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Friday, February 24, 2012

I Need to Learn About 2012 Primary Candidates

“The primary is coming soon and I know nothing about the candidates. Does the library have any information?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff knows that many people will be trying to determine how to cast their votes on March 6th.

The local election boards have information about all the candidates and issues in the current election.  Trumbull County voters can access this list at  A sample ballot is available for each city, village, and township. Mahoning and Portage County voters will also be able to find information at their counties’ Board of Election websites. 

The League of Women Voters of Ohio has a Primary Voters Guide which our patron can view online at The library has a print copy at the Reference Desk. The guide includes the candidates for U.S. Senate and Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. It has each candidate’s party affiliation, contact and biographical information, and the answers to questions.

We also searched online for websites pertaining to the upcoming election and found some interesting ones for our patron to examine.  2012 Presidential Candidates has links to their profiles, official website, and positions. ProjectVote Smart has biographical information, interest group ratings, public statements, voting records, issue positions, and campaign finances. This site may be searched by nine digit zip code. It will bring up the Presidential, Congressional, Gubernatorial, State Legislative, Federal and State Judicial, Statewide, and Ballot Measures applying to your community.

The library also has a variety of local and national newspapers and magazines available to our patrons. As the election date comes closer, there will be more information for our patrons to read.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How Can I Prevent Anyone From Taping Over My Cassette Tape?

“I have a cassette tape that is irreplaceable. Is there a way to prevent anyone from taping over the music on it?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands the desire to preserve items which are personal and unique.

We began our online investigation using a common search engine and found the article, Tips on Preserving Audio Cassette Tapes by Amy Kohlstedt and Sara Doyle, for the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium. It gave nine tips for preserving cassettes beyond their 30 year life span.  Tip #6 – Precautions included the following: “Push out the lugs (small squares found at the top corners of cassette tapes) after recording; this prevents the material from being taped over.”

Since we want to be sure of the exact location of the lugs, we searched for an image of a cassette tape. The article about cassette tapes had a well labeled photograph of the inside workings with the write-protect tab clearly marked. Our patron took a copy of both articles and photograph with plans to protect her precious recording.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Is there an Audiobook Player for the Visually Impaired?

“I have a relative who has trouble reading print.  We’ve borrowed Playaways from the library; I would like to find something for her so we can download audiobooks from CLEVNET. “The Newton Falls Public Library staff discussed it further with the patron and discovered the newer touch screen MP3 players are not an option as the screen can be difficult to read. The patron actually needs something that works with buttons.

The staff offered the option of the free Talking Books program through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. After the application is completed and approved, qualified users are supplied a Digital Talking Book player which plays audio versions of books and magazines. Materials are sent directly to the patron and there is no postage fee for returning the items.

Our patron still wanted to know if there was something that would fit her need and could be used to download from the library’s collection. Searching online, the staff found a couple of items for the patron’s consideration. One response to a similar question was found at “If you are looking for something with no screen, the previous generation of the iPod Shuffle would be a really good choice, particularly if you are visually impaired. All the buttons are on the front in a simple arrangement and it has a built-in clip . . . There is also the Creative Zen Stone which is a small screenless player that just plays music, like the Shuffle. It has a similarly simple button arrangement on the front of the player as well . . . You may also want to check out the Samsung S2 Pebble . . . or the Sony B series.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Which Bridge is Closing over Duck Creek in Newton Township?

“I saw in the newspaper that a bridge over Duck Creek in Newton Township is being replaced. Can you find out which bridge it is and when the work will be done, so I know if it will affect how I go to work?” The Newton Falls Public Library understands the need to be aware of road construction and anticipating when it may be a cause of inconvenience.

We began our search online. Finding the January 11, 2011 minutes of the Trumbull Board of County Commissioners, we learned that a motion was made and approved for the “replacement of structure Newton Falls-Bailey Road over Duck Creek--reconstruction of approach including ditches, storm sewers, driveway and traffic control, lying within Trumbull County . . .”  A side note was included in the motion stating: “This project is being funded by a federal grant. The local share is currently estimated at $174,240.00, which is to be funded by an OPWC grant. Estimated amount will be adjusted when actual costs are determined--absolutely no County General Revenue Funds will be utilized.”

Our patron now knew where the construction was to take place, but we still needed to know when.  The Ohio Department of Transportation has available online a pamphlet titled Proposed Highway Improvements forContract Letting dated February 23, 2012. It was “issued solely for the purpose of circulating advance information pertaining to proposed Highway improvements.”  Pages 137-140 details what work is to be done and what materials are needed for the Duck Creek Bridge project. While no starting date is listed in the pamphlet, the date set for completion is September 30, 2012. At this time we were unable to find a starting date.