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Thursday, February 28, 2013

What is the Best Kind of Kitchen Cabinet?

"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, 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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who Are the Singers on the I Heart Radio Television Ads?

"I see the I 'heart' radio ads on television, and I'm curious who the singers are.  Can you help me?"  The Newton Falls Public Library staff member was not familiar with the commercials, so more information was needed from the patron.  He said he knew that one of the singers was Usher.  Of the others, one was a British boy band.  The others were a white lady with dark hair and a dark skinned lady with white hair.

There is currently a very popular British boy band named One Direction. Looking at their website,, our patron recognized them as the group in the commercial.  Our staff then looked for information at, but there was no information about their commercials.  Because television is such a visual medium, we felt that doing Google image searches would bring up an assortment of photographs.  From these our patron was able to identify Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj as the other two singers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Where Do I Get a Restraining Order?

"Where do I get a restraining order?"  The Newton Falls Public Library staff member was unfamiliar as to where a patron would specifically go to get such an order, so this was a learning process for her as well.

An online search took us to the website for Ohio Legal Services. There we learned that there is a difference between a restraining order and a civil or criminal protection order (CPO). In Ohio, a "domestic relations court may issue a restraining order in a divorce or legal separation case to protect one spouse from the other, abusive spouse." Civil or criminal protection orders must be enforced by  law enforcement officers anywhere in the State of Ohio. Protection orders,  especially a civil protection order, may contain additional provisions.

We still did not have a definitive answer to our patron's question.  More information was found at the website of the Franklin County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. The section about Protection Orders has a list of questions and answers. "There are four different kinds of protection orders. Criminal court may issue a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) or an Anti-Stalking Protection Order (SPO) depending on the type of charge and your relationship to the defendant. Civil (Domestic) Court issues Civil Protection Orders (CPO) if you are a family or household member of the defendant. If you are being stalked, Common Pleas Court may issue a Civil Staking Protection Order (CSPO)."  Our patron viewed the information to determine what type of order needed and the proper agency from which to request it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are There Restrictions When Donating Blood?

"I'm considering donating blood.  Are there any restrictions?" The Newton Falls Public Library staff knew that the  American Red Cross is the local organization which sponsors blood donation collections, so we accessed their website to see if we could find the information needed by our patron.
At, we selected Give Blood and then For First Time Donors. There is a great deal of useful information on this web page, including tips for successful donation, what to bring, and what to expect. The basic requirements state that "In most states, donors must be age 17 or older. Some states allow donation by 16-year-olds with a signed parental consent form. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health." Donors are given a mini physical that includes a check of your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level present in a sample of blood. They will also be asked some questions during a private and confidential interview about health history and places traveled. The site gives some common reasons for not being allowed to donate which include low hemoglobin /hematocrit, and cold, flu or other illness symptoms. Temporary deferrals are given for certain travel locations and some medications. Permanent deferrals may also be given because of travel as well as some medical conditions. The site did not list what these locations or conditions were, so the staff encouraged the patron to contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Want to Find Information About My House

"I recently purchased a home in the city of Newton Falls.  It is over 100 years old and I'm trying to find more information about it. Does the library have anything that can help me?" The Newton Falls Public Library staff has several resources for assisting patrons with a question such as this one.

The first is the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. These are large scale street plans produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance company from 1867 to 1970.  They may be accessed for free through the library's website,  Once there, select Ohio Web Library, then Resources.  The maps are in the subject category Genealogy. Below the list of recent submissions, there is the option of searching within this historic map database.  Typing in the street address and Newton Falls, we found maps back to March of 1889. A great deal of interesting information can be gleaned about the city over the years, such as there was a well and pump at the intersection of Broad and Canal Streets. A notation on the August 1908 map, by the Klingensmith Bro's Flour Mill, says that the mill is to be moved that year from its site by the W. Branch of the Mahoning River.  It is to be replaced by a fire proof electric power plant of the Peerless Electric Co. Sometimes there is information about the materials used in the construction of the buildings or if there was a night watchman. Looking at the maps over the years, it is also possible to see when additions or changes were made to buildings. Viewing these maps, our patron was able to see how her home had changed over the years.

We next viewed the Trumbull County Auditor's property search site. This website includes useful information about some past sales of the property, improvements, and a sketch with construction information.

The library's Local History Room has city directories from 1963 to present which are useful for tracing ownership of houses. The collection of old photographs may also be examined to see older views of some of the homes in the community. 

There is also available a copy of the 1856 map of Trumbull County, Ohio.  Homes are marked on the map, along with the names of the property owners. While the  Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps only include homes within the city limits, this map includes township homes.  The map may be viewed by going to the library's website, selecting Local History and then 1856 Trumbull County Map.