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Reference Point

Newsletter of the Goshen Public Library
Supported by the Friends of the Goshen Public Library

Vol. 5, No. 3, January 1999


The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present.
- G. K. Chesterton


NETWORKING

Beginning in early November, the ANSER technicians at the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) began networking the library's computers in a local area network (LAN).

What does that mean to you? Now that the LAN is fully operational, all of the PCs in the library are able to access the Internet, our CD-ROM reference resources, WordPerfect and Quattro Pro. You may search for a job, type up your resume, and print it on one workstation. Or, you may research a topic in multiple electronic sources, copy the articles found, type your report and print it on the same computer.

Our Internet interface is now graphical and mouse-driven, so the search commands are familiar to more of our customers. The library web site * http://www. members.tripod.com/~gplhs is also being reworked to help guide searchers to appropriate sites. The resources available through our web site are available to home researchers as well. Your library barcode is needed to access the magazine databases. It will also be needed to place holds on library materials from home; a service we expect will be available in January.

The library has four PC work stations that are available to the public: two are inside the back door, two are in the main room near the reference desk. With this limited workspace, it is necessary to adhere to a 30-minute time limit per session, so that everyone has a turn. Assistance is available at the reference desk, where the reference librarian is prepared to help you with your searching. Beginners are encouraged to sign up for the twice-monthly training sessions, which will cover the Internet and the LAN separately. (See Anita Whitehead for details.) All printing goes to the printer located at the reference desk. There is a charge of 10 cents per page printed.

CDROM resources available on the LAN are Thomas Register, McKinneys Consolidated Laws of NYS, Masterplots, Discovering Authors, Encyclopedia Britannica, Petersons College Quest and Phone Disc.

As proud as we are of this new service, remember that the library's print resources may still be the best, and quickest place for you to find the information you need.



Telephones

In the effort to better serve our telephone customers, the library implemented a new voice mail system in mid-October. The recorded menu allows the caller to move directly to the library's hours/program offerings (press 1) or to the appropriate service area. Need the phone number of the local bar association? Press 2 for reference. Need to renew a book? Press 3 for circulation. Need to notify us that your child will be absent from Story Time? Press 5 for children's services. Have a question about your family's genealogy? Press 7 for the Elizabeth Sharts Historical and Genealogical reference room.

The circulation clerk is now free to devote her time to the customer standing before her, and messages don't get misplaced.

Thanks to all of you for your patience while all this new technology has been being installed and debugged.



Retirement

Jo deDufour has retired after 19 years of dedicated service to the library. She is the first staff member to have officially retired (membership in a retirement system was not possible when we were a private library). A retirement lunch was held at the Orange Inn on November 12, when the library closed for one hour to allow the staff to honor Jo. She will be spending her time with her grandchildren, traveling with her husband Arthur, and, just possibly, subbing occasionally at the library circulation desk.



When are we getting our new building?

At its November 30 meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to solicit a second opinion on the feasibility of converting the Main Street School building to library use. The report is expected in early January. The two sites currently under consideration are the Lippincott property and the Main Street property.



On the Internet

Resource Value

Lack of space and budget constraints are two persistent problems facing librarians nationwide. How can reference collections be kept up to date when there is little money to buy new editions, and no shelf space to house ever-increasing necessary volumes? Some relief can now be found on the Internet.

Select non-profit organizations and professional groups are making their specialized information available on the Internet for free. Other commercial vendors are offering free information in exchange for inundating the viewer with paid advertisements. In either case, library patrons can use Internet sites for their own benefit. Staff at the Goshen Public Library have examined numerous web sites and decided to provide access to this Internet information rather than purchase the print versions.

Previously, patrons with medical problems requiring the services of a specialist had to search through the four enormous volumes of the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists in order to verify the doctor's certification. Now, you will access the site at www.certifieddoctor.org and find up-to-the minute information on thousands of doctors who subscribe to this service. It is possible to search by geographic area, by type of medical specialty, or by name. You will obtain dates of certification, telephone numbers, addresses, hospital affiliation and health plan affiliation. This site also provides links to physicians' personal web pages and to hospital web pages.

If you are faced with a legal problem the web page of Martindale-Hubbell, the world's leading source of information for the legal profession, will be very helpful. While the Goshen Public Library owned just the New York State volume of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, you can access worldwide coverage at lawyers.martindale.com/marhub. The Internet directory provides continuously updated information on over 900,000 attorneys, plus links to their firm's home page.

On occasion, you might need to do a reverse look-up. This happens when you have a telephone number or an address, but don't know the name of the person or business connected with it. The Orange County Cross Reference Directory provides this type of information for our local area, but there are numerous sites that have reverse look-up capabilities for the entire country. Try anywho.com or www.555-1212.com/whte_us.htm.

Global studies students will be glad to know that current, accurate information on all countries can be found at the U.S. State Department web page. In the past the library subscribed to their series, called Background Notes, which were pamphlet-like inserts that tended to get out of order or lost. Now it is simply a matter of accessing their site at www.state.gov/www/background_notes. These notes include information on the geography, population, languages, religions, government, economy, and history of each country.

Next time you visit the library, look for the URLs (Internet addresses) posted on reference shelves. They indicate library-approved sites that should be used in place of books we formerly owned. As always, the reference staff will be glad to help you navigate the Internet and find the information you need.



