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Kirstein Business Library

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Category Archives: Internet Resources

Shaking up legal contracts

Posted on September 12th, 2013 by Amber De Angelis in Internet Resources
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Mobile technology changed the way we communicate, share information,  shop, and entertain ourselves. So it comes as no surprise that someone would invent a tool to simplify legal transactions using your smartphone.

The folks over at Shake designed an app to record agreements for everyday transactions–from a personal loan to a friend, to a contract for freelance work and more. The app, which is available for iPhone, walks users through a series of questions to create legal documents that can be signed and/or sent to another person, even to your lawyer.  Documents can be signed on any mobile device and are stored securely in the cloud for reference later on.

For budding entrepreneurs who can’t afford to hire a lawyer, this a great way to create simple and plain-language legal agreements.  You can save the big bucks for complex legal agreements.

Shake is in no way a replacement for a lawyer, but a tool to help you create enforceable legal documents.  If you feel you need counsel, by all means seek it out. Shake’s founders emphasize that point in this article from Forbes and on their FAQ page.

You can download the app for iPhone from the App Store.

If you have tried Shake’s app let us know in the comments below.


Netflix for books? Sure, why not!

Posted on September 6th, 2013 by Amber De Angelis in Internet Resources
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TechCrunch reports  that Oyster, a new ebook subscription service, is rolling out invitations for the iPhone on a first come, first-served basis.

The startup plans to offer its members unlimited access to over 100,000 ebook titles for $9.95 a month. And Oyster plans to add more titles going forward.

Taking its name from the Shakespearean line, “the world’s mine oyster,” the service focuses heavily on reader experience– literally putting a library in your pocket. The nine man team developed a mobile app optimized for reading and sharing with your friends with one-tap access to each ebook.

You can sign up for an invitation on their homepage.

If you subscribe to the service, let us know what you think in the comments below.

But if you don’t feel like doling out the cash each month, we have ebooks as well as downloadable audio books for free via overdrive. We also have a new magazine subscription service called Zinio, which allows you to check out current issues of popular magazines in English or Spanish to read on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.  Both are accessible with a BPL eCard or a regular library card and your PIN.


Looking to buy a home…?

Posted on June 29th, 2013 by Amber De Angelis in Internet Resources, Kirstein Business Library


You may have noticed some changes around Kirstein in recent months.  Each month, we plan to make displays of books you can take home based on a theme.  Last month it was Marketing your Business.  This month we are focusing on home buying.

There are some free online resources too:

CNN Money 101: Buying a Home
Tips and tricks assembled by the CNN Money team on buying a home, financing a purchase, picking an agent and many other topics.

Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System
NMLS Consumer Access is a free service for consumers to confirm that the financial-services company or professional with whom they wish to conduct business is authorized to conduct business in their state.

MA HUD Portal
Find homeownership links to homebuyer classes, housing consumer education programs, mortgage advice, and other programs from around Massachusetts.

Boston Home Center
The Boston Home Center (BHC) provides homebuyers with educational courses and financial assistance, and markets homes developed for income-eligible, first-time homebuyers. This is a good place to start if you’re planning to place roots in Boston.

Also, if you want to learn more about the housing market in Greater Boston you should check out this post too.

And, as always, you can approach the reference desk and ask a librarian to help you.


Massachusetts Clean Energy Data

Posted on June 22nd, 2013 by Gregor Smart in Internet Resources, Kirstein Business Library


Did you know that there are now 71,523 employees working in clean energy throughout the Commonwealth?  Or that in 2012, Massachusetts was home to the most Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) grants per capita at 15 and the most Water Innovation Patents per capita in the country at nearly 120?

Find these stats and more via the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.


Monthly Housing Reports from GBAR

Posted on June 20th, 2013 by Gregor Smart in Internet Resources, Kirstein Business Library

In need of local real estate data?  Check out news and market data from the Greater Boston Association of Realtors website.  Their reports include:

Real Estate Rewind 2013

  • Summarizes residential real estate market activity in the 54 cities and towns
  • Detailed data from the detached single-family home and condominium markets, including units sold, median price, average days on market, pending sales, and inventory levels
  • For the most recent quarter and the same three-month period one year ago

Local Market Update Reports

  • Follow key indicators of housing market performance, documenting data for each month on the calendar
  • Data on closed sales, median selling price, percent of original list price to selling price, housing affordability, the inventory of unsold homes/condos, pending sales, and average time on the market for sold property

2013 Monthly Housing Market Reports

  • Performance and longer-term trends within the residential (detached single-family home and condominium markets) and multifamily housing markets (2-4 family properties)
  • Monthly data reports for the residential market are available for the past five years
  • Multifamily housing market report back to 2012