Archive | June 2006

MIND: Modern Inventors Documentation Program

This database aims to guide researchers to invention-oriented collections throughout the United States.  It is designed as a finding tool; full text is unavailable through the site.  But, for each collection, a brief summary and history is provided. Users can search by keyword or by collection.

Internet Detective

Created by academics in the United Kingdom, this site provides university and college students with a free tutorial on developing internet research skills.  “The tutorial looks at the critical thinking required when using the Internet for research and offers practical advice on evaluating the quality of web sites.”  The site also covers scholarly research, hoaxes, copyright issues, citations and plagiarism.

Presentation Zen

From Damone Virgilio (Staff Development):

“I visit this blog daily. It is hosted by Garr Reynolds, a highly reputable graphic design and presentation expert. His site features articles about basic design philosophy, making presentations, creating powerful visual statements, and includes links to a vast array of valuable resources and experts in the design community.”

Sites from Consumers Union

From Christina Barnes (Business/Sciences):

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving only consumers.  They have a number of websites dedicated to providing information on various topics:

Windows Live Local

From Ron Reid (LINC):

“Microsoft has a Beta version of their new mapping site and it is very robust and versatile.  Though I rarely use anything but the mapping function, the aerial view function is fascinating!”

From the site:  “Windows Live Local is a free online local search and mapping service that combines road and aerial maps worldwide and unique bird’s eye imagery for select areas. Use Windows Live Local to learn about, discover, and explore a specific location with the advanced driving directions, local listings, and other local search tools.”

Welcome, Terrice!

I would like to belatedly welcome Terrice Thomas (aka “mrsthomas”) from the LINC Department to the blog. Terrice has signed on as a contributing author to share her knowledge with us. Thanks, Terrice!

Postmaster Finder

This link is to the Postmaster finder on the United States Post Office website.  Our department frequently uses the “search by city” option to find the local Postmaster for various cities. 

Also, don’t forget the post office locator on the 211 Community Information Database ( Type in USPS as the name and click on the first title. It gives the individual address and phone number for each Post Office in Shelby County.

Online Etymology Dictionary

A wonderful resource, this dictionary combines many sources, including:

  • Weekley’s An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English
  • Klein’s A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language
  • Oxford English Dictionary (second edition)
  • Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology
  • Holthauzen’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Englischen Sprache
  • Ayto’s 20th Century Words
  • Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang.

America’s Library

From Philip Williams (Whitehaven):

“This site, created by the Library of Congress, is a fun site for children that has much information about American history and culture.  The site has five main sections:  1) Meeting Amazing Americans; 2) Jump Back in Time; 3)Explore the States; 4) Join America at Play; and 5) See, Hear, and Sing.  All sections contain information, presented in an entertaining way, that could be helpful to many children who need information to complete assignments and projects.  It is also a site that people of all ages will find useful and will enjoy.”


Check out this site for a helpful list of consumer numbers.  There is a database with customer service numbers for various companies in several categories (credit, government, insurance, retail, etc.).  Supposedly these are “direct” numbers that will get you talking to a human, rather than a recording. 


Kevin Dixon (Staff Development) found this site on LibrarianInBlack:

“Purplemath offers a wealth of help with algebra problems of all types, as well as links to other sites with free tutorials, quizzes, solving software (ooh, wish they had that while I was young), and other useful mathy things.”

Antenna Structure Locator

Thanks to Rozann Turner (LINC) for passing this along!

The FCC provides this resource to help people locate antenna structures and wireless towers nationwide. Most useful is the search by city and state, although users can also search by registration number or geographic coordinates.

Teen Jobs

From Terrice Stephenson (LINC):

“Since school is out there will be plenty of young people looking for summer employment. These sites include part-time jobs, summer jobs, internships and general job search resources for teens and young adults. They are as follows:– A job matching service for teens and employers who want to hire them.– Tennessee Teens 2 Work– Search by job, location and zip code.– Search fun jobs (camps, parks, etc.) by state or category.– Search for part-time jobs by zip code, city or state.– US Government internships, co-ops, summer employment, volunteer opportunities and permanent positions.– Helpful job-seeking resources specifically for teen job-seekers.”

What’s Happening In Memphis

From Terrice Stephenson (LINC):

“It gives a list of poplar nightlife, restaurants, etc. for Memphis. I know this might not be typical reference information, but LINC gets several calls about things to do and places to go in Memphis at night. We (LINC) might be the only ones who get this, but I though I’d pass it on anyway…”

Thanks, Terrice!

Yahoo! Autos

From Doris Dixon (Raleigh):

“Customers often ask for consumer information about cars, computers, and other big ticket items. Many may already be familiar with Yahoo Autos, but others may appreciate a referral to this handy site. Highlights include side-by-side comparisons of models and frank reviews from other car buyers. I wonder how many staff members Yahoo has working on this impressive site–surely some are librarians :).”