CHAMPAIGN – Can't afford a subscription to an online database?
Check to see whether your local library has a subscription.
The Champaign Public Library, for example, recently added subscriptions to online services of special interest to job seekers, consumers and people who want to learn new languages.
Expected to be among the most popular online services is OptimalResume, which can be used to create resumes and cover letters – and help people practice their interviewing skills.
"We just added it at the end of the past month," said Kristina Hoerner, the library's adult services manager. "We're excited about the possibilities it has for people using computers inside our building and those logging in from home."
People equipped with a webcam at home can use OptimalResume to practice interviewing skills and create a video resume, she said.
Libraries have become popular spots for job seekers who don't have home computers. Often they have to file job applications via the Internet.
"A lot of places have gone to strictly online job applications," Hoerner said, and OptimalResume makes it easy to save the resume in several forms.
The library offers classes in Internet basics and e-mail basics once a month. Those classes are in high demand, Hoerner said, because "people need e-mail accounts for prospective employers to get hold of them."
Those using online subscription services, such as OptimalResume, at the library must either have a card from a Lincoln Trail Libraries System library or a Champaign Public Library computer-use card (available upon presentation of a picture ID).
But to take advantage of the online subscriptions from home, users must be residents of the Champaign Public Library district, Hoerner said.
Other new online subscriptions at the Champaign Public Library include:
– Consumer Reports. Users have access to all ratings, reports and pricing information, Hoerner said. "We're providing you the same information as if you were a personal subscriber to the online product," she said.
– Mango Languages, a self-paced tutorial that talks you through how to speak different languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Greek, Russian and Mandarin Chinese. It also offers English as a Second Language to native speakers of Polish, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, Hoerner said.
Some of the library's online subscriptions are so new that usage statistics aren't available for them. In the case of Mango Languages, there were 147 uses of the database locally, from inside the library and from home.
Online subscriptions don't come cheap. OptimalResume, for example, costs $4,000 for two years, Hoerner said. Mango Languages runs about $3,000 and Consumer Reports about $2,000, she added.
"These are just part of the suite of databases we have available to customers," Hoerner said, adding that the library has a brochure listing other available databases and subscriptions.
One useful service, she said, is Live Homework Help, which allows people of any age to chat with a live tutor about school-related topics and help them work through problems.
Bookmobile stops planned
CHAMPAIGN – Bookmobile service for the Champaign Public Library will begin Wednesday.
The board of directors for the library voted in June to extend bookmobile service temporarily, pending necessary repairs to the 20-year-old bus that has been used for the bookmobile.
The library board voted in May to end the bookmobile service because of the cost of replacing the bus, along with the declining patron use of the bookmobile and increased use at the main library.
Starting Wednesday, the bookmobile will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays, making six total stops. Service will end Aug. 20, when regular school sessions resume.
The bookmobile stops include:
— 2404 Southmoor Drive, C, near Robeson school, 2 to 3 p.m.
— Wynstone Drive at Pinehurst Drive in the Cherry Hills subdivision, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
— Windsor Road at Duncan Road at Village at the Crossing plaza, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
— 2000 West John St., C, at Round Barn Manor, 2 to 2:45 p.m.
— Stonebridge Drive at Mulliken Drive at Ironwood subdivision, 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
— Plymouth Drive at Harrington Drive at Morrisey Park, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.