Hip Hop Music Sales Slump in Digital Age What Does This Mean For the Industry?

Hip hop music was huge in the United States just a few years ago. At one point in 2000, sales even hit a record high of over 1.8 billion USD. That was when Hip Hop R&B had over taken all other genres of music in terms of record sales. To find out why Hip Hop music sales are slumping currently, one has to rewind a little and understand how Hip Hop all started out.

Before Hip Hop got accepted into the mainstream, many Hip Hop artists pretty much stayed underground to practice their art form. No one knew Hip Hop was going to become the titan that it would develop into. When Hip Hop first began, it started out in the streets. It was a movement by people who were disadvantaged, or were ostracized by the community – they were looking for a way to express themselves and their plight. And express themselves they did.

Hip Hop music is spontaneous and witty. For example, when a battle takes place between two artists, the lyrics are never pre-written. Each competitor will be given the opportunity to rap for a certain period of time. The audience is the judge. The culture of rap is that the judging audience is never biased making it a truly democratic art form. Whoever comes up with the most original and creative lyrics will win the battle. Of course, there is an element of like and dislike. So the lyrics have to connect with the audiences as well. The final results of the battle is based on the cheers of the audience. Whoever receive the loudest cheer, wins the battle.

As you can see, Hip Hop arises out of a need for talented artists to be heard. And the artists became really good from years of practicing. As they practice, the world remains largely unaware of what is happening. It wasn’t until the artists become more entrepreneurial that Hip Hop starts to take off.

Unlike other type of music, the Hip Hop community accepts was far reaching in content and profanity in the lyrics. The market finds it refreshing to hear such profanity in the records. And soon, Hip Hop music took off like a bullet with as much variety in tone as there were people. From the angry rebellious rap, to the happy its a party time songs.

The market soaked it all in mainly because they believed that the artists were just doing their thing – they were voicing repressed feelings, from lack of opportunity or showing you how to enjoy yourself and life. So record sales continued to soar. Recording artists like Eminem, 50 Cent Lil Wayne, Jay Z, T.I and Gucci Mane all did very well in the industry.

Unfortunately, the success of the Hip Hop industry has hit a turning point. In a few short years, sales for Hip Hop music begin to decline, and it continued to decline year after year. Some recording labels, once worth millions of dollars, are now near bankruptcy.

It is clear that the market has taken the time to learn about Hip Hop music and culture and have fully embraced it. After earning billions of dollars in the industry, and being widely accepted in the mainstream, what is the source of the decline in sales?

Many will argue, its all due to the Internet. The new Internet age has brought about many new opportunities along with many new threats to the old industries. Now its easier then ever to commit piracy and unfortunately the record industry has been resistant to change. Too stuck in the old mind frame and old distribution channels to fully embrace what the Internet could really mean for them.

Hip Hop artists are now being heard all over the world. There is no longer the element of distribution channels or lag from the artist to the market. Why? Because the Internet makes it instantaneous. As such old walls have been broken down where people had to wait for months or search relentlessly to be able to acquire all of an artists past works.

As such artists must continue to evolve in order to continue thriving. Perhaps it’s still back to basics. No more focusing on big marketing budgets and record label driving initiatives. Maybe what the Internet has done is take Hip Hop out of the corporate boardrooms and back to the streets where all that counts is just great rap music lyrics from the heart.

Hip Hop Music

Hip-hop music is the vehicle of hip-hop culture and contains “rapping” (superimposed with vocals) by emcees. Owing to this, hip-hop music is sometimes referred to as “rap music,” However, those who dismiss hip-hop as rap music do not comprehend its rich history and the influence this genre of music has on youth culture.

Hip-hop music is a vehicle used by the singers to address racism, oppression, and poverty issues. It narrates tales of inner city African-Americans living the American dream (through hard work, courage and determination one can achieve prosperity) from the bottom up, and bitterly touches upon racial discrimination, broken homes, and overcoming adversity.

Invented by Jamaican migrant DJ Kool Herc in the early 70s in New York City, it has since then spread its tentacles across the world. Herc shifted from reggae records to funk, rock and disco. Owing to the short percussive breaks, he began extending them using an audio mixer and two records. As the unique style of music became a hit, performers (emcees) began superimposing the music with vocals; initially, they introduced themselves and others in the audience. Later, the rapping became more diverse, incorporating brief rhymes, often with a sexual or violent theme, in an attempt to entertain the audience.

In the mid-1970s, hip-hop split into two groups. One focused on getting the crowd dancing, another highlighted rapid-fire rhymes. The 1980s witnessed further diversification in hip-hop; highly metaphoric lyrics rapping over multi-layered beats replaced simple vocals. In the 90s, gangsta rap (glorified outlaw lifestyle) became mainstream. Hip-hop was soon an integral part of mainstream music, and nearly all the pop songs featured an underlying element of hip-hop.

In the 90s and into the following decade, elements of hip-hop were integrated into diverse genres of music: hip-hop soul combined hip-hop and soul music; in the Dominican Republic, a recording by Santi Y Sus Duendes and Lisa M was coined “Meren-rap,” a fusion of hip-hop and meringue. In Europe, Africa, and Asia, hip-hop has undergone a transition from an underground occurrence to the mainstream market.

All About the Hip Hop Music

Hip hop music as we all know is really popular these days. It all started in the 1970’s from the South Bronx of New York City. There are a lot of sub culture music styles that are involved with Rap music. Let us know more about hip hop in the following listed details:

Brief history:

During the 1970’s, New York City’s African American Puerto Rican community created the Rap music genre. It is actually a style that came up while trying to add rap music and other instruments like synthesizers, drum machines in live bands. Rappers are the main subject of the hip hop though there are more to it than just rapping. It began with its simple music versions that were modernized and evolved throughout the years.

Styles and Techniques:

Hip hop music or Rap music is not just music at all. It is composed of other things, not only the music itself. If we talk about being in a hip hop culture and community, you will be in a lot of transformation and changes. For example is their fashion statement. Hip hop has brought along a new type of clothing to all artists on the rap music industry including the people listening to it. It is what the people on the Bronx have come up with, but the a little edge into it. We can see most of the artists wearing baggy clothes, with much ‘blings’ in their accessories. It is all part of the hip hop community transformation.

The language is also a bit different. Black people from the Bronx have a certain style or slang in their language. They are more of the baroque style of speaking, and they have added that style in their music’s. Rap music are consists of songs that are written for people that wants to express their feelings in an edgy way.

Graffiti:

Even the graffiti has been transformed by the hip hop music society. It was used in the earlier years as a form of expression for the political activists. Now, hip hop people created it into a way for them to express their way of life, thoughts with the current society, and all other issues. It can be seen throughout the Bronx where it originated.

Famous artists:

1. Run-D.M.C.

2. Public Enemy

3. Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five

4. Beastie Boys

5. 2pac

6. Eric B and Rakim

7. N.W.A

8. Wu-Tang Clan

9. Jay Z

10. De La Soul

11. Outkast

12. A Tribe Called Quest

13. Notorious BIG

14. Nas

15. Eminem

17. LL Cool J

18. Boogie Down Productions

19. Dr. Dre

20. Afrikaa Bambaataa

21. Kanye West

22. The Roots

23. Gangstarr

24. Ice Cube

25. EPMD

26. Salt-N-Pepa

27. Slick Rick

28. Big Daddy Kane

29. Snoop Dog

30. Pete Rock and C.L Smooth

Those are the major information we should know about the rap music genre. Try listening to some of their songs to know more about what this type of music is all about.

