Library at Your Fingertips

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Did you know that the Lincolnwood Public Library offers a free mobile app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet? The app allows you to search for books and DVDs (placing holds if they’re not available), check out eBooks or eAudiobooks, and renew items that you’ve already checked out.

Planning a visit to the library? Double-check our hours, then open the calendar to see what might be going on while you’re here. Connect directly to the library’s blog or Facebook page, or explore the mobile-friendly sites associated with some of our online resources. You can even use the camera on your smartphone or tablet to scan the barcode on any book and find out if we have a copy at the library!

To download the library app, use your device to scan the QR code below (using an app such as or search for “Lincolnwood Library” in the Google Play Store or Apple’s iOS App Store.

library app main menu

QR code for Lincolnwood Library's app

Online Resources Include Resume Help

Posted & filed under News.

Last week’s You Can’t Google This! class at the library provided an overview of the online resources, research tools, and subscriptions that Lincolnwood residents can access using their library cards. (These resources range from the language-learning program Pronunciator to the historical archive of the Chicago Tribune; find a full list under Resources by Topic.)

During the class, one student inquired about resources for resume writing. The library subscribes to a resource called BrainFuse JobNow that offers resume feedback, live interview coaching, and more.

brainfuse jobnow screenshot

Enter your library card number to access JobNow from outside the library. You can then download resume templates (in Word document format), read interview tips, explore career assessments, and links to other employment-related websites. You can also create a free account to use the resume lab, live interview coach, and eParachute tools. Job coaches are available every day between 3:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Interested in learning more about JobNow and other tools the library offers for career development? Come to our Resources for Job Seekers class on Friday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m.

App, App, & Away

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

With well over a million mobile apps on the market, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Suggestions from a trusted friend or family member—or librarian!—are a great place to start.

In preparation for this week’s mobile apps class, library staff members brainstormed favorite apps and shared them on our staff bulletin board. In less than two weeks, the board was covered with 160 suggestions in ten different categories! Here are three favorites:

key ring app iconSick of the extra weight and bulk that loyalty cards add to your keychain? Key Ring lets you scan your cards or enter your membership numbers so they’re stored in your mobile device. If you include shopping rewards cards, the app also notifies you about special sales and deals associated with those loyalty programs. You can even scan your Lincolnwood library card, and never be caught without it again!

teen book finder app iconLooking for a good book to read after The Fault in Our Stars? The home screen of the Teen Book Finder app from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is refreshed daily with three titles selected by YALSA members for awards and book lists. Search for books by author, title, or genre, then use the Find It! button to locate the book at a nearby library or the Favorites button to add it to an individualized reading list.

relax melodies app iconStressful day at the office? Relax Melodies offers a variety of soothing sounds to help you unwind. Select from dozens of sounds, mix up to ten, or simply play white noise. A timer allows you to fall asleep or meditate as your sounds are playing.


All three of these apps are free, and versions are available for both the Android and iOS platforms. To hear more app suggestions from library staff (including our library apps) and share your own favorites, join us on Wednesday, September 24 or Wednesday, November 19 at 1:00 p.m. for App, App, and Away!

Classes Fill Quickly, but Options Abound

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

The Lincolnwood Public Library’s first technology classes are taking place this fall, and the response has been incredible! All beginner-level classes and all classes covering Microsoft Office software have reached their enrollment limits. Our first two “iPad Basics” classes are also fully subscribed, although there are seats available in the follow-up classes, “Do More with Your iPad.”

If you didn’t have a chance to register for these popular classes in time, don’t despair! We’ll have instructors on hand for a monthly Open Lab where you can drop in and get some of your basic technology questions answered. The first Open Lab is Tuesday, September 30, 1-3 p.m.

You can also still sign up for classes that don’t have strict enrollment limits because they aren’t subject to space and equipment limitations. These open classes include You Can’t Google This, an evening session about premium library resources on September 18, and App, App, & Away, an hour-long overview of mobile apps on the afternoon of September 24. Starting next month, a series of theme-based classes will explore library resources in depth. Genealogy enthusiasts are invited to learn more about Ancestry Library Edition on October 7, while job seekers can see how the library can support their needs on October 24. Registration is not required for these theme-based classes. See the calendar for full details.

Based on the enthusiastic response from the community, we plan to offer many of the same technology classes again this winter, so keep an eye out for new dates and times. Meanwhile, if you wish to start learning Microsoft Office on your own, consider following free online courses from Connected Nation or GCFLearnFree. You can also use the kiosk in the library’s computer lab to access courses on Microsoft Office and hundreds of other topics. Not sure where to begin? Ask one of our librarians, email, or call us at (847) 677-5277. Although it’s too late to enroll in a few of our most popular classes this fall, it’s never too late to learn.

