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Author Archive for Jennifer Eilers



Associated Press and Movietone Release Historical Footage on YouTube

by Jennifer Eilers on July 23rd, 2015

ap-video-archive

Still of video of President Kennedy on the AP’s YouTube Channel

 Over 1 million minutes of historical footage captured by the Associated Press and Movietone dating back to 1895 will be available for anyone to watch on YouTube. The collection is still in the process of being uploaded at the rate of 30,000 videos per day to the British Movietone’s and Associated Press’ channels. This upload is the largest to date on the YouTube platform and will eventually contain nearly 550,000 videos. Several videos are currently available including footage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Martin Luther King’s arrest in Selma, and the Hindenburg Disaster. Topics will range beyond iconic moments in history and include science, fashion, sports and celebrities as well.

To see more videos, check out the Associated Press’ channel and the British Movietone channel.

References:

http://www.ap.org/content/press-release/2015/ap-makes-one-million-minutes-of-history-available-on-youtube

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/22/newsreel-associated-press-movietone-upload-archive-youtube

http://9to5google.com/2015/07/22/ap-british-movietone-youtube/

 

Making Cents of Your Investments (with Databases!)

by Jennifer Eilers on May 20th, 2015

Investing on your own can seem like a daunting task. Creating a portfolio or picking stocks may not be for everyone, but for those that do take an active role in their asset management the library has tools to help you. With the library’s subscription to Value Line and Morningstar*, two of the leading investment tools on the market, you can make informed choices on your investments.

With Value Line you have access to analysis and ratings for over 1,700 widely-followed companies and 1,800 small and mid-cap companies. It provides specialized ratings that help investors know how to evaluate a stock’s performance in relationship to industry indicators. For newer investors, the subscription also offers sample portfolios that can help point you in the right direction presenting a variety of investment strategies.

Morningstar provides access to over 21,000 stocks, 29,000 funds, and 1,758 ETFs, and like Value Line, provides its own set of criteria for analyzing investments. One of the best tools available in Morningstar is the “Xray a Portfolio” tool. Here you can input an actual or hypothetical portfolio and find out how risky it is, in what areas of the market your profolio is exposed, and much more!

Both Value Line and Morningstar offer screener tools. A screener is a stock comparison tool which allows you to choose from a long list of customizable criteria to compare stocks. While each database has its own system for rating investments,  you can check up on your current investments  and get a printable report with current information on the company’s sales, earnings, and other industry indicators.

To learn how to use the Morningstar or Value Line database, click here.

If you would like more information about Morningstar, Value Line or the other databases the library subscribes to, please go to www.icpl.org/resources call the library at 356-5200 or speak with a librarian.

* Access to Morningstar is limited. Only  one person can access the database at a time.

**** Please note that only residents of Iowa City or rural Johnson County and the cities of Hills, Lone Tree, and University Heights can access databases from home.

 

Need Computer Help?

by Jennifer Eilers on March 16th, 2015

Many  know that the library has Drop-In Tech times and computer classes to help you with your technology needs. But what if you cannot make it to those Tech Help times or want to learn from the comfort of your own home? Learning Express is another resource the library has to offer for free. It is a database that has a wide range of computer tutorials.

Learning Express offers comprehensive lessons on many popular software programs like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Illustrator, and  Adobe Photoshop. For computer novices, it also offers basic computer and internet courses and tutorials on both Windows and Mac operating systems. The Learning Express software records your progress as you work to achieve your learning goals and features friendly experts who help to make learning both comprehensive and fun.

To access Learning Express go to www.icpl.org.

Click on, Reference and Research in the drop-down menu on the left-hand side. Select “Online Resources.”

Reference_Research

Click on, “Learning Tools”  in the “Online Resources: Browse by Category” menu

Learning Express is the first database offered. Click on “Visit Learning Express 3.0 now” to begin!

Online_Resources

 

If you would like more information about Learning Express or the other databases the library subscribes to, please call the library at 356-5200 or speak with a librarian. If you are interested in Iowa City Public Library’s Tech Help Times or classes visit www.icpl.org/classes.

**** Please note that only residents of Iowa City or rural Johnson County and the cities of Hills, Lone Tree, and University Heights can access databases from home.

