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Don’t know what to do with those expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet?

Got Drugs ---- Dispose of Unused Prescription Medications -  26 April 2014 If you haven’t already circled this coming Saturday, April 26, on your calendar, then you may want to do so. On that day, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public the opportunity to bring expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs to a number of Take Back locations. Only prescription pills or patches will be accepted. No liquids or needles or sharps can be accepted during this event. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

You can learn more about the National Take-Back Initiative and find locations for drop off through the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control. The closest location for Bolingbrook residents is at the Bolingbrook Police Department. There are a number of other locations in nearby towns as well .National Take Back Initiative Collection Sites - Local

You may have seen an ad for this upcoming event on one of the local television stations or heard an ad on one of the radio stations. That’s how I learned about it. The event on April 26 is the eighth opportunity in three years for people to turn in their prescription medications that are not being used in their households.

Using this type of Take-Back event is a great way to safely clear out your medicine cabinets and drawers and keep potentially dangerous drugs away from situations where they could be misused.

- Tom D.

Conservation@Home

Conservation at Home

Join us at the library on Earth Day (Tuesday, April 22) at 7:00 p.m. as Denise Sandoval from The Conservation Foundation talks about how to make your yard a more environmentally friendly place.

The “typical” landscape can easily improve water resource practices, wildlife habitat and land stewardship. The benefits of improving the environment are many including reducing your water use, infiltrating more run-off, creating more area for birds and butterflies, reducing chemical use, less lawn mowing, and controlling invasive species.

This education program will cover a variety of techniques for transforming your landscape, including the use of Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, and the selection and the use of native plants.

The program is free and registration is not required.

Learn a new Language Through Film with Mango!

Want to put your new language skills to use?  Mango Premiere offers you a new way to immerse yourself in foreign-language movies for free with your library card. Mango Premier is part of Mango Languages, a library database which offers interactive courses in over 55 languages.  With the addition of Mango Premier, users have access to sixteen films in seven different languages.

mANGO pREMIER

 

To further supplement your language learning, Mango Premier offers two modes: “Movie Mode” and “Engage Mode”. Movie Mode offers subtitles in your native language and the language your are learning. The Engage Mode leads you through the film scene by scene, teaching concepts and language skills and quizzing you along the way. By watching the film on your computer, users can see phonetic spelling and audio replays of the words on the screen, and can access cultural notes for content found in the film.

Colors of the Mountain Subtitles

 

By using Mango Premier, you may find new ways to explore a new language any time from your PC!  If you need assistance using Mango Languages, Mango Premier, or our children’s Little Pim programs, contact the 3rd Floor Reference Desk at (630) 685-4176.

See You At The Library!

Debra

 

Free Software!

Free? Did somebody say free?

Above are the logos of some of the software we will be talking about at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18.

Above are the logos of some of the software we will be talking about at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18.

That’s right, I said free. Tired of endlessly paying for upgrade after upgrade after upgrade? Come to the Fountaindale Public Library at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 to learn about software that is absolutely free to use! Learn about replacing Windows with a fully-featured Linux operating system. Find out how to replace Microsoft Office with a freely available open source software package. You will also learn about all the great free computer programs that are available to use in Studio 300 – and all these programs are free to download and use at home!

Click here to register, but drop-ins are welcome. Hope to see you there!

- Tony L.
Emerging Technologies Librarian

Over the River and Through the Woods…Helpful Trip Apps for Your Next Vacation Adventure

Recently, my wife, one-year-old son, and I took a road trip out to Arizona to visit her family. We used a number of different applications for our smart phones – iPhone 5C and 5S – to help keep in contact with family and plan out our trip both before and during the trip. I highly recommend all of these for your next road trip or vacation adventure!

