Michelle's blog

Why is the Internet Slow? And What's the Library Doing About It?

Bandwidth Explosion

If you use the Library's public computers, you know that we have experienced a decrease in Internet connection speed. There are a number of reasons for this, several of which have been addressed. And we have isolated the cause of what we hope is the last remaining issue. The good news is that the Library now has a dedicated segment of the City and County of Denver's Internet connection.

This means we aren't competing for bandwidth with other City agencies, and our heavy Internet traffic (we have over 1,500 computers) is not interfering with the Sheriff, Courts or other agencies. The bad news is that this shift has yet to improve the connection speeds at our public computers and this is due to the way we currently filter the Internet. What is not news is that Internet traffic is growing exponentially worldwide.

What's Up with Prospector?

Good things often come to those who wait.  And you have been waiting a long time for the return of the Prospector service.  We have to assume that the original gold prospectors were patient folks much like library customers.  You may have given up, and for good reason, but we haven't!

The Library's previous automation system was connected to Prospector via a customized program that is no longer allowed by the system behind Prospector, requiring the creation of an entirely new connection process.  The effort to reconnect the Denver Public Library to Prospector has been technically challenging.  All parties involved have been working diligently to overcome integration issues, however, and together we have made significant progress.

Automated Handling What?!

Come on down to the Central Library for a full-on view of the fun and fantastic new automated handling system or sorter! You can see it in action through a viewing window on Level One. There's another one at the Schlessman Branch Library of which you may catch a glimpse through an open door when passing through.

The sorters are part of the Library's radio frequency identification (RFID) system implemented as part of the Better Denver Bond program. These sorters allow our staff to focus on serving you better. They also provide immediate return of your materials. And the items get back on the shelf faster for the next customer. Check out this video to see how it works.

What the Heck is a Nook and Why Should I Care?

I have read eBooks occasionally over the years, on my old Palm PDA, on a laptop, even on a regular desktop computer. I never thought I would get a special eBook reader as I've been hoping for the long awaited converging mobile technology, the phone that will be small for the pocket but large for reading, capable of doing all things but still fast.

Circumstances came together recently instigating me to buy a Nook eReader from Barnes and Noble. The Nook is compatible with the Library's wide variety of downloadable books in EPUB format. Many PDF books are also usable on the Nook.

One Day - July 15th

I woke up this morning and realized that today is July 15th, a major theme of the novel I'm currently reading - One Day by British author, David Nicholls. I can't tell you everything since I'm only in the middle of it but I couldn't resist writing about it on this day.

Nicholls follows two characters over twenty years of July 15ths, tracing the path of their changing lives and relationship. They say if you like Nick Hornby, author of A Long Way Down, About a Boy, and High Fidelity, you'll love this. ; It's all the rage in the UK. I don't have a verdict yet but am compelled enough to keep going - it's easy summer fare.

FREE MUSIC? ONLINE? AND LEGAL, TOO?

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Do you want to try some new music and not spend ANY money?  I'm talking free, folks!  Your tax dollars at work.

Yes, the Library has many CDs (22,085 titles today, to be exact) but that's not what I'm talking about right now.  Bet you didn't know we had streaming music that you can listen to day or night and never leave your home. All you need is a Denver Public Library card, an Internet connection, and Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher (free). 

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