There is a lot of economic news to keep track of these days. If you’ve got your mind on your money, the library has some helpful resources to put those economic indicators in perspective.
These databases are freely available from any public computer in the library, or from home with your library card.
Valueline: This investment research service creates reports on stocks and mutual funds, including their popular one-page reports.
Morningstar: The premier source for mutual fund information, Morningstar is known for their comprehensive star ranking system.
Financial Ratings Series Online (Weiss): Find information about investments as well as ratings for banks, credit unions, Medigap plans, and much more.
The library also has a number of financial newsletters available in the Business Section.
For more business and financial resources, visit the Business and Financial Research Guide. With questions about accessing these or any of the resources available from the library, or to schedule a reference appointment with the Business Librarian, contact the Research Desk.
A new and notable web resource is available for patrons to use at the library or from home with their library card. O’Reilly for Public Libraries offers current and popular titles in the fields of technology and business. Patrons looking to expand their technical and career skills will be particularly interested in checking out this resource.
The collection, which features more than 50,000 e-books and 30,000 hours of video, can only be viewed through the O’Reilly for Public Libraries website.
Included in the collection of titles is most of the popular “For Dummies” series. Looking for a deeper dive in to a specific topic, such as Blockchain or Business Strategy? O’Reilly for Public Libraries offers expert-curated playlists on subject including machine learning, cloud computing and software architecture.
Try searching for other specialized technology and business subject areas such as:
- Data Engineering
- Adobe Photoshop
- Amazon Web Services
- Team Management and Leadership
- Stock Trading
- And many, many more.
As always, if you have questions about accessing this or any of the resources available through the Web Resources page, contact the Research Desk.
A technical skills upgrade is one effective way to add valuable, attention-grabbing content to an existing resume. LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft are making several technical courses available for free of charge and certifications in selected skills available at a greatly reduced price for many workers.
LinkedIn Learning has identified ten jobs that are in-demand in today’s economy and are positioned to grow in the future. They are making ten LinkedIn Learning Paths aligned with these jobs available for everyone for free in 2021.
The ten role-based learning paths are:
- Software developer – Become a Software Developer
Sales representative – Become a Sales Representative
Project manager – Become a Project Manager
IT administrator – Prepare for CompTIA Network+ Certification
Customer service specialist – Become a Customer Service Specialist
Digital marketer – Become a Digital Marketing Specialist
IT support/help desk – Prepare for the CompTIA A+ Certification
Data analyst – Become a Data Analyst
Financial analyst – Become a Financial Analyst
Graphic designer – Become a Graphic Designer
LinkedIn Learning has also made learning paths focused on helping professionals come up to speed on soft skills.
- Job seeker – Finding a Job During Challenging Economic Times
Critical soft skills – Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills
Digital transformation – Digital Transformation in Practice: Virtual Collaboration Tools (combination of digital fluency and remote work)
Allyship and inclusive conversations – Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All
In addition, Microsoft Learn is offering free and in-depth technical learning content that also supports these roles and job seekers pursuing developer roles can access the GitHub Learning Lab to practice their skills.
Industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications are being offered at reduced cost. Exams that normally cost $100 or more will be offered for $15 for individuals who are unemployed or furloughed due to COVID-19. All exams are available in English, Spanish, French, German, and more. See the website for complete Terms and Conditions.
It’s the time of year when many of us make decisions about our employee benefits for the coming year–“open enrollment” season. The Office of Financial Education, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, offers this sound advice:
You can guide your children in finding the financial help they need
The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it. Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process. You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:
What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?
Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?
What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?
How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?
You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.
Interested in where your sales tax goes when you make a retail or food purchase? The Illinois Tax Rate Database tracks the breakdown of state, county, and municipal taxes for all cities and towns in Illinois. Additional definitions for what specific taxes mean are in their online glossary.