Audio Production – How to Become a Hip-Hop Music Producer

There are many upcoming music producers interested in audio production in hip-hop. This urban genre of music appeals more to the youth which you must be aware of with your techniques. This means you have to be different and unique, and these qualities are what most of the hip-hop production houses and artists are looking for. With the right knowledge in music production, the next thing is to find your way into the list of notable hip-hop music producers in the industry.

Since your interests are in hip-hop music and audio production, you have to know how to make these kinds of beats. Make nice hip-hop beats because you will need them when you want to show artists looking for suitable beats to sing or rap over. The best way is to know places where you can find aspiring hip-hop artists so you can offer them your beats for “mix-tapes” or sell them for a small fee and if you have good beats, you can be sure your chances of them and the public liking them is a lot higher.

You should also make sure you attend all the events you can that will keep you in contact with hip-hop artists, other music producers and any interested parties so you can introduce yourself and what you do. Network is crucial in the music business and you have to learn how to sell yourself. You could also give samples of your work and remember to make follow ups since it is likely you are not the only one doing that and they may have received a lot of samples from other aspiring hip-hop music producers who also love audio production.

Make sure you network with people you share interests with and this means other people aspiring to be hip-hop music producers. Through discussions and forums, you can get to know what other people are doing to make it in the industry which could be very useful to you.

There is need to know all that is happening in the hip-hop industry including the changes that you need to adopt especially to do with technology. Since music technology is changing rapidly and people’s needs and tastes are also changing, the artists too will need to be into audio production that are up to date to give them an edge in the industry since they know their fans will also like it.

There are music producers equipment that you will use in your work which you must have. On top of being aware of the music technology in the industry, it is also important to be aware of the different hardware that are introduced so that you get some knowledge and understanding as to how they operate.

Perhaps the most important thing is to have a genuine interest in what you do and strive to make your skills better in audio production. Practice always makes perfect. Listen to a lot of hip-hop music and learn the tricks with the best productions. You can consider listening to your favorite producers to try to emulate their style and as you get better slowly evolve and develop your own.

How Does Urban Wear Relate to Hip Hop Music?

Over the years because of hip hop music stars who also design clothes, urban wear has become some of the most popular types of clothing on the market. There is a definite iconic status for people who design urban clothing and the fact that the clothing is related to the hip hop music culture. These clothes reflect the attitudes of the rap culture itself. In fact, as hip hop continues to thrive and move forward the clothing that comes with it will remain hot! As the hip hop culture continues on it becomes more popular among young people especially in the urban clothing lines. Some of these lines are designed by the hip hop artists themselves like. This increases the popularity of hip hop and this type of urban clothing will be the stamp for future hip hop admirers.

Urban Wear is definitely more for open minded people. Today’s urban fashion is worn around the world and is considered the most fashionable. It may seem to be American but this type of clothing was actually inspired by African culture. That is why the term hip hop seems to bring to mind colored people wearing over sized shirts and jeans. This type of clothing is also known as street or urban wear. It really begins from the music genre that brings out the personal expressions and goes against the mainstream music scene. It has been known to feature huge accessories that are known as bling! There are also the basketball caps and t-shirts that tend to be at least one or two sizes bigger then the way clothes are worn on average. These types of shirts could come from plain basketball jerseys or feature some sayings that express what the individual wants to get across to society.

The fact is that hip hop style has been accepted all over the world. It was first accepted in the poorest American cities like the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The urban wear phenomenon is made up of various styles and different ways to wear pieces. There are some vital pieces that you should have in your wardrobe. Society So when hip hop music stars look good in their clothing then the fans want to look good in it too! The hip hop industry is collaborating with the fashion industry and getting the urban culture out there which includes hoods, military printed cargos, custom sneakers, hip hop hats and more.

It is not uncommon to see urban wear appear in music videos and on rap icons. This is the way that they contribute to the flavor of fashion today. It is quite common to see these labels under the leadership of famous rappers and producers that want to build their business and get into urban clothing deals. Many hip hop musicians will get into the business or urban clothing because they know it will be a huge business accomplishment. Many music artists get signed to a record label and get paid huge sums for their recorded work but may not see more money until the label gets back all the money from promotions. This is when artists may want to invest in other ventures and urban wear has become one of these popular outlets.

This is a way for these artists to make their money work for them. It will also benefit them as far as their public image and self expression which they want to give to their fans. With these kinds of ventures it is a way for them to market and sell their clothes. P. Diddy with Sean John, Nelly with Apple Bottoms, Jay-z with Rocawear, 50 Cent with G-Unit and more are all managed by rappers and many other labels have grown in appeal as rappers continue to get their names and music and urban wear out into the main stream where the public is just eating it all up.

Instrumental Hip-Hop Music

Indian Hip-Hop is a wonderful mixture of conventional Indian musical rudiments with hip hop music. Hip-Hop changed all the dynamics of world music in 1990s. It’s a form of music which focuses more on message or lyrics of the song than the music. To understand Indian instrumental Hip-Hop music we will have to look at instrumental and Hip-Hop music separately. Indian instrumental music is a part of the great tradition of Indian classical music. Indian classical music is one of the prime constituent of wonderful Indian heritage. Whereas Hip-Hop originated from Afro-American culture and now it is more of a global phenomenon. The mixing of these two forms of music results in captivating instrumental Hip-Hop music.

Instrumental Hip-Hop music redefined the music scenario to the extent that it is considered as a genre of its own. It is one of the most experimental forms of music. Slowly India is also catching up with this new genre. Instrumental Hip-Hop uses one or more local music with other instruments. For example, Indian instrumental hip-hop music mixes few of the Indian languages with percussion or other Indian instruments like Veena or Sitar and thus comes out a completely new form of music which is soothing to the ears. Other experiment includes using Indian movies songs with numerous instruments.

Indian hip-hop musical segment is still in evolution stage. Though, few of the Indian artists have managed to make a name for themselves on international scale. One of the most popular Indian Hip Hop artists who is credited to carve a niche for himself is Asoka. Basically a solo performer, he has worked with famous rappers as well. Asoka has worked with one of the world’s most popular rappers, The Outlawz. Not only that, he has prominently featured in major mix tapes. Other prominent Indian hip-hop artists are Srik, OBB, Sagar, PRX etc.

Summer Hip Hop Music 2013

Get ready for the newest hip hop releases. Summer 2013 has officially arrived and we’re gearing up to give you the business of the new music artists’ releases!

Now before we continue, let me just make clear that a lot of rumors have surfaced as to exactly what is about to go down during this hot, sticky, and sexy season.

For starters, Lil Wayne’s songs and other new hip hop music releases will be served handsomely on a platter via your local favorite Summertime radio station, that is. Besides, who would’ve really doubted Lil Wayne songs as yet another regulatory bypassing of judgmental fodder for submissive temporary airplay? Not us.

