CheckItOut@WrightLibrary

Welcome to the Reference Department Blog. Visit often for information on programs and events, featured research tools, book lists, and Web resources. We encourage you, our patrons, to give feedback and share your own favorite resources and books. Join us in creating a unique resource for the Wright Library Community.

Category: Consumer Information

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
Affordable Care Act

As part of the Affordable Health Care Act, U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to have qualifying health coverage by January 1, 2014.  In preparation for this, a health care exchange (a place where consumers can purchase subsidized health insurance coverage) will be available on October 1, 2013.

Ohio has chosen to use the federal exchange for health insurance rather than implementing a state-based exchange.  The federal exchange is located online at Healthcare.gov

There are four methods an individual can use to apply for health care insurance: mail, toll-free phone, online at Healthcare.gov, and in person through certified navigators. The toll-free phone number patrons can call for assistance is 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).  Assistance is available in multiple languages.  For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov is also available.

The federal exchange will open October 1, 2013.  If an individual wishes their health insurance to begin January 1, 2014, they must enroll by mid-December.  Open Enrollment will close March 31, 2014.

Resources:

The Affordable Care Act includes sweeping changes and a number of options in healthcare coverage.  There are a wide variety of resources available online that provide information about these options, and how to choose what is best for you.  The staff of the Wright Public Library can direct patrons to those resources.  
 
Making the correct healthcare choices requires an understanding of each person’s or family’s unique health and financial circumstances. Members of the Wright Public Library staff are not trained or licensed to provide advice or to assist you in selecting a specific health plan, but can provide information and direction to public resources about the Affordable Care Act that will help you make your own choices.

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Categories: Health/MedicineGovernmentConsumer Information

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
Affordable Care Act Information Session

On Tuesday, October 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Wright Library's Meeting Room, Greg Pfander, Account Executive from local firm McGohan Brabender, will present information about the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Starting October 1, 2013 enrollment in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov will begin.  Mr. Pfander will talk about where we are now in the process and explain how the enrollment will work.  Reservations are required and will be limited to the first 65.  Make a reservation now by contacting the Reference Desk at 937-294-7171 or reference@wrightlibrary.org.

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Categories: Consumer InformationHealth/MedicineLibrary Event

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NOVEMBER 28, 2012
Consumer Financial Information
The holiday shopping season can put pressure on a family's budget and also expose any of us to fraud and scams.  Last year we suggested several Web sites with ideas and educational material for protecting ourselves during this busy time and all year.  This year we offer a couple more:  Consumer.gov and Consumerfinance.gov.

Both of these sites focus on how to protect your financial integrity.  They are concerned with money management, credit and debt, as well as protecting yourself from identity theft and other scams.  At Consumer.gov you will find information sheets on every day financial matters such as bank accounts,  budgets, and credit cards as well as advice on using credit and avoiding identity theft.  Consumerfinance.gov focuses more on financial products, such as mortgages and credit cards, so that consumers understand them and are not hurt by mismanaging them.

You might also want to check out the National Endowment for Financial Education.

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Categories: Consumer InformationFinance

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OCTOBER 25, 2012
Top Cities Rated
We do not want you to move, but if circumstances require it, the Library has the perfect resources for finding the right city.  America's Top-Rated Cities and Top-Rated Small Cities provide data, including demographics, education, housing, income, and transportation, on over 300 cities.  Compare and contrast cities using the tables of statistics and find out which ones excel in areas you feel are important.  There is also a comprehensive report for each city.

To get to the Top-Rated Small Cities from home, follow the link, enter your library card number (all 14 digits), then select the database from the option just below the top-banner on the page and above where the different statistical categories are listed.

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Categories: Featured ResourceConsumer Information

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OCTOBER 9, 2012
ConsumerReports.org

Wright Library has recently acquired access to several new, exciting, and useful online resources for our patrons.  The most recent acquisition is full access to ConsumerReports.org.  This popular and authoritative source for consumer product reviews is now available from any Internet-connected computer with your Wright Library card number.  Just click on the image on the Library's homepage.

