Smart Holiday Shopping

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

At this time of year, the web is overrun with holiday gift guides designed to help you find the perfect present for everyone on your list. The Consumer Reports Holiday Gift Ideas site stands out from the crowd because its recommendations are based on expert product testing and rating. Sure, this guide will help you find deals—but it will also provide the unbiased advice on quality, safety, and durability that has made Consumer Reports the go-to source for savvy shoppers since 1936.

Most of the Consumer Reports holiday guide is available to all, but if you click on links that take you further into the website, you may encounter a paywall. Take advantage of your Lincolnwood library card to gain access to the full site! From the Research & Learning menu on any page of our website, choose “Quick Links,” then find Consumer Reports on the alphabetical list. If you are outside of the library, enter your library card number to log in.

Concerned about safety while buying gifts online? In addition to Consumer Reports’ own Guide to Internet Security, take a look at this free tutorial from TechBoomers and/or the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s overview of online shopping.

Author Visit: Rebecca Makkai

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions.

rebecca makkaiThe library’s Adult Book Group will meet, as they have once a month for more than a decade, on December 14…but this will be no ordinary meeting. For the very first time, the author of the selected book will join the group—and other interested readers—to talk about her work and answer questions.

Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based writer whose reputation ripples far beyond our local area. She has written two highly acclaimed novels, The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, appeared in June.

Book group selection The Hundred-Year House is set in a rambling Midwestern estate called Laurelfield. This ingenious novel moves backwards in time through the 20th century, gradually revealing convoluted connections among Laurelfield’s inhabitants and visitors. Readers emerge dazzled (we’ve heard of some who turned the book over and reread it immediately!) and eager to dissect the intricate plot with others.

And that’s exactly what our library book group members will do—but the presence of author Rebecca Makkai is sure to make the discussion especially rich and revealing. Please join us (even if you haven’t read the book!) at 11am on Monday, December 14. Bring copies to be signed, if you’d like. Registration is requested, but not required. Questions? Contact us at (847) 677-5277.

Digital Magazine App Upgrade

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

flipster appFlipster, the library’s digital magazine provider, has upgraded its iOS app* and released an app for Kindle Fire. Residents with iPhones and Kindle Fire tablets can now join iPad and Android tablet users in downloading unlimited issues of 23 magazines to their devices.

To use the Flipster app, just connect to Flipster from our library website using your mobile device’s web browser. Enter your Lincolnwood library card number for access. Tap on the menu button of the magazine you want to read, and select “open in app.”

Once your magazines are in the app, you can access them even when you don’t have an internet connection. Flipster makes it easy to carry a stack of magazines in your pocket to the gym, on your commute, on vacation…wherever life leads you.

For a full list of magazines currently available through Flipster, visit our Flipster Help page. (We’re adding new titles for 2016—look for an announcement during the first week of January!)

Need some help getting started? Call us at (847) 677-5277 to set up a one-on-one appointment with a librarian.


*The app is now compatible with all Apple devices running iOS 8.0 or later; iPads with older operating systems can still run the previous version of the app.

App, App, & Away! Travel

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Get ready for holiday travel when our App, App, and Away! series continues with a session on travel apps. Here’s a sneak preview of three apps that will be covered during the presentation.

TripIt app iconTripIt, which appears on practically every list of travel-related apps, is a tool for organizing your tickets and itineraries. Simply email your travel confirmations to TripIt (or enter them manually) and the app will organize them for you, then alert you if anything changes. You can access your itineraries from anywhere and easily share them with family members and travel companions.

gateguru app iconLike TripIt, GateGuru can send you flight status alerts, but this app also offers detailed maps of airport terminals. Facing a tight connection? Figure out which gates you’re arriving in and departing from, then view which food options are available in the corridors you’ll have to sprint along to get from one to the other!


touchnote postcards appMobile apps aren’t just useful for the practical aspects of travel—they can also help you capture and share memories from your trip. Touchnote Postcards is one of several apps that allow you to turn your smartphone photos into an actual postcard that’s delivered through the mail with your personal greeting. While the app is free to download (like all the apps on this list), each card costs two or three dollars.

Join us at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, to learn about these and other travel apps. Registration is not required, but you can use our online calendar to request an email reminder.

Lincolnwood Review Online

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Big news hit the front page of the Lincolnwood Review, our weekly paper covering the village and surrounding suburbs, on Thursday. The headline, “Purple Hotel Site in Limbo,” was accompanied by a photo of an event many residents remember: the demolition of the landmark hotel in 2013.

You can read parts of the Lincolnwood Review online at (Tribune Publishing operates the paper under the Pioneer Press umbrella), but unless you’re a subscriber, you may hit a paywall that blocks some or all content.

If you miss an important article like “Purple Hotel Site in Limbo,” or if you need to research older village stories, use your Lincolnwood library card to access the paper’s archives. In the Research & Learning menu of our website, select Resources A-Z and scroll down to Lincolnwood Review. Enter the number on your library card to access the site, which has this logo at the top:

NewsBank logo



Once you’ve logged in, click on a date to view a list of headlines from a single issue of the paper, then click on a headline to read an article. On the article screen, you can also print, email, or save content in PDF format. To the right of the article text, a yellow box with the heading Related Articles contains a list of links to articles covering similar topics.

A bonus for students including Lincolnwood Review articles in research papers: click cite and choose the citation style specified in your assignment (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago) for a reference you can copy and paste into your bibliography.

Not sure which issue contains the article you need? Use the drop-down menus in the search tool to search full text, headlines, captions, bylines, and more. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact our Information Services department at (847) 677-5277 x230 or—and never miss another local news story!

NaNoWriMo at the Library

Posted & filed under Blog.

The Lincolnwood Library celebrates National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November by helping writers come together, support each other, and, most importantly, write.

NaNoWriMo is an effort to help authors write that novel. The one  you keep putting off until tomorrow, or the story you have dreamed about but haven’t had the chance to write. NaNoWriMo challenges would-be authors to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Their website includes forums for support, prompts to keep writers inspired, badges to earn, and the chance to collaborate with other participants around the world.

Here in Lincolnwood, we have planned two NaNoWriMo events.

On Monday, November 2, at 7pm, the 2015 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project winner, Michael Alan Peck, will visit our library. He will tell us about his winning novel, The Commons, Book 1: The Journeyman, and inspire other authors to submit their own novels.

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project is a local competition for writers to submit their self-published adult fiction through participating libraries for possible selection. The winner travels across the state giving author talks at libraries, book clubs, radio shows, and more. For more information, check out their website. Interested in submitting your work to be sponsored by the Lincolnwood Library? Fill out the application and then come in and talk to one of our librarians about your entry.

Our second NaNoWriMo event is Come Write In. Authors working on their novels can come to the library for some dedicated work time every Tuesday in November from 11am to 12pm. Meet other participants, write together, share prompts, and more! Registration is requested, but drop-ins are welcome.

We are also open to the public as an official Write In location (wheelchair accessible, Wi-Fi, power outlets, and outside drink permitted) during our regular open hours throughout the month. Working on your novel but can’t make it in for our group sessions? You can still come write at the library!

NaNoWriMo is a great way to get that book you’ve always wanted to write out of your brain and onto paper (or your computer), and Lincolnwood Library is a great place to get the creative juices flowing. Come write with us!

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