Besides, the boy has been among the top hip hop artists since he killed audiences with those none other than dare I say who? If you guessed TT Boi a.k.a. Sir 2 Chainz, then you guessed right my friends. Remember back in the Spring of ’07 when we all couldn’t wait for the newest hip hop releases? Ever since that historic mind-blowing period for Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has gone on to become seemingly out of nowhere literally one of top music artists to date.

But that’s not all, because my sources inside tell me that this summer’s newest hip hop music will be an ever so eventful one considering the likes of the classic duo even once more collaborating.

Just in time. Right on the money, huh? Pssst… we hear this one’s aiming to be a classic.

In other rumors of new hip hop music, Rocko’s not at all in any type of a hurry to take a break thus far in getting off of his wave. After all, so is everyone else riding it out along with him. Definitely be on the heavy lookout for one of his brand new music releases around midway through this hot Summer season.

Oh yeah, and for all you doubters and forgetful types out there, guess which hip hop music artist is making a steady and long-awaited comeback? Younger shorties prepare to pinch yourselves accordingly, for you may not know who this is.

Just not too long ago, the former Cash Money record label signee, known to other artists as Young Turk, was released from prison on what had foully appeared to be trumped up felony-related charges upon him and other music artists as of late.

We hear that Turk is currently back in the lab perfecting and fine-tuning his “oh so” Lil Wayne-ish like craft effortlessly for a sharp and secondarily memorable return.

We wish him well.

*On a sidenote, we also heard unconfirmed rumors of Young Turk once again collaborating with his former group mates Weezy and Juvenile for an official Hot Boy’s reunion.

Hip Hop music artists Hot Boys Young Turk and B.G. were both incarcerated due to what apparently led to the former groups fallout, among other unsolved issues. The new hip hop music releases that are slated for this year’s Summer should be on smash to say the least.

Without giving away all of the goods, I must say that fellow west coast artists will become very active once again this Summer in the newest hip hop music scene. Big up to all of the new music releases coming from up out of the new west. As fans, we need a breath of fresh air, for sure and most certainly.

Well, that about wraps up the lowdown on this year’s Summer 2013 annual music artists and upcoming new music releases. Definitely keep an eye out for the west coast as mentioned for the west will certainly provide this Summer’s classic club bangers and newest hip hop music. Turn up!

Why Parents Don't Like Rap and Hip Hop Music While Kids, Teens and Young Adults Do

Rap and Hip Hop Music is one of the leading trends in music today. Yet, so many parents disapprove of rap/hip hop music, while kids, teens and young adults have an undying love for it. Why?

Most parents want the best for their children, and so, they go about their days attempting to acquire better lives for themselves and their loved ones. Parents were young once too, but they later discovered it is more beneficial to live a positive life style compared to a negative one. They have come to understand that the path towards having constructive experiences start with feeding the mind with constructive ideas, learning good lessons and following sensible instructions.

Therefore, most parents do not want their loved ones to have negative experiences, such as the constant viewing of cruel images, repeated feelings of unnecessary pain or repetitive listening to destructive words that are heard in some hip hop and rap songs. For this reason, parents don’t like many rap and hip hop songs because of the damaging lyrical content. What is more, they don’t appreciate the idea that such harmful words are being fed into the minds of their kids, teens or young adults.

On the other hand kids, teens and young adults love rap and hip hop music because of the powerful nature of the beat, while the flow of the lyrics spew out catchy punch lines and slick metaphors. For the young at heart, hip hop and rap is more than just music, it is a life style. It is a wonderful combination of rhythm, rhetoric and hope. Kids, teens and young adults all over the world bop their heads emotionally to the rhythmic sounds of hip hop. They become awe inspired by the rhetorical flow of rap and hope to one day capture the financial success of the artists viewed in the videos.

Although some of the lyrics in rap and hip hop music are derogatory in nature, all of it is not belittling. Several hip hop and rap artists outright demean people, places and things, while some rhyme about how they overcame appalling living conditions, hateful peers, poverty and crime. Others boost about their financial success as an affirmation that they have made it out of a life of dreadfulness. And, artists may use language which they are familiar with — a curse or two to express such experiences.

So I ask parents, a kid, teens and young adults, is there a balance?

Well, everyone knows that the mind is like a sponge, soaking up information like water from the very moment of human conception. Indeed, the mind vividly records what is observed through sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and imagination. As a result, that which is recorded in our minds has an effect on our behavior. Yes, music also shapes our mindset!

Music is considered an art and science for a very good reason! Experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, biology, physiology, physics and education have worked alongside musicians to unravel the mysteries of music. Such research is aimed at understanding music’s basic structure; it’s biological, emotional and psychological effect on humans and the brain; it’s healing and altering potential; and its function in the evolutionary process. Music helps scientists understand complex functions of the brain and opens up treatments for patients who are recovering from strokes or suffering with Parkinson’s. Research even suggests that music may alter the structure of the brain.

What is more, words have power, real energy. This is demonstrated in the fact that music can thrill us, sadden us or inspire us. We feel goose bumps rise on our skin as we listen to a favorite melody, and we are whisked back to old memories by hearing the opening bars of an old school song. Throughout history, songs have been created with the intention to inspire feelings of happiness, joy, praise, relaxation, anger, heartache, destruction, etc. Wow! Music can do all this?

The good news is that there is a balance. For parents, it is recommended that you do not discredit all rap and hip hop music. There exist good and wholesome compositions out there that your young ones can enjoy, and you can feel safe that they are feeding their minds with sensible ideas.

And for the kids, teens, and young adults, it is suggested that you be more mindful of the type of rap and hip hop music you are listening to as it does have an impact on your mindset.

Hip Hop Music Production – 3 Essentials For Producing Your Own Hip Hop Music

The Hip hop music production of today uses drum machines, samplers, online beat makers, live instrumentals, samplers, live vocals, sequences, and synthesizers. If you can imagine it, you can probably use it. This genre of music includes all the various processes that go into the production of the music. As a producer, your role is to assemble the instrumentals of each track.

Putting together a hip hop instrumental is an art form what the hip hop music producer is known for. This is typically called the beat, while in the role of producer you are known as the beat maker. The biggest change that is now happening in the industry is that advancing technology which is eliminating the job of producer in hip hop music production.

The good news for Rap and Hip Hop artists is that today artists themselves are now taking of the production of the entire hip hop beat. For new and emerging artists this is even more so. The new age of beat making applications can do three times more than anything a retired hip hop producer could do.

Young and happening artists are discovering they can create anything from laying down vocal tracks, to creating instrumentals, and finally mixing and mastering their complete track right from the comfort and convenience of their own home. Further, they can do it for only a fraction of the cost! A modern beat making application for hip hop production can be purchased on the web for less than $30 USD.

Amazingly, for this incredibly low price even the beginning producer can get their hands on the most prized functions and tricks. In addition, having access to comprehensive online tutorials and a support networks means you can instantly begin producing your own music today even if you do not have any knowledge of laying down hip hop beats.

Obviously, this is causing quite a power shift in the industry as artists gain more control. Still though, there are a few fundamentals to hip hop music production that every newbie hip hop self-producer needs to know.

