Print this page

Best of Everything: Los Angeles Public Library as a Link to Consumer Resources

Richard Kraus, Librarian III, Business Department,

A very common type of question in the Los Angeles Public Library is finding information to help people make decisions as consumers of products and services.  These questions can range from buying a vacuum cleaner or automobile, to selecting the best school or college, to finding a good lawyer or doctor, to checking on a bank to make sure it is safe, to finding out if you have a collectible candidate for the Antique Road Show, to picking the best places to live and travel, to seeking recommendations on books to read or movies to see.

This article is intended to offer just a tiny sampling of the wide variety of topics that are requested and a few of the online resources selected by the library’s staff on the Web Resources, Research Guides, and Research & Homework sections of the Los Angeles Public Library website.  Perhaps one of these might lead to an answer for one of your own questions.

 

Los Angeles Public Library Web Resources

LAPL Web Resources

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources

 

LAPL Web Resources—Business and Company Information—Banking

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/business-and-company-information#547

 

Bank Rate Monitor http://www.bankrate.com

How safe and sound is a particular bank or credit union?

Who has the best interest rates for a one-year CD?

 

LAPL Web Resources—Consumer Information

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/consumer-information

Consumer Information (from the Federal Trade Commission): http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/

Where and how do you get your free annual credit reports?

Help! You are a victim of identity theft.  What should you do? Where can you find help?

California Dept. of Consumer Affairs http://www.dca.ca.gov/

Is your auto repair shop licensed in California?

Who handles complaints about security alarm companies?

Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org

How does your favorite store rate with the Better Business Bureau and has the Bureau received any complaints about the store?

ConsumerSearch: http://www.consumersearch.com/

Find ratings on mobile cellular smart phones.

Check out gadgets and gizmos promoted on TV infomercials.

 

LAPL Web Resources—Health

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/health

Board Certified Medical Specialists http://www.abms.org/

Medical Board of California http://www.mbc.ca.gov/

Check out your doctor’s certifications, background, and disciplinary actions.

 

LAPL Web Resources—Education & Grants/Foundations

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/education-grants-foundations

Ed-Data http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/welcome.asp

Compare your local schools with other public schools in California.

College Rankings: U.S. News and World Report http://www.usnews.com/rankings

Identify some of the top-rated colleges and universities.

 

LAPL Web Resources—Legal Information

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/legal-information

Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator http://www.martindale.com/

Find a selection of top attorneys near you in a specialty you need.

 

LAPL Web Resources—Movies & Television

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/movies-television

Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com

Movie Review Search (Query) Engine http://www.mrqe.com/

Find movie reviews and MPAA ratings of your favorite movies or new ones coming out.

 

LAPL Web Resources—Literature

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/literature

BookSpot http://www.bookspot.com/

For your reading group, you are seeking fiction books from the last 10 years that are winners of distinguished awards such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and other awards

 

LAPL Web Resources—Travel & Geography

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/web-resources/travel-geography

Lonely Planet http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

Rough Guides http://travel.roughguides.com/

Find recommendations for things to see or do for your next trip

CDC Travel Information http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

What health precautions and preparations should you consider for your next overseas trip?

 

Los Angeles Public Library Research Guides

LAPL Research Guides

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-guides

 

Automobile Information

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-guides/automobile-information

 

Intellichoice http://www.intellichoice.com/

Kelley Blue Book http://www.kbb.com/

Information and prices about new and used cars.

 

Valuation of Collectibles

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-guides/valuation-collectibles

In addition to the Central Library’s resources listed first, also offers web links for auction, antique and collectibles sites near bottom of page

For example: http://www.ebay.com/ and http://www.butterfields.com/

You have some furniture created by a famous designer.  Might any of it be valuable?

 

Research & Homework

LAPL Research and Homework

http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-and-homework

For even more help, library’s online subscription databases and other online services offer the ability to search and find articles, reports, reviews, ratings, commentary from magazine and newspaper articles, and even selected books. Access from outside the library requires a valid LAPL library card.

Suggested general resources include:

Axis 360 (eMedia)

EBSCOhost e-Books

Gale Virtual Reference Library (Reference eBooks)

General OneFile (Gale): magazine, journal articles

OverDrive e-Media

ProQuest Newsstand: magazine, journal, and newspaper articles

 

And some more specialized ones offer more unique content, such as:

ABMSDirectory.com: certified doctors

Business Insights: Essentials: includes reports on companies for investors

Health & Wellness Resources Center: includes information on medications and diseases

Literature Resource Center: includes criticism and reviews

NoveList: fiction reader’s advisory

Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage: offers industry overviews, company data and evaluations for investors

 

 


 

 

 

Top