Jigsaw On the Go

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Lincolnwood library visitors know that there’s always a jigsaw puzzle in progress in our building. The puzzle table seems to exert a magnetic field, attracting people of all ages—some of whom get stuck puzzling for hours on end!

Jigsaw puzzles have all kinds of benefits. They exercise the brain, helping young minds develop and keeping older ones sharp. They may even lead to a state of flow, the intense focus on a task that psychologists have called “the secret to happiness.” It’s not uncommon for one of our jigsaw puzzlers to look at the clock and do a double-take, astonished by how much time has passed. Painstakingly fitting each piece fosters persistence in the face of a challenge, and nothing beats the sense of satisfaction that comes from finally completing the picture.

For most of our visitors, though, the primary benefit of the jigsaw puzzle is relaxation. Taking a few minutes to forget about everything but the colorful image in front of you, alongside a friend or in blissful solitude, is a great way to relieve stress.

jigsaw puzzle pieceWhen you can’t make it to the library, try a virtual jigsaw puzzle! If you have access to a web browser, you can try JigZone.com, a free site that offers a great assortment of puzzles, with a new one added daily. Apply any of the 35 different sizes/styles (e.g. “87 piece crazy” and “48 piece USA”) to pictures like Shell Spiral, Island Sunset, and Horse in Stable.

There are also dozens of jigsaw puzzle apps for mobile devices. Jigsaw Puzzles Epic from Kristanix Games offers over 2,000 puzzles; while some require payment, a new free puzzle is added every day. Choose your level of difficulty by setting the number of pieces (up to 400) and showing or hiding the preview of the finished puzzle image.

Real Jigsaw from Rottz sorts its 1,400 puzzles into 25 themes, including Airplanes, Flowers, and Holidays. Adjustable settings in this app include number of pieces (9 to 1000), background color, piece rotation, and a pinch-to-zoom tool. Both apps are free to download for either Android or iOS platforms, and both allow you to create your own custom puzzles from photos!

Do you have a favorite virtual puzzle website or app? We’d love to hear about it the next time you stop by to relax with our communal puzzle.

New Digital Media

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

There are special shelves in the library building for new books, music, and DVDs, but it can be harder to find new releases in digital media. The shortcuts below will help you find the latest titles to hit our virtual shelves.

Ebook and e-audiobook fans have access to thousands of titles through MyMediaMall. To find the newest, start on the New eBooks & eAudiobooks page on this site. Click on a book cover, and sign in with your library card number to check availability, borrow, and download.

overdrive advantage symbolWhile you are browsing MyMediaMall, keep an eye out for the Advantage symbol (left), indicating additional copies of new and popular titles that are only available to our Lincolnwood resident library cardholders. These items, if not available for immediate use, are likely to have significantly shorter waiting lists.

On hoopla, where there are never any waiting lists, lists recently added titles are available for each type of media: music albums, audiobooks, movies , TV shows, eBooks, and comics. Follow hoopla on social media or sign up for weekly emails to get notification of new music releases every Friday. (The announcements used to be known as New Music Tuesdays, but the music industry moved its release day!)

For more information about any of our digital media services, or to sign up for a one-on-one learning session with a librarian, contact us at (847) 677-5277 x293 or digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

Fall Technology Classes

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

We have just begun our second year of technology classes at the library, and our popular offerings continue to fill up quickly. If you are waitlisted and eager to start learning, try a video tutorial on Lynda.com or schedule an appointment for one-on-one instruction with a librarian. Call (847) 677-5277 x293 or email digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org to set up a time. Meanwhile, space is still available in the following classes:

Our App, App, & Away! series continues in November with suggestions for travel apps to help you plan, prepare for, and enjoy your next trip.

Are you interested in how technology affects the world of work? Join us in October, when SCORE Chicago presents Facebook 101: The Small Business Beginner’s Guide to Marketing. In November, Very Smart People introduce LinkedIn 101 and ReferenceUSA representative Nancy Spidle presents Job Searching Basics.

If you’re a PC user, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the new operating system released this summer. Meet Windows 10 with FireLogic and learn about all the new features that come with this free upgrade. (This session will be taped, so stay tuned for the recording if you can’t make it in person.)

