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You can get a lot of information about the countries of the world using a mix of the library's research databases and various free websites.
 

Research databases:

 

Free sites

 

If you can't find the information or statistic you're looking for, remember to contact us for assistance!
With regard to the library's ebooks, it's hard to go wrong with most of the popular devices. All of the ebook titles through our subscription to the Overdrive service are available in the Adobe EPUB format, which is supported by devices like the Nook and the Sony ereader, as well as by using the free overdrive Media Center app for the iPad/iPhone or Android devices. Most of those titles are also available in Kindle format, but there a few (perhaps about 50) that aren't, so you'll still have access to the vast majority of the collection.
 
Visit the Overdrive site for an extensive list of compatible devices. You can also contact the library's Welcome Center (847-506-2640) for personal assistance with ereaders and Overdrive.
It seems that large, coordinated outdoor seasonal light displays are becoming harder to find in the last few years. In this area, the largest remaining event is probably at the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills (847-362-3042).
 
Local zoos offer a unique mix of animals and lights. The Brookfield Zoo has their Holiday Magic display (800-201-0784), the Lincoln Park Zoo has their Zoolights exhibit (312-742-2000) and Wheaton's Cosley Zoo has their Festival of Lights and Trees (630-665-5534).
 
If you're in the mood for an indoor exhibit, you might consider the Chicago Botanic Garden's Winter Wonderland display of lights, model trains and miniature buildings (847-835-5440).
 
Of course, sometimes it's fun just to get in the car (or take a walk) and see the neighborhood lights. You may want to get your hands on a copy of Mary Edsey's book "The Best Christmas Decorations In Chicagoland" (with update information online). For lots of other local holiday events and activities, contact the Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau (847-490-1010), who were helpful in answering this question.
Medications thrown down the drain or in the trash can enter our environment and water system and be harmful to people, so be careful how you dispose of them!
 
The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC, 847-724-9205) has drop-off locations as part of their medications/sharps (needles, syringes and lancets) drop-off program. In Arlington Heights, the drop-off is located in the Senior Center at 1801 West Central Road / 847-253-5532. They accept outdated medications and sharps the first Thursday of each month from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. Check the SWANCC site for drop-off locations in other local communities.
 
When dropping off medications leave them in the original containers and labels; mark out any personal information for security.  Prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and prescription liquid medications are accepted; non-prescription liquids and pharmaceutical controlled substances are not. All needles must be placed in rigid containers with a sealed lid. The service is for residential owners only, not businesses, schools, or hospitals.
 
Look for other environmentally friendly ideas on the Library's "Green Choices" blog.
Lots of homes have that pile of old cans in the corner of the garage. Eventually, it's time to get rid of them responsibly. With latex paint, it may be as simple as opening the can, letting it dry out and disposing of it in your regular garbage. Other household chemicals are more hazardous and may require dropping off at an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA, 217-785-8604) waste disposal center or a one-day waste disposal event. Find information about waste disposal events and facilities on their website.
 
Locally, SWANCC — the Suburban Waste Agency of Northern Cook County , (847-724-9205) has a list of waste disposal centers and event dates at http://bit.ly/pSe7eQ. In addition, they also have an excellent video called "How to Get Rid of Paint and Household Chemicals" that covers both paint and hazardous chemical disposal.
 
You might also find it a good idea to reduce the number of potentially harmful chemicals you use at home. For greener approaches to deal with household supplies, see our "Green Choices" blog  or some of the library's books on the topic.
 
And while we are highlighting videos, take a look at this great video by students at Olive Mary Stitt School in Arlington Heights about being waste free! 
Congratulations on using a healthy oil and knowing to avoid harmful trans-fatty acids.
 
Although research shows some conflicting information, most experts say that you can safely use olive oil to sauté and fry food but not to the point where it begins to smoke (the "smoke point"). At that point, it can oxidize, partially hydrogenate, and create harmful trans fats.
 
Different oils (even different brands) have different smoke points. In general, for olive oil it’s between 360 – 410 degrees Fahrenheit. For frying foods at a higher temperature than the smoke point of olive oil, consider using refined avocado, peanut, or sesame oil since they generally have higher smoke points.
 
You also may be interested in looking at four healthy cooking magazines that you can check out from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library:
 
Bon appétit!
First, the curfew in Arlington Heights for people under 17 years old is 12:01 a.m.-6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings (effectively meaning "Friday night" and "Saturday night"), and 11:00 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning for Sunday-Thursday nights.
 
