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

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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

Lincolnwood Public Pokébrary

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

The Lincolnwood Public Library is a registered PokéStop in Pokémon Go, and patrons of all ages have been stopping by to see if they can catch Paras, Snorlax, or perhaps enough Eevee for a good eevolution! (If that sentence sounds like gibberish to you, take a look at this introduction to the mobile app game craze.) We’ve met several players who, having not been to the library in years, came in to look for Pokémon and left with renewed library cards, books, and DVDs.

Local Pokémon enthusiasts quickly discovered that according to the game’s maker, Niantic, simply walking through the library’s front door does not actually mean they have entered the PokéStop. They have to come visit the Youth & Teen area to trigger the PokéStop, get PokéBalls, and pick up potions. Once there, players will also find bookmarks for each of the Pokémon Trainer teams (Instinct, Mystic, and Valor) recommending books that might appeal to team members. Walking around to check out the progress of the library renovation will incubate eggs, and might even hatch some!

Even if not you’re playing the game, it’s worth visiting our PokéStop to see the little paper PokéBalls taped around the library, which mark different spots where Pokémon have been caught. If you’re lucky, you might see a player in action. A middle schooler who had not visited the library since school let out stopped by recently to spread the word that there were a bunch of Eevees in the parking lot…

If you are playing, you’ll definitely want to come by to catch ’em all; when you do, say hello and show us your Pokédex!

library pokestop flyer


Let the Games Begin

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The Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro are just ten days away. Are you ready? Stock up at the library with these books:

If your TV screens aren’t tied up by Olympic events, get in the game with “Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Summer Games” on Nintendo 3DS. Can’t get your hands on the popular 2016 movie “Race,” about Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic triumph? Watch a different track star in the 2002 movie “Prefontaine,” or try the History Channel’s documentary “The First Olympics.”

For the latest news on athletes from all over the world, check Library PressDisplay for full-color editions of newspapers published in their hometown!

Meanwhile, Explora offers Olympics reading from a plethora of publications right here in the U.S., including Marie Claire, Esquire, Golf Digest, Ebony, Adweek, Popular Mechanics, Swimming World, Practical Horseman, and Time for Kids. For best results, enter the following search term as the subject: OLYMPIC Games (31st : 2016 : Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). You can also read digital editions of “Sports Illustrated” and “Sports Illustrated Kids” using Flipster.

Inspired by the TV coverage to plan a trip to Rio? Pronunciator, the library’s online language learning program, can get you started with basic Portuguese. Closer to home, Encyclopedia Britannica can help you prepare for an Olympics trivia night with its article listing every modern Summer Games with their dates, locations, notable winners, and images.

Bonus: Library PressDisplay, Pronunciator, and Encyclopedia Britannica are all online resources that count towards your Read for the Win challenge. Stop by and tell us what you searched for and what you found, and we’ll give you a summer reading raffle ticket! It’s almost as good as a gold medal…

Halfway to the Win

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We’ve reached the halfway point in our 2016 Summer Reading Challenge, Read for the Win. In the first six weeks, you have been busy attending events, singing, reading, creating, and playing! You still have plenty of time—right up until the last day of August—to complete activities and check in for star punches and tickets. After that, we will draw ten lucky winners to receive prize baskets filled with gift cards, games, and even a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader!

Speaking of Kindles, an easy way to earn up to three raffle tickets is to borrow a library Kindle and use it to read ebooks. You can also read library ebooks (or listen to audiobooks) on your personal device. Get started on our website, or ask a librarian to learn more.

Earn three more raffle tickets just for trying the library’s online resources. Suggestions for quick activities: look at a newspaper from another part of the world in Library PressDisplay, or find your next great read in NoveList. If you have more time, research your next big purchase in Consumer Reports, take a course, or come to the library and build a family tree with Ancestry Library Edition.

Have you gone to see the “The BFG” since it hit theaters on the first of the month? If so, claim your raffle ticket for the activity “Watch a movie based on a book”! Other big summer adaptations include “Me Before You” and “The Infiltrator.” See our book-to-movie suggestions for all ages, plus adaptations that you can access for free with your library card on hoopla digital.

Many of the activities on the Challenge Card are even simpler to complete. Find us at the library or around town to sing us a song, show us your book-related paintings or drawings, tell us what you’ve read (and cooked!), and get your well-deserved star punches.

prize basket

(Don’t let Abe hoard all the raffle tickets! Get in on your chance to win one of these awesome prize baskets.)


Instagram Highlights

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Are you following the Lincolnwood Public Library on social media? We’ve had a library Facebook page for years, but just started an Instagram account about six weeks ago. Since then, we’ve posted:

Our Instagrammers are also foodies! Ketchup, popcorn, French fries, and Andy’s frozen custard have all made appearances. Of course, when we’re not busy eating, we’re reading, so our feed is full of books for all ages.

If you’re curious about Instagram, check out this tutorial on how to sign up, follow accounts, post photos, apply filters, and interact with other users.

Already an Instagrammer? Follow us and comment—we’d love to hear from you! Use the #amreading hashtag along with #lincolnwoodlibrary to show us what you’re reading. Bonus: if you post this one as a selfie, you’ll earn a raffle ticket in our Summer Reading Challenge.

Books, books, and more books on our library Instagram account:

Book Bundles

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

When preschoolers look for books at the library, they usually aren’t looking for specific titles like older kids would. They just want books about their favorite topic of the week, be it getting dirty, things that go, or summertime. But the picture book section can be a little daunting for a three-year-old, and searching for the perfect title on a topic is time-consuming for grown-ups.

Our youth librarians have taken the guesswork out of this process by pre-selecting our favorites for you and making them available as gift-wrapped Book Bundles. A Book Bundle is a stack of three to six books on a specific topic—anything from dogs and cats to the first day of school. Some of the bundles, such as multicultural books or books about how hard bedtime can be, might be conversation-starters; others are surefire laugh-out-loud selections. (There’s even a bit of potty humor!)

Book Bundles are located near the I Can Read books in the picture book section, as well as near the toddler books. Can’t find them? Ask a librarian! We have plenty of bundles ready to go, and if we don’t have a bundle on the topic you want, we’ll create it just for you.

Movie Under the Stars

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and join us at Proesel Park on Friday, June 24, as we celebrate Read for the Win in Lincolnwood with the original “Toy Story” outside on the big screen! The movie starts at dusk; we’ll have snacks and other freebies available while supplies last.

Need a refresher on the plot and characters before the event? There are five “Toy Story” comic books that you can download for free using hoopla digital. Three are adaptations of the movies, while two others (Toy Overboard, Part 1 and Part 2) are an original story.

Also on hoopla, find the six-hour Toy Story Collection audiobook, plus two ebooks to read on your computer or mobile device: the picture book Little Lost Sheep and the Toy Story Junior Novel.

Don’t forget music! Download the soundtracks from the first, second, and third “Toy Story” movies to play in your car on the way to Proesel Park, and “Toy Story Sing-Along Songs” for your own private karaoke party. There’s also a shorter collection of “Toy Story Favorites,” and the “Songs and Story” collection that combines the best of audiobook and soundtrack, in both English and Spanish.

You’ve got a friend in us—your Lincolnwood Library!