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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Intermediate Genealogy Classes

Posted by eileen on February 14, 2012

As a family historian, do you have stacks of paper from library research trips, letters, emails, family stories, documents, photographs, Internet downloads, and images from a digital camera? Do you search, yet not find expected results? How do you know when you’ve searched “enough?”

Three new genealogy classes take on these familiar situations Saturday afternoons, 1 to 3 PM, March 3, 17 and 31. They are File Organization, Tips for Searching and What is a “Reasonably Exhaustive Search?” You may attend any or all classes. Each class is $10, payable at the door. Please call 630-868-7520 to register for the March 17 class.

March 3 – File Organization
Information gathered from a multitude of sources–paper from library research trips, letters, emails, family stories, documents, photos, Internet downloads, images from digital cameras, and images scanned to computer–is most useful and easily found again when it’s organized in an orderly and logical way.

This class will demonstrate various ways to organize a collection, reduce piles of paper, and put information in a format that can be used as a foundation for a family history book or CD/DVD. Class meets in the large meeting room in the lower level.

March 17 – Tips for Successful Searches using Ancestry
Learn how to search Ancestry’s 6 billion records more effectively. This class offers online instruction using Ancestry’s Learning Center and hands-on experience. Guided instruction with a group leader is used with a handout.

Class meets in the computer lab on the second floor. Ten computers are available. Class limited to sixteen. Stations can be shared or bring a personal laptop.

March 31 – What is a “Reasonably Exhaustive Search?” 
How do you know when you’ve searched enough? Genealogy lecturer, Michael Hait, explains direct, indirect and negative evidence in a webinar format. A reasonably exhaustive search is demonstrated using an actual case study.

Handouts and a moderated discussion with a group leader will follow the webinar. Class meets in the large meeting room in the lower level.

Learn a New Language

Posted by eileen on January 18, 2012

Learning a foreign language? Take a look at the library’s Foreign Language site. You’ll find links to helpful library catalog searches, such as Recordings on CD and cassette and Videos and DVDs. You can also use Mango Languages, an online service provided by the Friends of Wheaton Public Library, that teaches practical conversation and cultural awareness for the world’s most popular languages. Create a free account on Mango Languages to keep track of your progress. Choose from a basic lesson or more in-depth language study lessons.

To access Mango Languages from outside the library, you need to log in with your library card number and PIN. If you have any questions, please call the Reference Desk at 630-868-7520.

Genealogy Help

Posted by eileen on December 28, 2011

Researching your family tree? The library has many great resources. If you’re stuck and need a little help, volunteers are available at certain times to help with your research or help you start your research if you’re a beginner.

A representative from the DuPage Genealogical Society is in the library every Thursday night from 7-9pm.

Volunteers from the Perrin-Wheaton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are in the library on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 9am-Noon.


Database Fridays #2 – Learning Express Library

Posted by eileen on July 15, 2011

Simply put, this database rocks! It’s full of all kinds of practice tests for all kinds of exams and certifications. This includes college prep: GED, ACT, SAT, PSAT, CLEP; graduate prep: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT; U. S. Citizenship; job certification prep: Civil Service, Cosmetology, Real Estate, and much much more.

There is also great information for job seekers. Just click on Job Search & Workplace Skills and you’ll find courses on writing resumes, ebooks on new careers, etc.

You can find links to Learning Express Library from our College & Financial Aid page and our Jobs & Careers page. Remember, to access any WPL database from home, you will be prompted to log in with your WPL card number and PIN.

13 Things You Pay for that WPL Has for Free

Posted by eileen on June 30, 2011

After reading Investopedia’s, “13 Things You Pay for that Your Library has for Free,” I decided to adapt this to exactly what our library offers. So, thank you to Investopedia for giving me a great base for this post.

1. Read for Free
As you already know, WPL has thousands of books to be checked out: fiction, nonfiction, children’s lit., etc. We also have downloadable ebooks through eMediaLibrary. If you’re interested in finding out more about using eMediaLibrary, come to Ebook Q & A on Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm. You can even earn a prize (and be entered in drawings) this summer. Just join our Summer Reading Program and get a coupon for a free bowl at Noodles & Company. Read nine books to be entered in the Grand Prize drawing for an ebook reader! Stop by the Reference Desk to sign up.

