Reviews and Blog Posts: Technology

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

The Night Circus

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind.

iBrain : surviving the technological alteration of the modern mind

by Gary Small

DPL Rating:
3

The advert for this book could read, "This is your brain on technology." Whether you are a digital native or digital immigrant, technology can be friend and foe. As we become more connected, the authors recommend practicing the art of face-to-face communication, including exercising emotional intelligence so these skills don't...

hacking, making, and coding at the library

Creation from ideaLAB toy hack

Libraries have always been places where communities come together to learn. Most of that used to happen through print - as more and more of our lives are mediated by bits and circuits, libraries have made the shift as well, making emedia and online research tools readily available. 

A couple of our recent programs in the Community Technology Center and the ideaLAB are taking the next steps: helping people open up the tech they use everyday and see what's inside.

Why You Should Play Video Games

Video Game Avatar

Most people play video games nowadays. Whether it’s a casual session of Words with Friends or an all night binge on World of Warcraft, over half of the US plays video games, and as a species, humans play about 3 billion hours a week (about 125 million days worth, or 342,239 years).

Most kids will have played about 10,000 hours worth of video games by the time they’re 21, which is about the same amount of time they’ll spend in school.

But what do video games do for us?

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.

The new geography of jobs

by Enrico Moretti

DPL Rating:
4

    I have always been curious about the impact of educated immigrants on the US economy and that is one of the topics Dr. Moratti explores in this book. As an immigrant himself he is adamant that something needs to be done to repair the via system since almost...

Contribute to the ideaLAB's Indiegogo Campaign to Bring Technology to Denver Teens

panorama of the Denver Public Library's ideaLAB

In May of this year, we opened up the ideaLAB in the Central Library's Community Technology Center. It's a small room - only about 480 square feet - but it's already had a big impact.  Inside this free digital media lab for teens, we've helped young people from all over Denver learn Photoshop, record music, mod Minecraft, shoot video, and more. We've also already started running into our limits - but maybe you can help with that?

The Denver Public Library’s ideaLAB is a state-of-the-art digital media creation center where metro-area teens learn core STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) concepts through creative expression. By engaging teens in the production of digital media, the ideaLAB assists youth in developing 21st century skills that will serve them both in school and in their future careers.

The big disconnect : protecting childhood and family relationships in the digital age

by Catherine Steiner-Adair

DPL Rating:
3

The book succeeded in proving my naivety of current tech trends and pitfalls with tweens and teens and the final two chapters are valuable for their practical suggestions.

On the disappointing side, I didn't feel like Steiner-Adair took advantage of her collected research by providing more discussion and explanation of specific...

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

August means Business at the CTC

If you're in business, by which I mean there’s anything you promote, sell or raise awareness about something, be it a product, an event, an idea or an organization, you should probably plan on being at the library a lot next month.

We might as well dub August “Business Month” at the Community Technology Center because we’ve got a whole slew of classes where you’ll learn mad business skills, some about crafting a strategy and learning concrete techniques for successfully marketing yourself online (Marketing with Social Media, Facebook: Business Pages), some about building and running your own free blog or website (Wordpress), some about analyzing the data you capture to put it to work for you.   For your learning pleasure:

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