Resource of the Month: ReferenceUSA

referenceusa_alt_576pxhReferenceUSA is a valuable source of business and residential information for business and consumer research. You can find more than 24 million businesses, 262 million consumers, new U.S. businesses and new U.S. homeowners in ReferenceUSA’s databases, providing quick and easy access to quality information that can be used to answer a wide variety of business questions.

Small business owners/entrepreneurs use ReferenceUSA to:

  • select a location and do a radius search to look up the number of similar businesses in the area
  • check the strength of the competition with years in business and credit rating
  • look for businesses to buy or connect with fellow business owners

Job seekers can locate and research companies they may want to work for. The databases include:

  • 200,000 human resource contact names
  • business descriptions
  • website links to job postings

People who are moving can use ReferenceUSA to:

  • find schools, childcare, houses of worship, doctors and other services
  • research neighborhoods
  • look for housing
  • check home value and median income to see how they will compare to neighbors

Students use ReferenceUSA to:

  • find articles for research on businesses
  • perform complicated searches for papers and class projects
  • use data summaries to profile a neighborhood, city or state by type of business, size of business or household median income

To access ReferenceUSA, point your browser to and click on the Business and Management subject heading. Scroll down the list of resources to find and click on ReferenceUSA. If you are outside of the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number.

Did you know you can download free digital magazines?

ZinioYou may know that the library offers access to free eBooks, but did you know that you can also download free digital magazines? Zinio provides access to over 70 popular titles that you can read on computers, smartphones, and tablets.  Digital magazines offer full-color, page-for-page copies of issues, with simple navigation, keyword searching, and even some interactive audio and video. Best of all, you can keep titles as long as you like, and there is no limit to the number of magazines you can download!

To start using Zinio, visit the library’s website ( and click on the Online Resources link in the navigation menu. Look for the Zinio link under the eBooks, eAudiobooks, & Magazines heading.  From the Zinio site, you can browse the library’s collection, which includes:

  • Cook’s Illustrated
  • Country Living
  • Dwell
  • The Economist
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Mental Floss
  • Mother Earth News
  • National Geographic
  • O, The Oprah Magazine
  • Rolling Stone

You will need to use your library card to create a personal Zinio account. Simply click the Create New Account link in the upper right corner of the screen and follow the prompts.

Once you sign in to your account, select a magazine title, then click the Checkout button for the issue you would like to download. You can begin reading immediately in your computer’s browser.  To read on a mobile device, download the Zinio app.  Apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android devices. (Please note that you will need to register for an account on your computer or in a browser on your mobile device, not from within the app.)

Need help getting started with Zinio?  Join us on August 26th at 3:00 pm for a Zinio class.  Can’t make it then?  Call the reference desk at 919-545-8086 for assistance.

eBook Friday: North Carolina Weekends

North Carolina Weekends, by Lynn Setzer:

During her 10 years as a North Carolina travel writer, Lynn Setzer has seen all the state’s places in all of their seasons. Some of her favorite things? Enjoying a mineral bath in a tub by the French Broad River as the paddlers go past. Watching the sapphire waves as she crosses the Bonner Bridge at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Cycling the Road to Nowhere and hiking the mountain balds near Bryson City.

North Carolina Weekends offers ideas for 49 mini-vacations from Corolla to Murphy. Each highly readable chapter covers everything from lodging and dining to outdoor adventures and “Kid Stuff” to historical tidbits. If you have a particular destination in mind, just use the book’s geographical groupings to find which chapters cover the region you want to visit. Or if you’re pursuing a passion—whether it’s hang gliding, Christmas-tree hunting, antiquing, gem mining, waterfall viewing, or numerous other possibilities—consult the “Planning Your Weekend Getaway” section to find which trips offer the activity you’re seeking.

All the state’s classic destinations—like historic Wilmington and arty Asheville—are covered here. But you’ll be surprised at the pleasures waiting in unexpected places—like the homey museums and thriving wineries around Mount Airy, the history and architecture of Salisbury, and the potteries and transportation museums in the Uwharries.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: My Dad Is the Best Playground

My Dad Is the Best Playground, by Luciana Navarro Powell:

This joyful story celebrates dad as the most fun in the world and the best playground ever! He’s the highest swing and a great climbing wall, he’s a bouncing trampoline and merry as a merry-go-round. And then, when playtime is over, dad is the best for reading and snuggling with before bed.