2. Magazines and Newspapers for Free
WPL has all local papers and many many magazines to be read in the library or checked out. Have a specific magazine or newspaper in mind? Do a Magazine Search in the catalog and see what we have!

3. Listen for Free
We have pretty much every kind of music you can think of on CD. Plus, there is also a pretty awesome audiobook collection.  You can check out audiobooks on CD, MP3, Playaway, or even download them straight to your phone or iPod from eMediaLibrary. Not sure what a playaway is? Take a look at Pierce County Library’s description.

4. Free Periodicals Searches
This is great for students. Need scholarly articles for your research papers? The library offers many subscription databases. WPL cardholders can use our databases from anywhere, but anyone can come use them on one of the library’s computers. Take a look at Magazines A-Z to get an idea of how many journals you can actually search (it’s A LOT).

5. Multiple Ways to Ask a Librarian
We have Reference Librarians just waiting for your questions! Can’t find an address you need? Need help getting started with genealogy research? Just looking for something good to read or watch? Ask Us! You can call: 630-868-7520, send a text message: 630-384-9751, email:, or even IM a librarian.

6. Internet and WiFi
Stop in with your laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. and take advantage of our free wireless access. Don’t have one of those things? Use a library computer. There are computers on the first floor with access to all our databases, as well as many useful sites that have no time limit. Need full Internet access for email, Google, etc.? Go to the second floor. If you don’t have a WPL card and are over 18, you can have a guest pass to use for 30 minutes. Have a WPL card? You get two hours of access per day.

7. Rent a Movie for 50 cents
The library has a pretty extensive DVD collection, including TV Series, Feature Films, and How-To DVDs, among other things. Check out Coming Soon on DVD to place a hold on a movie the library is about to get. Non-fiction and Children’s DVDs are free to check out!

8. Learn a Foreign Language for Free
Our Foreign Languages page links to Mango Languages, a database that teaches practical conversation and cultural awareness for the world’s most popular languages. You can also check out CDs, DVDs, and books to help with your language skills.

9. Job Preparation for Free
Learning Express enables you to study for hundreds of tests including civil service, military entrance exams and preparation tests for SAT/ACT, MSAT, LSAT and dozens of others. You will find practice tests at all levels. You can practice, save your test, see your results and try again all for free.” - Investopedia

10. Find Your Family History for Free
Learn more about our Genealogy Collection from some of my previous posts or go straight to our Genealogy and Local History page. Every Thursday evening from 7-9pm, Genealogical Society volunteers are available in the library to help with your search.

11. Free Resources for Parents
Having trouble with potty training? Looking for free things to do with your kids? Helping them with homework? Let WPL help you!

12. Car Repair and Buying Help
Did you know the library offers free access to Auto Repair Reference Center? This wonderful database provides repair procedures, service bulletins and recalls, wiring diagrams, and more for pretty much any car you can think of (since 1954). WPL recently started subscribing to Consumer Reports – Cars online. You no longer have to wait for the print edition each year, just check it out online for constant updates.

13. Other Services
The library offers tax forms during tax season, voter registration on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm, bus schedules, Rules of the Road, test proctoring, free introductory Microsoft Office classes. WPL is much more than just a place to read! Although, it’s still a great place to read too. :-)

Database Fridays #1: Facts on File – World News Digest

Posted by eileen on June 24, 2011

Each Friday, I will be showcasing one of the subscription databases provided by WPL. If you’re not sure what a database is or why you would want to use one instead of just Googling, take a look at our Databases vs. Websites page. Almost all of our databases can be used from anywhere with an Internet connection by logging in with your WPL card number and PIN. If you don’t have a WPL card, you can use the databases on any of the library’s computers. A great place to do some online database searching is on the computers near the Reference Desk on the first floor of the library. These computers do not require a WPL card, do not have a time limit, and have access to all the library’s databases.

Today, let’s take a look at Facts on File – World News Digest.  ”World News Digest brings together and enhances nearly seven decades of news from the renowned Facts On File World News Digest in print. This archival record of domestic and international news is updated weekly and contains more than 1 million internal hyperlinks and convenient new features such as tabbed search results. It covers all major political, social, and economic events since November 1940. This publication of record is unrivaled for its depth, breadth, and accuracy.” – About this Database

If you click on Curriculum Tools at the top of the page, you’ll find Tools for Students and Tools for Educators. Tools for students includes great information like suggestions for research topics and a link to the Country Profiles page. Country Profiles lists the countries of the world alphabetically and is a fabulous resource for writing any sort of country research paper or if you are interested in knowing more about a country to which you are traveling. By skimming the Canada profile, I learned Canada is the second largest country in the world (in total area). Only Russia is bigger.

