Halloween on hoopla

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

hoopla halloween promoWhat could be scarier than a horror movie, haunted house, or ghost story? Getting stuck on Halloween night with nothing to watch, listen to, or read!

Fortunately, you’ll never experience that particular terror, because your Lincolnwood library card gives you access to hundreds of Halloween songs, movies, and ebooks on hoopla.

Not-so-spooky holiday music for kids includes “Halloween Songs and Sounds” from Disney and “Harry Potter’s Halloween,” while the Halloween Horrors music collection features albums like “Halloween Film Theme Classics” and “Terror Disturbia.”

Movie buffs: help your little trick-or-treaters settle down with “Click, Clack, Boo!” and “The Dog Who Saved Halloween,” then keep yourself up all night with truly frightening flicks from hoopla’s horror collection.

Choose books like J is for Jack-O’-Lantern and Five Trick-or-Treaters from the Halloween ebook shelf while the kids are awake. After they’re tucked in, read every issue of The Walking Dead from Image Comics—or just sample the first, Days Gone Bye, to see if you like it as much as the TV show.

Speaking of TV shows, hoopla has some classic series like “The Addams Family” and “Dark Shadows,” as well as special holiday episodes like “Eloise’s Rawther Unusual Halloween.”

If you prefer to conjure up your own mental images while listening to scary stories, a five-hour audiobook collection of Classic Horror Stories to Chill Your Bones should keep you busy. For car rides with the kids, try the audiobooks A Very Brave Witch or It’s Halloween, You ’Fraidy Mouse! from the Geronimo Stilton series.

Use hoopla’s search function to find any of these individual titles, or follow the links above to Halloween collections. If you’re new to hoopla, don’t be scared…it’s easy to get started! Visit our hoopla help page or contact us to set up a one-on-one help session.

Dictionary Day

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

October 16 is celebrated as Dictionary Day in honor of the famous American lexicographer Noah Webster, who was born on October 16, 1758. How shall we celebrate? Let’s consult a dictionary!

dic•tion•ar•y (dĭk’shə-nĕr’ē) n.

  1. A reference work containing an alphabetical list of words, with information given for each word, usually including meaning, pronunciation, and etymology.
  2. A reference work containing an alphabetical list of words in one language with their translations in another language.
  3. A reference work containing an alphabetical list of words in a particular category or subject with specialized information about them.[i]

These days, it’s easy to look up the meaning of a word (definition #1) or a translation (definition #2) online, but did you know that your library card gives you access to a treasure trove of specialized information (definition #3)?

A search for books with “dictionary” in the title yields 164 results in our Credo Reference research tool. All the usual suspects are present—The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, along with bilingual dictionaries for nine different languages—but in honor of Dictionary Day, here are a few unexpected offerings.

Descriptions adapted from Credo. Please note that you must be logged into Credo before these links will work—see below for instructions.

  • With its unique blend of word and phrase etymology, cultural allusion and general knowledge, and its predilection for the esoteric and the unexpected, Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable offers a richly diverse and entertaining exploration of the linguistic and cultural landscape of the modern world. It runs the whole gamut of contemporary culture, from “American Psycho” to Dadaism.
  • Covering everything from cryptozoology and the Yeti to witchcraft, earth mysteries, folklore, ghosts, human oddities, the occult, parapsychology, spiritualism, and UFOs, Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained looks at wide range of unexplained phenomena in a volume containing objective, informative, and up-to-date entries.
  • Substantially revised and enlarged, the new edition of the Dictionary of Pseudonyms includes more than 2,000 new entries, bringing the volumes total to approximately 13,000 assumed names, nicknames, stage names, and aliases.
  • The Illustrated Dictionary of Science covers all the major scientific disciplines. The lavishly illustrated entries explaining such topics as the solar system, plant evolution, skeletons and muscles, or geological time scale are a unique feature of this dictionary.
  • Oddbins Dictionary of Wine explains the terms used in wine production, and describes grape varieties, wine regions and wine-growers around the world, wine styles and tasting terms.

Find Credo Reference in the Research & Learning section of our website. If you are outside of the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number for access. Need some help? Download our user guide, or give us a call at (847) 677-5277 x230.

[i] “Dictionary.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Eds. The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. Credo Reference. Web. 15 Oct 2015.

Meet Windows 10

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 10, started its gradual rollout on July 29. Six weeks later, the library offered a class called Meet Windows 10, taught by the same tech pros from FireLogic who led last year’s popular Computer Security and Windows 8.1 classes.

Instructor Derrick Wlodarz explained exactly how, when, and why to upgrade, then provided an overview of the biggest changes from previous operating systems. Attendees left with helpful handouts, ready to upgrade to—and master! —Windows 10.

