Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun Stuff for Your Time Off During the Holidays

The holiday season usually offers many of us more leisure time than we typically have. Also, given the icy weather we've been having, perhaps you are spending a little more time at home.

If you find yourself bored over the holidays or got lucky enough to get a new computer for Christmas that you want to use, here are a few suggestions for some online fun.


If you are an art fan, give the Smithsonian American Art Museum a try online at The Collections & Exhibitions tab on this page opens to a multitude of possible areas to explore. I found much of historical interest & visual delight under the Online Exhibitions link. I particularly enjoyed the American Impressionism & Scenes of American exhibits. Music

Although I remain a fan of what Pandora ( can do, I like what Deezer can do even more. Like Pandora, Deezer does not allow downloading of songs. But, Deezer allows a user to pick individual songs or individual artists, allowing a user to created individualized playlists.

Complete albums can be added to your Deezer account. So, if you really like Pink Floyd's The Wall, but don't own it, just create a Deezer account & add it to your playlists. Warning to true music nerds: songs on albums are not in the original album sequencing, so you might want to check All Music.Com to re-sequence an album.

Lastly, many artists entire catalog of songs can be found on Deezer. I have, for example, almost all Beatles songs I want in my Beatles playlist. However, other artists, such as U2 have almost no songs freely available. So, finding what you want can be hit or miss, but this is still a good & fun resource to give a look -- or listen. Online Games

A quick & fun game you might like to try is Guess-The-Google. This game is a simple web application that uses Google's image search to generate a large gridded montage of images based on keywords (search terms) entered by the user. Guess-the-google reverses this process by picking the keywords for you, the player must then guess what keyword made up the image - it's surprisingly addictive. Okay, that explanation makes it seem like less fun than it is. Give Guess-The-Google at

ArcaPlay ( is a good directory for quick & easy games covering a variety of game types: puzzle, action & adventure, & sport . One game under the Puzzle category that I like is Numbers, maybe because I was on the math team in high school. Yeah, I was really popular. Another unique game under Action & Adventure is called Wire Skeleton. The sound is out on the computer I'm working so I can't exactly tell what's going on ... but it looks very cool whatever it is.

One ( features post of one-sentence long stories. The site is equal parts weird, fun, funny, subversive, sad, & disturbing. And this is a good thing. Make sure to checkout the all-time best of the site (

If feeling slightly more ambitious, check out 400 Words. com ( The site collects true stories by ordinary people on assigned themes, asking people for the documentation of everyday life by saying a lot while only saying a little. The site stands pretty firm on its own as a literary community, but it also offers recommendations of dozens of other intriguing sites.


If you get bored in the coming months or get confined to your home due to bad weather (if this is what late fall is like, we may be in for a rough winter), give some of these fun online sites a try. Maybe you'll find one to be exactly what you've been looking for or maybe one will lead you to finding or remembering something else.

If you have suggestions for others about sites you like, please feel welcome to share them on this blog.

If you have questions or comments you'd like to direct only to me, you may email me at or phone me at 207-947-8336 x127.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


That's right we are rapidly approaching January '08 and our annual community read. The selection for Penobscot Reads 2008 is Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair the first book in the Thursday Next Series. Take a look at the PR08's website where you will find a calender of events, games, links to Fforde's website, and links to all the libraries participating in this years Penobscot Reads. Some of the sites features are still being added so make sure to keep checking back. A few of this years events include: book discussions, lectures on fantasy writing, jeopardy tournaments, and much more.

Jim Riordan

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We've Added a Blogroll

Our blogroll (a list of featured web sites) is devoted to other Maine Library blogs. This will let you see what's happening at libraries all over the state. You can find it in the sidebar under the archive. If you are a Maine Library and have a blog you would like to see listed let me know and I'll add you.

Jim Riordan

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Search The Catalog From Our Web Site

We've just added an URSUS search window directly to our site. You can now search the catalog from any of the Bangor Public Library's web pages. It is preset to search the whole URSUS catalog (The University of Maine System, Maine State and Bangor Public) so if you want to narrow it to just the Bangor Public Library click on the URSUS icon and it will take you to the main URSUS page. Once there you can select just Bangor Public. If you are using one of our public access computers make sure you erase any text in the search box before you leave to preserve your privacy. And as always let us know what you think.

Jim Riordan

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Feature For IM Reference

As many of you are aware the Bangor Public Library provides Instant Messaging (IM) Reference through Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Google. There are many advantages to this. For example if you are at your computer working on a paper and can't remember how to cite a magazine article you can have a response usually in less than a minute. One of the down sides though is that not everyone subscribes to one of those four IM service.