1. The first thing you should know is that the drum beat is the most fundamental component of your track. The complexity and pace of the drum beat dictates what speed and impact the entire production will have. Everything is supported by the drums. It is recommended that you keep them as simple as possible when starting or you will likely run into problems!

2. The second consideration is where to get your drum beats from. They can be downloaded, sampled from online sources, created by a drum beat maker, or you can create them yourself own your own beat making application. This can take some skill though so many musicians often begin with a download then move up to creating their own beats.

3. Finally, start with the basics then increase the complexity gradually. If you want to learn hip hop music production, this is the best way. Once you are happy with your drum beat, you need to develop the percussion and sampling elements of your song. You need both to add emphasis to your sound and create a great work of art.

Interested in producing your own tracks? Looking for a way into this amazing industry so you can do what you love? There are now lots of options for everyone. You have to start somewhere though. So get your hands on a great beat making application.

Building the Professional Library Infrastructure in Sierra Leone

Introduction

Developing countries are characterized in one way by shrinking economies. Sierra Leone is one such country that despite government and donor support, education has been a major challenge. The situation has been worsened, due to the fact that libraries have been neglected. According to the African Development Bank (ADB) Sierra Leone Country Office (2011), the total funds provided for education by the ADB/ADF finances up to 2010, was about US$ 22 million. The project supported the construction of Ninety Eight (98) primary schools, Fifty Four (54) Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), Eight (8) Vocational Skills Training Centres and Twelve (12) duplex housing blocks for teachers. The project also provided training for Four Thousand and Fifty (4,050) teachers. Teacher manuals were also made available. However, nothing was ever made available for library development. This neglect of libraries, means that libraries in Sierra Leone with limited resources, have to work together in order to meet the information needs of their users. One library may not be able to effectively and suitably meet the information needs of all its users. Library cooperation is therefore, urgently needed.

Library Scene in Sierra Leone

The country has all the different types of libraries; they range from public, academic, special to school libraries. In addition to these are information and resource or documentation centres that provide library and information services. Furthermore, there are museums, such as the National and the Peace Museums, and the National Archive which also provide information services.

However, the Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1959 serves as the domain of the provision of library and information services in the country. It functions as both the National and a Public library. To date it has a Central library and headquarters located in Freetown, Regional branches in Provincial headquarter towns, and branches in all District towns, totaling twenty one (21) libraries [One (1) central and headquarter library, three (3) regional libraries, sixteen (16) branch libraries, and two (2) sub-branches].

Libraries in Sierra Leone are therefore, institutions for the storage and dissemination of information; are for users; they provide users with guides and other finding lists; they provide adequate access to the documents or records users may wish to consult; they have subject arrangement; and they are cost-effective.

Library Cooperation

The term cooperation describes the joint action of two or more parties for mutual benefit. Library cooperation means exchanging cataloguing records, building complementary collections, exchanging library materials by inter-library loan and document delivery service, joint purchasing of library materials or automated system, providing services to each others’ users. Library cooperation is also described as an agreement, combination, or group of libraries formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.

There are different types of cooperative activities and some of the most popular activities are reciprocal borrowing, union catalogues or lists, photocopying services, cooperative reference service, delivery services, cooperative acquisition arrangements, subject specialization in collection development, centralized cataloguing and card production, as well as central storage of materials.

Burgett, Harr and Phillips (2004) asserted that there is evidence that cooperation among libraries to share resources goes back to a long way, at least to the first half of the 13th century, when monasteries developed what we would today recognize as union catalogs of manuscripts to aid in their scholarly activities. Musana (1991) indicated that information resource sharing has been in existence as long as libraries and other types of information services. The existence of a library is itself a form of cooperation. Many libraries came into existence because a group of individuals with a common desire and aspiration wanted to put a collection of materials together for use by the group members. Historically, the driving force behind the evolution of resource sharing concept was the desire to satisfy the felt needs of the user population. Earlier, each library was an entity, serving or trying to serve the needs of its own users and purchasing materials to meet their primary needs.

Beenham and Harrison (1990) however noted that a combination of circumstances made it increasingly difficult for an individual library to be self-sufficient. These circumstances include:

a tremendous increase in knowledge and a corresponding growth in publishing;

the spread of education from primary to university level which lead to greater and more diverse demands on the public library services by a much more literate public;

the advance of technology with its effect on industry and commerce and the necessity for employers and employees to develop new skills and techniques; and

increased opportunities for travel and international economic cooperation, which demand up-to-date information about foreign countries.

Existing Library Cooperation in Sierra Leone

There has been increased pressure for libraries in Sierra Leone to cooperate, including plans to create networks thereby making way for resources to be available to users. As such what has obtained is as follows:

Lending of materials – libraries lend materials to each other officially and unofficially to help their users;

Donations – large libraries donate to smaller libraries materials mostly books for their users;

Photocopying – these are available in most libraries. The lending library will copy the needed material and send a copy to the requesting library without having to send the original;

Exchange of cataloguing data – cataloguing data is given to other libraries. The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) provides its data to school libraries that cannot do this technical work properly.

There have been some benefits with these kinds of cooperation existing in the country:

Availability and access to information – there has been significant reach to information by users, since other libraries’ resources can be tapped from;

Lower cost – funds are saved due mainly to the fact that some expensive materials are not purchased as long as they are accessed in another library;

Experience sharing – the exchanging of staff and information provides a platform for learning from each other, especially with cataloguing data; and

Collection development – each library tends to build its collection to the maximum point, narrowing the focus, and at the end building a strong collection.

Notwithstanding, the real benefits that such cooperation should bring about have not been fully realized. Thus, there are certain steps that libraries should take to make this workable.

Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

The following are essential steps to be taken into account for an efficient cooperation between libraries in Sierra Leone if significant achievements are to be made.

Ensure common understanding and trust. There must be an established better working relationship among and between libraries where common understanding and trust are built up. A continued interaction and exposure of one another resources must be maintained. This can be done by sharing of expertise and experience, signing of Memoranda of Understanding, dialogue to allay fears, and to respect what each party can offer. Exchange of staff if necessary must be done.

Learn from advanced libraries. Furthermore, lessons can be learn from how other national and international cooperation is being conducted. Cooperation is not a day event but something that must be encouraged and built upon. There must be room for trial and error as well as correction of past mistakes.

Management must provide the leadership. Each library management must take upon itself to lead the process successfully. There must be the political will and the willingness to share resources, as well as prioritizing the move towards cooperation. Management must be willing to make positive compromises to reach the desired goal.

Networking and collaboration. The move towards cooperation should not be a one man show. Cooperation can consist of voluntary agreement among libraries, or it can be imposed on libraries by Library Laws or by responsible ministries that fund libraries. It is essential that the participant libraries be willing to work together towards common goals.

Provision of funds. One of the benefits of cooperation is to save cost. However, every library must provide funds for the processes involved. This is particularly so for processing and technical services functions. These must be taken care by individual libraries. As such funding should be provided.

State intervention. In the context of the developing countries state intervention would be called for to enable coordination of a nation’s total library and information resources and ensure adequate funding. This is particularly important given that on the whole libraries in Sierra Leone do not have large enough capital base of their own to invest in such equipment as computer hardware and software, and telecommunications. However, state control must not be allowed to exceed co-ordination as this may to some extent have an effect on the zeal, initiative and the goodwill of participating libraries, institutions and the individual professionals.