Top 5 Reasons I Use E-Books and E-Audiobooks

by Jennifer Eilers on December 15th, 2014

5. There are loads of books to choose from.

The library’s e-book and e-audiobook collection has over 10,000 books. So whether you are in the mood for something like Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch or even a classic like Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, we’ve got it.

4. I never have to remember to return my books. EVER.

Even though I work at the library, I still rack up a considerable amount of fines on my card so I really appreciate that Overdrive automatically returns my books when they are due.

3. I can read or listen to a book without lugging it around.

As long as I have my phone, I can read or listen to a book. Once I’ve downloaded a book, I don’t even need an internet connection to read. This comes in particularly handy when I’m traveling long distances either in the car or on a plane.

2. The library is never closed.

As long as I have my library card and my password, I can check out a book. Whether I’m looking for something to read right before bed at 10:30 p.m. or listen to during that 6:00 a.m. workout, I can open the Overdrive app and generally find something.

1. I always have someone to read to me before bed.

On most smartphones or tablets you can set a sleep function. This means I can play my e-audiobook before bed and it will automatically turn off after a set period of time. I can doze off listening to my book knowing the next time I go to listen Overdrive will pick up at the place when the timer went off. (It’s also easy to go back a little ways in a chapter if you missed something while nodding off.)

Stop by during one of our Tech Help times: Mondays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesdays 12 p.m.-4 p.m.  or Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for Senior Tech Help. Any one of our technology people can get you started with Overdrive on your mobile device!

Health Insurance and Your Taxes

by Jennifer Eilers on December 1st, 2014

For those that are filing taxes in 2014 you will likely see a new section that has been added to the tax form. This is because 2014 is the first year that the penalties for not having health insurance come into effect. Based on the drafts of the tax forms released by IRS, those that have health insurance through their employer or have purchased insurance through a private company will only need to check a box.

The tax filing process for those that purchased insurance through the Marketplace or for those that didn’t have any insurance or only partial insurance coverage through 2014 will be a  little more complicated. To help with those complications, the library is hosting the VITA program.

VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, is made up of volunteers from the Tippie College of Business Beta Alpha Psi chapter. These volunteers help low and moderate income taxpayers in the Johnson County area prepare and file their taxes.These volunteers will be available at certain times in the library beginning in January. For dates and times VITA is available, click here.

The library will also have a  variety of tax forms and instructions available for individuals as they are received from the IRS. Several forms and publications have yet to be finalized this year due to the Affordable Care Act and other tax reforms. This may mean some printed forms will not be made available until mid-February or later. The government is  also limiting the number of printed tax forms and instructions, for example Publication 17 (ALL tax instructions), which will only be available online.

For more information about the your taxes and the Affordable Care Act, visit:

ACA Tax Provisions FAQ

DRAFTS of 2014 tax forms

Healthcare Enrollment or Plan Information

 

Health Insurance Enrollment Help and Information

by Jennifer Eilers on November 14th, 2014

Are you unsure about how the Affordable Care will affect you? The library is hosting a series of information and enrollment sessions at the library that coincide with the Marketplace’s open enrollment period. This Saturday from 10 -11 a.m.   in the Library’s computer lab, Navigator, Karen Wielert, will present information pertinent to those that already have healthcare coverage. From 11 a.m. – 1p.m., anyone is welcome to come and ask questions about the Affordable Care Act and get help with enrollment.

Additional informational and enrollment sessions are offered on November 29th and December 6th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the computer lab. All sessions are free.  The library is also providing materials and books about the Affordable Care Act, heath care, and health insurance through its display on the second floor.

For more information about these sessions, click here or call the library at 319-356-5200.

If you are unable to attend these sessions but would still like to receive assistance with enrollment or get more information about the Affordable Care Act visit  healthcare.gov.

Johnson County’s Access Points

Navigator for Johnson County, Karen Wielert: 319-535-2679 or karen.wielert@ppheartland.org

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Enrollment Center: 319-356-2208 or socialservices-marketplace@uiowa.edu

For low income or individuals qualifying for Medicaid

Johnson County Public Health: 319-356-6042

Department of Human Services: 319-356-6050

10 FREE Travel Apps for Summer Adventurers

by Jennifer Eilers on June 19th, 2014
photo by Fiddlerjan downloaded from www.morguefile.com

by Fiddlerjan downloaded from www.morguefile.com

Whether you are staying close to home or traveling to far off places, apps for your Smartphone or tablet can make traveling a little more relaxing. Downloading one or a few of these apps before disembarking is as essential as packing sunscreen. There are many travel apps to choose from some help you find the best restaurant while another finds the exchange rate to calculate a purchase.  Below is a list of ten apps that will help you with your future travels, each of the apps listed below are free and work on Android and Apple devices.

