Tag Archive: website

Best on the Web – Free Images, Music & Video

Digital images, music, video, and text can enhance a paper, a presentation, or promotional material. The Internet makes it is easy to search and find the content you want, but often the content you find is available through paid memberships and other fee-based services. If you just need one photo or one song, paying for access to thousands more doesn’t make sense. Creative Commons is working to improve the way people create and share digital content such as music, video, photos, and more. The goal is to increase access to content while protecting the rights of creators. There are so many ways you can use the content you find on Creative Commons: boost your school assignments, add video and sound to professional presentations, share music and videos with friends, create effective church bulletins and club brochures, and the possibilities go on. CreativeCommons.org is an informative website where you can read more about the project and get started with their easy-to-use search feature. Type in your search subject, select the content format you want to browse, and then download the content you want. But remember: Creative Commons licenses vary item to item. Familiarize yourself with the different licenses and approved uses.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/07/best-on-the-web-free-images-music-video/

Best on the Web – Manage Your Money Better

Are your personal finances as organized as they could be? One of the best ways to manage your money is to track your spending. But if you have multiple accounts, credit cards, bills, and other expenses, tracking your spending can be confusing and time consuming. Mint is a free online service that can help you manage your money more efficiently. The media is raving about Mint; recently it has been featured on ABC News, in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine. The reason why Mint is becoming so popular is that it pulls all your financial accounts into one secure place so you can see what’s happening with your checking, savings, investments, and retirement at any moment of the day. This website offers a budget maker, goal tracker, email alerts, and mobile apps. Sign up takes less than five minutes and you’re never asked to pay a cent to use the service.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/07/best-on-the-web-manage-your-money-better/

Best on the Web – Explore Virginia’s History, Culture & People

A dance group rehearses in one of Richmond's parks. This image is one of 5,675 Virginia scenes contained in the 1939 World's Fair Photograph Collection. Library of Virginia Prints & Photographs Division. LVA C1:1/04/08/024

Encyclopedia Virginia is the first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth. It aggregates in a single resource information on Virginia history, business, politics, and geography, plus the state’s proud heritage in the arts, religion, culture, and folklife. The Encyclopedia is in the early stage of development, but as it grows, it will also explore areas of science, medicine, education, and technology, and interpret the state’s significance to the people of Virginia, the nation, and the world. This website already offers a rich collection of articles, sound and video excerpts, maps, images, and reference—great for Virginia historians and students alike. Users can create personal accounts to track research and cross-reference resources. Teachers can browse entries by state SOLs. And my favorite part of this website is the customizable Google map of Virginia event locations. Simply hover over or click on map markers to view related encyclopedia entries.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/06/best-on-the-web-explore-virginias-history-culture-people/

Best on the Web – Save Money on Tutors this Summer

Summer vacation is finally here; but for struggling students, summer isn’t always a welcome break. Just because classes are out doesn’t mean you can put the brakes on learning, especially if you want to catch up by the fall. If you’re having trouble with college level courses, or if you’re the parent of a middle or high school student struggling to keep up, you should know there are websites offering quality instruction at no cost. Tutoring is a great and effective method to improve your knowledge and skills, but if you don’t have the money to spend, or if you prefer self-paced learning, consider Khan Academy and the OWL at Purdue. Khan Academy features 2,100 videos and 100 exercises and assessments covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. While there are a variety of topics covered, this site focuses on Math and Science. If you need to build grammar and writing skills this summer, the OWL, which stands for Online Writing Lab, is a lifesaver. Topics include beginning writing, conducting research, proofreading, and APA and MLA style guides. Depth and detail of instruction set these two sites apart from other instructional content on the web. There are no simplistic overviews, instead users benefit from comprehensive, interactive, and authoritative learning resources.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/06/best-on-the-web-save-money-on-tutors-this-summer/

Best on the Web – What’s Your Next Move?

Unemployment in Virginia is comparatively low at 6.1%, and fortunately, the decline has been steady in recent months. But if you are currently out of work, or have been for some time, this statistic isn’t uplifting. If trends in your field lead to more layoffs than new positions, unemployment could be a long-term certainty for you. It’s time to cast a wider net in your job search and consider career alternatives. My Next Move is a career portal offering introduction, exploration, and transition resources for job seekers. Users can search careers by key word or title for education and technology requirements, skills and abilities, personality suitability, earnings potential, and job outlook. There is also a revealing Interest Profiler to help you identify the right career fit.

Recent high school and college graduates—Not sure what classes to register for this fall? Not sure how you want to use your degree in English? My Next Move is a great resource for you, too! Explore careers to learn which one is right for you.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/06/best-on-the-web-whats-your-next-move/

Best on the Web – Need Info?

