Earth Day Apps & More

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

April 22 is Earth Day. Celebrate on Wednesday—or any day!—by taking a walk outside or visiting your favorite park. Then read on to learn how technology can help you shrink your carbon footprint and renew your appreciation for our planet.

“Smart home” innovations are reshaping how we use energy in our living spaces. After “learning” your habits and preferences, these high-tech thermostats, lights, and appliances can automatically adjust to optimize efficiency. Some also offer remote operation. Forgot to turn out the lights when you left for work this morning? Just pull out your smartphone and use an app to switch them off from the office. Check out reviews of smart home products at CNET.

If you still have a not-so-smart home, download these apps—for free!—in honor of Earth Day.

  • Save trees with PaperKarma. Use your mobile device’s camera to submit photos of unwanted junk mail, and the service processes “unsubscribe” requests for you!
  • Save resources with JouleBug. Tackle “Achievements” laid out by the app to reduce your consumption of energy, oil, water…and money! Compete with friends, or just challenge yourself to advance on the leaderboard.
  • Save gas with GasTracker+. Track your MPG using this app and its companion website, Fuelly. Compare fuel grades, driving habits, and stations; when you’re shopping for a new car, use Fuelly to compare makes and models. (This app is only available for iOS. A similar app for Android is Fuelio.)

Finally, for a unique perspective on the planet, explore Earth Now from NASA. This app showcases satellite images overlaid with current environmental conditions as measured by NASA’s Earth Observatory.

blue planet nasa imageThis image of our beautiful home comes from NASA, as well. Happy Earth Day!


Money Smart Technology

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Money Smart Week logoFinancial matters, like almost every other realm of our lives, are increasingly dominated by technology. Even money itself has gone digital: a new book recently added to the library’s collection, The Age of Cryptocurrency by Paul Vigna, details how Bitcoin and similar currencies are changing the way the world does business.

During Money Smart Week (April 18-25), the library is offering two opportunities to learn how you can harness the power of technology to improve your finances.

On Tuesday, April 21 at 1:00, the topic is Morningstar, an online resource accessed through the library. Morningstar’s tools and expert analyses can help you manage your investments and make informed decisions regarding your portfolio.

On Wednesday, April 22 at 7:00, we’ll focus on, the free online classifieds site. Get tips on using this great local resource safely and effectively, whether you’re buying, selling, or both.

No registration is required for these events. If you can’t attend, but you’d like to try the library’s resources for investors, learn more here or go directly to our Online Resources page.

New Music Tuesday

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Example of a hoopla Pinterest pin for New Music TuesdayThe international music industry recently announced its intention to set all album release dates to Fridays. The decision takes effect this summer and marks a major change for U.S. recording labels, which have traditionally (and somewhat mysteriously) released new albums on Tuesdays.

If you look forward to new music every Tuesday, celebrate the remaining months of Tuesday releases with the library’s new provider of digital music, hoopla. Every Tuesday, hoopla adds dozens of new titles to its massive music selection. Visit hoopla’s New Music Tuesday collection or its New & Notable Music Pinterest board to check out the newest albums, and be sure to follow hoopla on Twitter and Facebook for #newmusictuesday announcements.

Remember, you can borrow up to ten titles from hoopla every month. If you haven’t visited yet in March, you can try ten albums today and another ten tomorrow!

For more information, visit our hoopla help page, set up an appointment for one-on-one assistance from a librarian, or mark your calendar for Sunday, May 10, when we’ll walk you through all your options for downloading eMedia from the library in a free 90-minute class.

Have You Heard About hoopla?

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

Hoopla -- digital movies, music, eAudiobooksThe word is starting to spread: hoopla comprises hundreds of thousands of music albums, audiobooks, movies, and TV shows. Lincolnwood residents can borrow 10 of these per month and play them on a computer or mobile device. All you need is your library card!

If you haven’t taken advantage of this new service yet, try it now; setting up your account is free, and only takes a few minutes. Visit the hoopla website on your computer or laptop, or download the free hoopla app to your smartphone or tablet. Once you have an account, you can access it from any device.

Now you’re ready to customize your hoopla experience! Look for your email address (in the upper right-hand corner of the screen if you’re on a computer; in the app menu if you’re on a mobile device) to access your profile. Use the checkboxes to sign up for hoopla emails or mobile notifications, so you’ll always be the first to hear about new releases and improved features. Click Recommendation Settings (“Recommendation Behavior” on the app) to select your favorite genres in each format.

To refine your recommendations, select Favorites as you browse: click Add to Favorites on your computer, or tap the heart icon on the app. Now, when you log in, hoopla will suggest titles to fit your tastes.

Need some help getting started? Visit our hoopla help page, drop by this evening (Monday, March 23) for one-on-one assistance, or mark your calendar for Sunday, May 10, when we’ll walk you through all your options for downloading eMedia from the library in a free 90-minute class.

Movies, Music, & More, 24/7

Posted & filed under News, Technology.

We are excited to introduce our newest digital library service, hoopla!

hoopla digitalhoopla offers movies, TV shows, music albums, and audiobooks that you can stream or download on your computer or mobile device. All Lincolnwood library cardholders have instant access to everything on the site—no holds, no waiting. Check out up to 10 items per month, and don’t worry about returning them—your loans expire automatically, so there are no late fees.

The music selection on hoopla is outstanding. There are hundreds of thousands of albums available in diverse genres: pop, country, rock, blues, rap, children’s, R&B, soundtracks, and more. New albums are added every Tuesday.

In movies and television, you’ll find Hollywood favorites as well as lesser-known gems. Categories like “Good for a Laugh” and “60’s Classics” help you find something to suit any mood, every time. hoopla helps you find the perfect audiobook, too, using categories like bestsellers, biographies, short story collections, romance, and seasonal selections.

In addition to these great browsing options, you can always use the search feature to find out right away whether hoopla carries a certain title—and remember, if it’s there, it’s yours to borrow and enjoy instantly!

Like Flipster, hoopla is very easy to use. Follow the instructions on our website, or simply visit hoopla to get started. You can get help at an eMedia class (March 4 or May 10), one-on-one appointment with a librarian (March 20, April 26, May 18, or by special arrangement), or Tech Help Drop-In session (March 23, April 30, or May 18). Visit our online calendar for all the details.


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!