Posts Tagged ‘technology’


Public Internet Services at ICPL

by Brent Palmer on October 31st, 2017

Because October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I wanted to provide some information about using the Library’s WiFi and public Internet computers.  The Library has 43 public Internet stations for general use as well as Internet access computers in the Teen Center and the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room.  We also have a 802.11ac WiFi service.

The Library leans toward openness over security for it’s public Internet service.   Although we do scan for viruses and malware, we do not limit the network for particular kinds of use.  This is due to the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and open access to information.   Because of this, there may be benefits in terms of increased privacy. Public Computers are wiped clean after each session (Remember, always log off after you use our public computers). No information is stored on the system that could be used by someone later. The Library does not log the activity for each public computer. Also your activity is anonymized in the sense that to the outside, our traffic is all lumped together into one IP address. For example, our upstream Internet provider might be able to know that someone visited a certain website, they wouldn’t be able to know which computer in the building it came from.  Also note: because of the Library’s emphasizes on openness, parents should always monitor children’s use of computers in the library.

Our public WiFi is not encrypted and it does not employ a splash page.  We wanted to make the network extremely easy to use for everyone.  The network is open so use with caution. There is no privacy or security from others using the WiFi if you are not visiting a site with SSL (https).

One final reminder: it is against ICPL policy to use our WiFi network or our public computers for any illegal activity.

ICPL offers Adobe Creative Suite access

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 7th, 2017

Need to design a logo, create a video, edit a photo or make a flyer but lack the software to do so?

The Iowa City Public Library is now offering patrons access to Adobe Creative Suite licenses in the computer lab. The suite features Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver, and many other Adobe products to help you complete your digital project.

Patrons who want to complete or begin projects are welcome to use the software whenever the library is open and the computer lab is not in use. Check calendar.icpl.org or call 319-356-5200 regarding availability.

To access the software, patrons need to check-in at the Page Station on the second floor so the room can be unlocked. Patrons who want to try the software but do not have a working knowledge of it can access tutorials online through the Library’s Learning Express database, use a book from the collection, or use Adobe’s built in help forum.

Digital Workshops offered at Iowa City Public Library

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 2nd, 2017

This summer, the Iowa City Public Library will host creative workshops every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the second floor Computer Lab. The first workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 7. The series will continue through August.

During this time, a librarian will be available to help patrons with a variety of digital projects. Computers with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and other popular Adobe Creative Suite products will be available for use. Participants are encouraged to bring photos for editing, ideas for logos, clips to create a movie, or other digital files that need finessing.

This is not a class, but patrons who want to learn and experiment with the software are welcome. Experience with this software is not required to take part in the workshops. Staff will point participants to online tutorials and other resources as needed.

There are a limited amount of seats for this workshop. Registration is not required, but it is encouraged. Register online at http://calendar.icpl.org/categories/classes-tech-help or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL announces February Classes for Adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 25th, 2017

Social media usage is the focus of February’s adult classes at the Iowa City Public Library.

“Facebook Tips and Tricks” is a class for current Facebook users. It will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and again on 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Come and learn how to get control of your timeline and home feed. Find new ways to connect on Facebook by creating an event or group.

“Social Media Safety: Protecting your Privacy Online” will discuss the advantages/disadvantages of using the privacy settings on several social networks. Learn how to adjust your settings and techniques for discovering information about you online. This class will be held on Monday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m.

Discover how to organize and use your Pinterest account to its fullest potential at “Pinterest Tips and Tricks.” This class will be offered on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. Learn how to search for boards using various search terms, follow and unfollow boards, make a secret pin board, and much more!

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but registration is required. Register online here or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Circulate Mobile Hotspots

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 24th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will add mobile hotspots to its list of materials available to check out on Monday, Jan. 30.

ICPL HotSpot allows users to connect to the Internet anywhere on any wireless-enabled device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Check one out to complete homework assignments, catch up on current events, apply for jobs or explore the Internet.

The Library has seven ICPL HotSpots available to check out by themselves. Three others are bundled with ICPL’s circulating laptops.

ICPL HotSpots are available to Library users living in Iowa City or one of ICPL’s contract service areas — Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, or unincorporated Johnson County – with accounts in good standing. A hotspot can be borrowed for seven days. At this time, users won’t be able to renew hotspots, as the Library wants as many patrons as possible to gain access to the devices.

Overdue hotspots will have Internet access deactivated. The fine for overdue hotspots is $1 per day. The replacement cost for hotspots that are lost or damaged beyond repair is $75.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL announces January Classes for Adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 16th, 2016

Want to learn more about your Apple or Android tablet or smartphone? In January, the Iowa City Public Library will offer several classes that help beginning and intermediate users get a better handle on their hand-held devices.