The session was recorded, and the video appears at the bottom of this page. If you don’t have time to watch the entire recording, look for these highlights:

  • a tour of the new Windows 10 Start Menu, beginning at minute 44 (44:05, to be exact)
  • an introduction to the Cortana personal assistant (1:11:11)
  • a demonstration of the Edge web browser (1:30:34)
  • a preview of Derrick’s favorite productivity enhancement, virtual desktops (1:43:04)

After meeting Windows 10, you can view other recorded sessions on FireLogic’s YouTube channel.

Dark Horse Rides Into hoopla

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Dark Horse Comics are now available on hoopla digital! Find favorite characters from Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the hoopla app and website using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Read creator-owned classics like Mike Mignola’s Hellboy panel by panel with hoopla’s Action View technology, or read a page at a time—the choice is yours. Browse the entire Dark Horse collection alongside DC, Image, and other popular comics.

With hoopla’s no-holds model, every Lincolnwood resident could read Sin City at the same time—no waiting lists, no due dates, and no fines!

Remember that you can mix and match hoopla formats (comics, music, movies, audiobooks, ebooks, and TV shows) for a total of ten titles per month.

Learn how to use hoopla on our hoopla help page, or contact us for a one-on-one help session.

Dark Horse digital comics arrive on hoopla

Jigsaw On the Go

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Lincolnwood library visitors know that there’s always a jigsaw puzzle in progress in our building. The puzzle table seems to exert a magnetic field, attracting people of all ages—some of whom get stuck puzzling for hours on end!

Jigsaw puzzles have all kinds of benefits. They exercise the brain, helping young minds develop and keeping older ones sharp. They may even lead to a state of flow, the intense focus on a task that psychologists have called “the secret to happiness.” It’s not uncommon for one of our jigsaw puzzlers to look at the clock and do a double-take, astonished by how much time has passed. Painstakingly fitting each piece fosters persistence in the face of a challenge, and nothing beats the sense of satisfaction that comes from finally completing the picture.

For most of our visitors, though, the primary benefit of the jigsaw puzzle is relaxation. Taking a few minutes to forget about everything but the colorful image in front of you, alongside a friend or in blissful solitude, is a great way to relieve stress.

jigsaw puzzle pieceWhen you can’t make it to the library, try a virtual jigsaw puzzle! If you have access to a web browser, you can try JigZone.com, a free site that offers a great assortment of puzzles, with a new one added daily. Apply any of the 35 different sizes/styles (e.g. “87 piece crazy” and “48 piece USA”) to pictures like Shell Spiral, Island Sunset, and Horse in Stable.

There are also dozens of jigsaw puzzle apps for mobile devices. Jigsaw Puzzles Epic from Kristanix Games offers over 2,000 puzzles; while some require payment, a new free puzzle is added every day. Choose your level of difficulty by setting the number of pieces (up to 400) and showing or hiding the preview of the finished puzzle image.

Real Jigsaw from Rottz sorts its 1,400 puzzles into 25 themes, including Airplanes, Flowers, and Holidays. Adjustable settings in this app include number of pieces (9 to 1000), background color, piece rotation, and a pinch-to-zoom tool. Both apps are free to download for either Android or iOS platforms, and both allow you to create your own custom puzzles from photos!

Do you have a favorite virtual puzzle website or app? We’d love to hear about it the next time you stop by to relax with our communal puzzle.

New Digital Media

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

There are special shelves in the library building for new books, music, and DVDs, but it can be harder to find new releases in digital media. The shortcuts below will help you find the latest titles to hit our virtual shelves.

Ebook and e-audiobook fans have access to thousands of titles through MyMediaMall. To find the newest, start on the New eBooks & eAudiobooks page on this site. Click on a book cover, and sign in with your library card number to check availability, borrow, and download.

overdrive advantage symbolWhile you are browsing MyMediaMall, keep an eye out for the Advantage symbol (left), indicating additional copies of new and popular titles that are only available to our Lincolnwood resident library cardholders. These items, if not available for immediate use, are likely to have significantly shorter waiting lists.

On hoopla, where there are never any waiting lists, lists recently added titles are available for each type of media: music albums, audiobooks, movies , TV shows, eBooks, and comics. Follow hoopla on social media or sign up for weekly emails to get notification of new music releases every Friday. (The announcements used to be known as New Music Tuesdays, but the music industry moved its release day!)

For more information about any of our digital media services, or to sign up for a one-on-one learning session with a librarian, contact us at (847) 677-5277 x293 or digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

Fall Technology Classes

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

We have just begun our second year of technology classes at the library, and our popular offerings continue to fill up quickly. If you are waitlisted and eager to start learning, try a video tutorial on Lynda.com or schedule an appointment for one-on-one instruction with a librarian. Call (847) 677-5277 x293 or email digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org to set up a time. Meanwhile, space is still available in the following classes:

Our App, App, & Away! series continues in November with suggestions for travel apps to help you plan, prepare for, and enjoy your next trip.

