The Answer

Better Living Through Research


We Have Moved!

After a lot of behind-the-scenes activity, we are merging most of our sub-blogs into one giant superblog!

Think of it like Voltron, in blog form. You remember Voltron, right?

From now on, you can get all the great information you received from The Answer, The Bookshelf, The Radar, and the Soapbox in one place:

Please update your bookmarks and feeds accordingly. See you at the superblog!

Posted by Toby (former employee) | Posted under Events
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Presidential Power

According to The Free Legal Dictionary, presidential power is defined as:

The executive authority given to the president of the United States by Article II of the Constitution to carry out the duties of the office.

As the election approaches and you’ve probably made up your decision whom to vote for or you are sick and tired hearing about it, elevate your mind to a more idealistic level and consider some recent books on presidential power.  What are the limits and boundaries that prevent presidents from achievement and conversely, what circumstances have made them succeed.


Gibbs, Nancy.

The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.

2012. (973.920922 G).



Merry, Robert W.

Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.

2012. (923.1 M)
Also available: Large Type



Osgood, Charles.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House: Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail.

2008. (973.099 O).

For additional titles on this topic, check out this list.



For additional titles on this topic, check out this list of books about presidential power.

For loads of information and trivia facts, the The American Presidency Project is full of research and audio and video links back to Herbert Hoover.

Posted by lee | Posted under Books, Research, Websites
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Learn new business skills: try a video training course

Are you itching to update your skills but not sure how to begin? A video training course is a great place to start. has over 80,000 courses on business and computer related topics. You can access inside the library. So come on in and get started today.

Here are just a few of the latest business related training videos:

Brand Building Basics: Explore the basics of branding. See how images, messaging, and market positioning can build visibility and credibility among customers.

Effective Public Speaking: Discover how to prepare, open, deliver, and close speeches. And, learn to project confidence, storyboard a speech, take questions, respond with thoughtful answers, and develop the creative story that adds life to a speech.

Google Drive Essential Training: Learn the essentials for creating, formatting, sharing, and editing Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. Learn about the new Google Drive homepage, the Google Drive sync folder, and file management on the online web drive.

Google+ for Business: Learn to use Google+ to promote a business. Discover how to set up an account for a business or client, and add company information, post photos and video, create compelling copy to market products or services, and improve your reach with contacts.

Negotiation Fundamentals: Explore strategies for negotiating common issues such as asking for a raise, setting fees, promoting teamwork, and bringing out the best in those you manage.

Sales Skills Fundamentals: Beef up your communication skills and the learn the basics of connecting with prospective clients, making convincing presentations, understanding and maximizing the sales cycle.


Posted by Terry | Posted under Research
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Social Media Wills


Ever wonder what happens to your online presence when you die?  Now that a majority of the population has some kind of membership on a social media site, have you thought about what would happen to your content when you die? Well, the government has thought about it and they now want you to think about it by creating a social media will. The government says you should begin by appointing an online executor. They go on to suggest the following:


  • Review the privacy policies and the terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence.
  • State how you would like your profiles to be handled. You may want to completely cancel your profile or keep it up for friends and family to visit. Some sites allow users to create a memorial profile where other users can still see your profile but can’t post anything new.
  • Give the social media executor a document that lists all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords.
  • Stipulate in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. The online executor may need this as proof in order for websites to take any actions on your behalf.

The preceding was taken from the government blog Blog – United States Government which is filled with all kinds of useful information.

Books at the Library on wills in general may be found under the call number 346.73052.



Posted by lee | Posted under Books, Research, Websites
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Public libraries and small businesses, a great partnership

Small business owners are sometimes surprised to hear that public libraries are geared up to help them. A recent OCLC study reports that U.S. business owners and their employees use public libraries 2.8 million times every month to support their small businesses. This heartfelt testimonial from a Crystal Lake businesswoman about the public library resources she uses to find new sales prospects attests to the value of using your library.

Your business can take advantage of the same resources that this satisfied businesswoman and 2.8 million other business owners are already using. At Skokie Public Library resources are on hand and librarians are ready to help you find what you need to:

  • run a business
  • write a business plan
  • discover new customers
  • create prospect lists
  • evaluate potential markets
  • get up to date business statistics and industry information
  • connect you with experienced business counselors
  • provide meeting space
  • learn to use  the latest technology
  • enjoy fast wireless internet

What are you waiting for?


Posted by Terry | Posted under Research
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Business eBooks available 24/7 from Skokie Public Library

Do you enjoy reading business books? Would you like to have immediate access to classic, technical, or new business titles to read on your computer, any time of the day or night? You can do that right now with your Skokie Public Library card.  Online business books are instantly available on a wide range of topics from management skills, leadership, marketing and sales to investing and project management. And, you can find a myriad of instructional titles to help you learn to use new business tools, such as social networking, to build your business.

It is easy to get started.  Just search “books24X7” or “Safari Books” and a topic that interests you in the Skokie Public Library online catalog. Choose a book that you would like to read, click the link to the book, type in your library card number and name when prompted, and start reading. The complete text of the book is available on your computer screen and it is completely searchable online.

You can also find a number of business books or audiobooks to download to an eReader or MP3 player. Check the Library online catalog to see if a title you are interested in is available as an eBook or eAudiobook, and follow the link to the Overdrive Digital Catalog to download a copy to your device.