Chilton's Auto Repair
Legal Forms Library
Morningstar Investment Research Center
In Library Only
Other new resources include

Don't forget other favorite resources -


Antiques Reference
Ancestry Library Edition
In Library Only
Heritage Quest
Mango Languages
Learning Express
Job & Career Accelerator

All of the Library's online resources can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer (many from mobile devices) with your 14 digit library card number, except Ancestry and Morningstar Investment Research Center, which are limited to in Library use only.

Here is a list of Library resources listed alphabetically.

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Categories: Consumer InformationFeatured ResourceOnline Resources

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
Fashion Frugalista

Wright Library
presents

Fashion Frugalista:
Harnessing the Hidden Gems in Your Closet


with

Linda Lee Rahn

Sunday, October 7, at 2:00 p.m.

Ms. Rahn will be teaching how to evict the monsters living in your closet, identify & utilize your hidden gems and how to look fabulous for less, NOT less fabulous!  Check out Linda Lee's Fall Fashion Updates on Living Dayton.

Advanced registration is required and limited to the first 65 people.  Contact Wright Library’s Reference Department at 294-7171 or by email to register..

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Categories: Library EventHomeConsumer Information

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MARCH 21, 2012
Car Repair Online

Wright Library has added a new vehicle repair and maintenance database to our online resources.  ChiltonLibrary supplies a solution for the “do-it-yourselfer” that is easy to use no matter the skill level. Repair, maintenance, and specification tables provide critical data on thousands of domestic and imported models of cars, trucks, vans and SUVs from 1940 onward.

Users of ChiltonLibrary will benefit from the following:

  • Parts finder: Direct integration with eBay Motors helps users locate hard-to-find parts
  • Models: Repair, maintenance and specification tables provide critical data on thousands of domestic and imported models from 1940 onward. No other source contains more years, makes and models
  • Convenience: Provides 24/7 access anywhere with an internet connection
  • Simplicity: Detailed, step-by-step instructions reduce the need to use multiple sources of repair information designed for the "do-it-yourselfer" (DIYer)
  • In-depth information: Contains diagnostic trouble codes, descriptions, probable causes, step-by-step routines, specifications, and troubleshooting guide to ensure that even advanced DIYers have all the information they need to complete the repair
  • Multimedia Content: Exclusive videos and animated graphics help to explain system operations providing added clarity and comprehension
  • Photographs: Includes close-up photographs and illustrations, providing strong visual support
  • Diagrams: Vacuum and wiring diagrams help explain complex system operation during troubleshooting
  • Updating: Unlike printed books, the information on ChiltonLibrary.com is updated on a monthly basis, ensuring the most current and up-to-date information available

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Categories: Featured ResourceConsumer Information

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FEBRUARY 20, 2012
Get Organized…Stay Organized

Lori Firsdon, owner of Forte Organizers, will present “Get Organized…Stay Organized” at Wright Memorial Public Library on Sunday, March 4th from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.  Plan to join professional organizer, Lori Firsdon, for this fun and informative class.  You’ll learn how to take control of your paperwork, better manage your to-do list, organize any room in your home and get answers to your organizing questions.  Ms. Firsdon will share tips and techniques to help you become more efficient in your home and more productive in your life.  

Ms. Firsdon works with individuals and families at home, as well as business people at work and in group settings.  Raising five children and balancing a career while teaching others how to be organized has given her valuable insight on what organizational challenges most people face.

The program is free and will be held in the Library Meeting Room.  Advance registration is required and is limited to the first 65 people.  Contact the Reference Department at (937) 294-7171 or by email to register.

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Categories: Library EventConsumer InformationHow To

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NOVEMBER 21, 2011
Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
Many of us will be shopping this coming weekend and throughout the ensuing holiday season.  Whether we enjoy it or dread it, we need to be aware of the potential for fraud and deception and educate ourselves acccordingly.

The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection's Consumer Information Web pages are a good place to start the education process.  Find tips in the Be a Smart Shopper guide.  If you're shopping online there are additional concerns. 

