Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Library Elf Responds to News

Library Elf developer responds to the Bloglines issue and offers advice to change your Elf password.

Library Elf RSS Feeds & Bloglines

We know a number of our patrons have signed up for Library Elf.

Recently there has been a discovery that users who subscribe to Library Elf and add the RSS feed to a Bloglines account are (possibly unknowingly) making their email address, list of items checked out and list of items on hold available to anyone doing a Bloglines search.
[Note: Bloglines was stated in all the examples, but this may extend to other web-based RSS aggregators.]

Users who choose to have their Library Elf information delivered via email are not affected by this.

Library Elf has updated their Frequently Asked Questions with this information about your privacy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2005 State Income Tax Forms Online

Illinois has updated the tax forms on their website.

We've got links posted on our tax forms webpage.

We've also linked to forms for Indiana for those of you who work over the border!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Recommended Websites Via

We've got an account on!

This allows us to bookmark websites that can be useful to our patrons, and categorize them with tags. Tags are like keywords you can use to find sites that interest you!

Each day, sites added to our account will be posted into the feed for our Internet & Technology Blog.

You can also visit our page to see all the links or you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

You can even set up your own account to save your favorite bookmarks. Perfect if you use more than 1 computer. Access your bookmarks from work, from home, at the library, at school, or a friend's house!

NewsBank Enhancements Coming in January!

NewsBank, inc. is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of several enhancements that will improve the functionality of the following products: Access World News, America's Newspapers, Hometown News and Armed Services & Government News. In addition to offering your library more customization options, these new enhancements will provide your students and patrons with an improved interface and more advanced search capabilities.

The enhancements will include:

Spanish-Language Interface

Users of NewsBank newspaper products will be able to choose between two versions of the interface, one in English and the other in Spanish. This choice will also be available to users of Acceda Noticias, NewsBank's Spanish-language news module. Ideal for Spanish speakers and users learning Spanish or English as a second language, this enhancement will go "live" at 8:00 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, January 3, 2006.

Keywords-in-Context for Search Results

Users will have the option to view highlighted keywords within the text of articles retrieved by their searches.

Also, NewsBank will offer users three options for viewing their search results: (1) by headline, (2) by the first paragraph or (3) by the context of articles in which keywords appear. Each of these options can be set as the default for your library's account. Please contact NewsBank Customer Services if you would like to change your default preference.

Spell Checking & Correction

NewsBank's search engine will enable users to easily discover and fix misspellings in their search terms. The search engine will suggest corrections to misspelled words and phrases, which users can quickly accept before executing their searches. This unique feature is offered only by NewsBank.

Keywords-in-context and spell checking enhancements will go live at 8:00 a.m. (EST), Monday, January 16, 2006.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2005 Federal Tax Forms Available Online

We've just updated the links for all your Federal Tax needs for 2005!

Note: Illinois has not yet updated their website to list the tax forms for 2005.

As soon as they update their website, we'll update our links and post a notice here!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries)

Programs for December & beyond...

They're free, and if the original presentation time doesn't fit your schedule, you can download the podcasts.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Computer Classes in January!

Sign-up for the hands-on computer classes in January begins Tuesday, December 13, 2005.

In January, we'll offer the following topics:
(Click here for the dates & times.)

  • Intro to Library Computers & Mouse
  • Library Catalog
  • Yahoo E-mail for Beginners (E-mail I)
  • Expanded Yahoo E-mail (E-mail 2) designed for users who already have a Yahoo email account... bring your Yahoo ID and password! We'll review, then show you some other features.
  • Internet I
  • Microsoft Word
  • NoveList

Classes are limited to 6 students.

Classes start promptly at scheduled time, plan to arrive 5 minutes early.

We do accept walk-ins at the start of class to fill seats of any last-minute cancellations.

Open to high school aged or older. Must be at least age 18 to take the E-mail class.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Feeling Nostalgic for Classic Video Games?

With all the new games and players coming out lately, are you feeling nostaglic for your old favorites?

Play your old favorites on your PC with titles like PacMan, Centipede, Missle Command, and more on GameTap! (free trial, then monthly fee)

You'll need:

  • Broadband connection
  • 800MHz or better processor
  • Windows 2000 or XP
  • Gaming-friendly video card
  • 5GB free storage, 256MB RAM

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Local Computer Service

I'm often asked during the computer classes if there are computer people for hire who would either:

  1. Come to a patron's house and hook up a printer, scanner, etc.
  2. Come to a patron's house and teach them how to use their home computer.
  3. Fix or upgrade a computer.

Lansing Library cannot provide these custom services but I can direct you to some local listings. The library has no affiliation with any of these computer service providers, and does not endorse any particular business, we're simply providing this link as a convenience to our patrons.