There is another option for business eBook fans. Four Kindles preloaded with selected business related titles are now available for check out from the Skokie Public Library. Reserve a business Kindle online or contact the Readers’ Service Desk.

It is fast, easy and free with your Skokie Public Library card.  So get your card and start reading today!

Posted by Terry | Posted under Research
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Stump the Librarian: Baby Names and Hurricanes

[If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you know that every Wednesday we play a little game called Stump the Librarian. You send us your tough questions, and we'll research the answer. If a question warrants a more detailed answer, we'll post it here on the blog.]

Today’s highlighted question came in via Twitter:

To answer this question, we can use the Social Security Administration’s Baby Name Index, which ranks the relative popularity of names provided to the SSA on a year-by-year basis. I took a sampling of Category 5 hurricanes that affected the western hemisphere, and examined their ranks for a 7-year period stretching 3 years before and after the year of the hurricane. For 2005′s Hurricane Katrina, for example, I looked at the name ranking from 2002 to 2008, whereas I examined 1989 to 1995 for 1992′s Hurricane Andrew.

I’ve plotted the relative changes in this graph. The higher the ranking, the fewer babies are given that particular name in a given year.

What’s interesting here is how gender seems to affect the Hurricane Effect.

In general, girl’s names lose popularity in the years following a hurricane. This is most notable for the name Katrina, who was gradually gaining in rank until 2005. In the years following Hurricane Katrina’s disastrous landfall, fewer and fewer people gave the name to their children, and Katrina fell from 2005′s peak of 246, all the way down to 716 in 2008, and fell off the top 1000 entirely last year. We can see similar albeit less dramatic trends with Hurricanes Isabel (2003), Gabrielle (2001), and Camille (1969).

For the two boy’s names that I sampled, the effect is far less pronounced. Andrew has been a top-20 name for over 30 years. The effect of 1992′s namesake hurricane existed – it went from the 5th most popular name in 1992 to the 10th most popular a year later – but it never dropped as prodigiously as some of the other names.
Hurricane Dean, which caused over a billion dollars worth of damage in the Caribbean in 2007, actually saw its name grow more popular in the years after the hurricane hit. Further research would be necessary to prove this, but it would appear that only hurricanes that hit the U.S. have an affect on American baby names.

Many thanks to @aka_mojojojo for the question. Do you want to Stump the Librarian? Leave us a comment with your question and we’ll do our best to answer.

Posted by Toby (former employee) | Posted under Research
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Is it West Niles Virus?

Keep up with the latest and most accurate information on two government websites (one federal and one state).

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has en entire page devoted to West Nile Virus as does the Illinois Department of Health. Both sites have fact sheets detailing what you can do to prevent, treat, and learn about the virus. The good news is that it is not spread through casual contact and that approximately 80% of those infected do not have any symptoms at all. The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District  (NSMAD) has been routinely spraying different areas in Skokie. There are interactive maps highlighting the specific areas targeted for treatment on the site.  And on a lighter note, you can view a short “public service announcement” video called Burn.Out.

Posted by lee | Posted under Research, Websites
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America’s Economy: new mobile app from the U.S. Census Bureau

News from the Census Bureau: The United States Census Bureau is releasing its first mobile app “America’s Economy.” The app will provide constantly updated statistics on the U.S. economy, including monthly economic indicators, trends, along with a schedule of upcoming announcements. Economic indicators that will be included:

Census Bureau:

• Advance Monthly Retail Sales

• New Residential Construction

• New Residential Sales

• Construction Spending

• International Trade

• Advance Report Durable Goods

• Business Inventories

• Manufacturers’ Goods

• Monthly Wholesale

• Homeownership Rate

• Quarterly Services Survey

• QFR – Retail Trade

• QFR – Manufacturing

Bureau of Economic Analysis:

• Gross Domestic Product

• Personal Income and Outlays

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

• Unemployment Rate

These are the real-time government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions and assist economists, researchers, planners and policymakers. The economic indicators track monthly and quarterly trends in industries, such as employment, housing construction, international trade, personal income, retail sales and manufacturing.

Users will be able to set alerts to receive notifications when economic indicators are updated. They can also add statistical release schedules to their personal calendars. When each indicator is released, users can also share the news on both Facebook and Twitter.

The Android app is currently available. The Apple app will be available in the Apple Store in the coming weeks.

Posted by Terry | Posted under Research
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Can your business use an intern?

Providing internship opportunities is a great way for a small company to assist the community, and at the same time build their business. SkokieServes is a clearinghouse managed by the Skokie Public Library that matches interns and volunteers with organizations that need their help. The site gets thousands of hits each month.

Right now SkokieServes is looking for internship opportunities in the business community. Interns can be good for business, providing an extra set of hands at low cost and a new perspective on your business. Employing interns is a terrific way to find talented help, allowing a business to take a good look at an intern’s strengths and weaknesses before hiring them full-time.  All this and the benefit of knowing you provided training, mentoring and experience to someone interested in learning about your industry. It’s a win-win situation.

If your business has an internship opportunity, sign up at SkokieServes. It is free and easy to use. Click on the Post an Opportunity tab and fill in the form today.


Posted by Terry | Posted under Research
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