EBSCO Mobile App – Info on the Go!

With the new EBSCO mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and for Blackberry, you can access the Davenport Public Library’s EBSCO electronic resources straight from your smart phone 24 hours a day!

Begin by visiting any EBSCO database through the Davenport Public Library’s website and follow the link at the bottom of the screen to get started.  Then, after downloading the free app from the app store, you are all ready!

Listed below are a few of the cool things you will be able to do with the app:

*Choose which databases to search

*Email results to yourself of others

*Retrieve the full text of articles

EBSCO just announced that an Android app is coming soon – stay tuned!

Frugal Librarian #37: Take the plunge

If you’re not French-pressing, you’re shortchanging yourself.

A recent convert, and not for lack of trying from others, I’ve rationalized that it is more than win-win.  Four wins.  That’s right, a quaternary level of winning.  Insert hackneyed, two months’ stale Charlie Sheen reference here if you’re that person, followed by a sound life-examination.

1)It’s green. No filters showing up in the landfill. And after you’re done with it, swish the grounds around in some water and dump them onto a potted plant or garden bed of your choice. Apparently, plants love the stuff and worms will turn rock hard clay into aerated loam because you discarded your morning joe bilge there.

2)You use less coffee.  I reckon up to a third less.  There are a lot of oils and nuanced flavors that come through that you weren’t getting before. So your coffee dollar goes further. Frugal readers know that is one greenback that isn’t going near as far as it used to in the global marketplace.

3)You get more caffeine. There are scientific types that take this stuff very seriously…to a lab coat level.  They’ve determined optimum extraction occurs somewhere between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Your Mr. Coffee percolator is at best about forty degrees shy of that mark.  If you slug it out of a wide-brimmed soup cup like I do, cool down time is not an issue.

4)You get a whole bunch of counter space back. Think of all the cool stuff you could put there instead!

Yeah, so you’ve got to learn how to boil a small amount of water and you can’t set a wake-up timer on it.  Buck up. You get to feel like a chemistry major without floating a D grade-point average.  Also, you’ll have to start looking at the microwave to see if you’re running late. It’s worth it.

Want to be Hip? Get a Typewriter!

Years ago, some Davenport Public  librarians saved one of the last of the library’s typewriters from the auction pile. It has been in steady use ever since – for forms, envelopes and for those who  apparently just like to type!

Library formats  and databases have come and gone;  but the little-typewriter-that-could remains in the corner of the Main library’s first floor.

A New York Times article, “Click, Clack, Ding! Sigh…” describes a movement of typewriter enthusiasts who “appreciate tangibility, the object-ness of things.” Advantages include the timelessness of the machine, “unlike laptops and smartphones, which become obsolete the moment they hit the market.” In contrast to these delicate devices,” old  typewriters are built like battleships ” and are easy to repair.

They also serve to focus a writer on writing; there’s only one thing you can do on a typewriter. You can’t have several windows open – multitasking on Facebook, email and Twitter.

So, bring the kids and grandkids by the Main library to see an actual, working typewriter. They’ll be amazed.

Did you receive an eBook reader this holiday season? The Davenport Library has eBooks!

With the popularity of eBook readers this season (just judging from the influx of commercials alone), I imagine many of our library patrons have received them as holiday gifts!  Davenport Public Library has two different resources that provide free eBooks and eAudiobooks for our patrons, NetLibrary and Wilbor. To get started, visit our homepage. On the left hand margin, click on “Download eAudiobooks, eBooks and Music,” which will link you to our resources.

To access Wilbor, you will need to have your library card number handy. After you install their software you can download your favorite books by your favorite authors and transfer your selection to your mobile device.

NetLibrary requires a visit to your nearest Davenport Public Library location to sign up for a free account. After you sign up, you are able to log on from home to download and transfer eBooks.

Each website lists compatible devices in an easy to read list.

Contact the Reference Department with any questions!

A New Genre: woo woo!

It’s not very often that a new genre comes down the pike for arts and literature.  You may have heard the term “steampunk” bandied about but didn’t investigate.  It’s kind of like Goth only without the sad faces, black (the only color fit to adorn a tormented soul) and boo-hoo defeatist music.

Also in a Victorian setting, what sets steampunk off is an emphasis on advanced modern technologies utilizing non-transistor and vacuum tube methods.  Think Phinneas Fogg cross-pollinated with Q from James Bond.  Like a more elegant cast of the short lived television series Wild Wild West sans stagecoaches.

Steampunk has proven quite popular melding with Internet culture as evidenced by this sweet modded computer at left.

Here are what Library Journal considers the top ten steampunk novels.

YA (Canadian) Spotlight: Little Brother

We’ve been playing a lot of Canadian Spotting in our office as we gear up for the Winter Olympics, so I was gleeful when I came across a list of Canadian Authors which included Cory Doctorow–co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing and author of several books including the YA bestseller Little Brother.

I will say up front that Little Brother has made me an extremely paranoid little lady. If you ever needed a book to slap you into paying attention to privacy and online security issues, this is it. Little Brother begins when a very technologically savvy high-schooler (aka Hacker) named Marcus skips school with his friends to play their favorite ARG (Alternate Reality Game) when they are interrupted by a bomb blowing up the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Marcus and his friends are picked up by the Department of Homeland Security within minutes of the attack and spend the next several days being interrogated and tortured. Upon his release, Marcus discovers that they are still imprisoning his best friend and have completely stripped San Francisco of personal privacy. So he begins to use those hacking skills the DHS was afraid of in order to create an underground movement to bring down the DHS–actions that soon lead his peers to proclaim him a hero and the American media to declare him a terrorist-supporter.