We are now providing a service (through on our Ask A Librarian Web Page
that lets you send an Instant Message directly from the web site. Just type your question in the space labeled "Type Here and Hit Enter..." Usually you will get a response in a minute or less. However, the IM Librarian also has to answer the phone and help patrons in the library so if you don't get a response right away please be patient. Someone is usually online Tuesday through Friday 9:00 to 5:00 and on Monday from 12:00 to 8:00. Schedules do fluctuate though so check to make sure we are online. When you send a question the Instant Messenger will list you meebo [number]. This is a default setting and you can type in your own name where is says "edit nickname" if you choose. If you look to the left I've changed it to BPL Patron.

We are still working out the bugs on this (trying it on different operating systems, browsers, ISPs, etc.) If you run into any problems please let us know so we can try to fix them. And we will keep answering IM questions from Yahoo, AOL (BangorPubLib), Google (bplpublib) and MSN (

Jim Riordan

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Identity Theft: What it is & how to avoid it

After posting a few weeks ago about email scams, I have been reminded by others what one of the primary objectives of the email scams is: identity theft.

Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Information

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims on its website that an estimated 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year. Identity theft can take many forms. Some of the primary uses of stolen identities by the thieves are to obtain credit card numbers (which are then used for any number of illicit purchases or charges), set up telephone, utility, or other accounts, or rent property.

An indispensable amount of information about identity theft can be found on the FTC's Identity Theft site at
Most of the information relevant for individuals can be found by clicking on the Consumers tab. The sections are segmented into Deter: Minimize Your Risk, Detect Identity Theft, Defend: Recover from Identity Theft, & so on.

The Deter section offers many warnings & cautionary advice about protecting your identity. The FTC advises a few tips about your Social Security Number, such as not carrying your SSN card in your wallet or purse. Also, it is recommended that you use discretion in discarding your mail, using the Internet (i.e. email scams & so on), sharing files on the Internet (such as music files in P2P i.e. peer-to-peer situations), selecting passwords for Internet accounts, and much more.

The FTC recommends protective tips for identity theft & more for your personal computer at a site called OnGuard OnLine. The link for this site is This highly regarded site is endorsed by the FTC, the Department of Commerce, Homeland Security, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, & the Office of Justice Programs.

Of particular relevance this time of year are OnGuard Online's 10 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping Online. These tips can be viewed at

While it is recommended that you visit the FTC site for more on identity theft, here are a few highlights of the site I would be remiss if not sharing them here. These are word-for-word from the FTC site:

What are the signs of identity theft?

Stay alert for the signs of identity theft, like:

accounts you didn't open and debts on your accounts that you can't explain.

fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers.

failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.

receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.

being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.

getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.

How do thieves steal an identity?

Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold. Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:

Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.

Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources. For more information about pretexting, click here.

Maine Secretary of State Identity Protection Web Site

State of Maine guidelines & tips for identity protection can be found at The information here is not as exhaustive as the FTC's site, but this does provide state numbers to call for protection issues & to file reports about identity theft.

The above site also offers contact information for a few free credit report services. These services are Equifax (, Experian (, & TransUnion (

Identity Theft Books

If you are interested in reading more about identity theft, Bangor Public Library has a few books on the subject. Click on a title to check availability or to reserve.

1) People get screwed all the time : protecting yourself from scams, fraud, identity theft, fine print, and more by Robert Massi

2) The Wall Street Journal complete identity theft guidebook : how to protect yourself from the most pervasive crime in America by Terri Cullen

3) Stealing your life [text (large print)] : the ultimate identity theft prevention plan by Frank W. Abagnale (written by someone who should know; this is the man the movie Catch Me If You Can is based on)

4) 50 ways to protect your identity and your credit : everything you need to know about identity theft, credit cards, credit repair, and credit reports by Steve Weisman


The discomforting reality is that identity theft is a constant threat in our Internet & credit card age. We need to be more protective of our computers & of our virtual & physical property in order to protect ourselves from potential financial & security disasters.

The best you can do is follow the suggestions offered by the FTC on its site. I would recommend occasionally revisiting this site to learn of any potential new or developing threats to identities & to learn of the newer scams cooked up by the thieves.

If you have comments or questions, you may respond to this post or email me directly at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bangor Public Library's MySpace & Facebook Pages

In keeping with the times & in an effort to reach users of these particular sites, MySpace & a Facebook pages has been created for the Bangor Public Library.

