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, 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 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 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, 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

Council of Awesome T[w]eens

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

The Lincolnwood Public Library is looking for a Library CAT.

dewey the library cat book cover

No, not that type of cat! We are seeking enthusiastic, motivated, and bookish students for a Council of Awesome T[w]eens that will promote and represent the library to their peers and the wider community.

The CAT will meet once a month during the school year to eat pizza and chat. Oh, and also to:

  • help plan, run, and participate in events,
  • suggest books, CDs, movies, games, and magazines for the library to buy,
  • earn special library privileges and community service hours,
  • learn and practice new leadership skills to prepare for their future, and
  • brainstorm ways to get the word out about the best place in all of Lincolnwood (the library, duh)!

CAT applicants must be Lincolnwood residents in grade six or above and able serve for a term of half the school year. For 2016-17, that means September through February and/or March through June.  Members are expected to attend at least three meetings as active participants and to assist with at least one CAT-sponsored program or activity per term.We are now accepting applications for the inaugural CAT term! Fill out an application at the library or complete this online form by September 9.

Lincolnwood Public Library Council of Awesome T[w]eens

Introducing Hot Picks

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Have you ever come to the library hoping for the new John Grisham book, only to find all the copies checked out and the waiting list several weeks long? Or stopped by to grab a copy of the last “Hunger Games” movie before seeing the new one in theaters, when it turned out everyone else had the same idea and all the DVDs are gone? Trust us, we know what agony it can be to wait for something you really want to watch, hear, or read.

To alleviate the agony, we are introducing a new collection of Hot Picks today, with the opening of our newly renovated library lobby! Showcasing the most in-demand titles we’ve got in the library across multiple age groups and formats—be they newest in a series, most recent by beloved authors, best sellers, award-winners, or box office blockbusters—our Hot Picks collection is sure to be stocked with popular items.

Hot Picks will be for Lincolnwood residents only, though many of the same items will also be available in our regular collection for everyone. Our goal is to get some of the best, most in-demand materials into your hands the second you walk into the library! That means there are no holds or renewals on Hot Picks, and the lending period is two weeks, as opposed to standard three. The late fee for these popular items is also a bit higher, at a dollar per day.

View Hot Picks books and DVDs in our library catalog. Better yet, stop on by to check out the new lobby and the Hot Picks shelves…but bring your oven mitts or safety gloves, because this collection is so hot it’s on fire!

Hot Picks icon