Archive for February, 2011

Collaborative calendar makes it easy to find library events in Delaware County

The libraries of Delaware County want to make it easy for you to find information about the programs and events being offered at all of our locations, so Delaware County District Library, Sunbury Community Library and Ashley Wornstaff Memorial Library joined forces with Delaware County Events, to create a combined listing of library events going on throughout the county.

Delawarecountyevents.com, an online calendar that has been posting community events for several years, now has a new category on its web site entitled “Library.”  When you click on this link, you will see a list of all the library programs offered during the current week and in upcoming weeks as well.  Clicking on the title of the program will link you to more information as well as providing a link to the sponsoring library. Each library posts its own events on the calendar, which is updated in real time so that the information  is as current and accurate as we can make it.

Why did we decide to create a collaborative calendar?  We recognize that library users lead busy lives, and sometimes planning your weekly library visits can be a challenge.  We wanted to make it easy for you to find a story time for your children or a fun and informative program for yourself regardless of where you find yourself in Delaware County on any given day.

We invite you to drop into any of the three libraries to attend a program, check out books or movies, or to simply enjoy some quiet time, and hopefully, this calendar will give you quick and easy access to all library activities in Delaware County.

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Envisionware! What’s that?

The next time you’re in the computer lab at the Library’s Delaware Branch, you’re going to see a significant but exciting change to the way you sign up for an Internet computer.  The Library recently installed software called “Envisionware” that is a print and time management tool, allowing us to more efficiently run the lab.  Rather than having to give your name to the staff member in the lab to be assigned a computer, you will now simply sit down at any available computer and log in with your library card to have a one-hour time slot.  When your hour is up, you can add another hour (up to three hours in one day) if no one is waiting for a computer.

Speaking of waiting, if you come into the lab and all of the computers are being used, you can reserve a computer on the “Reservation Computer” near the entrance to the lab.  Not to worry if you don’t have a library card either–you will be issued a guest pass to use a computer, but the guest passes are only good for one hour each day.

When you’re ready to print from the Library’s computer, you will be notified of the cost of your print job, and after you agree to the printing cost ($.05/sheet for black and white; $.15/sheet for color), you will send your print job to a networked printer.  After you pay the staff member, your documents will be printed.

The installation of the Envisionware software at the other branches including the Orange Branch will take place over the next few months.  I think you will find the system to be user-friendly and intuitive, but of course, if you have questions or any difficulty at all, we are always here to help.

Along with the new computers recently installed in the lab, Envisionware is another update to technology that the Library is pleased to be able to offer–and as always, we are grateful to the Delaware voters who approved our levy in 2009, allowing us to continually improve service for our customers.

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Fun with Databases!

These days, it’s easy to think that if you “Google” a term or phrase, Google will willingly oblige you with the answer you are looking for.  Believe me, I think Google is a powerful and important search engine, but when you search for a phrase such as “rent agreement” and you get 115,000 hits, it is a daunting task to determine what information is accurate, available, and authoritative.  You can easily find information that meets all three of these criteria by searching on the Library’s subscription databases.

Unlike Google, these databases are developed by research specialists (including librarians) so that you can be confident in the answers you find.  As you know, anyone can add anything to the Internet, but subscription databases have their content analyzed, researched, documented and controlled.

The Library has dozens of databases on a wide variety of topics for you to access and search.  You can find a complete list by going to the Library’s web site and clicking on Research Links on the left side of the home page.  One of the recently added databases is Legal Forms, where you can find thousands of attorney-tested forms for your use.  A quick search of “rent agreement” provided 81 hits, but I easily navigated to the form I needed.

We’ve also added the much requested and popular Morningstar Investment Research Center, a stock analysis database that includes much more investment information; Byki, a self-paced learning program for over 70 languages; and Books and Authors, a database that helps you find good books, including those illusive read-alikes create lists of books you’ve read and want to read, and much, much more.

The next time you’re faced with a question and you think “Google,” give “Delaware County District Library Databases” a try.  I think you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and easily, with the added plus of knowing the information is reliable, up-to-date and accurate.

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