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Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Unbiased App Reviews June 17, 2015

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So often we rely on users’ opinions and our friends’ suggestions on what apps we download to our smartphones and tablets. Sometimes our friends and other reviewers are wrong. Luckily there are other sources to find unbiased reviews of apps.  Below are a few excellent unbiased sources available online:


mobileapps
An easy to navigate site that allows you to select Android, Apple, or Windows phone interfaces.

http://www.cnet.com/topics/mobile-apps/

commonsense

An excellent site that provides reviews for educational apps intended for children. According the website, “Common Sense is dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews

schoollibrary
Another unbiased source for reading reviews of apps intended for children. http://www.slj.com/category/reviews/apps/

 

Owen Frank–Branch Supervisor
Chemung County Library District

 

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Newspapers Online June 11, 2015

Posted by youngm2015 in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Genealogy / Local History.
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NYS Historic NewspapersResearching newspaper articles is a great way to get primary source information on a topic of interest.  They’ve never been more accessible to everyone, either, all you need is an Internet connection and some trusty sites to search.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. NYS Historical newspapers: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/

Very easy to use site to browse news articles from New York.  Just click on a county to begin browsing.  Free to everyone. Not all counties are up on this site yet.

2. Fulton History: http://fultonhistory.com/my%20photo%20albums/all%20newspapers/index.html

A site begun by one man in his own home, it originally was just to share postcard pictures of Fulton, NY with his neighbors.  He really took off with this site, however, and has personally uploaded more historical newspapers to his site than Chronicling America, through the National Library of Congress, has been able to add.  Cons: It’s not easy to search right off the bat, but people can get the hang of it.  Click on the Index at the top to get a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of all the titles available and their dates.  Also, try a Google search <http://www.google.com>for the topic + fulton history.  Example: “Rorick’s Glen fulton history.”  Google will bring you newspaper pages from the site with the articles of interest.

3. Speaking of Chronicling America, here is a link to the Library of Congress site:  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Free online newspapers, more being added all the time.

4.  Here’s a directory of newspapers on the web, also through the Library of Congress:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/oltitles.html

Not all of the links are free, some are more effective than others, but it gives a great overview of sites all over the United States.

5. Last but not least, The Library of Australia has digitized all of their country’s historical newspapers.  It’s a great site and very exciting to search.  Let’s hope the U.S. takes note of what they’ve done and follows suit!

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Free Online File Conversion May 2, 2015

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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zamzarA lot of people visit the public library because they need to print a document. Most Windows computers come with a word processing program called Microsoft Works installed and many people use it to create documents. What a lot of people do not realize is that Microsoft Works files are not compatible with Microsoft Word, the paid product from Microsoft used for word processing (the program installed on the library’s computers). If you’ve created your file using Microsoft Works and get to the library, ready to print, only to discover that your file will not open, there is a solution!   There is a free online file conversion site, zamzar.com, that allows you to upload a file, choose the file type you’d like to convert it to, enter your email, and have the finished converted file emailed to you for download. The great thing about this site is that it does not require you to install any software to convert the file, since many public libraries restrict users from installing software for security reasons. Not only does this site convert WPS files to DOC files for the scenario described above, it also converts a number of other document, music, and image file types.

Jennie Lewis
Virtual Services Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Useful Websites August 15, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Steele.
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 This month, the Steele Memorial Library’s Adult Services Department provides a sample list of websites we have used in answering reference questions. Remember, you can call us at 733-9175 or send us an email message from: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/edeskref.htm

A General Subject Guide:
Internet Public Library

IPL Logo
http://www.ipl.org/

Hosted by Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology, this site provides the visitor with a collection of links based on subject. Visiting this site allows the user to browse hundreds of links on virtually any topic

an credit rep
http://www.annualcreditreport.com

Federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. The only true “Free” Credit report site

Charity Reports
logo-guidestar-230x71
http://www.guidestar.org/

Ever wonder if the charity seeking your donation is legitimate? Guidestar.org is an excellent resource to   investigate a non-profit organization’s financial records.

Election information
vote smart
http://votesmart.org/

This site provides unbiased information about elected officials and candidates for public office.

banner-nihlogo
http://nih.gov/

A great site to read about medical research as well as information about various health topics.