Take the time to take a look at Facts on File – World New Digest. You’ll find a ton of information from a guide to the 2012 Presidential Race to the top news stories in the 1940s. Whether you’re looking for current events or historical analysis, it’s a reliable source.


Job Searching?

Posted by eileen on June 9, 2011

Lifehacker is one of my personal favorite sites.  Not only are the posts often witty (sometimes downright hilarious), but also full of great information. You can learn anything from how to “Brew an Emergency Cup of Coffee with Two Paper Cups and a Filter” to how to “Fill in Floor Holes and Cracks with a Melted Crayon” by looking through their recent articles.  However, I have also seen many useful articles about job searching, interviewing, and writing resumes on this site.  For instance, today I found out an executive summary is better than an objective statement.  I had no idea.

As I’m sure you know, there are about a zillion articles out there about the best practices for finding a job and all things that go along with finding and getting a job.  Just knowing where to start looking is a problem in itself.  Monster?  Careerbuilder?  LinkedIn?  Craigslist?  What’s best?  It’s hard to say.  A quick Google search for best job search sites will show you plenty of opinions.

The library has many resources to aid you in your search.  A good place to start is our Jobs and Careers site, where you’ll find links to many of the popular career sites, as well as links to our subscription databases.  The library recently gained access to Learning Express Library, which has practice tests for licensing exams, ebooks about careers, and a lot of other useful information.  If books are more your thing, check out Tony Beshara’s popular, Unbeatable Resumes: America’s Top Recruiter Reveals What Really Gets You Hired.  Click Place Hold at the top of the catalog page to add your name to the waiting list.

Is there an online or print source that has helped you with your job search?  Let us know and we’ll take a look!

Ancestry Library Edition – New Features!

Posted by eileen on April 19, 2011

I just checked out the updated search interface of Ancestry Library Edition and I must say I find it is now easier to use and it’s easier to create a more detailed search.

The new Ancestry Library Edition features include:

Search forms with an improved look and feel for a more intuitive user experience

Location filters that allow searching across adjacent counties

Map filters

Name filters with Soundex

Type ahead features

Improved country and state pages

The new Ancestry Library Edition requires Internet Explorer version 7 or higher. Firefox version 3.x will also be fully supported.

Watch a short video about Ancestry Library Edition.

Ancestry is one of a few databases that are not available from home.  However, anyone can come use this database in the library on any of the Database or Internet computers.  For more information, ask at the Reference Desk or call 630-868-7520.


Genealogy Classes Start Feb. 28

Posted by eileen on February 8, 2011

Did my last post prompt you to start searching for your roots?  WPL has some classes to help you get started!  Sponsored jointly by DuPage County Genealogical Society and Wheaton Public Library.  To register, use this form or stop by the Reference Desk.  The classes are on Monday nights from 6:30-8:30pm in the library’s Lower Level Large Meeting Room.

Building a Firm Foundation
February 28, 2011
Getting started, forms, interviewing relatives, home sources, quality of sources and correspondence

For the Record
March 7, 2011
Vital, probate, cemetery, burial records, and organization of records

A Sensational Source
March 14, 2011
Federal Census Records, overview of other federal records

All the News That’s Fit to Print
March 21, 2011
“Extra, Extra Read All About Your Ancestors” — Newspaper research, library research and collections

Full Circle
March 28, 2011
“Real Research on the Internet”, problem solving, the research cycle and field trip hints

Who Do You Think You Are? (2)

Posted by eileen on February 3, 2011

Last year, I wrote about NBC’s show, Who Do You Think You Are? Since the second season is about to start, I figured I would once again mention the library’s Genealogy resources.  Take a look at what we have to offer to help with your search for your own ancestors!

Genealogy databases from WPL, including – Note: Ancestry and American Ancestors are only available in the library.  The other databases are available from any computer by logging in with a WPL card number and PIN.

The original post from 3/11/10