Neither of these sites, for the moment, contain any information not currently already listed on or accessed from the library's website ( or on this blog. Each is primarily intended, again, for the moment, as a means of directing inquiring minds to our website or the blog.

The prominence these sites play on the Internet (MySpace is currently the tenth most visited site, according to; FaceBook is 31st) indicates a value & familiarity each has with Internet users. So, adding a Bangor Public Library presence on each makes sense in many regards. For one, each expands our reach & our means of reaching anyone interested in us. As proof of this, our Facebook account got a few hits the same day it was created (and hadn't even been advertised yet!).

To view our MySpace link, click To add any comments, you would need a MySpace account. Creating an account simply would require a email address & a password. You would be able to use the same email & password used for your current email. Below is a sample image of our MySpace page.

To view our FaceBook page, you would need to create an account first. A Facebook requires the same -- an email address & a password. Once in, a search of Bangor Public Library in the search box would lead you to our page. Below is an image of our FaceBook page.

For more information about each site, visit or

Patrick Layne:

A Little Something for the Terry Pratchett Fans Out There

You know who you are! You stay up to all hours devouring DiscWorld books like there was no tomorrow. Well the British Sky One television station is currently filming an adaptation of the first DiscWorld book The Colour of Magic. The book traces the adventures of Twoflower, and his faithful "luggage" as he becomes the DiscWorld's first tourist. Rincewind, the incompetent wizard, acts as an unwilling guide as they encounter assassins, trolls, barbarians, gods and goddesses and DEATH (literally). The adaptation is scheduled for release in the UK in 2008 so it'll be awhile before you see it in the US. But here is the link to the production web site so you can keep up dated.

For those of you who have never heard of any of this, Terry Pratchett is (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time and the DiscWorld is his creation. The Disc is a flat planet that rides through space on the backs of four elephants who are standing on A'Tuin the sky turtle. There are some 36 DiscWorld books chronicling the lives of the creatures of the disc. Want to learn more? Below are some helpful links.

The Official Terry Pratchett Web Site

DiscWorld Monthly - The online newsletter devoted to the DiscWorld

The Turtle Moves! - The web site of the 2009 DiscWorld Convention (fan is short for fanatic after all)

Jim Riordan

Friday, November 9, 2007

CHCS Records in the Bangor Special Collections

This Wednesday Community Health and Counseling Services (CHCS) donated its records from 1883 to 1966 to the Bangor Public Library. CHCS was originally founded in 1883 as Associated Charities, a coalition of churches and volunteer organizations. In 1922 it changed its name to the Bangor Welfare Society. The collection includes a broad range of materials including meeting minutes, committee reports, correspondence, financial accounts. We have the original records, however, in the interest of preservation the public will only be allowed to use the microfilm version. A finding aid to the collection is available at the reference desk.

The Bangor Daily News had an article about the donation in the November 8 edition of the paper. One thing the article did not mention was that because these records are from CHCS they fall under the HIPAA Privacy Rules. Any person wishing to look at this collection will have to fill out a waver like the one to the right. These wavers are available at the reference desk and in special collections. If you have any questions contact Bill Cook, the Special Collections Librarian, at 947-8336 ex 103. Or email me, Jim Riordan at

Friday, November 2, 2007

Changes to the Reader's Advisory Page

As many of you know the Reference Department at the Bangor Public Library has put together book lists of different genres of fiction. There are horror book lists, historical fiction book lists, World War II Spy novel book lists, etc. We have for years made copies of these lists and handed them out on request. Now we have started putting those lists on our website. If you go to the reference page on the BPL web site and click Reader's Advisory it will take you to a page with all the available book lists. Or you can just click here. The ones that are currently available online are linked. The lists are in pdf format so you will need Adobe Reader. The ones that are not linked can still be gotten in hard copy (along with all the others) at the reference desk. We also welcome your suggestions for new lists.

Jim Riordan

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How To Spot an Email Scam

I saw this in the newest edition of American Libraries Direct on-line & felt it could be of use to many of you.

The following link provides examples of visual clues on potential scams directed to your email:,138310-page,1-c,cybercrime/article.html.

I'm sure many of you can already identify many scams before ever opening a suspect email message. Maybe you have even been sent some of these exact same examples & deleted them.

Many of these carry a "too good to be true" vibe. However, some of these eleven examples, especially #10, the IRS refund example & the #6 Citizens Bank example, can appear to be very authentic.

