Technology Blog

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.

Do you own your ebooks?

We're all confus 'bout ebooks.

It's been an interesting week for eBook news. It's been an interesting year, actually, but this last week has been especially interesting, in that the issue of whether you own the eBooks you buy or not has been placed front and center.

If you're looking for the short version of this story, the answer is "no." For details, read on...

There was an interesting story about a woman in Norway who had access to her eBooks revoked when her Amazon account was shut down. She had bought a used Kindle from the United Kingdom and transferred her purchases to it. The Kindle developed a problem, and she contacted Amazon to have it replaced, which they agreed to do, as long as the replacement was shipped to the UK.

Wow! Zoom! Sweep! with Prezi Presentations

Do you know what a Prezi presentation is? It's ok, neither did I a few months ago. It's kind of a new thing. I'd even wager to say it's The New Thing as far as presentations are concerned.

Prezi is a free cloud-based program that allows users to create moving (literally) presentations by zooming in, out and around visual objects, whether they're images or power words. Think of it like this: Prezi is to Powerpoint as a landline phone is to an iPhone. There are advantages to both, but Prezi has a lot more bells and whistles, capabilities and is all around a more impressive product.

OverDrive App for Nook

Overdrive Media Console App for Nook Tablet, Nook Color, Nook HD

Borrowing eBooks and audio eBooks from the library just got a whole lot easier for users of the NOOK HD, NOOK HD+, NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color. Last week, Barnes & Noble added the OverDrive Media Console app to the NOOK Apps storefront. This NOOK app enables users to wirelessly borrow eBooks and MP3 audiobooks from the library.

Visit the NOOK Apps storefront to install the free OverDrive Media Console (OMC) app.

Creative teens + technology = ideaLAB!

Image courtesy of DeviantArt user Jakusczon

This last week brought terrific news: the Community Technology Center at the Denver Public Library was awarded a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Colorado State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services! The grant will fund the creation of what we’re calling the ideaLAB, a digital creation space just for teens.

The purpose of the ideaLAB is to provide a space where Denver youth have access to professional-level equipment and software, creating a positive, safe after-school space where teens can become producers of digital media. In the lab, you can create and record your own music; film, edit, and produce your own videos; make your own video games and distribute them online; create digital art and photo manipulations and print them out in color; create 3-D models for animation and games; and much more.

Marketing With Social Media

social media lady

Have you been wondering how to advertise your small business using tools like Facebook?  Check out some basic tips to help get your social media marketing plan started!

One of the first things you need to consider when you start using social media to advertise your small business is your media strategy.  Think about questions like, "How often do I need to post?"  "What kinds of posts would appeal to my market?"  "How do I get maximum engagement from the people who are following me?"  Think about who will be writing the posts and who will be reading them. 

Photo Editing Online

This is what happens when you spend too much time playing with photo editors

Sunday, the CTC will host the second of two classes on Photoshop Elements. The class will be fun, as I am teaching it and my snaggle-toothed charm will eventually win you over. But do you have photos you need to edit and you don't own Elements? Alternately, do you feel compelled to make photos of yourself look ridiculous? Come with me into the internet for some free online options...

Our favorite at the CTC used to be Picnik, but they were bought by Google and rolled into Google+, so, unless you're one of the 15 Google employees currently using Google+, you're probably not going to find that very useful. Luckily, the internets are full of other options:

Find us on your phone

Do you have a smartphone or tablet? Use it to access DPL’s resources? If so, you’re not alone. In the last year and a half, visits to our site from mobile devices have more than quadrupled. In January 2011 around 3% of all visitors came from a mobile device. Last month it was over 15%, and it’s been a steady rise.

As we watch these patterns, we are continually looking to make the mobile experience as positive as possible for you, our customers. For example, on the mobile version of our site we’ve recently added the ability to immediately find the closest branch to you. So if you’re out and about and need to find a library close by, point your phone’s browser to denverlibrary.org and then click on "Locations."

Avoid an EPIC HACK!

A digitized face

If you haven't read Mat Honan's Wired article yet, you should. In the span of half an hour, he lost access to his email; his iPad, iPhone, and MacBook were erased remotely; and his Twitter account was hijacked to spout a bunch of offensive nonsense. His eight years' worth of email and, even more devastatingly, all of the pictures he had taken of the first year and a half of his daughter's life.

The question for the rest of us is: how can I make sure this doesn't happen to me?

FREE Online Entertainment

I blogged about online entertainment several months ago and talked a bit about music, TV and online games. The thing is, there is so much more you can do with free online services! If you are looking for a great time sink, check out a few of these options.

Browsing:

Stumbleupon.com - Set up a profile using your email address and let Stumbleupon know your interests. You will then be routed to websites that match your interests. Just like on Pandora, you can tell Stumbleupon if you like or dislike the sites they take you to so they can better match you next time!

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