Wall Street Journal’s Best Free Online Tools for Personal Finance

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Mint.com automatically aggregates all your online financial data and then keeps track of credit cards, home loans and bank and brokerage accounts all in one place. It also keeps track of how your investments are performing, and what you are spending and saving. It helps you to budget better by automatically displaying how much you spend in any given category.

Wolfram Alpha: The Reference Librarian’s New Best Friend?

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A new search engine designed by British Mathematician, physics and computer science genius Stephen Wolfram, plus a team of 250 other brainiacs is set to launch sometime in May.

Harvard Law School had a sneak preview last week and was AWED.

Wolfram Alpha is an extremely powerful calculator stuffed with facts about the world. Instead of trying to find a site where you might find the answer to a question such as “How do Iraqi oil exports compare to that of Kuwait?” or “What was the weather in Rancho Mirage when Gerald Ford died?” you just type in the question and Wolfram instantly computes the answer. Many of these questions can be answered using Google, but only by visiting several different Web sites, assessing the validity of sources, and making your own calculations. Wolfram Alpha simply gives you the answer. WOW.

"O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!"

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The AADL now subscribes to The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry with the full text of 250,000 poems.

Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky is one. 149 Robert Frost poems are available.

Get a daily dose of poetry by visiting The Columbia Granger’s and reading the featured poem of the day.

Poems can be searched by author, title, first line, words in the poem, and subject.

You can browse by eras (for example, Augustan Era or Romantic Era), schools of poetry (for example, the Beats or the Harlem Renaissance), or language (15 languages).

Browse also offers the Top 500 Poems (the 500 most frequently anthologized poems).

The Listening Room offers audio versions of 101 poems.

Brief biographies and commentaries are provided for some poets and poems.

The Columbia Granger's may be found among the databases on the AADL Research page.

New eLibrary Elementary Goodies

Does your child only want to play or learn on the computer? Check out the new Weekly Reader series at elibrary Elementary on our website. There are biographies and histories in graphic novel format. The illustrations will captivate and the stories will spark interest in subjects that are sometimes just beyond a child’s reach. While you are at the research page on our website, click on AADL Select Sites for Kids and see what the library has to offer. Then lure them away with hands-on science activities.

How Did We Get to Now?

With a mouse click on the aadl.org Research tab you can read basic articles on American and World history and biography. Two of the databases there are History Resource Center: US & World, and Biography Resource Center. These can be searched even without a library card from any AADL building, or with your library card number from anywhere else. You will have free access to articles about things of interest to you from the past; give it a try and you’ll get hooked on history! Also, check out the other free databases for finance, genealogy, literature, popular magazines, historical photographs, and other topics.

Kid Bits - Federal Guidelines for Fitness

"The Feds have unveiled their first-ever physical activity guidelines for kids". Take a look at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. It's very straight-forward and useful.
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans
Then GET ACTIVE with:
Fit 4 U With Twirly Sue And Crew
Shana Banana Yoga
Food And Fitness Matter
Fitty Cap Hip-Hop Dancexercise For Kids

Something About The Author Online is here!

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Not just for Children's Lit. students! AADL has recently added the Something About The Author Online database, a product from Gale Cengage Learning. This valuable resource compiles biographical profiles of authors and illustrators of books for kids and teens from the over 200 volume print set. Each profile includes information regarding the individual's personal life, contact details, career highlights, complete bibliography, and works in progress. Samples of illustrations are also included. You will find citations for other biographical and critical sources. Also included are all profiles from the Autobiography series of Something About The Author, providing rare first-person perspective about the author's career and works.

You can search this database by author, illustrator, title, or keyword, as well as combine terms and browse a complete list of included individuals.

This is one-stop shopping for info about your favorite author for kids or teens!

Every Child Ready To Read

The NATIONAL INSTITUTE For LITERACY is a government agency promoting early Literacy practices for families. You can find activities and testamonials in their booklets. The booklets are by age level as follows:
KINDERGARTEN: Kindergartners Learn To Read.
FIRST Grade: First Graders Learn To Read.
SECOND and THIRD Grade: Second And Third Graders Learn To Read.

DVD Bits - Finding Movies with a "G Rating"

Teachers and Parents ask "how do I find the movies with a G Rating"?
You can get a list of G-Rated Movies for Kids on the internet. The nice thing about the list is that it begins with 2005 movies and gets older. This means the movies would be on DVD, and perhaps the kids haven't seen them yet.

View YOUR Sample Ballot Now

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Your sample ballot, from President of the United States right down to your City Council Ward candidates, is available now from Michigan Votes. Once you fill in the info on the opening screen you'll go to a page with a purple "View My Sample Ballot" button. There's a handy print feature on the sample ballot page too. Need more info on the candidates and proposals? Check out the League of Women Voters of Michigan Statewide Voter Guide and the MLive local candidate guide.

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