The Challenges in Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

In spite of the benefits accrued in cooperation, there are real and perceived challenges, which, unless properly dealt with, could minimize the chances of even the best conceived scheme taking off. In Sierra Leone, these are:

Overcoming the culture of hoarding – the culture of greed and selfishness that has eaten up the very fabric of society. This has affected even library practice. Libraries are to amass information for the general good of the society.

Limited collections – where participating libraries have not built up their collection to a minimum standard to allow for exchange, they are to grow their collections to some measurable status to ensure fair participation.

ICTs infrastructure – the marked lack of sufficient Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is a worrisome issue for cooperation in this 21st century.
Purchasing and installation of ICTs is very crucial, as well as the education and training of staffs for use.

Staffing – some of the participating libraries have untrained and unqualified staff as a major obstacle. Also, most staff are concerned about their status, efficiency, job security, salaries, and autonomy or independence, and this has affected the synergy. If the fears of staff are to be dispelled through proper sensitization and education, capacity building also must be undertaken.

Management – management must take decisive steps towards cooperation.

In conclusion, information to libraries is as money to banks; it is an indispensable input in the development process of the nation. However, to be effective it has to be optimally available and accessible from every corner if possible. Library cooperation if properly planned and executed offers a solution to a lot of problems faced by libraries, librarians and other information professionals in developing countries as Sierra Leone. Valls (1983) has provided the last words, “cooperation between information centres and the co-ordination of efforts needed to efficiently share resources implies the existence of an infrastructure linking the centres to one another.” This library infrastructure must be built up as it would assist in fostering self-help, exchange information, change society, improve productivity and work life, and share resources.

The Fashion Toast Of Hollywood

There are some celebrities that always seem to impress us with their outfits. No matter the event they are attending they seem to make the best fashion choices that dazzle everybody on the red carpet.

From their early childhood, we have seen them in various movies, the Olsen sisters have been a part of the celebrity fashion community for a very long time. Their fashion choices can be described as unique and daring. Nonetheless, this fashion style is what determined them to start their own fashion label and complete a book called “Influence” where they have described who are the designers that have influenced them in the course of time.

Madonna is the queen on pop and also the queen of re-invention as she constantly adapts her style to the fashion trends. She made a big splash in the 80’s with her dyed hair, leather jackets and stockings. In the 90’s she shocked the world with her cone bras and flashes of her underwear and it seems that her fashion choices are endless. Her eldest daughter, “Lola” as she is known in the family, seems to have inherited her mother’s fashion style as she has launched her clothing line suggestively called Material Girl.

We all know and love Carrie Bradshaw or her real life version, Sarah Jessica Parker. Every fashion magazine and fashion blog has talked about her and her fashion style. However, we have to admit that SJP does know a thing or two about fashion and her idea of keeping all the clothes from the show was brilliant!

Another celebrity fashion addict is Gwen Stefani. Part rock star, part certified mummy, the blond plated singer started her own fashion line. The clothes that she designs have clear Indian and Chinese influences. She once said that both her and her mother used to saw their own clothes, so it seems that the fashion line was in the cards for a long time.

Fashion is something that is clearly relative as fashion trends change each year. You should build your wardrobe according to your taste and your personality and remember that “Fashion is not a luxury it is a right” (SJP).

Home Furniture Store – Launch New Range of Modern American Furniture

In this high tech modern lifestyle where everything is automated for easier access why would the furniture world be left behind in serving their customers with quality home and office which provides comforts at its best? Keeping in mind the needs of the customers and aiming at providing them with designs which are chic, comfortable and affordable, the new range of modern American Furniture for home and home office has been launched. With the evolution in lifestyles we follow today, the top manufacturers, understanding the modern needs of every house owners, have come up with modern styles and designs which can offer the customers anything within their budget.

When we are to set up a new home we definitely want to make it special. A lot of efforts go in buying a new home and it demands even more efforts later while settling in. When we talk about buying our basic needs for the house we first think of modern furnishings. Quality is not difficult to be found in stores. But they are restricted to particular style and design and fail to offer all options which are actually available online.

Online store offer liable service to the buyers at the best bargain. They offer different products for dining room, living room, home office and varieties in entertainment furniture as well. For home office it includes modular office sets, home library walls, computer desks, etc. American fixtures designs are more flexible compared to formal and traditional structures which can get difficult to manage and also maintain. The modern American fixtures are designed keeping the modern needs of owners who are looking at products which serve it purpose without demanding much attention on the maintenance and investment part.

Moreover, American people need attractive and very impressive designs. Because the designs do not consume much of the living space of the room and yet serve its purpose well. They are good decorative items and are multipurpose in nature. A wall unit includes wall, TV cabinet, storage space for home accessories and as the wall units covers the entire wall they come in beautiful crafted designs.

The greatest advantage of buying such important piece of fixtures from online home furniture store is that you get a vast range of varieties to choose from. In general stores you may find ten items under the same category, where as in online stores you can get hundreds under the same. This includes different styles, designs, size, color, patterns and also price range. Online furniture stores offer best quality home furniture at lower rates than the original price. Be it a dining room or home office, you are sure to find everything u desire for well within your budget from well known brands who offer high quality also.

Ten Tips for a Trouble Free Paris Taxi Experience

If you’re visiting Paris for more than a few days, you will most likely have an occasion to use a taxi. Maybe you’ll be using a taxi for your Paris Airport transfer – traveling from Charles de Gaulle or Orly airport to the Paris city center. Or maybe you’ll want to splurge for a night when you visit the Paris Opera. The Parisian taxi system is heavily regulated, so these tips will help to ensure that you’re Paris taxi experiences don’t turn into Paris taxi adventures!

