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Blog Posts by Subject: Computers

Drawing on the iPad

The room of the Art and Architecture Collection, NYPL, iPad drawing © 2012 Fotis FlevotomosAs a visiting artist at the NYPL, I felt the need from the very beginning of my stay in New York City to explore the library visually by making drawings of it on my iPad. The library’s landmark building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street caught my attention immediately. In the room of the Art and Architecture Collection, the reddish light coming from the reflections of the floor, the wood and the books was one of my 

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The Google Challenge: Google Images versus The Picture Collection

Below are the four image subjects mentioned by Chris Raschka in his Caldecott acceptance speech, with comparative details for each subject as they relate to Google image search and the Picture Collection. These details include the number of images available through Google and the Picture Collection and a detailed description of the results. Read More ›

Transmissions from The Timothy Leary Papers: What I Thought I Knew

When I first started the Leary Processing Internship in June, I had what is probably the most common impression of Timothy Leary. I had obviously heard about him before, but honestly, all I knew about him was that he was famous for his line "turn on, tune in, drop out." To me, he was simply the LSD guru of the 1960s. Not having grown up in his heyday, I only knew what was best and most widely known about him.

Fast forward two months, and here I sit at my desk at the New York Public 

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How to Return eBooks Early

When you check out an ebook from the library, you get to keep it for the full loan period (7, 14 or 21 days) before the file is no longer accessible to you.

Which means you will never get an overdue fee!

But there may be times when you want to return a book early once you finish it, decide you don't like it, or want to make room to check out more books — and that way the next person in line for it will have access that much sooner. Think of it as being a good digital neighbor.

What you need to do to return depends on the device you are using and 

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eBooks, New and Improved: Place Holds, Download, and Manage Your Account in BiblioCommons

It's now easier to download and request holds on EPUB, PDF, Kindle and e-audio, music and video (a.k.a. OverDrive) while in the library catalog, BiblioCommons. You no longer have to sign in to a separate site with your barcode.

Your electronic holds and checked out items will appear alongside physical books and materials you have out, so you can better prioritize your must-read list!

Here's an overview of the changes.

Here you can see an ebook and a print book appearing together in search results. Choose "Check availability," "Request 

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Digital Archaeology: Recovering your Digital History

If you've been using computers for a while, you've probably purchased quite a few devices for storing your work. My family's first computer (a Timex Sinclair 1000 purchased for about $40 in 1984 from our neighborhood grocery store) saved files to an ordinary audio cassette by transferring data over the same sort of cord you might use to connect your iPod to your car stereo. Since then I've used floppy disks, zip disks, CD-ROMS, DVD-ROMs, and memory sticks, and with each change I migrated most of my important files to 

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Cracking the Code: Learning Computer Programming Languages

I learned to code when I was in fourth grade. Okay... maybe that's an exaggeration. I learned Logo when I was in elementary school, using an Apple IIe (in the school library, naturally) and later a Macintosh.

Logo is a programming language that was developed as an educational tool for kids. You issue commands to the "turtle" (pictured at left) and receive output as his simple or complex path on the screen. I didn't know it at the time, but I was solving puzzles and making cool geometric 

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Science Fiction eBooks: Now Available for Kindle!

If you missed the big news, The New York Public Library now offers free ebooks for your Kindle! To celebrate, I've put together a somewhat exhaustive list of science fiction ebook titles to make it easy to browse them at a glance.

Click to go directly to any author: Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, China Miéville, Kim 

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Wikipedia! The Musical! A Review!

Wikipedia! The Musical! design created by Lauren Lampasone

On October 22, “Wikipedia! The Musical!” was staged at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Despite its whimsical name, it was not really a musical but an editathon — a chance to edit Wikipedia with a group of people in an inspiring location. Though its focus was improving articles on musical theater, anyone interested in the performing arts was welcome.

For me, 

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Hey! Got Homework?

Does the word homework make you cringe in your seat?

Well, you can find complete, trustworthy information a lot faster using the Library's databases.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases:

  Go to www.nypl.org   Go to "Research"   Click on "Articles and Databases" (databases are listed in alphabetical order)

If you are not accessing the database on site at the Library, simply enter the number on the back of your library 

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Sci-Fi Summer Reading 2011

Summer Reading is not just for aliens, kids, or cyborgs anymore! Here at Mid-Manhattan Library, we are gearing up for a universe of different events for older teens and adults this summer.

