Unleash your Creative Side

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Artists, musicians and photographers take note: the library has a new way to connect with the latest apps for drawing, recording, editing, and more. An iPad with pencil is now available for use in the library, offering access to dozens of cutting-edge programs.

Feeling musical? No need to set up a drum kit or wheel in a grand piano. With GarageBand you can make music with your fingers (or your voice) by recording tracks, editing them, and uploading them to your favorite storage site. Don’t play any instruments? “Smart” programs play the chords and beats for you to mix and match.

Photoshop Express gives you powerful, professional-quality editing tools to enhance your photos. Use filters or add special effects, create artistic collages with a choice of backgrounds and layouts, add custom text or graphical watermarks. Photo Booth adds wild special effects like thermal mapping, x-ray, or kaleidoscope.

Visual artists can use Adobe Sketch, Adobe Draw and Procreate to sketch, paint, and color virtually any style of image, from fine line drawings to cartoons to abstract illustrations, using the iPencil, a sophisticated stylus that offers a range of line widths and effects. Galleries of other users’ work provides inspiration. Rough Animator brings those images to life.

With the iPad you can also log into your digital library accounts for books, movies, music and more. Choose from thousands of films on the streaming site Kanopy, explore new music and movies through hoopla, or enjoy books and magazines with the Libby and Flipster apps.

To check out the iPad, just stop by the Information Services desk and start creating.

New Year, New You

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Who doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions? The past year’s slate is wiped clean and another 12 months stretch in front of us, ready to be filled with new skills, deeper knowledge, and a stronger connection to the community. And the library has a great place to start: Flipster, our digital magazine portal.

Beginning this month, 11 new magazine titles have been added with Lincolnwood residents’ interests in mind.

  • Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Travel and Midwest Living offer a chance to venture beyond the Chicago area, either in real life or as an armchair traveler.
  • Knitting, Do It Yourself, Digital Photographer and Poets & Writers should appeal to anyone looking to learn a new skill or further explore their hobbies.
  • Parents, Eating Well and Glamour each focus on lifestyle, whether you have a young family, a desire to improve your diet or just want to spruce up your look. (Fans of the now-shuttered Cooking Light will be pleased to know that it has merged with Eating Well.)

Of course, the magazine lineup doesn’t stop there. Flipster also provides access to favorite titles like The New Yorker, Chicago magazine, Good Housekeeping, People, Rolling Stone and more. To get started, all you’ll need is your library card. You can access the Flipster website through the Lincolwood library’s own app: in the Digital Library, click on the Magazines link. Or download the Flipster app and you’ll be able to create a virtual shelf as well as keep your place on a particular page even when you log off.  For more information about accessing Flipster via the app or your computer, check out our step-by-step guide.

And if print is your preferred format, current and past issues of magazines are available in our café, where you can relax in front of the fire with a warm drink while reading. (Past issues also are available for checkout.)

 

Shop Smart with Consumer Reports

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Now that peak shopping season has arrived, the library has the resource for you: Consumer Reports. One of the many online resources available through our website, CR is the perfect place to start before buying presents or stocking up for holiday parties. And if you cook, clean house, watch TV, drive a car, use a credit card or take vitamins—in other words, if you’re like most of us—there’s never been a better time to check it out.

The non-profit organization behind the reviews has been researching and testing products for 80 years, building a reputation for objective, comprehensive opinions. It does not accept advertising, so subscriptions normally cost up to $35 a year, but access with your Lincolnwood library card is free.

In addition to product ratings and reviews, the site also offers more general buying guides that cover what to look for (and what to avoid). Products are organized into easy-to-follow categories:

Appliances covers big ticket purchases like refrigerators but also smaller items such as space heaters and clothes irons, and even laundry detergent and paper towels.

Electronics sizes up all the gadgets on the market today, with ratings for nearly 200 television models, as well as laptops, headphones, and smartphones.

Other topics cover health (blood pressure monitors, sunscreen, healthy snacks), money (credit cards, insurance) and of course, cars.

You can also visit the site to get the latest information on sales and special bargains, advice such as optimizing your TV screen, and even important updates on food recalls.

And if you’d like to page through the print version of the magazine, stop by the library, where back issues are located in the library’s cafe. If you need help accessing any of our online resources, please contact the Information Services reference desk at 224-233-1841.

Have You Met Lynda?

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

The school year is well underway for most students, but lifelong learning doesn’t have to follow the calendar. With Lynda.com, an online resource accessible through Lincolnwood Library, a world of new skills awaits on your own schedule, in as big or small doses as you like.

The site’s 4,000+ courses are video-based and cover a broad range of professional and personal topics that can often dovetail nicely with others. In addition to the video lectures, many courses also offer downloadable exercises for extra practice, and completion certificates are available for some.

  • Learn better time management in three-minute mini-lectures, then move on to Balancing Life & Work.
  • Budding shutterbugs can start with the Elements of Effective Photographs (taught by a Pulitzer-nominated instructor), then learn how to edit and enhance those shots with different software, or post them online to Flickr.
  • Job hunters can update their hard skills by brushing up on Microsoft Office (including Outlook, Excel, and Powerpoint) and get a Resume Makeover. Those looking for professional development for themselves or their employees can explore the softer skills of Leading Productive Meetings, Having Difficult Conversations, or Communicating Across Cultures.
  • Personal finances can be intimidating to tackle, but Lynda.com offers newbie-friendly tips and tricks as well as a six-course playlist that ranges from Financial Wellness for Couples and Families to Managing Personal Cash Flow.

Setting up a profile is easy:

1. Click here or navigate from the library’s Research and Learning Quick Links page.

2. First time users will click Create a profile and enter their Lincolnwood library card number and a six-character passcode.

