Archive by Author | Sarah

Hard to Find 800 Numbers

This site offers toll free numbers for major companies around the country.  Just click on the first letter of the company name to see if they are listed.

Also try: GetHuman


Top 10 Book Search Engines has put together their list of the Top 10 Book Search Engines on the web.  I know most of you are familiar with some or all of these, but you might find something you haven’t used before. 

By the way, does anyone have any other suggestions?  Use the comments section if you’d like to share another site.  Thanks!

Criminal Searches

There has been a lot of talk about this site, which offers free nationwide criminal background searches.  It is still in beta testing, but I’ve tried it a few times and it works well and is very easy to use.  You can search by name or by geographical location. 

For some background information on this site, here is an article from The New York Times.

State Digital Resources

This web guide from the LOC provides links to all state digital resources, including memory projects, online encyclopedias, and historical and cultural materials collections.  Includes links to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture and Volunteer Voices.

Simple Book Repair

Although we can always count on Material Services to inject a little life into our older books, I’ve had several customers ask me over the years for guidance in repairing their own books.  Should you also be asked this question, you can refer them to this site from the members of Preservation Services of Dartmouth Library.  It covers everything from mending spines to drying waterlogged books.  It also provides a guide to useful tools.

NASA Images

NASA Images was created by the Internet Archive so that the public can have access to all images, video and audio collections in one place.  Newly digitized material from all of the NASA Centers will be added as it becomes available.

When a Bank Fails: Facts for Depositors, Creditors and Borrowers

I’m putting this link up here in the hope that it will never be needed.  But, just in case a question comes in, this is a very handy fact sheet from the FDIC on what consumers need to know when and if their bank should fail.

Coming Tomorrow: Oldest New Testament

From the site: “Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book…

“The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript.”  The site will be updated throughout the year, with completion projected for July 2009.

Open Source Food

Open Source Food is a place for foodlovers to share recipes, photos and more.  But I will warn you, the pictures are very nice.  DO NOT look at this site if you are hungry!  But, if you need to find a recipe or if a student is looking for a food-related image, this is a great place to look.

Copyright Tools

Here are two easy-to-use tools that might be helpful for anyone with a question about whether or not an item is protected by copyright:

Copyright Digital Slider

This tool, from the ALA, is a quick and easy way to determine if a work is in the public domain or if permission is needed for its use.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain

This chart, from Cornell, contains a lot more detail, but it is well-designed and still very easy to use.

New Deal Web Guide

For those interested in the New Deal programs of the 1930s, the Library of Congress has created this guide to selected library resources on the topic.  Links are available to a number of digitized materials, including photographs, posters, sheet music, and much more.  Users can browse the collection by LOC division, New Deal program name, or WPA program name.


Totlol is like YouTube for tots.  It’s a great place to find video content for children under 13, without any fear of the child stumbling across something they shouldn’t see.  With free registration, users can take part in community moderation, but anyone can watch videos.


Pricewatch gives real-time price comparisons on thousands of consumer products.  Although mostly computer and electronics-oriented, there are some items for the home that are listed as well.

Home Library/Small Library Software

At times customers or church groups have contacted our library for suggestions on how to arrange or catalog small libraries or home collections.  Kay Due passed along this list of products, suggested by librarians around Tennessee:


Although still in beta testing, Lookybook shows a great deal of promise.  This site is a place to view picture books, cover to cover.  It’s a great way for parents, librarians and others to review items to make informed choices.  With a free registration, users can rate, review and comment on individual books and receive frequent email updates when new items are added.  Users can also create their own “bookshelves” to organize and share their favorites.

Thanks to Mary Seratt for her added evaluation of the site!