Internet Movie Database
imdb
http://imdb.com

A fantastic site to find information about movies and television shows old & current. This site includes cast and crew information as well as plot summaries to movies throughout the history of film-making.

Internet_Archive
http://archive.org

The Internet Archive strives to save all digitally born content from the internet. Users have the ability to view earlier versions of websites, videos, music, text documents, scanned historical documents and much more.
kelly BB
http://www.kbb.com/
Kelley Blue Book is one of the best resources for researching automobiles, trucks, SUVs, or vans. Not only can you look up the value of the vehicle, you can read reviews, compare similar vehicles, even search for vehicles for sale.

Law: NYS Statutes
findlaw
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode

A free version of the laws and statutes of New York State. Organized by topic, this site allows the user to quickly find a specific New York State law
Law: US Code
US code
http://uscode.house.gov/
Similar to the NYS Statutes site, the House of Representatives has provided an easy to navigate site containing the U.S. Code.
AM_Memory
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
The Library of Congress American Memory Project provides an impressive collection of historical photos, recordings, texts, and videos. Users can browse or search a wide variety of

Doctor Profile
new_york_state_169x28
http://www.nydoctorprofile.com/

Visiting a new doctor? The New York State Doctor Profile site can provide information about your doctor such as when he or she received their license, if there have been any disciplinary actions and much more.

Hospital Profile
new_york_state_169x28

http://hospitals.nyhealth.gov/

Are you or someone you love being admitted to the hospital? This site provides impartial data about any New York State hospitals.

NYS School Report Cards
nysed
https://reportcards.nysed.gov/

Curious to see how your local school district compares to other districts in the State? A visit to this site provides detailed information about test performance, disciplinary records, and graduation rates.

NYS Traffic, Travel, and Transit Info
511

http://www.511ny.org

A fantastic site to find out about road construction, traffic and weather conditions throughout NYS. A must before any road trip!

Occupational Outlook Handbook
occupational outlook handbook
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

An electronic version of the classic career research tool. This site provides information about hundreds of occupations. Each article includes education requirements, expected salaries, and long term employment outlooks.

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Opposing Viewpoints in Context June 17, 2014

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context is an online database covering today’s political and social issues in depth and from different perspectives. It is a great resource for students conducting research on a topic or for someone who wants an overview of a current issue in the news. This database is easy to navigate and rich in information.  Opposing Viewpoints in Context is provided by the New York State Library.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

  • On the top center of the page there are five highlighted issues, each depicted by a photograph and a caption noting the subject. If you click on view more it will lead you to that topic’s information page.
  • Underneath these pictures are issues listed in categories, view more expands these listings. If you click on the Browse Issues tab at the top of the page, there is a complete alphabetical index of topics included in the database.
  • To the left of the homepage is Featured Video and Featured News clips. Many articles may be viewed by clicking on the featured newspaper title.
  • There is a Basic search and Advanced search for searching a topic of interest or even a specific name, title of an article, or publication date.
  • If you click on the tab marked Maps, using the picture index at the top of the page, you can select an issue by clicking on one of the thumbnail images . This section gives you statistical information, pinpointing various areas by scrolling over the map.
  • Once you click on a subject, it will lead you to an informational page which provides you with a summary of that issue and a variety of resources pertaining to that topic including pro and con viewpoints, articles from varied sources, statistical data, audio and video clips and suggested websites.

Connie Ogilvie
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

 

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Keyboard Shortcuts May 12, 2014

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I love working with younger librarians (Owen, Jennie, Connie) because they so often tell me a quick way to do something on a computer that I didn’t know. One of those things is keyboard commands. For example: if you want to find a word in a document you are typing and you hold the Control key down and tap the F key, a box comes up where you type the word and hit the enter key and it goes directly to the word. If you want to print and can’t find a symbol of a printer or the word print underlined on the screen, you can always hold the CTRL key down and hit the P key and print the document you are viewing. To copy a part of a document you can highlight what you want to copy and hold the CTRL key and hit the C button. You get the idea but for more keyboard commands, you can go to Google and just type in Keyboard Commands or see the list below for more ideas.

• CTRL+C: Copy
• CTRL+X: Cut
• CTRL+V: Paste
• CTRL+Z: Undo
• CTRL+B: Bold
• CTRL+U: Underline
• CTRL+I: Italic

Phyllis Rogan
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – NoveList March 24, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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What to Read Next???