Luciana Navarro Powell’s spirited text is perfectly paired with her colorful, energetic and very humorous artwork. Dads and their kids will love reading and re-reading this glorious celebration of fathers.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Outlander

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire–and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Ah, but they get you on shipping

bicycle“For one dollar with order we ship bicycles to any address subject to approval.”

This ad from the May 7, 1903 Chatham Record makes it look like the bike costs one dollar with a negligible shipping fee of $10.95. By that math, a $300 bike would cost $3585 with shipping.

Good thing I got that backward.


eBook Friday: How To Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (And Save Time, Money, and Hassle)

How To Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (And Save Time, Money, and Hassle), by Christopher Elliott:

Leading travel expert and USA Today columnist Christopher Elliott shares the smartest ways to travel in this tip-filled guide from National Geographic. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience as a consumer travel advocate, Elliott gives you the inside scoop on how to navigate the often perplexing world of travel, with detailed advice on:

• Airlines
• car rentals
• cruises
• hotels and alternative lodging
• the TSA and security
• staying connected
• review websites
• resolving complaints
• vacation rentals
• passports and visas
• and much more
Full of recommendations, real-life case histories, and the answers to the most common–and confounding–questions, this book is a must-read for anyone traveling anywhere.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: Access Video

Calling teachers looking for video content to augment your lesson plans (and curious library patrons)!  Access Video (also known as Films On Demand) is here to make your life richer and easier.

Access Video describe themselves this way:

Films On Demand is a state-of-the-art streaming video platform that makes it easier than ever to incorporate outstanding educational video content into your curriculum by providing easy integration with learning management systems, online lesson plans, distance learning courseware, or electronic card catalog systems.

The site’s “advanced search” feature allows you to refine and filter your search terms the same way you might on a database for print articles like ProQuest or ERIC. For example, if you get too many results for “measles”, you have the option to filter your results by subject, year of copyright, program type, or targeted curriculum.

A novel feature allows you to search for sections of longer videos. For example, if you want to know about the measles vaccine but want to skip the definition of the measles, type “measles vaccine” in the search field. Click on one of the resulting videos and you will likely land right in the section where they touch on the immunization process.

To access this resource, point your browser to, and click on the “Online Resources” link. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the logo for Access Video / Films On Demand. Create your own user account to save videos and set preferences. Watch the clock, though – you can lose track of time in a hurry!

eBook Friday: Stranger Things Happen: Stories

Stranger Things Happen: Stories, by Kelly Link:

Link offers strange and tantalizing stories–contemporary fiction with a fairy-tale ambience–that explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both. She boldly weaves myth and fairy tale into contemporary life, drawing inspiration from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, from the fairy tale of Cinderella, from the writings of C. S. Lewis, and from the true story of the Donner party’s descent into cannibalism. Meet Humphrey, one of Zeus’ many illegitimate sons, and June, his girlfriend, who decides to travel to Hades to bring Humphrey back. Learn the rules of being dead, and find out what really happened between Kay and the Snow Queen. Ask yourself what would have happened to the prince if he had never found the girl whose foot fit the glass slipper. Link uses the nonsensical to illuminate truth, blurring the distinctions between the mundane and the fantastic to tease out the underlying meanings of modern life. (Bonnie Johnston, Booklist)


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Did you know we have an online calendar of events?

Calendar-of-EventsWondering what’s happening at your library?  Check out our online calendar of events!

Our calendar includes special programs like author events, summer reading performances, and computer classes, as well as recurring programs like story time and genealogy assistance.  It’s also the best place to check for holiday hours and closings.

Use the drop-down menu to filter by Adult, Young Adult, Children, or Family events.  You can also sign up to receive automatic email notifications when events are added to the calendar.  Just click the link above the calendar, enter your email address, and choose which library events you’d like to hear about.

To view our event calendar from the library home page, click on Calendar of Events in the left-hand menu.

We also summarize upcoming events every Monday morning on our Facebook page.