Lynda is just one of the digital resources for learning and research; ask us about the many others!

Love your library? There’s an app for that.

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Real estate on the home screen of our smartphones comes at a premium these days. And with literally millions of apps available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the ways to find something to read, catch up on the news, or plan an activity for the weekend. But it’s possible to do all that and more with just one finger–using the Lincolnwood Library’s new mobile app, available for download through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Once you open the app on your phone or tablet, enter your library card number and online account password. You’ll then have access to nearly everything the library offers right in the palm of your hand.

  • Can’t remember when the items you checked out are due back? See your borrowing history and renew them if needed.
  • Out shopping for an appliance and want reviews on which is best? Click through to the Consumer Reports database of reviews and buying guides.
  • See an interesting book or DVD at a store or on a friend’s shelf? Scan in the barcode to see if it’s available at the library, and if not, suggest a purchase.
  • You can also see the library’s event schedule and register for storytimes, tech classes, and more.

We love to see patrons in person and talk with them over the phone. But now whether you’re sitting in the dentist’s waiting room, out running errands, or just relaxing on the sofa, the library is at your fingertips.

For more help with the library’s new app, call or email the Information Services desk at 224-233-1841 or .

New Resource: The New York Times

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

New York Times Online image

Have you ever tried to read a great article from The New York Times Online only to be stopped by a paywall?  Library to the rescue! With our latest subscription, Lincolnwood residents have unlimited access from home or on the go.

 

Access NYT Online outside the library:

  • Lincolnwood Library cardholders can access NYT Online by redeeming a code. The code provides 24 hours of continuous access. A new code must be redeemed for each 24 hours of access.
  • Visit this page for the code, then select Redeem.
  • First time users must register with an email address and create a password.
  • Returning users must log in with their email address and password.

Access NYT Online inside the library:

  • Visit NYtimes.com on one of the library’s computers or connect to the library’s WiFi.
  • First time users must register with an email address and create a password.
  • Returning users must log in with email address and password for unlimited access.

For more information, check out our Help Guide or talk to an Information Services Librarian! You can find us at the yellow “Ask Us” desk, at 847-677-5277 x230, or

School Starts, Learning Continues

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

As SD74 students head back to school today, they’ll resume the type of learning that happens in classrooms, through homework, and on field trips. But there’s another kind of learning that doesn’t stop for the summer, or when a student turns eighteen. It’s the kind residents of all ages engaged in during the library’s Read for the Win initiative this summer. It’s the kind we see during one-on-one technology sessions with Lincolnwood Place residents. It’s the kind that happens throughout a learner’s lifetime, as curiosity and/or necessity lead to innovation—perhaps even revelation. It’s the kind our librarians endeavor to support with all of our library materials, resources, programs, and interactions.

If you are not a student in the conventional sense, but the back-to-school season inspires you to learn something new, take advantage of the library’s free resources. Study a language with Pronunciator, pick up a software program or business skill with Lynda.com, or pursue a career goal with JobNow. Additional research and learning resources are listed by topic here, with user guides to help you make the most of each one.

what will you learn today?

 

Websites for Voters

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

As the U.S. prepares to elect a new president on November 8, an overwhelming amount of information floods our airwaves, newsstands, and social media streams. Unfortunately, not all of it is trustworthy. Whether you’re researching candidates and campaigns or simply double-checking your polling place and registration, here are some nonpartisan websites to bookmark for your reference this election season.

Beginning with the basics, Illinois’s State Board of Elections offers a page of Information for Voters with quick links to registration, important dates, and a list of candidates. Enter your address or birth date on the Cook County Clerk’s site to find your polling place or apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Researching a candidate? Project Vote Smart is a volunteer-driven organization that compiles voting records, public statements, endorsements, and campaign finances for more than 40,000 politicians from every state and party. Ballotpedia, “the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections,” has a similar mission, but relies on a paid staff of researchers and writers.

Quite a few websites are now attempting to verify the statements candidates make in speeches, debates, ads, and tweets. The Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact uses a trademarked “Truth-o-Meter” to rate statements on a scale from “True” to “Pants on Fire!” The ratings can be scanned at a glance, but each one is backed up by articles, author names, and sources. (PolitiFact is run by the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, with contributions from other local news organizations.)

Finally, the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets project tracks the impact of money on elections. Combining Federal Election Commission filings with other data exposes “dark money” as well as traditional donations for a uniquely thorough accounting of the dollars that drive decisions.

Let your local librarians know if there is anything else we can do to help you make your decision in November!

Advance Your Search

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Power users of our online library catalog already know that they can use the system to request materials from other libraries, pay fines, and preview ebooks and e-audiobooks. The new Advanced Search page provides even more options for browsing, selecting, and obtaining library materials.

Advanced Search lets you apply any of the search restrictions that were previously available only on your results page before you even begin your search. Here are some ways to take advantage of the tool:

  • Use the drop-down menu next to Broad Genre to select categories like “Biography,” “Romance,” “Easy Reader,” or “Parent-Teacher.”
  • Add another criterion to narrow your results even further—DVD from the Format menu and “TV Series” from Broad Genre, for instance.
  • Need something you can watch or read right away? To the right of Availability, select “Only show available.”
  • Gamers and foreign film fans, click on More options… to reveal the useful limiters Platform/System and TV & Movies’ Country of Production.
  • To limit results to physical materials, excluding results from our digital library, use the drop-down menu under Search Collections and select “Library material.”

The Advanced Search link is located to the right of the green Search button on our catalog home page. If you’d like some help with your search—especially if there’s something you just can’t find—don’t hesitate to contact us.

advanced catalog search