My best advice would be never to trust any email message that lacks reliable contact information such as a valid address or phone number. In other words, if it does not look legitimate, then it's probably not legitimate.

Secondly, I would always be suspicious of somebody trying to contact you when you have no idea who or what they are. Almost all on-the-level email will be from a company or person you've already done business with. An email stating "Please click now ... you may have already won" (or thereabouts) would probably be more accurately described as "We are looking for another sucker ... could that sucker be you."

What these unsolicited emailers are doing is called "phishing." Phishing is, according to this website --, a technique used by unsavory individuals and companies to try and fool you into giving out important personal and financial information. Armed with publicly available information plus what you supply, they can forge documents, set up accounts, and steal your identity. The ultimate purpose is to separate you from your money.

The site listed above,, provides excellent tips for avoiding being scammed. Here are the core guidelines this site suggests:

General guidelines for protecting yourself against phishing scams

Do not give out personal or financial information through an email request.

Always log on to your sensitive accounts by opening a new browser and typing the actual URL directly into the address bar. For example, if you receive a suspected phishing email from e-trade, open a new browser and type in the address bar.

Do not click on any link in a suspected phishing email.

Only use a secure website to submit sensitive data. A secure sites’ address will begin with “https://” instead of “http://” and will show a lock or key icon at the bottom of the browser.

Another excellent source for identifying email & phishing scams is the Federal Trade Commission. Here is a link to its website:

Yet another authoritative source of common email scams is available on-line, courtesy of the State of Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions, at Click the link for Fraud on this page for specifics.


Living in Information Age makes many of our day-to-day communications easier & more convenient. However, in our haste to get things done, we may sometimes take the ease of doing business for granted. Many individuals are preying on our habit of quick-click solutions. The simplest advice we can take to heart in our on-line activities is this: Beware!

If you have any questions, or more importantly, email scams you'd like others to become aware of, please feel welcome in posting your experience on this blog or emailing me with your thoughts.

Patrick Layne:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Time To Vote

Yes we are rapidly approaching the first Tuesday of the first full week of November - Election Day. One of the keys of a representative democracy is an informed electorate. Libraries have been part of that process since the founding of the republic. With that in mind I wanted to show you some of the resources and websites available to the person who wishes to go to polls on November 6 well informed.

First we have the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election. This forty page booklet put out by the Office of the Secretary of State contains 1) Each of the five referendum questions 2) the legislation each question represents 3) a summary of the intent and content of the legislation 4) an explanation of the significance of a "yes" or "no" vote 5) an analysis of the debt service on each bond issue 6) an estimate of the fiscal impact of each referendum question on state revenues, appropriations, and allocations 7) public comments filed in support or in opposition to each ballot measure.

Copies of this booklet are available at the reference desk and are available online at or as a pdf at

The state of Maine's Elections Division also has a lot of material for voters this election season. Their website is

Once there, if you look under Upcoming Elections you will find copies of the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Lists of the Ballot Questions, Absentee Ballot Applications both to mail and to file online, a complete list of candidates, and instructions for write in candidates. Under Voter Information are instructions for registering to vote and locating polling places. And finally when the polls close check out Election Results to see how it went.

As always if you need help finding information on a specific candidate or issue, no matter what, drop by or call the Reference Desk at the Bangor Public Library we will do our best to find the information you need. See you at the polls.

Jim Riordan

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Wonderful World of Gov Docs

As you are all probably well aware the government produces a lot of paper. And because the Bangor Public Library is part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) we get some of that paper. They send us reports, studies, brochures, CDs, DVDs, microfiche, and a lot more.

The FDLP was created in 1813 to keep the public informed by distributing documents from all three branches of government to libraries throughout the country. Today there are over 1,250 FDLP Libraries spread across all 50 states, the District of Colombia, and Territories. It is administered by the Government Printing Office.

So What Can You Get from Government Documents?

There is the stuff you would expect to find like the Federal Register which is the daily publication that contains notices and announcements from government agencies. There is the Congressional Record which lists the proceedings of the House of Representatives and the Senate. We also get the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications which lists all the government publications available for purchase.

Something to keep in mind when you are planning your next vacation the government also produces materials to promote its parks and recreation areas. To the left is an example of brochure put out by the National Park Service to promote its New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. We also have the brochures for The Lewis and Clark National and state Historical parks, The Pony Express National Historic Trail, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuges, and many others.

The government also sends us quite a bit of historical material as well. To the right is a study produced by the Naval Historical Center on naval air operations during the Korean War. It also includes a lot of great maps and photographs.