Everybody Move!

Posted & filed under News.

Celeste Cifala Roy was trained in musical theater and dance, but when she became a mother, she didn’t know any children’s songs. More than twenty years later, she knows hundreds—maybe thousands!—and shares them through her own music and movement program for children. This month, she brings that program, Everybody Move, to the Lincolnwood Public Library.

Roy began to build her vast repertoire of children’s music when she brought her infant son to National-Louis University’s Movement and Music Center, where she later worked. She learned from local artists like Fred Koch and Jim Gill, as well as celebrities like Raffi.

Now, Roy’s repertoire forms the basis of Everybody Move, where very young children explore music and movement through a mix of directed activities (singing, dance, musical instruments) and free play. Classes often revolve around a theme; participants in the library program will explore apples, leaves, and other highlights of the season.

A Skokie resident, Roy is “excited to get to know my neighbors in Lincolnwood.” While she has some favorite artists she’s looking forward to sharing, such as the Grammy-nominated duo Greg & Steve, she urges parents to share the music they love with their children. Conveying joy and playfulness through music and movement, as Roy has been doing for decades, benefits children far more than playing the “right” songs. (Incidentally, our Youth Services Librarians give the same advice about early literacy: if caregivers share books they enjoy, children will associate that positive feeling with reading.)

We look forward to welcoming Celeste Cifala Roy and Everybody Move to Lincolnwood!

Read Local

Posted & filed under News.

With more than 300,000 books published in the U.S. last year*—to say nothing of magazines, movies, and music—it’s all too easy to overlook a great title. Is there an item you think we should have in the library? Let us know by filling out the Request to Purchase form, and we’ll see if we can add it to our collection.

request to purchase









Of course, you can always use our catalog to request items from other libraries in our network, or ask us to request items that are more difficult to find…but much like that local strawberry that tastes sweeter than the supermarket kind, some books just ought to be local!


Pint of Strawberries, CC-BY Mr. T in DC





*according to Bowker

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away (and a Library Very Nearby)…

Posted & filed under News.

On view near the library’s entrance is a set of American Girl-style dolls wearing out-of-this-world Star Wars costumes made by Kathy van Beuningen. These 18-inch versions of Kathy’s full-sized costumes show a level of detail suitable for the big screen, but scaled for our display cases.
jawas dolls

The garments on these Jawas might be made from ragged material, but they boast the same intricate stitching as the fine fabrics of a Princess Leia dress across the way.

queen amidala dolls
Queen Amidala wears several sumptuous outfits in “Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” and two are represented in our display.




Incredibly, Kathy uses almost exclusively recycled and reused materials for her doll costumes. Other people’s trash is her treasure as she incorporates empty thread spools, candy wrappers, broken jewelry, and other odds and ends into her creations. She finds dolls at secondhand stores, though she must occasionally purchase new doll stands, modeling clay, and shoes.

darth vader doll

Kathy takes great care with accessories as well as suits: note the helmet at the feet of this Darth Vader.

darth maul doll
The faces of some dolls, including Queen Amidala and this imposing Darth Maul, are painted by Kathy’s husband, Vince Newkirk.




Look for your favorite characters in the display, then watch them come to life on Star Wars Day, Sunday, August 24. Kathy and other members of the 501st Legion Midwest Garrison and Rebel Legion: Nar Shaddaa base will be bringing us some special guests during the big event. Stop by to ask Kathy about her costumes, visit our photo booth, and test your Star Wars knowledge with trivia! May the Force be with you…

Back to School—For All Ages!

Posted & filed under News.

Lincolnwood’s School District 74 opens its doors to students this Wednesday, and teachers are busy writing lesson plans and decorating classrooms in preparation for a new school year. SD74 families, look for a special message from our children’s librarians in the library newsletter that is on its way to your mailbox.

But what if you’re too young or too old for SD74? Sharpen your pencils and come to the library (or library website) for a wide array of new classes and educational opportunities this fall!

For our youngest residents, from birth through age two, we offer Baby Bookworms on Wednesday mornings. The first fall session runs for three weeks, starting on September 10. We are also pleased to welcome Celeste Roy to Lincolnwood for Everybody Move! on Thursday mornings; the eight-week session begins September 11.

For the preschool set, our popular story programs continue with fall sessions of Stories & More and Friday Preschool Fun beginning the week of September 8. If you don’t have time to commit to these sessions, save the date for Saturday Stories on the second Saturday of each month, starting on September 13.