If you have read every book by Stephen King, John Grisham, or Joanne Fluke in the STARCat collection and yearn to learn of other books or authors that are similar in writing style, plot, or setting, try our Novelist Database today.

What is NoveList???

clip_image001
Novelist is a special database that helps fiction readers of all ages find new and interesting books and authors by identifying titles similar by plot, subject, writing style, setting, and much more. In the library business we call this database a Readers Advisory tool.

How do I find NoveList???

  1. Go to: http://ccld.lib.ny.us/db.htm#Literature
  2. type in your 13 digit Library Card number.
  3. Click Submit Query Button

How do I use NoveList???

There are several ways to discover new books and authors. Here are some browsing options:

Top left Corner by author, series, subject or more.

top_browse.JPG

Right Column Articles and in-depth Topics

Right_column.JPG

Left Column Browse by Genres

Left_column.JPG

The middle of the page provides suggestions by popular titles

clip_image011

Searching Options–You can enter your favorite author, title, series or subject in the search box.
search_Bar.JPG

After your search is completed, You have several options for limiting or narrowing your results. See Below

subject_likes_title_Search.JPG

Similar Authors

Author_Read-alikes.JPG

Or by audience, and publication date.
limit_audience.JPG

Click here to view tutorial YouTube videos. Of course you can always call the Central Library’s adult services desk at 733-9175 if you have any questions.

Owen Frank
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – JobNow! February 18, 2014

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes, Technology.
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JobNow!Job searching and resume creation are topics that we are often asked about in the Adult Services Department of CCLD’s Central Library.  You may or may not be aware that patrons of our library and libraries of the Southern Tier (public libraries in Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties) have access to a service called JobNowJobNow has a number of features that can help job seekers including:  career resources, resume help, interview coaching, GED test prep, and more.

For individuals looking for help creating a resume, there are downloadable templates available to help them get started.  If someone already has a resume and would like help fine-tuning it, there is a resume lab service that allows users to submit a resume and receive feedback within 24 hours.  Another great feature available is live resume help that allows users to connect with an expert for resume advice.  The portion of the website dedicated to helping users “ace the interview” includes links to tips and resources and also has a live coaching feature that allows you to connect to an interview coach.  All of the live help features are only available from 2pm – 11pm on Mondays.  For more information about JobNow, contact the Central Library.  To access JobNow, click on the link located on our databases page.

JobNow was purchased with Central Book Aid Funds provided to CCLD’s Central Branch by New York State.

Jennie Lewis
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – USA.gov January 13, 2014

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usa.gov

USA.gov, is the official government website to find government information and services on the internet.  Government services are indexed A-Z, including “Health Insurance,” “Passports,” or “Unclaimed Money from the Government.”  You can also browse Government services that  are indexed by topic or subject areas.  An example of this would be the subject entitled “Benefits and Grants: Online Services” which includes information on housing assistance, government grants, veteran benefits and much more.  Government agencies are alphabetically listed as well; in this section you will also find links for state and local government representatives, local agencies and the proper contact info.  There is a tab for the section called Blog, which covers current events which could include comments about weather patterns or sometimes warnings about scams.  This is also the site to get Free Government publications on a wide variety of topics including Going Green, Pet Care, or Nutrition. This is a great site for all kinds of Government Information….bookmark it today!

Connie Ogilvie
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Google Trusted Stores December 4, 2013

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Google Trusted Store LogoIt’s the season to shop! Are you hesitant about shopping on the internet, wondering if the site is legitimate and whether you will actually get the item you are buying and that your credit card information will remain private? If so, in October of 2011, Google launched a new service for you; Google Trusted Stores. Online stores apply to Google, who will verify that they meet Google’s standards of good quality and service and then allow them to put a badge which consists of a large green check mark in a multicolored circle in the lower right of the site. The customer can then shop knowing they will receive reliable shipping, excellent customer service, and free purchase protection (Google will reimburse a dissatisfied customer up to $1,000.00.) The benefit to the store is the increased confidence of new shoppers and attracting new customers from Google. Large well known stores such as Macy’s or Landsend don’t need to do this so not every site you can trust will have a Google Trusted Store logo, as they must apply and give information about their sales and service.

Phyllis Rogan
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

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