Melanie's blog

Advanced Internet Searching for the Extra-Curious

Google

The internet is chock full o' curiosities, and if you're curious like I am, a plain old Google search just ain't gonna cut it.

It's true that often, when I’m looking stuff up online, I just throw a few words into Google and see what happens. Actually, most of the time that will actually work just fine. But sometimes a search requires a little more finesse in order to dig up really good results.

Did you know you can use Google to search within a website?

Did you know using quotation marks around two or more words creates a search for those words next to one another, and in that exact order?

A simple minus sign before a word in your search prevents results containing that word.

Computer Access for Customers with Disabilities

In the past couple of years, many Denver Public Library Branch Locations have settled into their new digs, enjoying remodeled spaces, more public computers, and updated software. Did you know that several Branch Libraries, including the Central Library, also have improved workstations for customers with physical barriers to access?

These computer workstations have adjustable tables that move up and down to accommodate wheelchairs or customers who are unable to sit. Several types of mice and keyboards are available upon request too, including stationary trackball mice and large print, high contrast keyboards.

The Central Library also has a Braille printer.

21st Century Travel

I guess I sort of remember what it was like to travel before the internet. I definitely remember having to buy a phone card for long road trips, and carrying around a sheet of paper with important names and numbers on it.  Once when I was about 19 I landed my mom, my sister and me in a weird industrial neighborhood in a rental car in Chicago. Folding paper maps have never been my jam.

I admit it -- I'm super happy to have a smart phone, and to be able to research destinations online. It's awesome. So as mon petit ami and I prepare for a spring adventure to Paris, I am reflecting on just how heavily I rely on the web for my travel plans. There’s some great stuff out there, for sure. I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. It helps me relax and alleviate anxieties I might have about going somewhere new. I thought it might be useful for me to divulge some of the travel planning tools I use.

Apps and eBooks for kids!

galaxy note ii

Did Santa bring the kids new tablets or eReaders for Christmas? Are you befuddled by the new look of the library’s eMedia page? Wondering what apps are right for your child?

Whether you want to download library eBooks to your iPad or find great apps to keep your children entertained, we can help get you started! Swing by the Children’s Pavilion the first two Sundays in January and learn how to make the most of your new devices.

On Sunday, January 6, we’ll show you how to find and download free children’s eBooks and audio eBooks from the Denver Public Library website. Check out the new look of our eMedia page, and learn how to install the required software to your computer or device (see schedule below).

Free Video Field Production with Denver Open Media!

Denver Open Media Logo

Do you enjoy taking iPhone footage of your cat chasing the laser pointer light around the living room? Perhaps you're a slightly more seasoned cinematographer looking to improve your understanding of lighting and audio. Either way, Denver Open Media's Video Field Production workshop is for you!

Join fellow video enthusiasts at the Central Library next Tuesday and learn the nitty gritty about cinematography, lighting and audio. This workshop focuses on the manual controls available through larger 3-chip DV cameras, such as the Sony PD170. Don't know what that is? Don't worry! Beginners are welcome too!

Working it Out

mapmyfitness

I like to work out because it's a great way to release stress, to get better sleep and to have more energy. Yada yada yada, right? We all know these things are true. But, like most people, I get into ruts when I don't exercise at all. It's soooooo hard to get back on track. But I've discovered a few fun online tools -- which are available for free -- that might help keep you motivated!

Currently I use MapMyFITNESS to track all the exercise I do, minus my bike commuting (more on that later). I'm not going to claim to understand the psychology of why logging every physical activity works, but it does. There's something extremely satisfying about having a record of what you've done to keep you motivated. MapMyFITNESS is far and away the most comprehensive free app I've used to record workouts.

What is KeyTrain and what's in it for me?

growdenveroed

Are you a job seeker? Have you wondered what KeyTrain is all about? Are you currently employed but looking for a new opportunity? Perhaps a KeyTrain session is just what you need!

If you're looking to increase your job skills and employability, KeyTrain sessions are a good place to start. KeyTrain is an online interactive learning tool used as a pretest and remedial tool to pass the WorkKeys CareerReady Colorado Certificate in Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. This certificate shows employers that you've got what it takes to get the job done!

Party Planning Online

evite

Now that my whole family is on the email bandwagon, planning parties, potlucks and holidays is super easy! Free online tools like Punchbowl and evite help hosts and hostesses keep track of who is attending and who is bringing what -- or whom! I encourage you to try one out, maybe for a big Memorial Day potluck!

If you have a big family or lots of friends, you've probably experienced the agony of planning a potluck. Was Jenny bringing pecan pie? Or did she say coleslaw? I've been bombarded with emails to the effect of, "What can I bring? I was thinking ham." But Dad already agreed to bring ham, so then it's a phone call, text messages or emails to Dad and Jenny, and some Advil.

Google Better!

Google

Google is a very powerful tool, particularly if you know how to use it correctly.  Try a few of the simple tips shared here, and you'll be on your way to Googling better!

All locations of the Denver Public Library will be closed on Monday, March 26, in observance of Cesar Chavez Day. Wait. Cesar who? Let's use Cesar Chavez to practice some advanced Google search techniques.

Organizing Your Virtual World

Most of us have favorite bloggers, trusted news websites, an email account and a few social networks we follow, too. Maybe the sites are bookmarked for quick access or addresses pop up in the browser history upon beginning to type. In some cases complete web addresses have been memorized! Stop the insanity!

I don't know about you, but my mornings used to be all about a cup o' joe and time set aside for perusing the newspaper. It's been a long time since I've had actual ink and paper delivered to my doorstep, but I fondly remember opening up a newspaper and leisurely trolling for scandalous headlines, often skimming the heady news articles and jumping straight to the crossword puzzle and comics. This familiarity is comforting, to be sure. The beauty of newspapers is the way they're organized; we know what to expect when we open one up. Breaking news appears on the front page.

Syndicate content