Archive for 2008

Holiday Closing

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

The Kent District Library will be closed Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving. We will resume normal operating hours on Friday, November 28. For additional 2008 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.

We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving

 


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Google Searching with Phrases

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

 

If you “Google” something and get millions of results, you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back.   If the result you know you want is in the top 5, that works fine.  However, if you search with a bunch of words and are confused by your results, here is an important idea to consider.

If you are searching for a particular phrase, use quotation marks around it.  Example: Do you want sites that mention text and highlight, or do you want only sites that use the following wording: “How to highlight text“?  Song lyrics are a good example.  Let’s say you get a song in your head and are dying to know who sang it, and you Google How does it feel to be on your own.  It is best to use quotation marks to keep the words together, and you can put the word lyrics next to it (and outside of the quotation marks) for added precision.

Caution: Use quotation marks if you are sure of the wording.  If you get zero results, you should rethink your wording instead of giving up.  You can search for “How to jump start a car”, but you might not get the results from “How to jump start YOUR car”!  One way to get around this is perform the following Google search: “how to jump start” car.

When searching for a phrase (or a whole sentence), you are essentially getting in the minds of the people who made the pages, trying to use the wording that they used.  This is just one powerful tool to consider when Google searching. 


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Google Gmail Launches Voice and Video Chat

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Google Gmail has just launced a new voice and video chat option for Mac and PC users that allow free face to face voice and video chat!

Getting started is easy!  First you need to have a functional webcam on your computer and then download and install the voice and video plugin.  Within minutes you and your Gmail buddies can be chatting the day away!

Want more information?  Check out this short video and then download Gmail voice and video chat for yourself!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFGJRfoK9xQ


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KDL Teams Up with Toys for Tots

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Join KDL this holiday season in bringing cheer to a local child. Once again, KDL is participating in the US Marines’ Toys for Tots program, helping to provide toys to deserving children throughout the community.

Drop off your new, unwrapped toys at any one of these KDL branch locations: Cascade Township, Grandville, Kentwood, Krause Memorial (Rockford) and Wyoming. Donations will be accepted now through Tuesday, December 16.

Thank you for your donation!


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Mac Users: Download Audiobooks Now!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Now you can enjoy MP3 Audiobooks on your Mac! Through the OverDrive Digital Library, KDL now offers Audiobook downloads for Mac users. With the OverDrive Media Console for Mac, a built-in Burn Wizard can be used to burn MP3 Audiobooks to CD, and a Transfer Wizard allows quick and easy transfer to Apple devices. The MP3 Audiobook collection features popular novels, children’s books, foreign language learning titles and classic works.

To access the OverDrive Digital Library, visit the KDL eLibrary.


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Websites That Actually Save Time…No, Really!

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Plenty of websites are interesting. It would be easy to blog about ten websites which are supremely entertaining and ten more which are useful. But what about saving time? We don’t usually associate the web with saving time, but below are three websites that can actually save time. Still skeptical? Keep reading… 

Mozy.comMozy

Let’s say your computer stopped working right now and you couldn’t get to any of the information you have saved on it. Is there anything you would miss? Chances are there is. We’ve all heard stories of people who lose their computers or have them stolen. It seems like even more people experience some sort of computer meltdown, after which they are left shaking their head and wondering what went wrong. An entire childhood of digital photographs or an entire undergraduate career of papers can disappear in a second if you, like me, happen to dump a 20 oz. Coke into your laptop.

That’s where Mozy.com comes in. It will automatically backup files off your computer to an online server and store them there should the unthinkable happen to your computer. If you do happen to treat your laptop as a drip tray, you can just log into Mozy and download your files to a new computer. Simple as that. This will save hours over trying to retrieve files after an incident or performing a manual backup onto CDs or an external hard drive.

While the first backup may take a few hours, the desktop software will recognize when you’re not using the computer and update your backup at that time. This keeps slowdowns to a minimum and insures that your backup is always up to date.

Best of all, you can back up 2GB worth of files for free or purchase unlimited backup service for only $4.95 per month. 