Mac, iPhone, and iPad users will want to wait for the Very Smart People presentation What’s New with Apple? Android aficianados, we’ve got you covered, too, with Android Basics.

Not sure which of these you have, or should get? In mid-November, just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, our resident gadget guru will offer tips and tricks for selecting a device in What Gadget Do I Buy?

Here are the dates and times for these classes. Hope to see you there!

  • Meet Windows 10: Sunday, September 13, 2-4 p.m.
  • What’s New with Apple? Saturday, October 10, 1-2 p.m.
  • Facebook 101: Wednesday, October 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Android Basics: Saturday, October 24, 2-4 p.m.
  • LinkedIn 101: Wednesday, November 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • What Gadget Do I Buy? Saturday, November 14, 2-4 p.m.
  • Job Searching Basics with ReferenceUSA: Monday, November 16, 7-8 p.m.
  • Travel Apps: Wednesday, November 18, 2-3 p.m.


Make the Most of Lynda.com

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

In the six weeks that Lincolnwood residents have been able to access Lynda.com from home, the library has already seen increased site traffic. For the many residents just getting started with Lynda.com, here are some tips for maximizing your enjoyment and learning.

Search YouTube for just about any skill, from boiling an egg to doing the foxtrot, and you’re likely to find a video (or, in the case of the search “build a website,” well over a million videos) of someone telling you how it’s done. What distinguishes Lynda.com is that its trainers are top professionals in their fields, vetted for both content mastery and teaching ability. When watching a video, click on the name of the instructor to read a brief bio and see the other courses he or she teaches.

Lynda.com courses allow you to learn at your own pace. Courses are divided into easily digested portions; pause as needed, absorb the information, and resume when you have time. All videos come with text transcripts and closed captioning to help you keep up with what the instructor is saying. Many courses also include exercise files for practice.

For every completed course, Lynda.com provides a certificate that you can add to your portfolio, building a record of achievement to show to employers.

Not sure where to start?

If you have any questions about accessing and using Lynda.com — or if you just want to share what you are learning! — don’t hesitate to contact us at digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

Learn Anywhere with Lynda.com

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

More than four million people have used the online video tutorials at Lynda.com to learn software, technology, creative, and business skills. With nearly 4,000 courses taught by experts, and new courses added weekly, Lynda.com is an industry leader in online learning.

The library started providing access to Lynda.com two years ago, but it was restricted to a single work station in our computer lab. Now, Lincolnwood residents can use Lynda.com at home, or wherever they carry their library card. The mobile-friendly Lynda.com site works on smartphones and tablets as well as computers. You can start a course at home, continue it on the bus, and complete it during your lunch break at the office.

Find Lynda.com in the Research & Learning menu on any page of the library’s website. The first time you visit, create a profile using your library card number and a password. If you have any questions about accessing and using Lynda.com, please contact us at digitalservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org.

Lynda ws






Reading to Match Your Mood

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

novelistplus logoAre you in the mood for a light-hearted, humorous story, or a fast-paced adventure? Do you prefer sympathetic, relatable characters, or unreliable narrators?

The library subscribes to a resource called NoveList Plus to help you find the right book for your mood. NoveList has just introduced some new features, so if you have never visited the site or haven’t visited in a while, this is a great time to give it a try.

The home page now features shortcuts to recommended reading under the heading I’m in the mood for…. Start with “sweeping and dramatic” books for adults, “character-driven and funny books” for teens, “feel-good and fast-paced” books for 9- to 12-year-olds, or “cartoony and colorful” books for younger children.

Also on the home page is the new Browse by Genre tool. Click to select an age group, then use the drop-down menu to view what’s “new and popular” in Historical Fiction, Memoirs & Biographies, Thrills & Chills, or a number of other genres.

For reading that appeals even more directly to your tastes, try the Appeal Mixer. This tool lets you use drop-down menus to set your own preferences in categories like writing style, pace, and storyline.

Click on any title in NoveList for details, reviews, and similar books, plus a Check the Library Catalog link. Follow that link to our online catalog, and you’ll instantly be able to find the title in Lincolnwood or request it from another nearby library.

To get to NoveList, find the Resources A-Z listing in the drop-down menu on any page of our website, and scroll down to N. If you are outside of our building, you’ll need to enter your Lincolnwood Library card number for access.

