"I'm remodeling my kitchen and wanted information about cabinets. My contractor is recommending one company over another. Is one better than the other? Are there cabinet reviews in Consumer Reports?" The Newton Falls Public Library staff knew the library had many books about kitchen remodeling and design, but this question required a different form of information.
The first option for our patron was to examine our print material such as the magazines Family Handyman, This Old House, and Consumer Reports and its new companion magazine ShopSmart. These often have information about various companies, including comparisons.
Another option was to search online. Our patron wanted to be able to look at Consumer Reports on his home computer. While going directly to their website requires an online subscription; a library card holder can access it for free through the Ohio Web Library. We instructed our patron to go to www.newtonfalls.org, select Ohio Web Library, then Resources, followed by MasterFilePremier (EBSCOhost). At this point, away from the library he would have to type in his library card number. At home, our patron would select the option Full Text, type in "kitchen cabinets", and choose Consumer Reports as the publication he wished to search. There will be a list of print articles that may be read on a computer or tablet.
We also informed our patron if he wished to know personal opinions about various cabinet companies, he could use an online search engine, and type in the "cabinet company name" and "review." It could also be helpful to type in "company A vs. company B" to see what other consumers felt about their experiences with the products.