    1. Know how to find an unoccupied taxi – Spotted from down the street, it’s not always easy to tell if a taxi is occupied or not. Luckily, the “Taxi” light on top of the car tells you everything you need to know. The old system (which will be phased out by July 2012) uses a white plastic sign that is either lit or unlit. IF the light is lit (yellowish light), the taxi is unoccupied and you may stop it. If the light is off, the car is occupied, the driver is on a call, or the driver’s shift has ended. The new system, beginning in 2011 uses a white plastic sign with a green light (unoccupied) or a red light (occupied).
  • Taxi Stands – In Paris, certain locations throughout the cities are set up as taxi stands. Whenever you’re ready to get a taxi, simply go to a main thoroughfare and look for a sign next to the street that says “Taxis”. On busy streets during busy hours, you may find a few people already waiting. The rule is first come, first served, so locals will not treat you kindly if you try to jump the queue. Taxis are prohibited from taking on passengers within 50m of a Taxi Stand. So if you are having problems getting a free taxi to stop for you, but they all stop at the end of the street. Take a look and see if there is a Taxi Stand close by.
  • Extra Fees – Taxis are allowed to charge you an extra fee for certain services. Pickups at train stations, airports allow a supplement of up to 1€. Each suitcase put in the trunk (over more than 5kg) maybe be charged 1€. Animals and a fourth passenger may be charged a supplement.
  • Busy Nights and Rainy Days – Be aware that the number of taxis available is regulated and is not necessarily the number that would be available in a free market. On rainy days during tourist season (April – October) in touristy areas and on weekends on the Champs-Elysees after 2AM, it may be very difficult to find an unoccupied taxi.
  • Use a radio taxi – If you are in an out-of-the way location, consider calling a taxi. You’ll pay a little bit more, but you’ll also avoid very long waits in the case of a busy night or a rainy day during tourist season. If you’re in a hotel the reception can call the taxi for you. If not, you can use a service like Taxi G7 or Taxis Bleues.
  • Pay in Cash – Most taxis don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay in cash (Euros). A tip of approximately 10% is standard.
  • Avoid unlicensed taxis – Legal taxis in Paris have a TAXI sign on the roof. From time to time in touristy locations and at the airport you will be approached by people asking if you need a taxi. These offers should be declined. Legitimate taxis stay in their cars and wait for passengers at the taxi stand (including at the airport). The unlicensed taxis could charge you much more than the normal fare.
  • Write your destination address on a piece of paper – Many taxi drivers in Paris only speak French. So unless your French language skills are very good, in order to avoid misunderstandings, it’s best to write your destination address on a piece of paper and hand it to the driver
  • Know the fare system. Parisian taxis charge three different fares: A,B, and C. The A fare is the cheapest, it is valid during the daytime, inside the city limits. The ‘B’ fare is more expensive, it is valid during evening hours and on weekends inside the city limits, and at night outside the city. The ‘C’ fare is the most expensive, it is valid outside the city limits and inside the city limits at night on weekends
  • Take a ride along the river Seine late at night. Driving along the Seine while Paris sleeps is a good way to experience the City of Light. Late one night, between 3am and 5am, take advantage of the opportunity to see Paris in a new way. Ask the taxi driver to drive you along the Seine between Bastille and Place de la Concorde. You’ll be glad you did!
  • Bedroom Wall Design

    Paints, wallpapers and patterns have been an ever changing and a true challenge for any designer and amateur when it comes to covering the walls of a bedroom. It should provide something that is easy to the eyes, or at least to take their minds off after a hard day’s work as they can sit back and relax without staring at the stressful color of the wall. This is a part of bedroom wall design.

    Wallpaper is a good reference that allows ease on applying to a wall. Certain patters can be found just about anywhere, and sometimes it might not look too good for the eye. Teens would often go for darker walls, mainly black, while a pink wall would allow anyone to ask if they’re building a nursery.

    Certain themes have inspired designers to bring the essence of a room, and the more popular ones are often the most romantic. Utilizing more bold colors or to create a picture of serene tranquility, the colors used are often red, blue and some yellow. This also applies to pictures when used, mainly flora and the sea. For most city dwellers, some might go for just plain white walls, that is, if the following top of the line furniture and electronics would allow anyone to ignore the seemingly drab white room. Patterns can also be utilized, ranging from anything out of the blue such as polka dots, pinstripes, or even any geometrical shape. They say a poster has a reason, which is to help distract the owner or visitor from looking around too much. Creating a feasible bedroom wall is all about diverting distraction by concentrating a user to focus mainly on the pattern and allowing to create a mental picture.

    And as a finishing touch, stenciling and stamping requires a dedicated theme that is consistent. Of course this would depend on the owner, but there are times a picture may seem out of place depending on the room. By allowing stencils to create a simple pattern that follows through the primary theme, whether romantic, nautical or for teens, it helps to know what sort of stencil to use to keep it consistent.

    There are various materials, wallpapers and books dedicated on bedroom wall design, as well as the internet, but sometimes it takes a bit of imagination in order to know what most people want when it comes to whatever wall they want to sleep in.

    The Basic Details About Law Enforcement Careers

    The law enforcement is a wide field of career options, the Bureau of Statistics of the United States estimates that the field will keep on growing steadily until the year of 2018, and it will increase by 10% for law enforcement professionals. The usual career that requires 4-year degree course in the law enforcement is the Police Department as well as the Security Enforcement Agencies.

    Investigators and detectives – they are acting for the review evidences, interview the witnesses and follow the leads for solving the crimes committed within their jurisdiction. In spite of the glamorous reputation, being a detective is not that easy. Hours of work are long, the nature of job is dangerous and the salary is usually low. Detective ranking is achieved through climbing the steps like the police forces.

    Parole officers – they are the type of law enforcers who are working with the parolees report as they are being conditionally released from the prison. They have the backgrounds in administration or law enforcement and they should be knowledgeable with the basic-moderate of their computer skills. They have to be ready to testify against or favor to their parolees in the court proceeding if needed.

    FBI and CIA – they are 2 of the best enforcement arms of the United States Government. Career seekers that obtain the security clearance can find stable employment within the government, and they can be at the secret service or even military police.

    Prosecutor and Defense Attorneys – they can enter the field after they have completed the 3-year graduate level of the law schooling programs. As the degree of law enforcement is not being required for the law schools admission, they can still provide a competitive edge that are needed for earning an acceptance to any law school.

    These potential experts must pass the background investigation that includes inquiries to their working history, financial history and criminal history. For those individuals who want to pursue their law enforcement degree must be prepared for the participation of several interviews with their choice of agency. They need to practice for answering the interview questions that are difficult.

    This is a rewarding field that has many advantages for the ones who are choosing it as their career. Landscape of this career is augmenting everyday as the advancement of good opportunities are many.

    Commercial Furniture Vs Home Furniture – What's the Difference?

    Thank god, most people in the world drink alcohol. This is especially true when they are at social events. While its true that people also drink at home, the feel is just different when you’re drinking in a bar or restaurant. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about spilling your drink on your couch, because its not your couch!

    Also, the furniture in commercial establishments is usually higher quality than that of your own home. The reason for this is that commercial furniture gets much more use out of it than your home furniture. Think about it. Hundreds if not thousands of people pass through the doors of a given restaurant every single day. Nearly all of them sit in the furniture.

    Compare that to the comparably small amount that uses the furniture in your house.

    In addition to that, commercial furniture needs to be durable in all situations, both indoors and outdoors.

    Once you’ve had your furniture for a length of time, you’re probably going to have to clean it. You should do this once a month or as needed. Simply take a damp cloth, spray some Windex on it, and wipe off the accumulated dust. Fortunately, commercial furniture is made to withstand many, many spills, so keeping it clean shouldn’t be a problem.

    Finally, before you make a decision to purchase any furniture, make sure you shop around first. You can get some excellent deals online, especially from China. If you plan on ordering in bulk, take advantage of China’s booming economic growth and low prices.

    How to Find Good Wholesale Fashion Styles and Designs to Sell

    If you are looking to start a business that will surely usher you a good amount of profit for yourself, you may need to start your own local clothing store.

    If you are running a retail shop is not quite easy as you think it is, you have to start collecting the different styles, colors and designs of the latest trendy clothes of your choice from the wholesaler shop or store.

    You also have to look for the latest fashionable clothing from their website that is in vogue. This will give you the option to choose from the style and design you prefer to buy from. Another option is that you can also contact different wholesale suppliers through the online site and choose the dresses of your choice.