NEW! You can also log all of your summer books, movies, music, and even video games by creating an account at www.summerreading.org.

NEW! Follow us on Tumblr for free sci-fi downloads throughout June, July, & August. Take 

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Creative Learning Templates for Parents and Teachers, Part 1: Drawing/Writing

The other day, I had a John Denver song stuck in my head, and I kept singing this one line over and over. My 6-year-old son remarked, "Oh, THAT'S not annoying!" Ah, the sarcastic little punk apple doesn't fall far from the tree: a good thing to keep in mind as we parents want to make sure we inspire our kids to develop good learning habits. So when my son asked me if I could print out a page like his teacher had in school, one with a box for drawing at the top and some writing lines underneath, of course I wanted to oblige. I surfed around the web and found a few things 

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Howard Ashman and Our Digital Future

Howard Ashman's disks at the Library of CongressThe Performing Arts Library has an amazing collection of manuscript and typewritten drafts from some of the greatest writers and musicians in the world.  The processes that led to groundbreaking experimental music compositions like John Cage's Music of Changes or Imaginary Landscape No. 1 are documented in the artist's papers. The Fred Ebb collection allows a researcher to peer into the creative process that led to lyrics like "Life is a Cabaret" and 

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Jane McGonigal and NYPL present Find the Future: The Game

For 100 years, The New York Public Library's landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and its world-renowned collections have inspired people everywhere to find their futures. In honor of the Centennial Celebration, pioneering game designer Jane McGonigal helped the Library kick off its Weekend Festival with Find 

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Enabling Social Change with Social Media: An Interview with Toby Daniels, Founder of Social Media Week

Toby Daniels. Photo: CrowdcentricToby Daniels is a proud, self-proclaimed enabler.

The founder of Social Media Week (which is happening in nine cities, with an opening reception at NYPL, its global event partner) has worked tirelessly for years to bring social media tools into the hands of individuals, businesses, and non profits.

“These tools are essentially available for free,” he said of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and so on. “The tools and technology are not a boundary to entry. 

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Past Online Summer Reading Programs at NYPL

Since the 1890s libraries around the U.S. have encouraged readers to join summer reading programs.  The programs eventually developed similar practices where libraries distributed paper book logs to readers, to track their summer reading.  Readers would often receive small toys, stickers, school supplies, book bags or other small items as incentives for participating.  Read More ›

summerreading.org 2010

SOMETHING NEW IN SUMMER READING 2010 At the end of summer 2009 NYPL set out to find ways that our online summer reading presence could give a bigger boost to our summer reading program. We conducted focus groups to see how we could capture the public’s interest online.  Our users were clear about what they wanted. They wanted gaming and social networking elements.  Logging-and-reviewing books was not enough.  They wanted fun! We needed a major redesign of summerreading.org to make the fun happen.  Brooklyn Public and Queens Library, our partners in the project, 

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Social Media as Public Expectation: The New Public Utility

"Balancing the demands of consumers, regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders is a daunting task… even under the best of circumstances. Add to this the ever increasing complexity of contemporary … issues and simply keeping up with the changing landscape can become a full time job." Sound familiar from the current debates between Facebook and users, or Google and users, or YouTube and users?

Counter to potential expectations, the previous quote did not come from any social media dispute, but from the 

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Monopoly: Google Takes the Game

For Internet searching, roughly 65% of computer users turn to Google. To see the popularity of Google, one has to look no further than ‘Google’ being 'declared' a verb by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. How is that for official proof that Google is big in the search world and winning prominence?

In its path to verbification

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The New Digital Divide: Outrunning the Unemployment Line

“With the emerging digital economy becoming a major driving force of our nation's economic well-being, we must ensure that all Americans have the information tools and skills that are critical to their participation. Access to such tools is an important step to ensure that our economy grows strongly and that in the future no one is left behind.”

— from Falling Through the Net, a letter from William M. Daley, U.S. Secretary of Commerce 1997-2000

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This 

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