Check out Cory Doctorow’s website for Little Brother where you can download a free copy of the book and other readers’ remixes (Remixing ain’t just for music anymore, baby!). You’ll also want to mark your calendars for the ICON 35 conference held in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 5-7, 2010 where Doctorow will be the guest of honor!

How to be a Geek Goddess

How to be a Geek Goddess“Could someone just tell me what I need to know without trying to convince me that I need the latest gadget, assuming I have all the time in the world to trudge through geek speak, and wasting my time with a lengthy explanation of how it all works?” Christina Tynan-Wood, a female geek, could hear these subliminal pleas for help whenever a friend asked her a question about technology–a question they usually chased with a “I’m sorry to be so clueless (page xviii).” GIRLS! YOU ARE NOT CLUELESS! You had the brains to ask the question, right? Well now Christina has made it easy to find the answer–Ta da! How to be a Geek Goddess: Practical Advice for Using Computers with Smarts and Style.

Finally everything a girl needs to know to feel technologically confident in ONE BOOK! Christina explains what you should know before buying a computer, how to set up wireless, how to organize your desktop, what security software you might need, how to shop online, and so much more! Her writing is fun, conversational, and full of illustrations and screenshots. Only downfall is that the book is very PC-heavy (which she admits up front), so some of the very useful topics, such as installing software, will not apply to Macs. Despite that, How to be a Geek Goddess is must-read for all women who want (or need) to be in control of their technological life. You may also want to check out Christina’s website at www.geekgirlfriends.com.

Okay, lets get our geek on!
Get your geek on. Show your support. | geekthelibrary.org

A Flux Capacitor for your Ears

I always feel a little like Marty McFly when I listen to old-time radio shows on my iPod or computer. Here are several websites that give free downloads and/or streaming of a variety of programs:

WizzardRadioWizzard Radio hosts about 85 different podcasts relating to old Radio Broadcasts including:


Radio Lovers allows listeners to revisit the listening experience of hundreds of vintage radio programs such as western hero Hopalong Cassidy and comedy classic Amos & Andy.

Agatha Christie Radio MysteriesMy favorites are the Agatha Christie Radio Mysteries. Unfortunately, the site no longer produces new feeds, but you can still download old episodes from the website.

Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

Harry, A HistorySince Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final installment in the seven-part Harry Potter series, was released two years ago this summer, I have been receiving the same question over and over again by those who know I am a Potterhead: “Sooo what will you do now that Harry Potter is over?” And my answer usually is: “Well, the same things that Star Trek fans do.” For a more descriptive answer, I recommend they read Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli.

In Harry, A History, Anelli shares her experiences of how the Harry Potter fandom was born from her “front row seat” as Webmistress of the beloved Harry Potter news site The Leaky Cauldron. Over the years, Anelli’s work as a top fan journalist has resulted in her development of friendships with the key Harry Potter insiders including publishers, editors, musicians, actors, and even the grand authoress herself, J.K. Rowling, who gave Anelli an exclusive interview for the book. Anelli gives new insight into how Harry Potter was created and published, but most of the book focuses on how Harry Potter fans developed their community online, and thus, has played a significant role in the evolution of global commerce and intellectual property rights on the web.

As a die-hard fan, I was already familiar with “potterwar,” the fan-organized boycott against Warner Brothers in response to their attack on Harry Potter fansites, but I was fascinated by the section on how the organized worldwide releases of the later Harry Potter books were due to Americans buying Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in the series, from amazon.uk (which displeased both amazon and the U.S. publishers) before it’s release in the United States. Anelli does a wonderful job speaking to a variety of audiences and Harry, A History will appeal to both long-time and new Harry Potter fans alike, in addition to those interested in contemporary culture and the digital generation.

If you are interested in the history of Harry Potter and the Harry Potter fandom, you may also want to check out We are Wizards–a documentary focusing on several fans including Anelli. The film is currently viewable for free on hulu.com. Beware, this film does contain adult content.

New DVD Releases for June

June 2

defiance1Defiance – Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber

The extraordinary true story of the Bielski brothers who turn a band of war defectors into commanding freedom fighters and motivate hundreds of private citizens to join their fight against the Nazi regime. Midwest Tapes

revolutionaryRevolutionary Road – Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslett

Frank and April Wheeler are a young couple living in suburban Connecticut in 1955. On the outside their lives appear to be perfect, but they really aren’t happy. They decide to break away from the ordinary and move to Paris, but can they do it without breaking their marriage apart? Midwest Tapes

June 9

granGran Torino – Clint Eastwood

A Korean War vet stops a young Hmong teen from stealing his prized car, and reluctantly proceeds to reform the boy, learning about himself along the way. Midwest Tapes

June 16

madea1Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail – Reuben Cannon, Tyler Perry

After a high-speed freeway chase puts Madea in front of the judge, her reprieve is short-lived as anger management issues get the best of her and land her in jail. But Madea’s eccentric family members, the Browns, rally behind her, lending their special ‘country’ brand of support. Midwest Tapes

June 23

shopaholic1Confessions of a Shopaholic – Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy

Rebecca Bloomwood is a charming New York City girl who has a little problem that is quickly turning into a big problem: she’s hopelessly addicted to shopping and drowning in a sea of debt. While Rebecca has dreams of working for a top fashion magazine, she can’t quite get her foot in the door – that is, until she lands a job as an advice columnist for a financial magazine published by the same company. Midwest Tapes