Join us at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 13, for iPad Tips and Tricks. This class is offered for the intermediate iPad user. Learn how to customize your device, keep your iPad safe, and get the most out of your device’s memory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Domo arigato

by Todd Brown on December 22nd, 2015
Domo arigato Cover Image

Admit it. You want to build a robot. You just saw Star Wars and you still need to get some gifts for your family. I get it. It makes perfect sense to build a robot. When you think about it, who would not want to build a robot?

The problem is that wanting to and having the skills to are very different things. After all, there are a lot of wires, flux capacitors and doodads in there that you have no idea how to connect to each other. Not to mention which end of a soldering iron you should hold. It makes a big difference and I have the scar to prove it. But guess what, the Library has books on all of that.

 

electronicsMake: electronics : learning by discovery

Start with the basics. Positive is +, negative is -.

 

 

 

 

Make : more electronicsmoreelectronics

Then go beyond the basics.

 

 

 

 

arduinoMake : Arduino bots and gadgets : learning by discovery

This will give your robot a brain. It won’t clean your house, but you have to learn how to crawl before you can clean the house.

 

 

 

 

 

Make : sensorssensors

You want your robot to interact appropriately with it’s surroundings so it is going to need sensors. Otherwise it will just walk into walls and ignore you when you tell it to clean house, sort of like teenagers.

 

 

 

Make : 3D printing3d

You might not have all of the gears and exoskeleton parts just lying around. With a 3D printer you can create almost whatever parts you need.

 

 

 

 

Make: rockets : down-to-earth rocket sciencerockets

Will your robot have a jet pack or maybe foot thrusters? Yes it will.

 

 

 

 

Thrusters probably need rocket fuel of some sort.

 

 

 

 

 

Make : wearable electronicswearable

If you need a gift for someone with automatonophobia but still want to give them something made of wires and leds this might be good book to look at.

 

 

 

 

 

Next year start shopping or building sooner. You are welcome.

ICPL to host “What Should I Buy?” tech class

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on November 3rd, 2015

Are you thinking about purchasing one of the latest and greatest devices for the holidays? Do you want to know the difference between a tablet and an eReader before you hit the stores? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should attend the Iowa City Public Library’s What Should I Buy? eReaders and Tablets Class.

Join us from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, as one of the Library’s technology specialists provides information about the most popular devices on the market and answers your questions. This program is part of the Library’s classes for adults lineup.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 15 people per program, so people should register early.

Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

Overdrive Tips: Read In Your Browser

by Brent Palmer on August 25th, 2015

After checking out an eBook in overdrive you often see two buttons: Download or Read (in your Browser). I wanted to give you a little more information on the Read Image showing the download and read buttonsoption. I’m not sure if all the titles in our collection offer this option, but most do. Essentially, this button allows you to simply start reading the eBook without having to download the book and find it in your bookshelf.   OverDrive Read has many of the same features as popular reading apps and eBook readers, like the ability to add bookmarks, search for terms, add notes and highlights, look up words, and change the font. It also offers some extra features, like fixed layout support for graphic-heavy eBooks and professional narration for some titles.

 
Some downsides are that this works best if you only read eBooks where you have a reliable WiFi connection.  Also there may be some compatibility issues with older browsers. However in some situations, this might be the best option. For example, if you are reading an eBook on desktop or laptop computer (as opposed to a handheld device). Or if you find the process of downloading books, navigating between the two bookshelves and returning books confusing, this might be best.

More info from Overdrive Help

In the next tip, I’ll explain about formats available from the Download button. If you want more help we have time and staff dedicated each week to answer your questions about Overdrive in Drop-In Tech Help.

ICPL meeting rooms closed intermittently Aug. 24 through Sept. 14

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 12th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s meeting rooms A, B and C will be closed intermittently to the public August 24 through September 14 due to an equipment upgrade. Please check the Library’s calendar at calendar.icpl.org for availability.

Wireless capability will be added to the Library’s biggest meeting room, Meeting Room A, and a Blu-Ray option, providing those who book the room with more viewing options. Patrons will also have the ability to connect their Smartphones, tablets and other technology to the Library’s equipment.

“The goal is to improve the user experience for our patrons,” says Brent Palmer, the Library’s information technology coordinator. “Unfortunately, to do this, the meeting rooms will be out of commission temporarily.”

A list of alternative meeting room locations is available at: http://www.icpl.org/meeting-rooms/alternative-rooms/

For more information, call the Library (319) 356-5200.