Computer & Internet Security

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

In this era of ubiquitous technology, we seem to hear about a new threat to our computers or online presence almost daily. How can average technology users keep up, and what steps can we take to protect ourselves?

Those were some of the questions on the minds of Lincolnwood residents who attended the library’s July 16 class on Computer and Internet Security for Beginners, taught by the same tech pros from FireLogic who taught the popular Windows 8.1 class back in March.

Instructor Derrick Wlodarz enlivened the class with real-world examples drawn from security audits that FireLogic has performed for its clients. Some of these anecdotes sent shivers through the crowd, but for every frightening scenario, Wlodarz presented a practical safeguard.

The session was recorded, and the video appears at the bottom of this page. If you don’t have time to watch the entire recording, look for these highlights:

  • Following a three-minute video from CNN on the threat of “rogue wifi” in public places (at 14:55 in the video), Wlodarz places the problem in context with a series of infographics showing the relative scale of various security threats (28:00).
  • A “Myth or Fact” segment (beginning at 37:50) addresses common misconceptions about security, including the adequacy of free antivirus programs (58:38) and the immunity of Macs (1:03:33).
  • Wlodarz translates some security jargon (ransomware, adware, phishing) and answers the common question “…but where does all this nasty stuff come from?” (1:18:01).
  • He then offers tips for staying safe on social media and email (1:41:24) and presents some of his top picks for secure email providers and web browsers (1:51:59).

Here are two tips from FireLogic that you can put into practice right away:

  1. Test the strength of your chosen passwords at and the Password Haystack.
  2. When you get an email with a link to a website, hover over the link rather than clicking straight through. Look at the web address that pops up: is it a site you recognize, or just a string of numbers pointing to a hacker’s headquarters? Know before you click!

Review the Windows 8.1 class, as well as classes from other local libraries, on FireLogic’s YouTube channel. Looking for more technology classes? Visit our Events page to view our full slate of fall classes.

Discover your Roots at the Library!

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

The library has begun a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition—one of the most important online genealogy resources available today—unlocking 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 Blog, Technology.

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.

Windows 8.1 for beginners

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

On Saturday morning, the tech pros from FireLogic taught an informative class on Windows 8.1. From the new modern interface to the cloud power of OneDrive, this two hour class offered a fantastic overview plus some handy tips and tricks.

If you missed the class or just need a refresher, you’re in luck! FireLogic recorded the entire session.

For more help with Windows 8.1 and other technology topics, visit our kiosk in the library or FireLogic’s YouTube channel for previously recorded classes.

Welcome to our new website!

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Many library services are available even when we are closed, for example:

  • Borrow an eBook
  • Get reading recommendations
  • View new & coming soon titles
  • Read a newspaper online
  • Check a fact in our online encyclopedias
  • Research a product in Consumer Reports

View our site on your smartphone, tablet, or desktop.