What happens if your teen breaks curfew? We spoke with the Arlington Heights Police Department and were informed that a teen who breaks curfew will be arrested for a petty offense (meaning there's no jail time) and brought back to the police station, where he/she can only be released to a parent or legal guardian. In addition, there is a $75 bond payment and a date is set to go before a judge. The judge will review the specifics of the case and the teen's background and decide if there's an additional fine or mandatory community service, etc.
 
It can be tricky talking to your teen about becoming an adult. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has a number of titles about parent/teen relationships that you might also find useful.
The flu shot clinics are starting to show up around the area. The Village of Arlington Heights will have a clinic at the Senior Center on Monday, Sept. 27 and Tuesday, Sept. 28.  There are fees involved and you need to call  847-253-5532 to make an appointment.
 
Wheeling Township's Senior & Disabled Services Dept. also has flu shots through October & November.  For details, call (847) 259-7730.
 
Many other local organizations and pharmacies also have flu shot clinics.  For additional listings, check Northwest Community Healthcare's Flu Shot Hotline: 847-618-4FLU (4358).  Finally, the American Lung Association has a flu vaccine finder that you can search by zip code.  However, as of the date of this posting, it hasn't been made active for the 2011/12 flu season.  Keep checking back, though.
 
The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has a wealth of online health information about the flu and flu vaccine, including reference articles, pamphlets and magazine/jounal articles from the Health & Wellness Resource Center database.
 
Stay healthy!
If you want to save gas, turn it off! A recent email from the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce addressed this issue. The recommendation, from information provided by the Arlington Heights Cool Cities Coalition, is that if you're going to stop for more than 10 seconds, you save more gas by turning off your engine and restarting than you would by idling. It goes on to list several other ideas for saving gas in your car.
 
Of course, there's the question of whether starting and restarting your engine increases wear and tear on the starter. The City of Tallahassee government website notes that over the course of a year, 1-2 additional restarts per day might cost $10 per year in terms of starter wear, but could save you between $70 and $650 annually, based on your car model and gas prices.
 
You might also find it useful to look at the book "Improving Fuel Economy," by Roy Cox, available from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, or visit the US Dept. of Energy's fuel economy site for more tips in increasing your gas mileage and managing your fuel costs.
In short...probably not, but you could ask!
 
Section 16-03(a) of the Village Code ("Dog Licenses and Animal Provisions--Prohibited Animals" ) says:
 
"It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal other than those customarily used as pets unless such animal shall be certified in writing as safe by a licensed veterinarian and such animal shall be given a rabies shot if there is a possibility of rabies. In no event shall any person or family keep or maintain more than two such animals."
 
This raises the question--who decides what's "customary?"  We spoke with Jeff Bohner, Environmental Health Officer with the Village's Health Services Dept.  He noted that part b of the "Prohibited Animals" section includes details on how to request an exception for a specific animal.  The decision is ultimately made by the Village Board, usually with input from the Village Animal Control Warden and the Health Services Dept. Jeff noted that, in the past, chickens have not been approved.
 
If you have further questions, you can call the Health Services Dept. at 847-368-5760.
 
However, if you DO happen to be somewhere you can raise chickens (or if you're just interested in how to raise them), check out these books from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
The AARP offers driver safety classes at both the Wheeling Township Offices (1616 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, 847-259-7730) and the Arlington Heights Senior Center (1801 W. Central Rd., Arlington Heights, 847-253-5532).
 
Not from Arlington Heights? You can also use their handy Course Locator. It lets you search for classes by distance from you and date.
 
The AARP site discusses reasons seniors might want to take a driver safety course. They note "Cars have changed. So have the traffic rules, driving conditions, and the roads you travel every day. Some drivers age 50-plus have never looked back since they got their first driver's licenses, but even the most experienced benefit from brushing up on their driving skills."
 
You might also find it useful to look over the book "The Senior Driver's Guidebook: How To Keep Driving Longer," available from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
You have a lot of local options for donating school supplies.  CEDA Northwest distributes supplies to a number of local communities; the school superintendents' offices generally collect supplies specifically for their districts.  
 
Before you donate, call first!  While we were able to track down school supply lists for the school districts, it helps to know if they really need certain items (e.g., do they need backpacks more than notepads?) or if they have specific procedures for leaving your donations.
 
Contacts:
 
1300 Northwest Highway
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
847-392-2332
 
Arlington Heights School District 25--Dunton Administrative Building
1200 S. Dunton Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
847-758-4870
See each school's site for its supply list
 
Community Consolidated School District 21
Superintendent’s Office
999 W. Dundee Rd
Wheeling, IL 60090
847-537-8270
Supply lists are available for each school
 
Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO)
Contact each school to determine its specific needs:
Miner School--847-463-8400
Timber Ridge--847-463-8300
Kirk--847-463-8500
 
While we're on the topic of school, make sure to check out the newly-redesigned "School Help" section of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's website.  You'll find fantastic resources for live homework help, looking up information, learning languages and more.
After the Village has picked up your damaged rugs, furniture, etc., you may also want to look over this important post-flood safety information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.  It includes information on safely re-entering your home, health risks, mold issues, etc.
 
