Friday, August 13, 2010

Auto and Small Engine Repair

Question: My car keeps breaking down, and I don’t want to keep taking it to the mechanic. Do you know where I can find information on automotive repair? Also, I could have sworn that my snowmobile was working last winter; do you have anything for that too?

Answer: Why yes, yes we do. If you're an Alaska resident, the Digital Pipeline has the resources you’re asking about. Under “Resources A-Z” are the Auto Repair Reference Center and the Small Engine Repair Reference Center.

From the main page of the Auto Repair Reference Center you can find problems with your specific car, including recalls. They also have guides for general car troubleshooting, care and repair, and auto IQ. The auto IQ section is especially helpful for those of us who don’t entirely know where everything is located, or what a part actually does.

The Small Engine Repair Reference Center works similarly. Select the type of small engine you need information on (snowmobile, snow thrower, tractor, etc), then narrow it down by make and model.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Redistributing Federal Documents

Question: There is a federal bill that I’m interested in, and I want to share it with my colleagues through email and a listserv. Where can I find a copy that I can send around without worrying about copyright issues?

Answer: We’ve already talked a bit about the wonderfulness of the Library of Congress’s THOMAS, where you can search for individual bills by bill number, text, or sponsor. But did you know they offered full-text of each available bill?

Once you've found the bill you need, THOMAS will send you on to the Government Printing Office, where you can download a pdf of the bill. Since these are published by the federal government, they fall under public domain and you can distribute them to your heart’s desire.