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March 2009

What’s New · Ten Ways the Library Can Help You Save Money during Tough Times

Carrie Dressman assists a customer in the Career Resource Center Carrie Dressman assists a customer in the Career Resource Center

Need help searching for a job or updating your resume? Maybe your kids need some homework assistance? Or, maybe you're looking for some inexpensive things to do with your family. Getting help is closer than you think! In today’s economic slowdown many people are rediscovering the perks of owning a library card. The price is right—it’s free—and it offers access to all sorts of free services.

  1. Search for Jobs.. The Career Resource Center, in the Main Library’s Information & Reference Department, is a good starting point for jobseekers. Its collection includes test prep guides and resources about career choices, job searching, resume writing, and interviewing. Programs and workshops also take place regularly in the Center. Use Learning Express Library to access a collection of online practices tests and tutorials.
  2. Update your resume. Apply online.. Your local library provides print resources for jobseekers as well as assistance applying for jobs and posting resumes online. You can also use word processing and other software for updating your resume or writing cover letters. At least one computer at each Library location runs Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications from the Microsoft Office Standard 2000 edition. Avoid a wait. Reserve a computer up to 48 hours prior to your visit with our online PC reservation system.
  3. Learn a new skill. We offer a wide variety of free programs at all our branches, including classes to help you master basic computer skills (at selected agencies) and workshops about making savvy investment decisions. Check out all the choices by searching our online program calendar. Print calendars are also available at your local branch. In collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools ABLE Program and Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, we also offer GED practice tests at many branches. Registration is required. Contact the Literacy Coordinator at 513-369-4570 for details.
  4. Connect to Free Internet & WiFi.. Studies conducted in 2008 show American families averaged $40.00 a month for Internet Provider Service. Why not take advantage of the fact that the computers (650 of them!) in our agencies offer free access to the Internet? Or, go portable and bring in your laptop. We have free WiFi too!
  5. Find data. Boost your business.. Our databases come from reliable, respected sources and are available 24/7. All you need is your library card number and PIN. Our collection of business-oriented databases includes DemographicsNow, Reference USA, and the Business & Company Resource Center.
  6. Visit the Small Business Resource Center.. Located in the Main Library's Information and Reference Department, the Small Business Resource Center contains information on the management, planning, finance and legal aspects of starting a small business, as well as information on industry and market analysis. Programs and workshops also take place regularly in the Center.
  7. Be smart. Get your kids homework help.. Students have access to wide a collection of reference materials including dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, at the Library. They can also take advantage of our free online Homework Chat service which is available every day from 2:00-11:00 p.m. Homework Chat can be accessed via Kidspace or Teenspace websites. The Main Library’s Homework Central offers Hamilton County primary and secondary students homework assistance—in person, by phone, email, and on the Internet—in a safe, nurturing environment conducive to study and learning. Tutors are also available weekdays after school at the Avondale and Price Hill branch libraries.
  8. “Test-drive” it before buying.. Make sure your purchases work for you, before buying. Borrow for free from the Library’s wide variety of books, audiobooks, music on CDs, and DVDs. There’s also an amazing range of magazines and newspapers. Check them out and then add up the savings! (According to a study conducted in early 2008, the price of a children’s book averaged $21. In 2007, a hardback book for an adult averaged around $26 and soft covers ran anywhere from $15 to $20. Source: School Library Journal, Albert Greco, professor of marketing, Fordham University)
  9. Be entertained for free!. Use the Library for a family night out or to pick up a new hobby, such as knitting, gardening, cooking or researching your family tree. We have thousands of free programs for customers of all ages! Storytimes for infants, toddlers and preschoolers—puppet shows—music performances—author visits—even gaming programs! Once school is out, our Summer Reading Program kicks in motivating kids and teens to keep on reading.
  10. Can’t get to the Library? Find it online.. Our collection of digital material includes hundreds of great books (audiobooks and eBooks), music, and videos. Titles can be downloaded 24/7—all you need is your library card number and PIN. Use New Arrivals to keep up with new additions to the collection. Add some of our RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to your favorite feed reader. Receive email or text message notification of due dates and holds on your account. And, don’t miss the latest word on upcoming Library programs, products, and services in the new eLinks newsletter.