Melanie's blog

Too Much Tech?

computerstress

I work with technology all day, yet I still find myself on the iPad in the evenings, watching YouTube videos and checking the news. Sometimes, as I complete another sudoku game or post another Facebook comment, I wonder why I don’t have the gumption to just unplug. I’m going to give it a try. Sort of, anyway.

I don’t think I’ll go so far as attending the summer camp for adults called Camp Grounded. No digital technology allowed! I can understand its appeal, though.

Perhaps I can take the advice of New York Times writer, Nick Bilton, who blogged earlier this year about How to Take a Break from Your Technology. He lists tips such as turning off all smartphone notifications, and establishing “gadget-free zones.” Pretty good ideas, methinks.

eBook Renewals!

renew ebook

Have you ever wished you could renew eBooks and audio eBooks? Well, now you can!

Here's how it works.

If you have an eBook or audio eBook checked out -- and there is no one else on hold for that item -- you will have the option to renew it! There are a few details that you should know about:

Virtual Connections in the Real World

meetup

Sometimes you meet people online and you may never actually see them face-to-face. With Skype and Face Time and online classrooms, this scenario is completely feasible.

But what's super fun about social networking is what can happen after the laptop or the iPad is powered down. The web can be a great way to meet real people with similar interests -- in the real world!

Women's Open Lab

woman working on computer

Women of Denver, are you looking for a safe place to create? Connect? Work? Practice? Learn? Build? Collaborate? Discover?

Check out the Community Technology Center's weekly Women's Open Lab! We provide:

Internet access, Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) and highly skilled staff available to assist with:
   - Resume writing & job searching
   - Basic computer skills
   - Email
   - Internet searching
   - Social networking

Tech Makes Cycling Even MORE Fun!

denver bike to work day 2013

Wednesday, June 26, is Denver Bike to Work Day, and lots of Denver Public Library employees will be pedaling to their branch that day. Some of us ride to work several times a week or more! What does cycling have to do with technology? Lots of things, actually.

Denver is a fairly bike friendly city. There are great routes all over, bicycle and mixed-use trails, and roads with dedicated bike lanes. There are a few tools I use to find my way on two wheels.

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!

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