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Getting the Most out of your Library: Consumer Reports

August 13, 2020

GCPL librarian Kevin Barton wrote this post on the advantages of utilizing Consumer Reports.

When it comes to product reviews, in this humble librarian’s opinion, no organization is more is more trustworthy than Consumer Reports. Founded in 1936, this nonprofit does its own testing and analysis of thousands of diverse products and services every year. They are funded purely through subscriptions to their magazine and website as well as independent grants and donations. They are a strong advocate for consumer rights and safety regulation. They are authoritative, impartial, and fair. All of the products that they perform their testing on are purchased through normal retail outlets. They do not receive products directly from the manufacturers.

So, what can you use Consumer Reports for? To get valuable insight on almost anything you purchase: homes, software, computers, washing machines, toothpaste, pet insurance… all things from cribs to cars. They provide detailed product reviews with convenient charts to show what they recommend and why.  They provide evaluations of reliability, efficiency, owner satisfaction, and energy cost. Every product report is broken down into comparisons of dozens of different specifications for each product. They break reviews down by price, so you can get the most for what you can afford. You can filter reviews by brand, price or overall score. You can dig into the details of each item or get a quick and easy overall review.

Where they truly shine is their research on cars, both new and used. With articles such as “Best Cars for Teens Under $20,000” and “Best Used Cars for City Driving,” Consumer Reports has valuable and trustworthy information for everyone interested in purchasing a vehicle. You can search for reviews by make, model, or year. They provide complete and detailed buying guides on every make of vehicle, so you’ll know what’s important to look for when you’re actually browsing the dealership.

And here’s the best part: As a Geauga County Patron, access to all of Consumer Reports testing and reporting is available at your fingertips. You can go to any Geauga County Public Library branch for access to the Consumer Reports Magazine. But wait… it gets better. You can also access Consumer Reports online from home with a Geauga County Public Library card. You have access to all of their content, including every review, article and insight. Simply go to the GCPL Homepage, scroll down to and click on Resources & Research, then click on Consumer Reports. Enter your library card number, and you’re in!

Consumer Reports is only one of the great resources that Geauga County Public Library offers online. Keep watching Club Ink for more tips on getting the Most out of YOUR Library!

Kevin is currently reading Peace Talks by Jim Butcher.

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