Monday, May 24, 2010

One thing is certain about investing: uncertainty. Morningstar Investment Research Center products teach and inform everyday investors on how to make money with mutual funds, individual stocks and other investment vehicles. Lets look at three parts of the database...

- Mutual Fund Analysis - Over 28,000 mutual funds are covered. The depth of each fund covered is different, with large funds tending to get more commentary and analysis whereas smaller funds just get numerical analysis on return on investments, fees, management tenure and track record to help you further your research.

- Company Stock Profiles - Over 7,500 individual stocks are covered mostly of larger companies. Much of the research on any company contains an investing thesis of the company, valuation and risk commentary, along with strategy, management and stewardship of resources overviews and analysis.

Training Center – Here you will find informative investing tutorials on topics such as what is a mutual fund, exchange traded fund or (ETF), why diversification is good, and how to use the diversification X-Ray tool. Morningstar usually offers a database training session on their website on the first Thursday of the Month.

Today's quest: find a mutual fund or stock you would like to invest in using this database and obtain research on it. To view this and other CCPL Research Tools, click here.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Recent Updates...

Greetings. Much has transpired since the last blog post on December 1st. What follows is an updabe about new resource tools on the CCPL website, our text message service and some general musings on the Gale Apple all things IPhone library app. Note: photo comes from

New Resources Tools.
CultureGrams and a NetLibrary Career E-Books Collection along with a coming soon resource called SmartSearch from DISCUS. We are also getting ready to roll out the Ingram Digitial Media product that will contain an opening collection of 500 plus downloadable audio books. On February 3rd, many attended training on the how this product works. We are anticipating a roll out coming out this Spring to very soon.

Text Message Service.
We have been offering text message service for the last two months. On average we get one to three text messages questions a day. Promotion has paid off. When we ran a banner ad promoting the service on the homepage use doubled. Time will tell how successful this will be. Harking back to when we first started email ref, it was normal to get a 100 to 150 emails a month. Currently we get about three times as many emails as we used to get ~6 or 7 years ago.

General Musings.
The Ipad may be a game changer. The Gale Iphone App (no library card required and authenication is based on your current geography) is now available. Computing devices in many ways are just getting easier to use and "just work" without much effort... If you have used the Gale Iphone App to access CCPL liscensed resource tools in the area, via wifi outside of a branch or on the 3g network, please email and let me know how it is going or place a comment on this blogpost.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Service: Cell Phone Text Messaging Q/A

Today, we started offering a cell phone text messaging question and answer service for any user. Main Reference library staff have practiced, are trained and standing by during normal main library operating hours to answer cell phone text messaging questions. We have also made available to the first two patrons who ask a question a free $5 Starbucks gift card. Text: askccpl (plus a question) to: 66746. Standard text messaging rates apply. A special thanks goes to Charleston Friends of the Library that have made this offering possible in paying for the text messaging software and service. See a demo here.