Which famous celebrity shares your birthday? When was the deadliest lightning strike? How many synonyms exist for the word “inquisitive”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in one extraordinarily informational online space. Information Please has been providing authoritative answers to all kinds of factual questions since 1938—first as a popular radio quiz show, then starting in 1947 as an annual almanac, and since 1998 on the Internet at www.InfoPlease.com. This site declares that it has “all the knowledge you need”, which might not be far from the truth. InfoPlease features a variety of searchable resources including atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, timelines, biographies, and expert articles. There are also helpful tools such as calculator, spelling checker, place finder, distance calculator, periodic table, conversion tool, and perpetual calendar. While you’re wading waist deep in all of the information available on this site, don’t forget to check out Fact Monster, the online source for kids’ reference, games and quizzes powered by InfoPlease.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/06/best-on-the-web-need-info/

Best on the Web – Get Weather Info Before You Go

Weather is unpredictable this time of year. If you’re like me, your mornings are a mad dash and you have no time to wait for television forecasts. As a result, you’ve probably gotten caught out in the rain without your umbrella recently. The Weather Channel’s Weather.com is a fast and easy online alternative to their national coverage and Local on the 8’s. Simply type in your current location, or where you’re headed, to get up-to-the-minute and daily forecasts. Weather predictions are also available for the upcoming weekend, and next 5, 10, and 30 days. In addition to forecasts, Weather.com features breaking news and video of extreme weather across the nation. I use this website often to plan what I’m going to wear, what my weekend activities will be, and what to expect when I’m on vacation. Add Weather.com to you bookmarks and never be caught off guard by fickle Mother Nature again.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/05/best-on-the-web-get-weather-info-before-you-go/

Best on the Web – Your Summer Adventure Awaits

No summer is complete without a family road trip. Don’t let rising gas prices stop you from getting out and seeing the great family-friendly attractions Virginia has to offer. Check out free and affordable adventures within a day’s drive and in your own backyard on the official Virginia tourism website, www.Virginia.org. This website features customizable maps, planning guides, visitor ratings, and travel advice. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, restaurants, or rest and relaxation, this site has everything you need to get started.

Join us for Affordable Adventures on Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Hopewell Library. Marie Henderson of the Virginia Tourism Corporation will be presenting information about parks, trails, vineyards, museums, and other fun destinations. Everyone in attendance has a chance to win free tickets to one of five exciting local attractions!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/05/best-on-the-web-your-summer-adventure-awaits/

Best on the Web – Get Your Garden On

“Gardening requires lots of water—most of it in the form of perspiration.”
– Lou Erickson

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, some of the best days for planting are soon approaching. April’s showers dropped lots of water in our area, and now the sunny weather is perfect for heading outside, pulling up your sleeves, and getting to work in the garden. Before you do, be sure to check out the National Gardening Association web site where you’ll find extensive articles, pest and weed control tips, how-to projects, planting guides, horticultural news, online gardening courses, and garden industry research data. While you’re there, follow the link to the  online space dedicated to Kids Gardening where children and teens can learn about gardening and develop their green thumbs with fun and educational activities.

Appomattox Regional Library System has a wide array of gardening books on the shelves and on display at the Hopewell Library. And don’t forget to take advantage of free gardening information and resources available at FindItVA.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/05/best-on-the-web-get-your-garden-on/

Best on the Web – What’s Next on Your Reading List?

Amazon.com pioneered book selecting and reviewing on the web, but more recently several other sites have been created to help people find, enjoy and share books. On one level, time spent reading about books is time that could be spent reading books. But on another level, it can be hard to find the best of all possible books to read. Here are three reading sites worth a look.

GoodReads.com promises to “Get great book recommendations from people you know, keep track of what you’ve read and what you’d like to read, form a book club, answer book trivia, and collect your favorite quotes.” Think of it as a sort of Facebook for readers.

LibraryThing.com invites you to catalog your home library, and then share your recommendations with people with similar reading tastes. Several features are free, but there are nominal fees associated with more advanced services.

Overbooked.org is the brainchild of Chesterfield County Library staff member Ann Theis. Overbooked provides a valuable service to readers by summarizing which books, both fiction and nonfiction, receive starred reviews in Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. As such, the goal of Overbooked is to help readers find the highest quality reading experience.

Chris’ Corner

Did you know that Librarian, Chris Wiegard, is a frequent contributor of book reviews to the Richmond Times-Dispatch? Take some time to read his current and time-tested reviews in the café display at the Hopewell Library, then take one of his recommended books home to read for yourself!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/2011/04/best-on-the-web-whats-next-on-your-reading-list/

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