Sunday, August 24, 2008

Enhanced Flatbed Scanner

Patrons of the Waterloo Public Library have had access to a flatbed scanner for about a year now. However, until recently, it hasn't worked very well. It was slow, tended to freeze, and was an altogether mediocre system.

The computer has been recently upgraded and the security has been reconfigured. The upgrade has greatly enhanced performance, and the security changes mean that downloads and thumb drive software are no longer problematic.

So, if you have an image to scan, or are having trouble downloading on one of the PACs, ask a librarian for a ticket on the Express Scanner.

As always, please submit comments or suggestions to the blog, to, or any librarian.

c 2008 Waterloo Public Library

MyLibraryDV Subscription not Renewed

The MyLibraryDV service, available on the Waterloo Public Library website since the fall of 2007, will be discontinued when the subscription runs out September 30. Usage, never high, peaked in March after a front page story in the Waterloo Courier. Usage continued to decline in April and recently has been negligible.
The library will continue to watch the downloadable video market, and may one day resubscribe. However, for for right now, our patrons want other products, and that's where we're going to put our acquisition resources.
As always, be sure to let us know of your desires for library materials and programming.
c 2008 Waterloo Public Library

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Teen Area Goes Online!

The Waterloo Public Library Teen Area is about to get computers! Four Dell business grade computers--surplus from City Hall--have been installed around a pillar in the Teen Area. The machines have been upgraded, tested, and are nearly ready for use.

Each computer is equipped with Internet Explorer 7.0, Picasa2, and most of the Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus suite. Teen users will be able to send print jobs to the public access printer. After 10 minutes of inactivity a warning of impending shutdown will be displayed for a further two minutes. If no activity occurs, the computer will restart and reset; all changes (including data!) will be wiped. BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR WORK REGULARLY TO A THUMB DRIVE!

The computers will be controlled by one-time use tickets which will be handed out to Teens by Reference staff members. Initially, Teens will be allowed at least one hour a day on this set of computers. The limit of 2 patrons per computer will not apply to these machines.

We'll be having a staff meeting Thursday to discuss management of these machines and expect to go live with them soon afterwards. If this project is a success, we might be adding a few more later in the year. In the meantime, let us know if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

c 2008 Waterloo Public Library
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Legal Aid Online

Patrons often approach the Reference Desk with questions about legal issues: How do I file for divorce? Change my name? Halt an eviction? Who can help me through the legal maze?

Librarians are careful to not give legal advice, but are eager to refer you to self-help resources. One of the best is the Iowa Legal Aid Website. Their site is full of answers to frequently asked questions, and it's even possible to do an online chat session with a real lawyer!

Remember: librarians are not allowed to dispense legal or tax advice. However, we can point you towards resources for either self-help or reasonably inexpensive professional help.
c 2008 Waterloo Public Library

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