Lincolnwood to Hollywood

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

As promised, here is one more movie-related app suggestion, and it’s the most directly relevant to awards season:

Awards Guide app icon

The Awards Guide: Oscars® app contains a searchable database of nominated movies—and winners!—in every category from 1929 to 2014. Search an actor’s name for a record of nominations and awards. The Android app lists all the 2015 nominees, as well. (The iOS app will be updated shortly.)

Use your Awards Guide app to refresh your memory of past winners as you fill out your Lincolnwood Library Oscar Predictions Ballot!

Ballots are available now (for residents only) to pick up at the library. Fill out your choices in each category and return your completed ballot to the library by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 22. Whoever submits the ballot that comes closest to predicting the Academy’s actual choices will win a movie-themed prize! For more information, contact Community Engagement at (847) 677-5277 x232 or

Apps for Moviegoers

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Whether you’re a true film buff or an occasional dabbler, mobile apps can help you keep track of what’s happening in Hollywood—during this awards season and all year long.

IMDb app iconIf you download only one movie-related app, consider Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Search this mobile companion to the vast IMDb website by title (for plot summary, trailer, reviews, cast, crew, etc.) or personality (for filmography, photos, awards, and biographical tidbits), or just browse for the latest news. You can also get showtimes and buy tickets for nearby theaters, and—with a free account—save movies to a “Watchlist” and rate those you’ve seen. Other popular all-purpose movie apps include Moviefone and Movies by Flixster.

Yidio iconMost of the websites you can use to stream movies and TV shows, such as Netflix and Hulu, have their own mobile apps. If you use multiple streaming services, search Yidio to find out which of them offer a particular title or episode (and how much they’re charging for it).


Here are a few other movie app suggestions for special audiences:

Do you have boxes of old VHS tapes, shelves of new Blu-Rays, and folders of digital copies? The My Movies app helps Reel Collectors organize their holdings. Scan barcodes using your device’s camera or enter titles to add them, then sort, search, or simply shake your device for a random selection. Catalog 50 titles for free, or purchase the unlimited “Pro” version.

Prudent Parents can use the Kids in Mind app to get “objective and complete information about a film’s content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids.”

Among the many apps for Trivia FansMovie Pop stands out for letting players select a genre and play within your area of expertise.

Are you a Movie Parrot, famous among your friends for working a movie quote into every conversation? You might want to download MovieQuoter for the rare occasion when you can’t come up with the right soundbite!

If you’ve made it this far, you might be a Good-to-the-Last-Drop Devotee who stays in his or her seat until the last credit rolls, in hopes of catching a hilarious outtake or poignant dedication. Your patience is admirable! …but if you’re in a hurry, try the Anything After app to find out in advance if it’s worth sitting through the credits.

Stay tuned for one last movie-related app suggestion, coming next week…

And the Webby Goes To…

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Between Sunday’s Golden Globes presentation and today’s announcement of the 2015 Oscar nominees, there’s no denying that we’re in the thick of “awards season.” And it’s not just movies: children’s book lovers are looking forward to the unveiling of this year’s Caldecott and Newbery Medals in Chicago on February 2.

The awards above are household names, but are you familiar with the following awards in technology?

  • The Appy Awards: Presented by MediaPost for “creativity and excellence in app design.” Categories are reminiscent of an app store: Finance, Productivity, Utilities, etc. See the 2014 winners.
  • The Webby Awards: Recognizing “the best of the web” with categories like “Best Email Newsletter” and “Best Use of Photography on a Website.” Spearheaded by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and revealed at a live event in May. Browse previous winners.
  • The CODiEs: Software gets its turn in the spotlight with this award from the Software & Information Industry Association. Wondering who has the Best Healthcare IT Solution or the Best eCommerce and Billing Platform? 2014 winners are listed here. (If you prefer open source software, check out the Bossies!)
  • The Shorty Awards: In the realm of social media, most of the recognition goes to the users rather than the technology. Still, these awards from Sawhorse Media include categories like Web Show and GIF of the Year. Winners are currently listed on the home page.

Of course, there are plenty of awards for technology that don’t have cute names, and some are far more prestigious (the Association for Computing Machinery’s prestigious Turing Award for major contributions to the field by an individual is often likened to the Nobel Prize)…but you just might be able to impress your friends at an Oscars party with your knowledge of the Shorty winners!

All the News, Fit for Many Formats

Posted & filed under News.

Four times a year, every household in Lincolnwood receives a copy of the library’s newsletter. This brightly-colored mini-magazine is full of news, events, and information you don’t want to miss…but we know how easy it is for mail to slip into the recycling bin before everyone has had a chance to read it! The information in our newsletter is always available in various forms online (in the calendar, on this blog, and in our eNews), but now you can read the entire publication online in digital “flipbook” format.

The Library News page of our website has a new heading in the sidebar: Newsletter Issues. The current issue, Winter 2014-15, is currently posted, and we will be adding every new issue we mail out. Click on the issue you’d like to read, and it will open in the digital publishing platform called Issuu. Issuu’s easy-to-use interface allows you to zoom in or out and search. You can even share the newsletter with friends on social media or via email. If you find a program that looks interesting, head back over to our calendar page to register online!

Our newsletter is so pretty that we think you’ll want to display it prominently on your fridge…but just in case it gets buried in that bottomless pile of mail, please bookmark our News page and visit us often—online and in person.

digital newsletter display

NewspaperDirect Adds Magazines

Posted & filed under News.

Q: What do “Martha Stewart Living,” “Old House Journal,” “Vegetarian Times,” “Digital Camera World,” and “MacLife” have in common?

A: They are among the magazines that Lincolnwood residents can now access online using their library cards!

The Lincolnwood Public Library offers online access to thousands of newspapers from around the world, in about sixty different languages, through the NewspaperDirect service.

There were already several magazines among NewspaperDirect’s many publications, but the company recently announced that it would offer many more. Beyond the titles listed above, new additions include “Yoga Journal,” “Creative Knitting,” “Maximum PC,” “Highlights for Children,” “Backpacker,” and “Total Film”—truly a magazine for every interest.

To find this treasure trove of periodicals, look for Research in our website’s main navigation and select NewspaperDirect from the drop-down menu. Enter your library card number, then search by title using the search bar at the top of the page, or select USA in the Titles by Country menu on the left to browse all U.S. publications.

Magazines display in full color, with every article, photograph, and advertisement you’d find in the print edition—but without those pesky subscription cards. If you find you need the hard copy of an article, you can choose whether to print an entire page or just a section that you select. Some titles even offer RSS feeds, so you can get new content delivered to your favorite feed reader.

Most publications include only the three most current issues in NewspaperDirect. For older magazine articles (and for fully indexed, searchable content), try MasterFile Premier.

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 or download our PDF guide.)

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.

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…