A city library is not just a building filled with books anymore. Over the last decade or so, libraries have expanded to offer computers, videos, CDs, audio books, classes and special events to the public. But even regular library users maybe surprised by the abundance of resources available if they take the time to explore. What is surprising is the wealth of online resources for students, seniors, businesses, hobbyists and curious minds.
This was the case for Kate Jupina, a new part-time library assistant at the Pleasanton Library. "Since I began working here, I've learned about all sorts of resources at the library and available online that I didn't know about before. Though I am a frequent user of both the library and its website, I was surprised to learn how much information is available."
Through the library's website Information Services link, users can access a multitude of resources. There are links to magazine and newspaper indexes, the Rosetta Stone foreign language system, practice tests for SAT, graduate school entrance exams, and employment tests for nursing, law enforcement and teaching, to name a few. There are links to information about arts and humanities, business and economics, law, health, genealogy sites, downloadable books, and more.
"What's amazing is that it's all free," says Head of Reference Services Yu Tao, who has worked at the library since 1999. "There is so much valuable information. I wish more people knew about it."
A particular feature of the website that Tao had a hand in creating is the Business Resources page, accessible through the Information Resources link. Tao organized links to business-related websites into general categories, making the information easy to find and use. "I had Hacienda in mind when I designed the page, and thought about the needs of small business owners and what could help them get started," explains Tao.
The categories include Business Directories, Business Loans, Business Planning, Business Law, Industry Information and Starting a Business, as well as links to financial information about bonds, stocks, and financial news.
"For example, if you are starting a new business you can go to this page and get information about the business permit process in the city, county or state," explains Tao. "There is also a link to the U.S. Small Business Administration's website."
Another useful online resource is the link to ReferenceUSA.com. "The business community loves this site," says Tao. The site provides information on key executives, sales volume, number of employees and parent and subsidiary relationships for over 10 million U.S. companies. The site is only accessible through the library computers, however.
The library is located at 400 Old Bernal Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The library is closed on national holidays.
To get a true feel for the large number of online resources available through the Pleasanton Library, visit the website at www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/services/library and spend some time exploring the site. You will be surprised at what you find.
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