What does a library have to offer? Traditional answers include books, movies, community space, and programs. Libraries have evolved to include emerging technologies such as eBooks, but did you know we also offer other great digital services?
Flipster is a digital magazine service that makes it easy for you to read your favorite magazines on your computer or mobile device. It’s especially beautiful and convenient for iPad users. To access it click on the Flipster link from the library’s research page found under the Magazines & Newspaper section. Sign in using your valid library card! From the main Flipster page you can then click on a magazine to view it within your browser. Some popular titles include: People Weekly, Car and Driver, HGTV magazine, and many others.
With your library card you also have access to a free movie streaming service. Indieflix features unlimited access to over 4,500 selections of independent films which include the best of Sundance, Cannes, and Tribeca film festivals. To access this service click the link from the library’s research page and find it under the Arts & Humanities subject heading. This service works on all internet devices and even on Roku.
To access any of our digital services including eBooks, you will need a valid library card. If you don’t have a library card (yet) You can apply for a temporary card online here, but you must visit the library within the next 30 days to complete registration. If it has been a long time since you’ve used your card renew it by coming down to the library. If you have outstanding fines to be paid you can do so in person, or online here.
Try Linux !
Is your computer a bit sluggish? Does it seem like all you are doing is fighting with your computer instead of entering into a partnership with it to allow you to do useful work? Do the terms defrag, anti-virus and bloatware make you angry?
The solution might be to try Linux. While newer devices like smart phones and tablets are likely to use Android or iOS, most PCs use either Apple OS X or Microsoft Windows.
As most PCs are sold by hardware manufactures (HP, Dell, Toshiba, etc.) the software frequently includes applications other than Microsoft Windows. If you have ever turned on a computer after a few weeks, you know the chaos that results when each application wants to update ‘their’ software. You have the pleasure of answering a half dozen questions involved with each application.
Linux offers an alternative. As the OS (Operating System) is free there is no 25 digit product ID to enter to insure you a valid license (i.e. you or the hardware maker paid a license fee). There is no bloatware – stuff you don’t need but was included because the hardware manufacturer wanted additional profit from third party application vendors.
OK If you are convinced read on.
I suggest you try linux without installing it on your sluggish computer. How can you do that? Well there are Linux distributions (flavors from various development teams) that load either from a DVD or a USB flash drive. You can boot off the device and try it out without affecting your hard drive. The only difference between a try out (using a ‘live’ CD) and a full disk installation is that the live ‘try out’ will run a bit slower. The benefit is that you can test your linux OS configuration without risk. If you want to go back to your original Windows configuration, just remove the DVD or USB Flash drive and reboot.
Over the last year or so I’ve greatly enjoyed video courses offered by our public libraries. While there are many to chose from, I’ve concentrated on “The Great Courses” from the Teaching Company.
Our library has many courses in audio CD format with topics as diverse as the American Civil War to Mythology. The life and music of many composers are all in our collection.
While I think audio CDs are perfect for listening to in the car, especially for long commutes, I prefer the video collections available by inter-library loan from other libraries. As my interests usually focus on STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) I can recommend many video courses from the Teaching Company.
Do you know why the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed in 1940? What mistake did the engineers make that caused the London Millennium Footbridge to close the day it opened? (It opened about 2 years later). Why is the roof missing on most of the ancient Roman and Greek structures? While the heart rate of a hummingbird is very different than an elephant, what heart metric is surprisingly close?
What controversies resulted from Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution?
All answers await your visit to the library !
My pet peeve is with instructors who prevent their students from using anything on ‘the Internet’ as a source for research papers.
Modern public libraries and universities with extensive research facilities frequently pay for the use of online databases. They do this for many reasons including lack of physical space for printed books and journals as well as the enhanced ability to perform searches of digital content. The quality of the material is not related to the form of the content. A book or article should not be given greater confidence simply because it is physical. An electronic article from the Journal of the American Medical Association should not be considered of less value simply because it was obtained over the Internet. Many articles from quality databases are peer reviewed. Many books and magazine articles are not.
Maybe sources for research papers should be restricted to ‘peer reviewed’ articles or ‘first person’.
Consider the source – not the form.
My favorite way to find a new book to read is to browse the shelf. I usually like to read non-fiction books anything from self-help, health, true crime to history. My favorite and one of the most popular places people go to first in the library is the New Book area. Did you know our library website has a list of the new items? You can access this list anytime you want from home especially when it’s getting late and you can’t fall asleep. Most of the time these new items are checked out, but this is a great way to start building up your hold list! Sometimes I go through them and put all the new movies on hold. I love to check out some movies from our collection and have a movie night at home.
I’m sure many of you get recommendations for books from friends and family. Other ways are book reviews, advertisements, and of course your local librarian. In this digital age there are many great book review sites, book blogs, and other ways to find your next read. The library provides a digital service called, “NextReads”. If you signup for NextReads you will receive monthly emails of book suggestions. Most of the suggestions are the hot new books in the genre you signed up for. The librarians at LML always order these books for our collection.
A great website that I recommend is Goodreads. Goodreads is the Facebook for avid readers. Here you can compile a list of books that you have read or want to read, rate and review them. Goodreads will generate a list of recommendations based on what you have read, but also of what they are being paid to advertise. If you add friends you can see what they have read. Another great feature are the book lists. The people on Goodreads have compiled their own lists of books for genres, and sometimes vote on lists like “Beach Reads”. My to-read list grows day by day especially when I am friends with fellow librarians. Goodreads also helps you see a pattern in your reading. Tagging allows you to categorize the books you’ve added. Personally, it seems that my most popular tags are young adult fiction, romance and children’s literature. If you would like a Goodreads friend, add me!
We all get frustrated when technology doesn’t do what we want it to. I know I get frustrated at times. However the most productive action is to sit back, take a breath and methodically try to figure out what the problem is. Re-read the documentation (yes most everything in technology is documented to some degree). Ask for help from someone else – a second pair of eyes can spot a problem you might have overlooked. For me – the ‘Eureka’ moment sometimes comes the next day – after NOT actively thinking about the problem.