papers, and national and international titles.

While the search feature leaves something to be desired, the browsability of this site is fairly useful.

Hopefully these additional sources will help you help library users find the information they seek.

Happy searching!

– Richelle, Sewickley Public Library

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When to Buy a Chainsaw

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Should I buy a chainsaw?” The answer is definitely yes! But you want to be a savvy consumer. That’s where Consumer Reports comes in. 

Founded in the middle of the Great Depression, Consumer Reports remains an authority for unbiased product information that will help you and your patrons make smart purchases.  

Besides the easy-to-use search features on its home page, Consumer Reports has some great tools that can help you make a good decision not just about which chainsaw you should buy, but also when you should purchase it. Backed up by years of sales research, Consumer Reports has a handy guide to when common items tend to go on sale.  

The home page offers a lot of options, including seasonal products and information, links to the most popular product categories, and the main search bar. To get to the sales calendar, called “Best Time to Buy,” select the “Save Money” option in the Member Benefits box the right side of the page, then “Best time to buy.” Note that some of the other options such as the Bill Negotiator are not included in the subscription. 

The current month is highlighted by default. As you can see, it’s chainsaw (and other things) season! 

Users can also select other months listed along the top, or choose a different product to see when it’s likely to be on sale. You’ll probably need some good headphones to wear when you’re using that chainsaw, and you can see that November and December are the best times to buy them.

It is easy to navigate to a product review and buying guide from the Best Time to Buy tiles by selecting the “Shop & Compare” button.  

There are lots of ways Consumer Reports can support smart and/or chainsaw buying practices. Click here to get started on the eLibrary Consumer & Business resources page.

Let me know if you find a deal!  

-Mary Phillips, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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