TripIt

TripIt-Logo

This app allows you to build an itinerary by pulling from airline, hotel and car rental confirmations sent to your e-mail address. You simply enter the e-mail address into the app and the app pulls in all the details about the reservation(s) into the app and builds an itinerary for you. You can then make adjustments to this itinerary, including adding driving routes, as necessary and then share it with others when you are ready. The free version of the app only allows you to build, edit and share itineraries. For hard-core road warriors, you can upgrade to TripIt Pro and get real-time flight status notifications, flight refund information, alternate flights available as well as complimentary one-year memberships to Hertz #1 Club Gold and Regus Gold that includes VIP car rental and access to 1,200 business lounges worldwide. TripIt Pro has a free 30-day trial and then costs $49 per year. Available for iPhone/iPad; Android; Windows Phone; and Blackberry. There is also a website at http://www.tripit.com where you can do everything the app can do.

I used this app to put together all the information about the hotels we would be staying at over the course of the three days we had planned to take to drive to Phoenix and the three days back to Bolingbrook. I then forwarded it on to my in-laws as well as my parents so they knew the itinerary. It was handy to have all the hotel information in one place for us as we decided to cut short one of the return legs of our trip and stay in a different hotel than what we had originally booked. The app gave me easy access to the hotel information and allowed me to place a cancellation call from the TripIt app to the hotel we were going to stay at by accessing my phone app and dialing the number for me.

Glympse

Glympse logo

This free app is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 & 8 and Blackberry. The concept is simple: you want the party waiting for you at your destination to know when you will arrive. However, vagaries such as traffic, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances can cause you to under/over estimate your ETA. Using the app, you select contacts that you would like to be sent a Glympse, then you can input your destination address and a message to them. You can set a Glympse to last up to four hours, but that can be extended any number of times. The receiving party can then track your progress through a web browser – including the speed you are going if you so choose to share that information – or, if they have the Glympse app, through the app on their device. The other party sees your real time progress, as well as a calculated ETA based on how fast you are going and the route you are taking. You can also ask someone coming to meet you to send you a Glympse so that you can see what their ETA may be. We found it to be very accurate, almost down to the minute.

iExit

iExit250

This app is very handy for when you are traveling over the major interstates, tollways and turnpikes of the United States. What it does is show you the services – gas, food, hotels, shopping, etc. – located at each interstate exit located up to 1.5 miles from that exit. Once you get off the highway, you can only see services available 1.5 miles from the exit and will be unable to see exits further down the interstate/tollway/turnpike. If you are too far from the interstate/tollway/turnpike, you will not see anything.

There are two versions of the app – a “lite”, free version and a pay for one. The lite version only allows you to see up to 10 exits ahead of you on the road. You also do not get the great sorting and search features of the paid version.

The paid version only costs $0.99! The paid for version can show you what is coming up 150 exits down the road, up to 250 miles away. You can set favorites – I knew someone that liked to stop exclusively at Cracker Barrel to eat when they were on the road – and then show you which exits have your favorites. There is also a feature that allows you to see services that are offering promotions to users of iExit. This version can alert you when a favorite is coming up, even if the app is only running in the background on your device. There is a quirk with this though, as sometimes the app cannot “see” across state lines. When we were traveling through Oklahoma, the app did not show upcoming exits in Missouri until we crossed into Missouri. This was the only time this happened, as all other times the app showed what was beyond the state lines of the states were crossing to and from.

The downsides to the app are it only works for exits along the interstate highway/tollway/turnpike system. State routes are not part of the service, unless they link up with an interstate/tollway/turnpike, even though many state routes are treated like highways in parts of many states. It is only available for iPhone and Android devices, although a Windows Phone version is in development. Also, we found that many closed exits and rest areas were not indicated in the app.

Up above when I was talking about TripIt and how we decided to change where we were going to stop on one leg of our trip, I used iExit to locate hotels – Fairfield and Hampton Inns – along our route and, based on their distance from us at that time, guessed how long it would take to travel there. Once I found a hotel located at an exit that was an appropriate time/distance away, I went to the hotel’s website on my device and booked a room.

