Information Services @ Sno-Isle

The spot where information about information lives

Archive for the category “News”

Changes in the loan of LDS microfilm

Effective September 1, 2017 the LDS Family History Center will no longer loan microfilm to its affiliates (SNO is an affiliate).   The supply of unexposed microfilm and duplication equipment has forced them to make this decision.  For more details about the reasons, please see their website.

But on the upside, there are some amazing digitization efforts going on and you will see that content on  For more information about the decision and the implications, please check the FAQ on the website.


Sanborn Maps Online!

From Genealogy Gems:

Breaking news! The Library of Congress has put online nearly 25,000 additional Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps–and more are coming! Over the next three years, more will be added monthly until all 50 states are covered from the 1880s through the 1960s.

Sanborn maps show detailed information about neighborhoods, buildings, roads and more for thousands of towns in the U.S. and beyond. A sizable collection of pre-1900 Sanborn maps are already online at the Library of Congress (use the above link).

Printing Topo maps

Topo (topographical) maps are very popular with hikers, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts.  And there are some great topo map sites out there, but printing those maps can be a nightmare.  National Geographic has come up with a solution!

National Geographic has built an easy to use web interface that allows anyone to quickly find any quad in the country for downloading and printing. Each quad has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer. These are the same quads that were printed by USGS for decades on giant bus-sized pressed but are now available in multi-page PDFs that can be printed just about anywhere. They are pre-packaged using the standard 7.5 minute, 1:24,000 base but with some twists:

  • Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
  • Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
  • Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography

Area codes and 10 digit dialing

In 2017 a new area code will be introduced to our state.  New area code 564 will start being distributed in the fall of 2017 to new numbers in the 360 area code.

Area code number 564, will be available to all of western Washington including the 360, 206, 253, and 425 area codes as numbers in those areas become exhausted.

To implement the new area code, the Utilities and Transportation Commission also approved mandatory 10-digit dialing for all western Washington area codes by the fall of 2017. This will require callers to dial all 10 digits of a telephone number, including area code, when making local calls.

Read more about it at the Commission’s web site.




The new U.S. paper money

Things are changing in the U.S. Treasury.  We will see new things on the $20, $10, and $5 notes.  Learn more!

15 Things

If you’re ever feeling out of the loop, check this out from the Pew Research Group:


Changes for Customers in QuestionPoint

When asked how quickly they needed an answer, our old form choices gave the customer 3 days/1 week/no rush!  This reflects our thinking in 2001, not 2015.

The Information Services Committee has talked about it and everyone agreed that a change was necessary.  Therefore, effective immediately, our customers will have the following choice when submitting a question via email in QP:
Need assistance within:


  • 24 hours
  • 2 days
  • No rush


This change was made after we reviewed the data from last summer’s Information Services Project Customer Survey and learned that our customers do expect a more “rapid response” to their questions.

New Content in LearningExpressLibrary™

From the vendor:

We are pleased to announce that new resources will be added to LearningExpress Library™ on July 7, 2015. Here are the highlights:


New Practice Tests
Eight (8) complete MCAT® practice tests are now available in the College Center to help students prepare for the new MCAT® 2015 test.


New eBooks
We’ve added a new series that focusses on workplace skills. It includes Mastering Workplace Skills: Math Fundamentals, Mastering Workplace Skills: Grammar Fundamentals, and Mastering Workplace Skills: Writing Fundamentals. There are also new GED® test preparation eBooks in English and Spanish, a new edition of California Police Officer Exam, and a new “501” eBook—501 Questions to Master Everyday Grammar and Writing.


New Common Core Resources
Thirteen (13) new practice tests and a new tutorial are the latest additions to the Common Core State Standards resources. They feature technology-enhanced item types and interactivity, and are completely aligned to the Common Core State Standards.


MARC Records

MARC Records are available to help your patrons easily discover LearningExpress resources! Download and update your custom MARC Records today! New files will be available in mid-July. Access them through the “Librarian Resources” link on your LearningExpress Library homepage.


Coming Soon
New and revised resources will be added over the next two quarters for the PCAT®, PSAT/NMSQT*, AP*, ACT®, and the new 2016 SAT* test.


If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service at


For a complete list of these additons and other changes, click Product update >>.
Your LearningExpress Team




Changes to Book-a-Librarian and Ask by E-Mail Pages

At Tuesday’s Reference Services Committee meeting, we decided that it was time to make some changes to the Book-a-Librarian and Ask by E-Mail pages on our website.  Here’s what’s changed:

Book-a-Librarian now has a page with a list of our libraries.  Click on your library and you’re taken to that library’s BAL page with contact information.  We had reviewed a Tech Report and IdeaScale submission that asked for changes and we hope that the changes that have been put in place address those concerns.


Ask by E-Mail has a new, fresh look to it.  We are also now requiring the customer to identify the community library.  In the very near future we will be moving our Assignment Alert over to this form and knowing where the customer is located will help our QP Administrators assign it to the right spot.

The 2 Billion Dollar Genealogy Industry!

Great article in Forbes about genealogy industry. Genealogy is a 2-plus billion dollar industry that is expected to grow to nearly 3 billion by 2018 (  And they’re looking for innovations and innovators!

Post Navigation