The Village site also has information about reporting the extent of your damage by noon, July 29, so that the need for FEMA loans can be assessed.
 
Are you preparing to work with a clean-up company?  Make sure to look at customer reviews of "Fire/Water Damage Restorers" using the library's subscription to the Consumer's Checkbook online service, via the Databases list on our website.  The Chicago Better Business Bureau site also has ratings for "Fire & Flood Emergency Service" companies.
The Red Cross of Greater Chicago offers "Babysitting Boot Camp" classes at their Arlington Heights training facility.  Their next scheduled dates are August 20-21 and the class costs $125.  You can see more details online.  You can also contact the Red Cross directly at 312-729-6100 for more details.

The Library also has several copies of The American Red Cross Babysitter's Training Handbook, which is used by the Red Cross for their training.

According to the book "Chronicle of a Prairie Town" (p. 117), the lake's normal water depth is 20 feet, but following heavy rains, excess water flows into the lake, which could increase the depth up to 30 feet.  Lake Arlington was built as a flood control project.  It covers 45 acres and is 3,200 feet long and 1,200 feet wide.
There are a number of local organizations that offer CPR training.  Please contact them directly for specific dates, fees, etc.:

Township High School District 214's Community Education Program (847-718-7700) offers both "Family & Friends" CPR training, as well as healthcare professional training.

Northwest Community Hospital (847-618-4968) usually offers an adult CPR class every other month. The cost is $40.

Finally, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago (800-337-2338) offers frequent CPR training at their Arlington Heights facility.  Using their calendar, select "View the catalog" then select "CPR/AED" as the class category and then enter your location and date options as suits your needs.

The Arlington Heights Park District operates 5 outdoor pools located in neighborhoods throughout the Village. Camelot Pool, Frontier Pool, Heritage Pool, Pioneer Park Pool and Recreation Pool offer open swimming times as well as classes and programs for children and adults. You can find a map of pool locations, information on fees, classes and hours of operation at the Arlington Heights Park District website.
 
The Park District also operates an indoor swimming facility at Olympic Indoor Swim Center which may be an alternative during cooler weather.
 
If you are interested in swimming in the cooler waters of Lake Michigan, there are many beaches operated by the Chicago Park District, for a complete list visit the Chicago Park District website.
 
Nearby suburbs with beach access include Wilmette and Evanston, links to the beaches can be found on the park district websites for Wilmette and Evanston.
 
Enjoy the swimming facilities and have a good summer.
 
Would you like to submit your own "Question of the Week?" Send it to the librarians at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library by emailing questions@ahml.info with the subject, “Question of the Week.”
 
Two websites provide professional background and conduct information about brokers and investment advisers.
 
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has a “BrokerCheck” section on its website that provides information about  stock brokers, including qualifications, exams passed, employment history, disciplinary actions and investigations, customer complaints, investment-related civil suits, criminal felony charges and convictions, and if currently registered or suspended with any regulator.
 
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) includes information about investment advisers who are not stock brokers . 
 
Both websites also have information about investment firms, including how the firms charge for their fees.
 
You may also want to check out the book "Who Can You Trust With Your Money? : Get the Help you Need Now and Avoid Dishonest Advisors," by Bonnie S. Kirchner.
 
Also, for other investment-related information, be sure to check the Investments section of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library website).
According to Patriotic Holidays of the United States by Helene Henderson, “Red poppies grow wild in fields in France and Belgium where many battles of World War I were fought.  After the war soldiers carried memories of the arresting sight of the beautiful flowers sharing the land with their fallen comrades. ”   This vision was mentioned beautifully in the 1915 poem by John McCrae “In Flanders Fields”.  Today disabled and unemployed veterans make the millions of paper poppies sold by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion auxiliary each year around Memorial Day.  
We spoke with the American the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) in Arlington, VA.  They noted that that during World War I and World War II, the US military notified the next of kin of the fallen armed forces. It was up to the next of kin, to determine the final disposition--abroad or in the US.  The ABMC website features an extensive list of frequently asked questions regarding the history of these military cemeteries and the rules that govern them.
 
For more information on military personnel, alive or deceased, see the book How to Locate Anyone Who is or Has Been in the Military, available at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.  You can also research the "World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas" and the "WWI, WWII, and Korean War Casualty Listings" sections of the Ancestry Library Edition database using any public PC in the library.