Guides to learning about the Internet and how to use it successfully:

Crumlish, Christian
Internet for Busy People. 1997
004.678 CRU
Features timesaving techniques and vital skills. Eye-catching "blueprints" show best ways to use the Internet.

Ellsworth, Jill H. and Matthew V. Ellsworth
The Web After Work for Dummies. 1996
025.ELL
A kinder, gentler book that avoids technical jargon. Designed for having fun with the Web.

Levine, John R, and Margaret Levine Young
More Internet for Dummies. 1996
004.67 LEV
Friendly format clearly indicates highly technical information, shortcuts, great web sites, and cautionary tips.

Nelson, Stephen L.
The World Wide Web for Busy People. 1996
025.04 NEL
A fast paced romp through the information needed to navigate the Web.

PC Guide for Internet and On-Line Services: The Easiest Way to Learn to Use the Internet.
Video 005.71 PC
A 60 minute video for beginners.

Williams, Constance D.
The Internet for Newbies: An Easy Access Guide. 1997
004.67 WIL
Emphasizes how to find resources on the Internet and how to use email. Minimal technical information.


Books about the Internet specifically for parents:

Classroom Connect
Child Safety on the Internet. 1997
025.066 CHI
Practical advice on keeping your child safe, plus "Kid Safe"sites.

Kehoe, Brendan and Victoria Mixon
Children and the Internet: A Zen Guide for Parents & Educators. 1997
025.063 KEH
Quick overview of the Internet, then information on the best sites for your kids and the danger spots to avoid.

Polly, Jean Armour
The Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages. 1997
004.67 POL
Almost 3400 Internet sites selected by librarians especially for kids. Includes homework help, art, music, science, sports, and sections for parents and educators.

Wolf, Melissa
Parenting Online: The Best of the Net for Moms and Dads. 1998
Parenting 025.04 WOL
Personal anecdotes and helpful tips make this an enjoyable guide to Internet sources.



April 15th is Coming! Be Prepared!

As a special service to our community, the Goshen Public Library will again provide Federal and New York State income tax forms. Free copies of commonly used forms plus their instructions will be available. Reproducible Federal and NYS tax forms are available year round for patrons to photocopy.

Tax forms can be found on the Internet at:

Please note: You will likely need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and/or print IRS tax forms, as well as many other documents already out there on Internet using the Portable Document Format (PDF). Depending on your software configuration, you may already have Acrobat installed on your computer. If you cannot find the reader, you may download this software for free directly from the Adobe site (http://www.adobe.com). Versions exist for Windows (3.x, 95/98), Macintosh, Unix, Linux, OS/2 and other platforms.

Forms may also be obtained by phoning:



April is National Poetry Month

at the Goshen Library. Get ready for three weeks full of readings, workshops and slams. Watch for details in the April newsletter!



Adults & Children
Calendar of Events



Children: Forget your textbook in school?

The library has a homework collection on loan from the middle school for in-library use. This collection is shelved in the reference section and consists of the texts used by many of the middle school classes. So, if you are caught without a book, call the library reference desk to see if we have a copy.



Friends of the Goshen Public Library & Historical Society

The book sales of summer seem far in the future, but the Friends have a real dilemma. At present we are unable to accept donations of new books because the basement area in which they are stored is impassable. Volunteers for book sorting are desperately needed. On Thursday, January 21, the night of the next scheduled meeting, the Friends will host a book sorting. All volunteers will receive 10 free books for their evening's work. Sorting will begin at 6 PM and continue until 8, with an intermission for the business meeting. We hope to see many of you here!

The Friends regularly meet the third Thursday of the month. The next event being planned for is the Poetry Festival, which has developed into a month-long celebration of Poetry Month this April. The Friends have donated an additional $200 to the library to help defray some of the costs, and will be sponsoring the reception on the closing weekend.

We have made the promised donation of $3,000 to the library's operating budget, and have been able to add to that by covering the cost of a children's program (Chinese cooking for the Chinese New Year) and the funding for the poetry festival. We also have a CD with funds set aside to support the children's room in the new library. The success of last summer's book sale and silent auction, augmented by proceeds from the book sale rack and membership dollars have made this possible.

Wanted: book sale committee workers for sales in May and July 1999, and silent auction committee workers for July 1999. If you have enjoyed attending the sales in the past, this is the year you might reward our efforts by volunteering to help us out. The book sales provide our major source of revenue.

The Holiday Open House on December 8 was attended by 75 people, most of whom still lingered when the library closed at 8 PM. Thanks to all of you who provided the refreshments.

Friends contacts are: Kerri Maner (427-5451) or Paige Cody (294-6147) .



Board of Trustees Meetings

Meetings are held at 7:15 in the library meeting room (except for January 11).



Suggestions

Since we re-instituted the Suggestion Box in October, the main topic for comment has been the noise level in the library, or the fact that this library is not a place conducive to quiet study. Quiet study areas are one of the many needs we hope to fill in a new building. For now, with the staff lacking offices in which to conduct business, with computer work stations being located in an entrance hallway and the circulation desk but a few feet from the reference reading room, the best we can do is remind everyone to speak softly, be patient, ...and don't expect to find quiet study space here.

Suggestions, if signed, are responded to directly. Otherwise, you may find a response on the Library bulletin board inside the back door. We welcome your comments and purchase requests. The suggestion box is located on the copier stand in the main room.



Notes of Interest


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