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Portland Public Library’s mission is to serve the Greater Portland Community by providing a diverse collection of books and other resources, with access to information resources worldwide. The library’s services support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of all community members.
Sign up for these free webinars that will help you get the most out of ReferenceUSA! Attendees will need an internet connection and a phone line to participate.
Search Essentials: the basics of ReferenceUSA
Day/Date: Fridays (August, September)
Time: 12:00 pm (1 hour)
Designed for the patron new to using our database, this hour-long session will cover all the basics of getting started with ReferenceUSA. The training will cover the Four Essentials anyone, particularly anyone new to ReferenceUSA, would want to know in order to be successful using the resource. This is also a great opportunity for current users to learn some new tips, tricks and techniques.
Attendees will learn how to use ReferenceUSA as part of their Career Searching Strategy. Included will be information on the importance of having accurate information for applications and resumes, creating engaging cover letters, assembling a network of references and referrers, finding key persons at a business to act as mentors, building datasets of potential employers based on skill set, work history and preferences as well as how to prepare for interviews and interactions through thorough research.
Start, Manage, Grow! Your Business using ReferenceUSA
Day/Date: Mondays (August, September)
Time: 4:00 pm (1 Hour)
Entrepreneurs and business owners will learn how to use ReferenceUSA to find the mission critical information necessary to start, manage and grow a business.
• name Search for Business
• locate hard to find vendors, both locally and nationally
• locate subject manager experts and professional services
• find investors, venture capitalists and angels
• network with other businesses in your area or in your industry
• develop relationships with related business for co-branding opportunities
• understand community demographics
• survey locations for expansion
• conduct competitive analysis
• plan delivery routes and service areas
• source new employees
ReferenceUSA Consumer & Lifestyle Data
Day/Date: Alternating Tuesdays
Time: 3:00 pm (1 hour)
Ever wonder how marketers and advertisers ‘target’ specific messages to you? Find out how you access the same type of data for your neighborhood or city.
Anyone who is interested in understanding the purchase preferences of a community will find this data both interesting and informative.
Learn how to navigate this section of ReferenceUSA and then apply the data to your needs.
ReferenceUSA Mapping & Data Visualization
Day/Date: Alternating Tuesdays
Time: 3:00pm (1 hour)
Data Visualization is the next BIG thing in data. Going beyond static lists of information, ReferenceUSA can help you ‘visualize’ data elements on a map.
Great for understanding how locations relate to each other or seeing densities within a specific area, the ReferenceUSA mapping tools give you a new and powerful way to better understand the landscape.
Learn how to build a map to display results and how to manipulate the mapping tools to your advantage.
The Maine Development Foundation has launched a new campaign; Next Step Maine
Next Step Maine is part of an effort to capitalize on Maine’s population of non-traditional students and working adults to help them increase their skills and knowledge.
This website is packed with informative advice on getting a GED, starting college, finishing college, financial aid and changing your career. There is also a list of IN DEMAND and HIGH GROWTH jobs in Maine, which is useful in finding out where job openings may be and what level of education you will need to be considered as a candidate. I also found some great links to career exploration websites. Such as My Skills my Future and My Next Move, which are great tools if you are trying to decide your next step!
To learn more about the initiative, you can listen to this brief piece on Maine Things Considered; host Tom Porter spoke with Maggie Drummond of the Maine Development Foundation, which, along with partner organizations, is launching the effort.
Don’t forget to stop by the library for your career related information needs, also! Link to PPL’s catalog for a list of titles on career development.
By now you have most likely read something in the news regarding the student loan debt crisis. If you are considering students loans or have already enrolled, READ ON….
BEFORE YOU EVEN CONSIDER A LOAN:
Scholarships and grants are available from both private and public sources. Be sure to apply for as many as possible. Visit FAFSA to apply for federal and state grants through FAFSA, also visit Fastweb’s scholarship database.
Also, keep in mind that top dollar schools are not the only option. There are many fantastic community colleges you can attend or earn some of your credits at a lower cost – you can always transfer to your dream school.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK, COMPARE LOAN FEATURES!
Be sure to thoughtfully consider before signing any student loan promissory notes.
What is the interest rate?
How often will the interest rate change?
When do repayments begin?
BE WARY OF BORROWING MORE THAN YOU REALLY NEED!
Most lenders consider tuition and the cost of education expenses (books, school supplies, lab fees, etc.) to calculate the loan amount. Often they will offer you much more than you really need. Consider a work-study program or a part-time job to offset expenses before borrowing money that may accrue interest while you are in school. Find an inexpensive apartment and live off-campus with roommates…or (gulp) save even more money by living at home with the folks.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education have teamed up to create this “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet” making the costs and risks of student loans clear upfront outlining total estimated student loan debt, monthly loan payments after graduation and additional costs not covered by federal aid. Use this form prior to enrolling in any loans.
ALREADY HAVE STUDENT LOAN DEBT?
Find out how much you owe, review your financial aid history and learn about recent policy changes regarding federal loans through the National Student Loan Data System .
HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME KEEPING UP WITH PAYMENTS?
The most commonly cited characteristics associated with default are:
• Lack of Program Completion
• Low Income and Unemployment
• Type of Institution
• Race and Ethnicity
• Lack of High School Diploma
• Lack of Information about Borrowing
Before defaulting on your students loans always contact your lender and try to work out a plan. There are options such as deferment or forbearance and various repayment plans (standard repayment, graduated repayment, extended repayment, income contingent repayment and income based repayment).
Again, be sure to thoroughly research any options before signing. There is currently a whole lot of buzz surrounding IBR (income based repayment) – allowing a borrower to repay federal loans based on what’s affordable rather than what is owed with monthly payments capped at 15 percent of your adjusted income. As wonderful as this sounds there are some downfalls and catches to this new program For instance, due to your income, you may qualify for payments so low that your monthly interest is not covered. In effect, your total debt may actually rise.
Having trouble making sense of all this information? Access the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool – using your loan history work through interactive tutorials covering managing a budget, avoiding default and other topics, then receive feedback.
IS FORGIVENESS AN OPTION?
In some cases loans may be forgiven including disability, teacher loan forgiveness, and public service forgiveness. Again, do your homework. Don’t assume this is an option as there are conditions to forgiveness plans. Be sure you qualify before you put all of your eggs in this basket. And, no, unfortunately a poor job market for recent graduates or dissatisfaction with your alma mater are not grounds for forgiveness.