Library source of info—February 19, 2010
Everywhere I go these days, friends keep asking if the Prius my husband drives is a dangerous car and if we have had any problems with it. Thanks to the media blitz surrounding Toyota’s recall announcements, there seems to be a general panic that all models produced by Toyota are now suspect. As a consumer, how do I know if the car I own has had any major problems identified by the manufacturer or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association?
One great source of information at the Hastings Public Library is the ALLDATA Online database. You can search for new TSBs by manufacturer or you can see all TSBs and recalls issued for a specific make and model of car. So what’s a TSB? A Technical Service Bulletin is similar to a news release sent out by an automobile manufacturer to let mechanics know about identified problems with a car. These are generally not safety or emissions related and are not required to be fixed. A recall is a more serious type of TSB that requires the manufacturer to notify the owner of a vehicle and have a plan to fix the problem. ALLDATA lists both TSBs and recalls. I would never try to fix my car, but I can be an informed consumer with this valuable resource at my fingertips.
Whether you are a seasoned investor or just want to learn a little about the stock market, Value Line Investment Survey is another library database that provides a wealth of timely information. For the more sophisticated user, Value Line tracks and ranks about 1700 stocks in its weekly publication online. You can easily search by ticker symbol, company name or industry to find P/E ratios, recent prices, trends for returns and other detailed information.
If you want to learn more about investing, the Value Line education tab has guides to help. There you will find excellent tutorials on using Value Line itself, but you will also find Value Line University, a four-part general tutorial on investing. Try clicking on the Subscriber Guides link to read “Six Steps to Picking a Stock” and more in-depth information about Value Line Investment Survey, the product the library provides.
Whether you are stymied by auto recalls or wanting to be a wise investor find information you can use right at your fingertips with online resources from the Hastings Public Library. The library is open 9 AM to 9 PM Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 6 PM Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Saturday and 1 to 5 PM Sundays, with 24/7 access to the catalog, research databases and more from the Internet at www.hastings.lib.ne.us.