Students who commute to Niles West or other area high schools can still take advantage of their hometown library. Need last-minute, teacher-approved sources for research papers? Your Lincolnwood library card takes you way beyond Wikipedia, giving you access to encyclopedias, academic journals, and more via Resources by Topic for Grades 7-12. When the time comes, stop by the library to browse AP, ACT, SAT, and other test guides—along with college prep books!—in the 378 section of our Adult Non-Fiction department.

College-bound students probably shouldn’t risk bringing library books to distant dorm rooms, but library eBooks can go anywhere! Visit MyMediaMall and search “college” for titles you can download to your tablet or eReader, such as Who Moved My Laundry? A Day-by-day Guide to your First Year of College Life by Susan S. Fitzgerald, or even the I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook.

Adults who still get that back-to-school itch are in luck, as the library introduces a full slate of new technology classes this fall. Watch for the listing in our newsletter or check our online calendar for details. Looking for advanced topics or self-paced instruction? Visit us to explore the library’s video station, where you can follow engaging, top-quality courses—taught by recognized industry experts—on topics like digital photography, programming, and animation.

Also new this month: online registration for all library programs, making it even easier to learn and have fun with us. See you soon, pencils (or smartphones) at the ready!

Discover your Roots at the Library!

Posted & filed under News.

The library has begun a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition—one of the most important online genealogy resources available todayunlocking thousands of databases and billions of indexed names to Lincolnwood residents.

You may already know about using Census records and city directories for genealogy, but Ancestry Library Edition will add many more sources to your research, including U.S. school yearbooks, church histories, and WWI and WWII draft registration cards. Here are a few more categories (and sample collections) to give you a sense of the breadth of coverage:

  • casualty listings: Dachau Concentration Camp Records, 1945
  • social and place histories: Louisiana, Slave Records, 1719-1820
  • organizational directories: Worldwide Masonic Directory, 1860
  • professional directories: Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971
  • court records: New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930
  • data provided in partnership with Jewish Given Name Variations
  • family trees that members have chosen to make public: Insert your name here (Your relatives may have started tracing your ancestors without telling you!)

Other popular tools, such as Message Boards and Charts and Forms, are included in the library’s subscription. Coverage is strongest for the United States, United Kingdom, Western Europe, and Canada.

Whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian, find your roots at the library. Ready to begin?

  1. Come visit us! Ancestry Library Edition is only available in the library building.
  2. Can’t get to the library building? Learn more about Ancestry Library Edition from home by perusing this online guide or watching “Five Minute Finds” videos from on YouTube.
  3. If you have local roots, start your search from home in our Chicago Tribune archive, which includes a powerful obituary search tool.

If you would like help using Ancestry Library Edition, or any other library resource, just ask one of our Adult Services Librarians. You can also set up a one-on-one appointment for more detailed instruction by emailing or calling us at (847) 677-5277.

Pronunciator — New Language Learning Program

Posted & filed under News.

Pronunciator Language learning ProgramThe Library has replaced Mango Languages with a new language learning program – Pronunciator. Unlike Mango Languages, Pronunciator lets you learn a different language from any of 60 languages. “I speak Hindi, and I want to learn French.” “I’m a Russian speaker and want to pick up some Thai for my trip to Bangkok.” With Pronunciator these two scenarios are possible. In addition, Pronunciator provides ESL courses in 50 different languages to help learn and improve English language skills. While Pronunciator like Mango is free to Lincolnwood Library cardholders; it costs less for the library to provide.

Pronunciator combines traditional language learning methods (verb conjugation, vocabulary-building, quizzes, etc.) with modern interactive methods (speech recognition to help with pronunciation, side-by-side poetry, virtual conversations, etc.) You have the option of learning through guided “Postcards” courses or from the ground up by building your own conversations.

Courses are designed for children and adults from beginners to advanced learners.

Are you preparing for a trip? Download a phrasebook and audio lessons to take along.

Learn on your computer or download an app for iPad, iPod, iPhone, or Android tablet or phones.

Ready to Start Learning?

  1. On the library’s website, find Pronunciator in the Research drop-down menu.
  2. The first time you have to create an account:
    • Enter your email (optional)
    • Enter your library card number
    • You’ll be given a username and password
    • Once you have logged in, go to My Account in the drop down menu Logged In to change your username and password to something you can more easily remember.

If you would like help using Pronunciator or any other library resource, just ask one of our Adult Services Librarians. You can also set up a one-on-one appointment for more detailed instruction by emailing or calling us at 847.677.5277.