 

City Maps 2 Go

City Maps 2 Go offers street maps of over 7,500 cities internationally to download and use offline. Travelers can find where they are located on the map while being offline and without racking up roaming charges. They can also get detailed travel content, insider tips, popular attractions and user reviews all offline.

GasBuddy

GasBuddy helps you locate gas stations near you and see the station’s current prices. Prices and station locations are plotted and updated by other app users though the app’s interface. Users that plot stations or update prices receive points for a prize giveaway. The app currently plots stations and prices in the United States and Canada.

GateGuru

GateGuru sends you updates to your flight itinerary on your day-of-travel listing security wait times, flights delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. It also provides you with information about the airports listed in your itinerary such as amenity information, maps, weather forecasts, and many other airport tips. View user ratings for all of the services offered at a particular airport or limit ratings using terminals listed on your itinerary.

Postagram

Postagram creates postcards from photos you’ve taken or shared through Instagram, Facebook or your mobile device. You can write a 140 character message to send along with your photo. After composing your postcard, you can opt to send it for 99 cents to anywhere in the U.S. or $1.99 to send it internationally.

TravelSmart

TravelSmart provides emergency numbers for the police, fire department, and ambulance by destination throughout the world. It contains a drug dictionary with international translations in multiple languages if you forgot your medication or need to purchase some. It has translated first aid terms into multiple languages and has a comprehensive list of reputable hospitals by country in the Allianz healthcare network.

TripIt

TripIt organizes your travel plans into one itinerary that has all of your trip details in one place. TripIt captures your itinerary data from online confirmation emails or you can build it by hand. Everything from your air, car, and hotel reservations to dining and activity plans can be accessed whenever you are online. Your master itinerary can also be shared with friends, family, and coworkers to help them connect with you while you are away.

UrbanSpoon

UrbanSpoon gives you ratings and pricing for over a million restaurants. Reviews for restaurants are a mixture of consumers and food critics. You can find restaurants based on your locality and filter your results by cuisine type and price. Phone numbers, addresses, menus and reservations information are easily accessible through the app.

Waze

Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app. Other drivers in the area you are traveling provide real-time traffic and road information alerting you to police, accidents, road hazards and traffic jams. Updates to road closures and construction are provided with new routes suggestions.

Wifi Finder

Wifi Finder finds the nearest free or pay-for Wi-Fi connection when you travel. Locations can be downloaded to use offline when you do not have an internet connection. Filter locations by hot-spot provider (Comcast/Mediacom) or by location type (restaurant, café, hotel). The phone number and directions to the WiFi connection are also provided.

XE Currency

XE Currency accesses live exchange rates to help you calculate prices on your mobile device. The app also stores the last updated rate so you can still get a relatively reliable calculation for how far your money can go. You can view historical exchange charts and track up to ten currencies at once.

And what vacation is complete without a little reading? Download the Zinio and Overdrive apps to your device to access the library’s collection of e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines for free! They are another travel staple you should not leave home without.

Purchasing a big ticket item but don’t know how to choose?

by Jennifer Eilers on March 19th, 2014

Consumer Reports is a great resource for anyone about to make a big purchase. This magazine reviews and tests dishwashers, vacuums, cars, and every sort of technology gadget imaginable. The magazine prides itself on giving non-partisan reviews that reflect the performance of an item because the magazine supports itself through subscriptions and donations instead of advertising. You don’t need to page through lengthy articles to find out what you want to know because the magazine provides handy tables that make it easy to understand the criteria used to rate the item. Many patrons ask questions about accessing our Consumer Reports collection when they come to visit the library however, accessing this collection and searching it can be done easily from home. Watch the video!

Please note:

Because of licensing restrictions our databases are available only to residents of Iowa City and of areas covered by contracts for library service: rural Johnson County and the cities of Hills, Lone Tree, and University Heights.

 




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