The Ohio Attorney General offers this article, "Protect yourself against Black Friday shopping scams" (no longer available), which although published in 2010 still has relevant information.  And if you're shopping for toys, USA Today provides a video to help you choose safe ones.

Hopefully, you will not encounter any problems, but if you do find out how to file a complaint.  Additional Consumer Guides and Protection are available for a wide variety of consumer topics.

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Category: Consumer Information

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APRIL 21, 2011
National Financial Literacy Month
Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy Month? That’s right, there’s a whole month dedicated to promoting the importance of financial literacy and teaching Americans the basics of financial education.  There's even a presidential proclamation.

Personal finance education should begin at an early age and continue for a lifetime.  Wright Library provides many books and magazines in this area.  Below are listed some additional online resources.

In 2000, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a national coalition of financial education advocates, began promoting April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. In March 2004, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 316 which officially designated April as National Financial Literacy Month.

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Categories: FinanceEducationConsumer Information

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AUGUST 26, 2010
Ohio Here to Help
There is a new Web site that brings helpful Ohio resources together in one place.  Ohio Here to Help was designed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to help Ohio's unemployed workers learn more about the many programs and resources available to them, from both the government and the private sector. 

Ohio Here to Help provides direct links to job openings via OhioMeansJobs.com, as well as to training and education resources, such as LearningExpressLibrary, via the State of Ohio Library.  It also has information on such topics as money, food assistance, health care, housing, transportation, child care, veterans’ services, legal services, clothing assistance, youth employment and much more.


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Categories: GovernmentConsumer Information

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APRIL 19, 2010
Household Products Database

Wondering what's in the household products you use everyday?  And how healthy are they to use?  The Consumer Product Information Database has the answers.  It was developed to bring together information on household product types, brand names, chemical constituents, health-related information (acute and chronic effects and target organs), and exposure minimization techniques.  It is the basis for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Household Products Database

Information you can find in the database includes:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
  • What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?

To find out about recalls on all product types visit www.Recalls.gov.

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Category: Consumer Information

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JUNE 11, 2009
Help in Tough Times

The State Library of Ohio has created a resources page for finding help in these difficult economic times.  The resources are divided into the following categories.

There are additional resources available at the State of Ohio Help Center, including  Live Chat to get your questions answered immediately.

Wright Library makes more resources available through this blog.  Check out the posts in the Consumer Information, Employment, and Finance categories.

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Categories: Consumer InformationEmploymentFinance

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APRIL 24, 2009
Digital Television #2

The manditory transition to digital television transmissions has been delayed until June 12, 2009.  If you are not yet ready for the switch, see our earlier post for a list of resources or choose from the list of documents below.


Categories:
Consumer InformationNews

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JANUARY 14, 2009
Digital Television Transition

We have been hearing about the transition to digital television transmissions for a while, but it is finally here.  On February 17, 2009 television stations will begin to broadcast only in digital instead of analog airwaves. 

Those with a television connected to cable, satellite, or other pay television service, do not have to do anything.  If you have any concerns, contact your service provider.  If you have a television that uses an antenna such as  "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna, check your television owner's manual to see if it has a digital tuner.  If it does not, you will need to obtain a converter box in order to receive the signal.

Fortunately, the TV Converter Box Coupon Program is available to offset the cost of a converter box.  You can apply online or by phone by calling 1-888-388-2009, or you can download the application and mail or fax it in.  The supply of coupons is limited, plus there may be a delay in getting a coupon.  Read this article for details.  If you are wondering which converter box you should choose, check out this TV Converter Box Reviews, Ratings, and Comparisons Web site.

If you will rely on an antenna to receive the digital signal, you may improve your reception with the proper antenna.  Find out the best antenna for you at AntennaWeb.org.

Additional information is available from the following Web sites:

 

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Categories: NewsConsumer Information

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DECEMBER 9, 2008
Ohio Housing Locator

Looking for an apartment or house to rent?  Sponsored by the State of Ohio and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Ohio Rental Housing Locator allows you to search for rental properties throughout the state.  In addition, the site provides links to various programs and services aimed at helping individuals and families find housing.

For additional housing resources see our post Preventing and Coping with Foreclosure.