Are you interested in how technology affects the world of work? Join us in October, when SCORE Chicago presents Facebook 101: The Small Business Beginner’s Guide to Marketing. In November, Very Smart People introduce LinkedIn 101 and ReferenceUSA representative Nancy Spidle presents Job Searching Basics.

If you’re a PC user, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the new operating system released this summer. Meet Windows 10 with FireLogic and learn about all the new features that come with this free upgrade. (This session will be taped, so stay tuned for the recording if you can’t make it in person.)

Mac, iPhone, and iPad users will want to wait for the Very Smart People presentation What’s New with Apple? Android aficianados, we’ve got you covered, too, with Android Basics.

Not sure which of these you have, or should get? In mid-November, just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, our resident gadget guru will offer tips and tricks for selecting a device in What Gadget Do I Buy?

Here are the dates and times for these classes. Hope to see you there!

  • Meet Windows 10: Sunday, September 13, 2-4 p.m.
  • What’s New with Apple? Saturday, October 10, 1-2 p.m.
  • Facebook 101: Wednesday, October 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Android Basics: Saturday, October 24, 2-4 p.m.
  • LinkedIn 101: Wednesday, November 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • What Gadget Do I Buy? Saturday, November 14, 2-4 p.m.
  • Job Searching Basics with ReferenceUSA: Monday, November 16, 7-8 p.m.
  • Travel Apps: Wednesday, November 18, 2-3 p.m.

 

Make the Most of Lynda.com

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

In the six weeks that Lincolnwood residents have been able to access Lynda.com from home, the library has already seen increased site traffic. For the many residents just getting started with Lynda.com, here are some tips for maximizing your enjoyment and learning.

Search YouTube for just about any skill, from boiling an egg to doing the foxtrot, and you’re likely to find a video (or, in the case of the search “build a website,” well over a million videos) of someone telling you how it’s done. What distinguishes Lynda.com is that its trainers are top professionals in their fields, vetted for both content mastery and teaching ability. When watching a video, click on the name of the instructor to read a brief bio and see the other courses he or she teaches.

Lynda.com courses allow you to learn at your own pace. Courses are divided into easily digested portions; pause as needed, absorb the information, and resume when you have time. All videos come with text transcripts and closed captioning to help you keep up with what the instructor is saying. Many courses also include exercise files for practice.

For every completed course, Lynda.com provides a certificate that you can add to your portfolio, building a record of achievement to show to employers.

Not sure where to start?

If you have any questions about accessing and using Lynda.com — or if you just want to share what you are learning! — don’t hesitate to contact us at digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

Learn Anywhere with Lynda.com

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

More than four million people have used the online video tutorials at Lynda.com to learn software, technology, creative, and business skills. With nearly 4,000 courses taught by experts, and new courses added weekly, Lynda.com is an industry leader in online learning.

The library started providing access to Lynda.com two years ago, but it was restricted to a single work station in our computer lab. Now, Lincolnwood residents can use Lynda.com at home, or wherever they carry their library card. The mobile-friendly Lynda.com site works on smartphones and tablets as well as computers. You can start a course at home, continue it on the bus, and complete it during your lunch break at the office.

Find Lynda.com in the Research & Learning menu on any page of the library’s website. The first time you visit, create a profile using your library card number and a password. If you have any questions about accessing and using Lynda.com, please contact us at digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

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Reading to Match Your Mood

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

novelistplus logoAre you in the mood for a light-hearted, humorous story, or a fast-paced adventure? Do you prefer sympathetic, relatable characters, or unreliable narrators?

The library subscribes to a resource called NoveList Plus to help you find the right book for your mood. NoveList has just introduced some new features, so if you have never visited the site or haven’t visited in a while, this is a great time to give it a try.

The home page now features shortcuts to recommended reading under the heading I’m in the mood for…. Start with “sweeping and dramatic” books for adults, “character-driven and funny books” for teens, “feel-good and fast-paced” books for 9- to 12-year-olds, or “cartoony and colorful” books for younger children.

Also on the home page is the new Browse by Genre tool. Click to select an age group, then use the drop-down menu to view what’s “new and popular” in Historical Fiction, Memoirs & Biographies, Thrills & Chills, or a number of other genres.

For reading that appeals even more directly to your tastes, try the Appeal Mixer. This tool lets you use drop-down menus to set your own preferences in categories like writing style, pace, and storyline.

Click on any title in NoveList for details, reviews, and similar books, plus a Check the Library Catalog link. Follow that link to our online catalog, and you’ll instantly be able to find the title in Lincolnwood or request it from another nearby library.

To get to NoveList, find the Resources A-Z listing in the drop-down menu on any page of our website, and scroll down to N. If you are outside of our building, you’ll need to enter your Lincolnwood Library card number for access.

So, what are you in the mood to read?