GrandCentral.com

An increasing number of people have more than one phone number. There’s a home number, a cell phone, and a work number. This can mean three voicemail boxes to check. It can also mean regretting giving out a cell phone number instead of a work phone number, or missing an important call because it went to one number and not the others. GrandCentral.com, a recent aquisition by Google, solves all these problems. It assigns you one master number which can ring all your phones. It allows you to set up forwarding rules to screen your calls for each number, allows you to listen as someone is recording a voicemail, allows you to record your calls, block unwanted callers, and switch phones in the middle of a call.

In short, GrandCentral takes the headache out of having more than one phone number. GrandCentral is currently in beta testing but will open for public use soon.

OhDontForget.com

We all forget things. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that could remind you about something you have to do tomorrow or next month?

OhDontForget.com allows you to enter a text message and delay delivery. This means you can send yourself a text message tomorrow as a reminder to pick up milk or a text message next month to remember your anniversary. You don’t even have to create a user account to use the service; just enter the date of delivery, the phone number, and a short message. The uses are endless! You can even use this to send out free congratulations text messages for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and queue them months in advance.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which you can simplify your life and save time on the web. There are a lot more websites that save time and money.

Special thanks to Time magazine for the annual list of the Best Websites.


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Thinking Green @ KDL

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Green Post

Did you know that your local library is one of the greatest resources for green living? After all, libraries are the original recyclers — just think of how many people have been able to enjoy the same book, the same movie, or the same music CD from their local library. Although we’re proud of this fact, we also realize there’s a lot more we can do. That’s why KDL has recently launched the ”THINK GREEN” initiative. This initiative is part of KDL’s effort to support sustainability and environmental awareness in our communities. Not only do we plan to help educate and inform, but we’re also taking a closer look at our own organizational practices, from recycling efforts to building initiatives, in order to ensure a more environmentally sound approach.

 

 

As a part of our “green” efforts, we would like to introduce the new KDL “THINK GREEN” tote bags now available in all of our 18 branch locations for a $1.50 per bag. These durable bags are a handy and sustainable way to carry and keep track of all of your borrowed KDL items and more. All proceeds go to support the KDL Alliance of Friends. Buy yours today and remember to THINK GREEN!

 


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“Where’s the Love?”

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

animal1.jpgTeen Librarians are asking, “Where’s the love?” KDL’s Teen Surveys reveal that very few of you come to the library to seek the help of a librarian.  But we love you guys…really.  And we want to help you find stuff for homework and fun reading.  We’d like to get to know you so we can tell you when some of your favorite materials arrive at the library.  So don’t be shy!  Stop by and visit your Teen and Youth Librarians.  We can’t wait to see you!

 


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Books on the Economy

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

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“Libraries will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”  — Anne Herbert

To help get through this time of financial upheaval, check out Money Matters, a list of books trying to map the rollercoaster, and perhaps flatten it a little. 


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Staying Safe Online

Friday, November 7th, 2008

pc-security1.jpgOne of the biggest concerns while surfing the Web is security. And rightly so. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and there are constant news stories reporting online abuse. Fortunately, by following basic practices and your own good judgment, you can maximize your online safety.

1. Use anti-virus, spyware removal, and firewall programs.

2. Download only from trusted websites. Some downloads can contain dangerous software.

3. Protect your passwords. Make them tough to guess, perhaps by mixing letters and numbers, and never use your real name, birthday, or username for a password.

4. The internet is great camouflage and sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. Never give private information to anyone online

5. Never click on a link in a suspicious email. If you are not sure the message is real, type in the known web address of the site in question and proceed from there.

6. Never reply to spam emails. This will let the spammer know they have contacted a real person and will only result in further mailings.

7. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s a scam.

8. And finally, when in doubt, log off! When it comes to the internet, it’s always better to err on the side of safety.

Ah, but we’ve just scratched the surface! For more tips and information about staying safe online, check out these online resources:

WikiHow’s “Be Safe on the Internet”
National Cyber Security Alliance
Protect Your Online Banking
GetNetWise.org
MySpace Safety from CBS News


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