 

 

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Categories: Real EstateConsumer Information

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NOVEMBER 13, 2008
Medicare/Prescription Drug Care Coverage Sign Up

Every year Medicare Managed Care Plans and Prescription Drug Plans have open enrollment from November 15 - December 31.  The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) is a good place to start to locate assistance in choosing the best plan for yourself.  They are online or you can call 1-800-686-1578.

Check out our post on this topic from last year for additional resources.

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Categories: Health/MedicineSeniorsConsumer Information

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OCTOBER 30, 2008
Preventing and Coping with Foreclosure

Unfortunately, in these uncertain financial times some homeowners are facing the possibility of foreclosure.  Numerous resources exist to help homeowners prevent, as well as deal with, foreclosure.  A good place to start is Save the Dream - Ohio's Foreclosure Prevention Effort.  The following resources provide additional information and access to programs designed to help homeowners.

Local help

Additional Ohio resources include:


Categories:
Consumer InformationFinance

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
Property Value Reappraisal
The Montgomery County Auditor has conducted a reappraisal of property values during 2008.  Tentative valuations have begun to be mailed.  If you are interested in attempting to determine the value of your property yourself, the following information will assist you to do so.  The Auditor's Montgomery County Real Estate Tax Information site has a wealth of information.  Begin with the 2008 Reappraisal Information page and Frequently Asked Questions.  If you wish to challenge the reappraised value of your home, you will need the Complaint Against the Valuation of Real Property form which you can download from the site.

Property value assessments are most often based on the value of similar, nearby properties, i.e. what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for recently.  To see what the auditor's office thinks of your neighborhood, go to the Neighborhood Delineation page.  Once there, type in your address, then click the Data link in the resulting page to see a description of the neighborhood, including the average value of recent sales.

Another way to do this and to see more specific values is to go to Realtor.com.  On this Web site look for What's Your Home Worth?  Select Single Family Home or Condo/Townhouse, then enter your street address and zip code.  A list will be returned of recent sales values for properties nearby the address you entered.  You can sort the list by Closest Homes or Most Recent Sales

These values are taken from public records, but if you wish to verify them, you can go back to the Montgomery County Real Estate Tax Information site and Search by Property Address.  Enter an address, verify it in the results list, then click on the entry to view details.  The Sales are listed in the fourth section on the screen.

Any questions concerning your reappraisal and the valuation of your home should be addressed to the County Auditor's Office.

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Categories: Consumer InformationFinanceHome

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MAY 22, 2008
Gas Prices

Is this accurate?
Add a comment.

The cost of gas is up and seems to be staying there.  Various online trackers let you find the cheapest gas.  Use this widget from Automotive.com or the following Web sites to find the lowest prices in the area.

You can also locate gas stations and prices on this map.

For an idea of How Gas Prices Work try this article from HowStuffWorks.

A Primer on Gasoline Prices from the Energy Information Administration also provides information on why gas prices are what they are.  The primer comes from the EIA's  Petroleum data pages, which include various reports, analysis, and forecasts such as the
Short-term Energy Outlook.

Another Web site to visit is FuelEconomy.gov, which includes not only gas price information but fuel economy information allowing you to compare vehicles and calculate your fuel costs, as well as tips to improve your gas mileage.

Leave a comment telling us how you save money on gas.

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Category: Consumer Information

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MARCH 25, 2008
Get Your Credit Report
Consumers are entitled by federal law to a free credit report every 12 months.  By taking advantage of this right, you can monitor your credit history, making sure that you are in good financial standing, as well as learn if there are problems or errors. 

AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized online source for you to get this free credit report.  Be aware that many other sites exist that offer credit reports
, sometimes imitating the authorized site with or without intent to fraud.  Visit the Federal Trade Commission's informational site for more on this issue.

Here are some additional informational articles from the FTC.
Credit Reports & Scoring
Your Access to Free Credit Reports
Your Rights:  Credit Reporting
In some situations you may want to purchase a copy of your credit report.  You can do so from one of these companies.
Other sites of interest:

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Categories: FinanceConsumer Information

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