Government Documents are also a good source for paper topics. Lets say you have to write a paper on Hurricane Katrina. All the committees created to investigate the aftermath of the hurricane produced reports. Below are the covers of the reports produced by the Office of the President (left) and the report produced by the Senate (right). Comparing and contrasting these two reports or others like them would make a great paper.

So Where Are These Gov Docs?
They are located on the second floor in the room to the right of the Stairwell Gallery near the periodical back issues and the bathrooms.

And what, you may ask, do I do if I want something produced by the government the Bangor Public Library does not have? Easy! Fogler Library at the University of Maine Orono is the Regional Federal Depository which means they get almost all the materials produced by the government. These can be interlibrary loaned. If you don't know how to do this just ask a reference librarian.

As always we love to hear from you. Any questions or comments post them to the blog or email me at

See you around the library

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back from NELA

Hello All

I am back from four days at the annual New England Library Association (NELA) conference in Sturbridge MA. Ever wonder what librarians do for professional development? Well probably not but here's a chance to find out. The NELA conference brings together librarians from all over the region to attend educational programs, hear speakers, talk together, and general improve ourselves to serve you better.

I had a great time and here are some of the sessions I attended. Do-It-Yourself Technology, about incorporating blogs, wikis, and social networking software into the library. Benchmarking ILL/DD Services, which was about as exciting as it sounds. The Joy of Cookbooks, a lecture by a cookbook author on how a cookbook is made. From Johnny Tremain to the Book Thief: Trends in Historical Fiction. And many more.

Below is the link to the conferences website. There you will find the complete conference schedule, the conference blog which has the notes from a lot of the sessions, and conference photos (librarians in there natural habitat: attending educational programs, perusing book sellers, playing mini golf, and fortunately not a single one of me)

If you have any questions send me an email or give me a call.
Jim Riordan

See ya around

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cures for the Common Bad Printout

Because I see folks getting frustrated with bad photocopies of Internet pages, email messages, and photos on a daily basis, I decided to put together a brief illustrated tutorial on how to avoid certain types of printing errors.

E-mail Printouts

One of the more common printing annoyances are printouts from e-mail providers such as Yahoo! which cut off the end of sentences. Here is an illustrated example:
Though the print is small in this example, you can see that on the left hand side are all the graphics from your Yahoo! screen & on the right, the text of the message has been cut off. The reason for this is that, while I had wanted to print the email message, what I have actually done is printed the screen image. This is most likely because I used the drop down File - Print option or printer icon or word "print" on the window toolbar to print.

Fortunately, most e-mail providers offer a simple solution to this problem. Yahoo! mail remedies this through a feature called printable view. Printable view is located on the far right within each e-mail message. Clicking on printable view in Yahoo! will reopen the message in another window. Reopening the message in a new window will eliminate the Yahoo! screen graphics on the left side. Example: A comparison of these type examples will show that about half of the message was printed using the File -- Print or icon print image on the windows page.

Article Printouts
Another potential source of bad printouts is articles from databases. Most of these databases too provide means for opening articles in separate windows, allowing a person to avoid printing the screen image rather than the article content.

Here is an example of a poor printout of an on-line Sports Illustrated article I found using Marvel! & searching under Academic Search Premier:What this printout is providing is the screen image for the record I found, not the content of the article I'm hoping to print. Again, drop down File - Print option or printer icon or word "print" on the window toolbar to print.

Most databases have solved this problem in a much similar way that e-mail providers have. On the screen of the record of which I'm looking, there is a printer image & printer (i.e. )written next to it. Clicking on this print will lead you to a print of the same record that would look like this:This print has eliminated the peripherial & irrelevant images from the previous print, focusing instead on the written content I wanted printed.

Website Printing

A quick look at a few sites I visit revealed that many approach printing of content in a similar way to databases. That is to say, the Bangor Daily News, for example, also provides a "print this article" link on the page of each major story which will either open the article in another window or will reformat the article into a printer-friendly version.,, Entertainment ... all of these & more provide links on the screen to printer-friendly versions of on-line content.

What do you do, then, when this printer-friendly link is not available or content on a page is not well-organized or as specific as individual articles or e-mail messages? This is a little trickier.

Most webpage designers demonstrate the good sense & design to keep most of the content of a page within a reasonable left to right margin. In other words, most well-designed webpages will not have a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the page. This means the only scrolling a person would have to do to read content on a screen would be up & down scrolling.

