Get More Out of Google Image Search

Since last month’s Lunch and Learn on searching Google was so popular, we decided to add two hands-on Google classes this month. Google Search Basics will focus on beginning Google searches. You’ll learn to choose the best keywords, refine your search results, and understand and evaluate your results. Advanced Google Search will focus on advanced search tips & tricks. You’ll learn to search images, maps, videos, news, recipes, movie times, and more.

One of my favorite Google search tricks is to search images by color. Let’s say you remember reading a book about interior design, but you can’t remember the title or author. You do remember that it had a red cover, though. (Sound familiar? We’ve heard this problem once or twice at the Information Desk.) In the Google search box, enter “interior design book,” then click “Images” below the search box. Now you see a bunch of interior design books, but you don’t see the book that you are looking for.

Google image search results

Click “Search Tools.” An additional menu pops up with several different options. Click “Color,” then click on the red box.

Google search results

Notice the red in all your results? Scroll down until you find your book.

Google search results

And there it is! Design Sponge at Home! The search by color feature is also useful if you’re looking for all black and white images or diagrams, or if you’re looking for transparent images.

Free Computer Tutorials at GCFLearnFree.org

Want to learn how to use email? To understand what “the cloud” is? To learn how to use Microsoft Excel? GCFLearnFree.org, a free website from the Goodwill Community Foundation, can teach you all this and more with its over 90 tutorials on computer, math, reading, and life skills. GCFLearnFree.org is easy to use, even for beginners, and the site’s videos, games, and interactives will keep you engaged as you learn.

On Wednesday, March 26 at 2:00, we’ll be exploring this website in detail during the class Accessing Free Computer Tutorials.  Register today!

Internet Hoax Busting

Man holding a giant cat As we discussed in last week’s Lunch and Learn: Internet Hoax Busting, if you’ve been on the Internet, then you’ve probably seen fake emails, Facebook posts, or images like the one on the left of a man holding what appears to be a giant cat. You may have even stumbled across a fake website, like this one about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

So, how do you tell what’s real and what’s not? One easy way to check is to Google it. A Google search of Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, for example, pulls up this Wikipedia article that says the website is a hoax. If you don’t find the answer by Googling it, try a website such as Snopes.com. Devoted to uncovering Internet hoaxes and urban myths, Snopes.com is one of the most well-respected sites of its kind. See the Padlet below for more hoax busting websites.

Want to learn more? Check out this tutorial from GCFLearnFree.org on Judging Online Information.

Get Free Music and Streaming Movies

Freegal logo Freegal is a library service that lets you stream free movies or download and stream free music to your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

With Freegal Movies, you can stream three movies or television episodes per week to your computer or mobile device.

With Freegal Music, you can access about 3 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. Download up to three songs a week in MP3 format. Once you download the songs, they are yours to keep! You can also stream up to three hours of music a day. Listen to an entire album, a pre-selected playlist, or to a personal playlist that you create.

It’s easy to get started. From your computer, visit Freegal Movies or Freegal Music and login with your library card number and PIN. If you are using a mobile device, you can download the Freegal Movies and Television app and/or the Freegal Music app at the Google Play or Apple app stores.

Want to learn more? Register for the following program:

Freegal Movies and Music
Wednesday, February 26, 2:00 p.m.

Learn How to Download Free Magazines

Zinio on an iPad.You’ve mastered (we hope!) downloading library eBooks—now it’s time to learn how to download free magazines from the library.

With a Zinio library account, you can download popular magazines such as Country Living, Car & Driver, Newsweek, and Martha Stewart Living to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Unlike with library eBooks, there are no waiting or checkout periods with Zinio magazines. Once you download an issue, it’s yours to keep.

We’ll show you how it works at our hands-on workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 2:00 p.m. Register today!

Complementary Medicine Resources

The staff of JCPL want 2014 to be your happiest, healthiest year yet. That’s why we designed four of this month’s free programs to help you energize your mind, body, and spirit for the New Year.

We kicked off this series today with Lunch & Learn: Complementary Medicine Resources. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “‘Complementary’ generally refers to using a non-mainstream approach together with conventional medicine.” The websites and databases we explored provide reliable information about complementary and alternative medicine, including alternative therapies such as massage, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. Scroll through the Padlet below to see these resources, or download the class handout.

And don’t miss the remaining three classes. Register today!

Beginning Meditation Techniques, Thursday, Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Subtle Yoga Workshop: Mindfulness and Movement for Emotional Health, Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Nutrition and Naturopathic Medicine for Emotional Health, Saturday, Jan. 25, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Get Free eBooks @ JCPL

If you received a new computer, tablet, or mobile device this Christmas and want to know how to download free library eBooks and audiobooks, we’ve got you covered. Register for one of our eBook Open Houses, where you’ll learn how you can download free eBooks 24 hours a day. You may come at any time during these open houses for one-to-one assistance.

Thursday, Jan. 2, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.eReaders
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

If you’d like to get started on your own, visit our JCPL Downloadables page for links to our eBook databases and help sheets.

Informed Giving Resources

To see the resources we explored during the Informed Giving Lunch and Learn, visit the Padlet below. You’ll find websites to help you evaluate and give to charities as well as advice for choosing where to donate and how to avoid scams. For more information about the websites, download the class handout.

Make Smart Giving Decisions

Snippet of charitable giving infographic

Click image to see full infographic from Guidestar.org.

As the graphic to the left illustrates, deciding where to make a charitable donation can be a confusing process. How do you know which charity to support? How will your money be used?

We’ll consider these questions at this Thursday’s program, Lunch and Learn: Informed Giving. We’ll explore the best websites to help you research and evaluate charities so you can give confidently and wisely this holiday season and beyond. Register today!

Make a Holiday eCard

Holiday eCard example

If you, like me, have been a little slack this year–OK, in my case it’s closer to every year–with getting out your holiday cards, consider making an eCard. Whether you have a personal computer, a smartphone, or a tablet, there are many apps that will help you make a festive greeting.

Although not technically an eCard app, you can make an attractive holiday photo card with the photo app Picmonkey. Picmonkey is a (mostly) free photo editing service that lets you edit photos and add cool frames, overlays, and graphics–Santa beard, anyone?–to them. Email your photo, post it to Facebook, and voila!

My favorite card-making app for iOS devices, and the app I used to create the above image, is Martha Stewart CraftStudio. The app mimics paper crafting without all the mess–add stamps, glitter, stickers, borders, and punches to your work. You can create cards, scrapbook pages, invitations, and more. The actual app is free and comes with four sets of themed designs, but you’ll have to pay for additional motifs, including the Christmas ones.

We’ll be using CraftStudio during our Make a Holiday eCard programs on Tuesday, December 12 and  Wednesday, December 11. There’s still room in both programs, so register today!

If you’d prefer to leave the creativity to someone else and just plug in your photo and message, there are plenty of other eCard apps to choose from. Red Stamp Cards for iOS and Android has many templates to choose from, some free and some paid. And there’s always Office Max’s Elf Yourself, a perennial favorite.

Want to stick to paper cards? You can always print out your eCard using most of the above apps. Or, create one in Microsoft Word. GCFLearnFree.org will show you how on their blog.