    There are some entrepreneur who fear that when they invest money on fashion clothing, that, they won’t be able to get the money they invested back. However, this may not be the reason why you should not be conscious of where to get most of the great deals.

    That is why you should try wholesale clothing because in wholesale clothing that is where to get a great discount deal that allows you to have the best deal at an affordable price.

    If you want to be able to succeed, There are lots of things you have to put into consideration first. When you are into selling wholesale fashion cloths, it’s important to look for a supplier that can be able to offers good reliable deals.

    The wholesale clothing have great advantage that enable you to have the best variety of cloths and good designs at lower prices.

    Some times you can be the most fashionable person, at the same time looking into your budget and staying within your budget.

    Another great feature of you shopping from this wholesaler is that you can easily look through their website for good design clothes and different styles.

    How to Buy Vintage Jewelry at Thrift Shops

    Some of the best places to find great vintage costume jewelry are thrift shops. You’ve seen the big stores – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers…and then there are the charity shops run by churches and non-profits. All of them receive donated jewelry, and I have found some amazing pieces in thrift shops. It seems to me that the larger chain shops have better prices than the smaller charity shops, but it really depends on who is pricing the jewelry when they put it out for sale. Some shop employees are very savvy about values, but some aren’t and they often price jewelry very low. Maybe they figure that if it isn’t real gold it isn’t worth much. Good for us!

    Thrift shop shopping has lost the stigma of being just junk shops or places where the down-and-out shop.

    A great tip is to become friendly with the staff of the shops that you visit. One clerk lets me rummage through the jewelry bins before she prices them and puts them out on the floor. Another lets me know when they get a large amount of jewelry donated.

    Find out when the shop has their specials. One store in my town has a 30% Senior discount on Wednesdays. Guess which day is my shopping day!

    Sometimes the shop management will put a large amount of jewelry in a plastic bag and sell the bag for a fixed price. If you find these, examine the bag as closely as you can – you won’t be allowed to open it, and there’s lots of junk in there, mostly stuff that didn’t sell, and often lots of plastic Mardi Gras beads. I bought these bags a few times, and it was fun sorting through everything, but I wound up donating most of it to a nursing home for crafts projects. I have found a few really nice pieces this way, but I don’t think it was really worth the time and trouble.

    Most thrift shops have a glass case where they keep the better stuff. Ask to see pieces that interest you, and examine them closely. Look closely at the racks where they usually hang the cheaper stuff. I found a sterling silver Native American belt buckle, with a turquoise stone in it and signed by the artist, hanging in a zip lock bag on a rack. I bought it for $2.80 and sold it on eBay for $52! It was badly tarnished, but I polished it up and it was beautiful.

    There always seem to be lots of watches in those cases. Beware of copies of famous makes, and buy only name brands that you recognize. Make sure the band is in good condition and that there are no scratches on the crystal. The watch probably won’t be working, so plan to spend $5 to $7 for a battery. If you’re buying for resale, be sure to include the cost of a battery to see if the watch is worth buying. You’re taking a chance there – it might not work even after a new battery is installed.

    Whether you are buying jewelry for your own collection or for resale, there are several things to look for when examining thrift shop jewelry.

    1. Condition, condition, condition: You are going to come across all kinds of jewelry in all kinds of condition. Look for broken clasps, missing stones, worn metal finishes, and any green material on gold tone jewelry. The green stuff is corrosion, and it can’t be cleaned off. Pass on that one. Check that stone settings are tight, and if they aren’t, be careful with the piece – you should be able to tighten them. If the piece is dirty you can clean it. Bring a jeweler’s loupe or strong magnifying glass so you can examine the piece closely.

    2. Is the piece signed? The name on the back of a pin or earring, on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or on an earring clip is the “signature” of the designer. Signed pieces can be more valuable than unsigned, but there are also many many “unsigned beauties” out there. Look for the name, and if there is a copyright symbol ©, that means the piece was made after about 1955. No symbol – you probably have a real vintage piece. Look for the numbers 925 on silver jewelry – that means it’s sterling silver, and if the price is right, you’ve got a steal.

    3. Price: It’s hard to put a price on thrift shop jewelry – the cheaper, the better, of course! I try not to spend more than $3 for a pin, bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings. You might come across something really spectacular that costs more, and if you think you can profit from it, or you want it for yourself, go ahead and buy it. A good rule of thumb when shopping thrift shops is this: If you like it but aren’t sure, set yourself a limit, say $5. If it turns out to be not so great, you’re not out that much. As mentioned, some thrift shop employees know more about jewelry, and will price some pieces too high for you to sell and make a profit. But there seems to be quite a bit of employee turnover in these shops, so the next person pricing jewelry might not be as knowledgeable.

    After Christmas is a good time to pick up Christmas jewelry. Some shops will mark down holiday items to get rid of them, other shops just store them away for next year.

    I love shopping at thrift shops – just like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Every trip is a treasure hunt. Some days are slim pickin’s, but some days are very rewarding. Just yesterday I got 10 pieces for $15 – several are sterling silver, and one piece may be jade – I’m still not sure.

    Be consistent in your thrift shop shopping. Try to go out every week, and find out when the shops have their special promotions. Most of the large chain shops put out new merchandise all day long, some other shops restock on certain days. Find out when those are, and get there early.

    Read books about costume jewelry, and become knowledgeable, so when you shop the thrift shops you’ll be armed with information. Have fun with it, get to know the thrift shop staff, and you’ll come home with some fabulous jewelry at fabulous prices.

    Free Move Apartment Locating Companies – Know the Truth!

    We all are attracted to the word “free”, and the idea that we are getting something for nothing. There are many legitimate free offerings available to consumers in a wide variety of settings. For instance, Apartment Locators truly do offer a valuable service to all renters who are searching for an apartment, and the service is completely free to the renter, saving them countless hours driving around visiting thousands of properties, and very probably missing out on the best deals and the best apartments.

    However, there are also many companies who use the word “free” to lure in customers, and then they may or may not actually deliver the product or service that they initially promised. They get past this deception by writing so many loopholes into the fine print of their advertisement that they can always excuse their lack of delivery. So caution is always in order when you are trusting any company who promises to give you something important for free.

    Moving is a very stressful time for many. Often there are deadlines to be out of your current apartment by a certain time. There are items to sort and boxes to pack, and to pack carefully to avoid anything from being broken. Then there is the careful loading and the careful unloading and the unpacking and placing and sorting. You have to allow time to clean the old apartment before you turn in the keys, and you have to be sure you are stopping by the new apartment during business hours so you can obtain the keys to your new home. You have utilities to disconnect and new utilities to connect. A lot is happening at once, and there always is the concern that perhaps you have forgotten something important. You already arranged your schedule to have the day free for moving. You got all your affairs in order, and now you are just waiting for the moving company to arrive. The LAST thing that you need is a glitch over some small detail in fine print that causes your moving company to not show up and deliver that “free” move that you were counting on and planning for.