Still, even with reasonable side to side margins, selecting print from the drop-down file menu or the onscreen printer icon sometimes will not be successful in making a good print. For example, this is an example of print that gets cut off on the side from a typical website:
As you can see, the image & text has been sliced on the right hand side, omitting the ends of sentences, essentially making worthless the entire print job.

To remedy this type of printing error, you will need to go into the drop-down file menu in the upper left hand corner in the screen. On this menu, select Page Setup. The default setting for most printers is to print in Portrait mode, which means the print will be on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch page with the 8 1/2 inches being the page horizon & the 11 inches being the vertical.

Too try to uncomplicate this, here's a picture of a typical Page Setup menu, with Portrait printing as the default:And here is the Page Setup menu in Landscape mode: Landscape mode turns the page on its side. This often nullifies printouts that have chopped off the end of horizontal lines.
Here is the same webpage as above, printed in landscaped mode:

Recapping & Summing Up

Opting to print an e-mail message or database or website article using the Print option within the message or article is always a more reliable means of getting a good printout.

The drop-down File - Print menu & the printer icon on the tool bar essentially only print the image on the screen, often using margins that will not match the desired area you wish to print.

Often, changing the default printer setting from Portrait to Landscape may be necessary to ensure all relevant data gets printed.

One last tip: Double-checking your print job by using Print Preview is always a good idea. Print Preview is located on the drop-down File menu in the top left corner of the screen.

If you have any questions about this information, please feel welcome to e-mail me at or you may simply respond to this post.

Monday, October 1, 2007

New York Times Archive Goes Public

Last month the New York Times gave the public free access to part of its newspaper archive. The Times maintains two online archives of their articles, which for several years was available for purchase. The first is for articles from 1851 to 1980 and the second archive are articles from 1980 to the present. Today Times articles in the public domain, 1851 to 1922 are available for free in pdf format. Articles from 1987 to the present are available for free in transcription form. Articles from 1923 to 1980 and 1981 to 1986 are still available online for a fee. This represents a great resource for teachers and students who want to incorporate news reports of major historical events into their classes and assignments. For those who prefer a low tech approach The Bangor Public Library still keeps the New York Times from 1851 to the present on microfilm in the Bangor Room.

Here is an example of what can be found in the New York Times Article Archive

Sinking of the Battleship Maine February 12, 1898

To access the New York Times Article Archive go to:

Search the Article Archive: 1981-Present.

Search the Article Archive: 1851-1980.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How To Locate a Consumer Reports Article

How To Locate a Consumer Reports Article

Consumer Reports (CR) is one of the more popular journals Bangor Public Library owns in print. CR is used to locate comparisons of products across a spectrum of variables, from price to durability, to extra features & service plan options. So, if you're looking, for example, for the right refrigerator for you, CR is among your best bets for the information you need.

Did you know, however, that most CR articles are available to you on-line? As a Bangor Public Library cardholder, you have on-line access to almost all articles published in Consumer Reports since 1991. One exception to this is that the full-text of articles are "embargoed" for three months after the print issue street release. This means, for example, that currently only up to June 2007 is available on-line to our card holders in full-text or PDF.

If you are not familar with how to locate an article on Marvel! or within Consumer Reports, take a look at the following brief & illustrated guide.

1)Access Marvel! on the Bangor Public Library website ( or through 2) The database providing access to Consumer Reports is Academic Search Premier. It is the first database on the alphabetical list of databases.
3) To limit your search to Consumer Reports articles, you can either electronically add Consumer Reports by
a) Selecting Publications.

b) Typing Consumer Reports in the Browse Publications box & clicking on browse.
c) Clicking the box next to Consumer Reports & clicking on Add.
d) Now, that Consumer Reports is in the "Find" box, click on Search.
e) Or, you can manually type in (JN "Consumer Reports") in one of the three search boxes.
4) Once you have limited your search to Consumer Reports, now you can add a search term, such as refrigerator into your search. Click Search or just hit "enter."5) On your results page, you may see either an Article Linker tag, PDF Full Text tag, or an HTML Text tag in the results of your search. The Article Linker results are those that are currently embargoed & are not available yet in full text on-line (but Bangor Public Library does own in print). The PDF Full Text results will provide easy links to magazine quality reproductions of Consumer Reports articles.
6) If you need further assistance with this search or for other tips on how to use this or other Marvel! databases, contact a reference librarian ( or 207-947-8336 x 130) at the Bangor Public Library.

Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
Bangor Public Library,
145 Harlow Street,
Bangor ME 04401