So, what are you in the mood to read?

Summer Reading Winds Down

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

We’re still enjoying the warm, sunny days of high summer, yet the library’s summer reading program has almost run its course…this Friday, July 31 is the last day to check in before winners are announced in the drawings for great prizes like iPads and gift cards.

Adult participants, if you want to earn some last-minute raffle tickets, go digital!

Take your morning newspaper outdoors without worrying about pages flapping in the breeze by using NewspaperDirect. Lighten the load in your beach bag by borrowing eBooks or eAudiobooks from MyMediaMall, or using Flipster to read a digital magazine. Check out hot summer music releases, such as Bea Miller, Mumford & Sons, and the “Paper Towns” soundtrack on hoopla. Get a jump start on late-summer sales by researching purchases in Consumer Reports, or look up any topic that interests you in Credo Reference.

Even checking your library account online or downloading our library mobile app will earn you an extra ticket, so boot up your computer and boost your chances of being a winner!

Explore with Explora

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

explora databaseExplora is a new website that makes it easy to search two of the library’s research databases, MasterFile Premier and Science Reference Center, simultaneously.

Explora’s colorful, mobile-friendly home page is updated weekly with resources related to current events. Also on the home page, students can browse categories such as Health and Geography & Culture for research project ideas – a handy trick to keep in mind when school starts next month!

In addition to thousands of periodicals, reference books, primary source documents, maps, and photographs from MasterFile Premier and Science Reference Center, Explora includes some 60,000 videos from the Associated Press.

To start exploring Explora, select Resources A-Z from the Research & Learning menu at the top of any page of the library’s website, then scroll to the Explora link. If you are outside of the library building, enter your Lincolnwood library card number for access.

At the top of your search results list, a topic overview article provides a great point of entry for your research. Articles, available in PDF and/or HTML format, can be saved, printed, emailed, and cited. HTML articles can also be translated to various languages, with a text-to-speech feature that provides access to the hearing impaired and those who are new to reading English.

If you have questions about using Explora or any of our online resources, please contact Adult Services at (847) 677-5277 x230.

Heroes on hoopla

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

DC comics on hooplaExciting news for fans of superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash: Vertigo and DC Comics have landed in hoopla! The Dark Night Returns, Watchmen, and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Vol. 1 are just a few of the hugely popular titles available in the DC collection.

hoopla’s Action View technology allows you to read comics panel by panel (or page by page, if you prefer the traditional view).

Every library card holder can borrow up to ten titles per month on hoopla, mixing and matching comics, music albums, movies, and more. With no holds, no due dates, and no late fees, it’s the summer’s most relaxing way to read.

Learn how to start using hoopla on our hoopla help page, or contact us for a one-on-one help session.

Summer Reading, Pirates & Sharks

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Credo-logoNow that you’ve tried NewspaperDirect, earn another extra raffle ticket in our adult summer reading program by sampling Credo Reference.

Credo is an online resource containing the full text of over 750 reference books, plus 200,000 images, 1,400 short videos, and 200,000 audio files. That’s a lot of information! Luckily, Credo offers curated Topic Pages that pull together all the content on a particular subject.

Still not sure where to begin? Here are a few shortcuts to help you check off this summer reading challenge.

  • If you’re on the hook for a wedding toast or a family reunion roast, Credo’s Quotations tool lets you search or browse eleven books of quotations for that elusive bon mot.
  • If you don’t have a big occasion to celebrate, but you want an excuse to throw a party anyway, find one using Credo’s Holidays & Festivals tool.
  • Parents who are looking for ways to entertain kids (and kids at heart looking to entertain themselves!) can check out the 60+ titles from DK’s beloved Eyewitness series, including Mummy, Pirate, and Shark.
  • Kicking back with a crossword puzzle is a lot less relaxing when you’re stuck on a clue! Enter the letters you have into Credo’s Crossword Solver, substitute a question mark for the letters you’re missing, and get a list of possible words.

You’ll find Credo Reference in the Research & Learning menu at the top of any page on our website. If you are outside of the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number for access. Give it a try, and when you check in for your extra raffle ticket, let us know what you discovered! Need some help? Download our user guide, or give us a call at (847) 677-5277 x230.