    That is exactly what happened to a friend of mine very recently. She used one of those apartment locating companies in the Dallas, TX area that supposedly offered a “free” move. I wont mention names here, but it is a well known company. Anyway, she gets home from work and has all of her items packed and ready to go. It’s a Friday evening, and she has had the move scheduled with the movers for weeks. She has to be OUT of her apartment by midnight THAT night. They are suppose to come at 7:00 pm, so there is a bit of a time crunch but that’s the only time the movers had available. They finally show up, take a look at her small 1 bedroom apartment and tell her “The free move only covers 2 hours worth of free moving. It looks like you have more items than we can move in 2 hours” (fine print), and they leave!!!! My friend is panicking. She is a single lady who lives all by herself and has to be out of her apartment in just a few hours. If she lives in a small 1 bedroom and had too many items for them to move, it makes me wonder exactly who they COULD move?? Anyway, my friend calls me at 8:00 desperate and crying. I rally up our other friends and we manage to find a U Haul place that was still open and rent a truck. We all go over and move her that same evening. She got out of her apartment in time, and she got a free move all right, but it wasn’t from the company who promised her the move. She did everything she was suppose to do, wrote their name on the Leasing Application as the Locating Company who referred her to the new apartments, and THEY GOT PAID FOR THE REFERRAL, yet they did NOT deliver the move that they promised.

    It turns out that many of these “free move” companies have fine print that limits how long they will give you for the move. And what happens if the move happens to go over that time. Do they just leave? Evidently. Or, if they look over your items and feel the job might take longer than the allowed time, they may not even START the move. Another thing to beware of in the fine print….not only may there be limits to the time they will allow, but they often limit the types of items and the number of items they will move. For instance, if you have a one bedroom, they sometimes have a very specific list of the only items they will move. For example: 1 couch, 1 coffee table, one dining room table, 4 dining chairs, a bed, a dresser, a nightstand, 2 lamps, a few boxes (they often will only agree to move a small number of boxes) and many times that is it!! If you have a 2 bedroom, they may increase the list by adding another bed and dresser. But what if you happen to have an item that is not on their list…..such as a desk, or a curio cabinet, or a piano, or an aquarium, or a chest of drawers or an extra table or a loveseat, or a recliner, or a few more boxes than they allow? Do not be surprised if they leave all items behind that are not on their restrictive list, and you are just stuck figuring out what to do with them yourself. If it’s enough items, or items that are large enough, you may end up having to rent a truck or UHaul anyway, or call friends who can come help you.

    Another friend of mine recently told me that something similar happened to him that happened to my first friend. He was using one of those apartment locating companies that offer a “free” move. He said they were calling him every day while he was looking for the apartment, trying hard to convince him to move into one of the few places they had recommended. Each day they called to check if he picked a place yet and if he put their name on the Leasing Application of any apartments yet. Finally he did pick a place, and he did put there name there as the Locator who referred him. After that, an interesting thing happened. He could never get a hold of anyone at the apartment locating company again! Once they found out he picked a place and wrote them down (their check was guaranteed), they never called him after that. They wouldn’t return his calls and he couldn’t find a real live human in the company to speak with in order to schedule his free move. He ended up having to hire another moving company in the end. The “free” move locating company got paid their money and they never delivered the free move.

    How are the “free move” locating companies different from all the other Apartment Locating Companies? Well, there are some definite differences that you should be aware of. First of all, let’s establish the fact that most Apartment Locating companies do not need to offer a “free move” to lure in customers. It has been shown that their superb customer service and the expertise they offer will save the average renter $500-$700…..which is much more valuable than the cost of a 2 hour move. Plus, they truly help you find the BEST and most awesome apartment home. Another clear difference is this: Not all of the apartment communities out there will work with the “free move” locating companies. In fact, many of them will not. This is because of a combination of reasons.

    For one, some of these “free move” companies do not have the best reputation. Secondly, some of the apartments do not feel that they actually earned the commission that they are wanting the apartments to pay them. Some of those free move companies simply have a website where you log on and search for yourself. They only will show you information on the limited number of properties that will actually work with them and pay them. Once you pick a place, you log on again to the website and tell them which one you picked and then the computer is suppose to schedule the move. Not all of the companies are identical, but this is the procedure for some. A real human is not even actively involved in helping you with your search in many cases. Many of the apartments feel that just putting a website online alone does not merit earning a commission. Anyone can have a website. In fact, the apartments already have their own website. Although there is nothing wrong with a Locating Company having a website (in fact, all of them do), the problem arises when the locator ONLY communicates through their website and are predominantly a dot.com business.

    The apartment complexes don’t want to pay a dot.com for setting up a website and then only delivering what they promises part of the time. They want to pay Apartment Locators who have a brick and mortar office, who have actual live Agents who work there and who deal one-on-one with the potential renters, assisting them to find their new rental home with customized, individual lists of apartment information. Many times these Locators even escort their clients to the properties. If the client has a unique situation, the Locator can tell them which properties are most likely to work their their particular circumstances. They know who has the best specials out there, or who has the specific amenities that the renter is seeking. The renter can actually call their Locator and speak to them and ask questions and develop a working relationship.

    What is the disadvantage for YOU, the prospective renter, when not all the apartments will work with the “move free” locating companies? The problem arises in that the “move free” companies are only going to recommend to you the particular apartments that happen to work with them. This means that you may not find out about the property who is actually the one that matches exactly what you want and has the best special. They will only display information for the properties who will pay them. When you work with a traditional Apartment Locator who works with ALL the properties in the City, you can be confident that you are getting the whole picture and will honestly be told about all the properties who have the best specials. This is a distinct advantage that real brick and mortar Apartment Locators have over the so-called “free move” locators. Most traditional Apartment Locators work with All the reputable apartment and town-home communities. It doesn’t matter to them which one you pick in the end as long as you are happy, because ALL of them will pay the Locator and work with the Agent. They have no need to try to steer you to one particular property over another. Their job is to recommend who has the best deal and seems to be the best match for you.

    So, go with the Locating Company that is going to give you the best long term deal and the home that you will be the most happy with. These type of Companies should have years of experience and contracts with almost ALL the apartment communities in your area of interest. For instance, in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas (DFW), there are over 3000 apartment communities. Apartment Locators in this area should have brick and mortar locations with multiple Locators onsite who are all Licensed Real Estate Agents, and familiar with DFW. Listen to these comments made by a local DFW Locator: “I give my cell phone number to each client because I want them to be able to reach me any time they need my assistance. I’ve even had them call me while they were sitting in the chair at the leasing office at one of the apartments I referred them to, to ask me a question. I truly am their advocate, an expert on their side to make finding their new apartment as quick and easy and successful as possible. I work with them all the way through their move and have even assisted many people who were relocating from other states and were not able to come here in person to DFW to see the properties first. They relied on me to be their eyes and ears and select the best property for them and arrange all the paperwork so that their new place was ready and waiting when they arrived.” Try getting THAT kind of service from a “free move” company website.

    Instead of opting to go with a “free move” Company that may or may not actually deliver their free move, and may or may not tell you about all of the choices you truly have at your disposal, go with a reputable and experienced live Apartment Locating Company who can save you $500-$600 average on your overall lease by telling you about specials you may not have ever discovered otherwise and give you complete information on all the awesome properties available. For more information, visit: http://www.BestApartmentsDFW.com.