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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can I Really Save on Fuel Consumption by Changing Gasoline Companies?

“I was talking to my car mechanic; lately I’ve been using more gas, getting about 20% less miles per gallon. He said that in the winter, gas companies change the formula which results in a mpg decrease. He also said to change from company A to company B, and that I would notice a improvement after a few tanks. Is that true?” Considering the rising gas prices, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library found this to be extremely interesting.

First we searched “miles per gallon in winter months” at http://www.ohioweblibrary/. Not finding an article there, we did a Google search of the same words, and were amazed by the number of hits for online forums and discussion groups. It seems that this topic concerns everyone from Ford to Mercedes Benz owners. Searching Click and Clacks’ website brought up an article as well as one at After looking at the various articles, it seemed to our patron that the consensus was gas doesn’t burn as well in lower temperatures, tires are less inflated due to the cold, and the winter-blend gasoline which stations begin using in the late fall affect gas use. While our patron cannot control the outdoor temperature or the necessity of using winter-blend gas, she did plan on making sure her tires were properly inflated.

Our patron’s second concern was if changing the type of gas would improve miles per gallon use. We searched “mpg gas station” for her and again found a variety of opinions as to which was the best to purchase. Many recommended recording the odometer reading each time the gas tank is filled. Subtracting the old reading from the new to determine how many miles were driven. Then dividing the miles by how many gallons were put in the tank will give the miles per gallon use. To determine accurately how a different gas affects this number, the car owner would have to consistently use one type of gas over a period of time, until the gas from another company is no longer mixed in the tank of newer gas.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm New to the Community. What are Your Programs? What are Some of the Activities in Town?

“When are your children’s programs?” “I’m new to the community. What are some of the activities in town?” The Newton Falls Public Library frequently hears questions such as these.

Answers to these and other questions can be easily found on the library’s website, There is a listing of this week’s library events on our homepage. Down the left side of the page there are links to the Library and Community Calendars for the present and upcoming months. Community groups wishing to have their events listed on the Community Calendar may notify the library.

Below the Library Calendar link are sections for Children’s, Teen’s, and Teachers’. The first two have links to sites which assist students working on homework, including KnowItNow 24/7 [formerly HomeworkNow] and the Internet Public Library. The Teachers’ section was created to support teachers: outlining privileges, highlighting our Parent/Teacher Collection, and an online request form for Teacher Totes, Pathfinders, and Assignment Alerts. Three library blogs may also be accessed from this main page: 44444 Questions [and Answers], 44444 Kids, and 44444 Teens. In this area of our homepage, users can also find links to Newton Falls and Newton Township government sites, as well as local history and tourist information.

Patrons wishing to be notified about programs, new materials, and up-to-the minute updates on library events can sign up to receive monthly email newsletters. Visit the library to register for this new service.

While the library has WiFi access, the staff understands that not everyone owns or feels comfortable with computers. For those not having a computer at home, the library has them available for patrons to use for word processing and Internet. For those who prefer a little less technology, we have staff willing to assist them in finding needed information and an electric typewriter. Library programs are also listed in the local newspapers.

The library also has exhibits and displays of local interest which may be enjoyed during library hours. Presently featured are art and ceramics by Newton Falls High School students.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Need Assistance Finding Information About a Piece of Property

“Can you help me to find information about a piece of property?” Over the years, this question has been asked of Newton Falls Public Library staff members for a variety of reasons. Some individuals want to find information about their own property; others are looking to purchase a parcel or home.

If the patron has the name of the owner or the address, the auditor of the county in which it is located often has information online. In Trumbull County that would be, there it can be searched by parcel owner, commercial address, dist/map/route, intersection, as well as advanced search. Trumbull County also offers reports on weekly sales, neighborhoods, and comparable sales. Parcel information includes the base, land, valuation, sales, sketch, tax, and improvements. The property base also includes a photo of the building. From what our staff can tell by looking at this site, the sales section will list the amount the property has sold for since the mid 1980s.

Besides offering maps and satellite views of the neighborhood where a parcel is located, Google maps [] sometimes has street views. The photographs can be rotated 360⁰ to see the areas surrounding the properties. There is also a zoom feature permitting a closer view.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do You Have Tax Forms?

“Do you have tax forms?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff has already begun hearing this question. As many people are aware, the federal government is not mailing individual forms to homes this year.

The library will try to meet the tax form needs of people. As we receive the forms, they will be available in our lobby. Patrons will also be able to print federal forms from Ohio forms are available at At both sites, taxpayers may file online. Newton Falls’ residents can print the city income tax form at

The Benefit Bank Self-Serve [] is a useful resource. “The Benefit Bank Self Serve is the ‘ready when you are’ version of the The Benefit Bank® (TBB™), a FREE web-based service that simplifies and centralizes the process of applying for benefits and filing income tax returns. . .”

The library also has books such as Taxes . . . for Dummies and The Complete Guide to Working for Yourself: everything the self-employed need to know about taxes, recordkeeping, and other laws by Beth Williams & Jean Murray to assist individuals in planning their financial strategies.