Waze

waze-logo

If you watch the Chicago morning news on ABC7, you’ve probably seen Roz Veron’s traffic report when she says “A Wazer is reporting…” Waze is an app that you can use to get directions, but it is also more than that. Using the app, you can score points by reporting on road hazards, weather conditions and police presences. You can also see what other people using Waze have reported. You can see where there are traffic slowdowns, including an estimate of how fast traffic is moving through a certain area. There are other ways to score points, primarily by distance traveled. But it really isn’t the points that matter, it is the “crowd sourcing” function, showing you what others are reporting, even before those incidents make the traffic reports heard on the radio. It is also good to see where exits and rest areas along highways are closed – something that iExit does not do well.

On a different trip a few months ago to Indiana, we were able to see an accident on I-65 that had shut down all lanes of traffic. We were then able to reroute ourselves around the trouble area, well before we reached that point and got caught up in the mess.

A word of caution: if using the Waze app for directions, it really likes interstate highways, shunning almost every state route/local road even if the state route/local road is shorter/faster. This was an issue in Arizona, as the more direct and quicker way to my inlaws was to get off of I-44 and head over state routes down into Phoenix, especially since my father-in-law works for the Arizona Department of Transportation and he warned us I-17 around Flagstaff was a mess, which is the route Waze wanted to take us on.

On the flip side of the coin, coming back we stopped to visit my best friend and his family in St. Louis, and Google Maps was trying to take us down slower state routes and local roads – because it was a shorter distance – when Waze was taking us over the quicker interstates. Even though the Waze route added 11 miles to our trip, we used that.

Waze sometimes has difficulty finding specific street addresses, and you can switch between a variety of different sources in an attempt to locate an address – but not the Google Maps database. Most of the time it will get you to the street itself and leave it up to you to find the numbered address.

Waze is available for free on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices.

Google Maps

google_maps1

Last, but certainly not least, the “granddaddy” of travel apps. I would say that Google Maps was one of the first free travel apps available for smartphones, and is what has and is killing the standalone GPS market, in my opinion. Why would you need a standalone GPS costing hundreds of dollars, plus yearly subscription fees, when Google Maps is available for free for your smartphone?

With Google Maps you can get driving directions – including turn-by-turn navigation – find services near a location or in a town/city, locate a specific business or service, and see traffic status. You can also see indicated construction zones as well as reported accidents. However, unlike Waze which will tell you the speed cars are traveling in a traffic jam as well as using a red/yellow color indicator, Google just indicates via a red/yellow/green color scheme to show traffic status.

Comes pre-installed on most Android devices. Available for iPhone/iPad and Windows Phone.

Happy trails!

-Tony L.

But I Like Ham Banana Rolls!!!

In the last few months, I happened upon some neat web pages/blogs that give me a laugh or an inspiration to try something new (or avoid it!). Here are some of them you might want to take a look at. Enjoy!

The Impulsive Buy

potato_chips

This is a review/informational web page that lets you know about new foods or special editions of foods like M&Ms, yogurt or various cereals at a store near you. They do a “spotted on shelves” section so I know what new goodies to find at Target or another store…. They also include reviews of fast foods in addition to grocery foods. . I think I like the reviews the best.   If I can save $$ on a product that looks enticing but isn’t good for me. Because of this page, I avoided the temptation of the praline Pringle’s at Target despite the mark down! Considering the review I read,  the clearance sticker made sense.

Pinterest Fail

Pinterest fail

Pinterest, it’s all the rage…. see people cook creative, cute recipes or admire people’s DIY posts on projects and crafts that you just know you have to try… it looks so easy. Well it doesn’t always work. This site posts real people’s attempts at all those “pin” that are so intriguing.  Some turn out, but never quite like the example. I’m dating myself but I was reminded of the old Ray Raynor show, where his art projects never came out like the original. It just proves sometimes it is too good to be true!

Awful Library Books

awful

Libraries are constantly weeding their collection, going through and discarding old or outdated books. When a librarian finds an “awfully” funny one, you guessed it they might just post it on this site. This often hilarious and laugh out loud web site makes you appreciate the work your librarian does in keeping the collection up to date. Otherwise, you might be reading books like  Dancing Disco or Dancing With Cats! Or  books with pictures of people in leisure suits and bell bottoms!

Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour  

PHH Header

This site touts itself as a combination June Cleaver, Martha Stewart and Mommy. It features recipes for the cook in the family as well as decorating ideas for the creative. What I like is that not only are the recipes laid out in step by step pictures, you also get  “family tested” reviews so you can decide if it is worth trying. The pictures also make the food really tempting.

Retro Recipe Attempts

retro

 Do you like your veggies and/or tuna in gelatin? How about Frankfurter crown casserole? And just what is mock salmon loaf? Well go on over to this hilarious blog and get these retro recipes from the 50s, 60s and 70s (original pictures included). Did people really cook and eat this stuff at one time? Brave test cooks attempt the dishes and let you know the results (family tested again). Some actually are okay, a very few tasty, but most are just plain bad. And just what was the draw with putting everything in gelatin?

Here are the links to those sites:

      www.theimpulsivebuy.com

www.pinterestfail.com

 http://awfullibrarybooks.net

http://pearls-handcuffs-happyhour.blogspot.com/

http://retrorecipe.wordpress.com/

—- Christine

Kindle Fires and E-content from the library

Prior to this weekend, I had tried getting the Zinio app and 3M Cloud app on to the library’s Kindle Fires with little success. The instructions that were provided by the content providers were just not working.

However, I tried again and it seems to be working now. I had to make some slight adjustments to the instructions provided by our content providers, but I was able to install Zinio and 3M Cloud on the library’s Fire (original), HD, and HDX. Please note: Overdrive Media Console and OneClick Digital apps are available in the Amazon App Store, so these instructions only apply to Zinio and 3M Cloud. Here is how to do it:

amazon-kindle-fire-hdx

Set up the Kindle Fire to accept 3rd party applications

  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen and select “more” if using an original Fire or Fire HD; select “settings” if using a Fire HDX.
  2. On the next screen, select “device” if using an original Fire or Fire HD; select “applications” if using a Fire HDX.
  3. Find the setting that says “allow installation of applications” and touch “on” to turn it on.
  4. Go back to the home screen and make sure you are connected to a WiFi network. If your model has cellular capabilities, you can do this over a cellular network as well.

To install Zinio

  1. In the Silk web browser on the Fire (all models) go to the Fountaindale library home page (www.fountaindale.org) and click the icon for Zinio located on the left side of the page.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click on “Kindle Fire/HD” toward the right of the page.
  3. A window will pop up asking if you would like to download the file. Click OK.
  4. After the file is done downloading, choose the menu icon in the upper left corner of the Silk browser on the Fire – it looks like three thick lines stacked on top of each other.
  5. Click on downloads.
  6. Select the “ZinioReader…” file that ends with the extension .apk.
  7. You will be asked if you are sure you want to install, click next until you see ok and click ok and/or just click ok.
  8. The application will install and you can find it in the apps area on the device. Make sure when you go to your apps you select “device” and not “cloud” as this app will not reside in the “cloud”.

To install 3M Cloud

  1. In the Silk web browser on the Fire (all models) go to the website slideme.org.
  2. In the search box, type “3M Cloud” without the quotation marks and click search.
  3. Click on the 3M Cloud icon (picture) to the left of the application name/description.
  4. On the next screen, click “download”. A window will pop up asking if you would like to download the file. Click OK.
  5. After the file is done downloading, choose the menu icon in the upper left corner of the Silk browser – it looks like three thick lines stacked on top of each other.
  6. Click on downloads.
  7. Select the “com.txtr.android.mmm…” file that ends with the extension .apk.
  8. You will be asked if you are sure you want to install, click next until you see ok and click ok and/or just click ok.
  9. The application will install and you can find it in the apps area on the device. Make sure when you go to your apps you select “device” and not “cloud” as this app will not reside in the “cloud”.

When you are done, repeat the steps under “Set up your Fire…” to turn off the “allow installation of applications” function. This does not affect applications you can download or purchase from the Amazon App Store, only applications that need to be installed that cannot be obtained through the Amazon App Store.

If you require further assistance, feel free to drop in and ask for Tony or Jake. I also hold a “Tech Time with Tony” on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room where I answer these and other technology related questions – to the best of my ability!

-Tony L.

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