Job #1 for the Darien Library is providing excellent customer service to all of its patrons. Now, thanks to a generous contribution from The Darien Lions Club, we are able to extend a helping hand to those among our patrons who are vision-impaired. Located on the Library's second floor within easy reach from the elevator, our new Enhanced-Vision Workstation is well-equipped to meet a wide range of visual impairments.
The workstation consists of a Dell Optiplex 760 computer, a 24-inch monitor, a Topaz magnifier with hand and foot controls, stereo speakers, and a portable scanner. The Topaz magnifier allows the user to enlarge printed material for easy reading on the attached monitor. The Dell computer has a variety of specialized software installed, including ZoomText, which allows the user to magnify and/or highlight the information displayed on the monitor, and OpenBook, which can be used to scan and to read aloud printed material. Vision-impaired individuals can browse the Internet, check the Library's catalog and web site, read a book, watch movies, and more. The portable scanner provides access to more personal printed materials, such as bills and letters, all of which can be scanned in and magnified or read aloud. Headphones are provided for privacy.
If you or someone you know is vision-impaired and would like to use this special equipment, please call the Help Desk at 203-669-5238.
By the end of this week, you may find yourself with some brand new gizmos and gadgets that you're not quite sure how to operate. Thankfully, you will not have to wait long for help!
On Saturday, December 26th, from 1 to 2 p.m., we will present “Getting a Grip on Gadget Gifts."
It’s not surprising that the majority of “Top Ten Most Popular Holiday Gifts” lists are heavily populated with technology-heavy items. Digital cameras, digital video cameras, GPS systems, smart phones, and MP3 players were some of the most sought-after gifts this holiday season. Not surprisingly, these gifts often pose the most challenging post-holiday questions. To answer that challenge (and all of your questions), our tech-savvy Gadget Masters will be available on Main Street, located just inside the Library's main entrance. (These are a few of the people that we personally turn to when we experience our own tech-terror!) The Gadget Masters will offer assistance on items such as the Kindle and Kindle 2, the Nook, iPhones and iPod Touches, as well as digital cameras and digital video cameras, smart phones, and MP3 players.
Also, during that time, we will discuss and demonstrate the electronic devices that the Library has available for circulation. These items include a GPS system, MP3 players, Kindles, and Mino HD cameras. There will also be a demonstration on how to access the Library’s downloadable books and audiobooks.
See you on Saturday!
The old holiday song, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," has been replaced with a new tune--as in ITunes, iPods, and all things electronic. On a recent train ride into New York City, I observed almost every passenger within view holding some sort of electronic device. It's not surprising, then, that electronic gadgets top many holiday lists this year. But with so many to choose from, how does one decide? Luckily, there are many online holiday buying guides available to help you sort out what to buy this holiday season.
Here are my top picks:
And, for those of you who prefer to browse in print, take a look at these articles, all of which are available in the Library's Magazine Reading Room on the second floor:
Just in time for the holidays when extra money is in short supply, the Darien Library is pleased to announce a new, free downloadable audiobooks service available through the Connecticut State Library. A component of iCONN, the State Library's re-search engine, this new resource is made possible by a PEGPETIA grant from the Department of Public Utilities. Provided by Ingram Digital Group, the service includes over 1300 digital audiobook titles. You'll find fiction and non-fiction, classics and newer titles, as well.
To search the database, open an internet browser and go to:
In order to place holds or check out titles, you will need a a valid, unexpired Connecticut public library card number. If you've lost your library card, or it's expired, just stop by the Welcome Desk on your next visit to the Library, and we'll take care of it for you. Each title checks out for 2 weeks and you can check out a maximum of 2 titles at a time.
You can download titles to either a PC or a MAC, but before downloading any audiobooks, you will need to download and install a small piece of software called Ingram Media Manager. Once you've done that, you can download any titles and listen to them on your computer or sync them to your MP3 player (iPods, included).
If you'd like to try out this new service but prefer not to "go it alone" at first, call the Help Desk at 203-669-5238 and we'll set up an appointment to work with you. Once you're comfortable, the Help Desk staff will be here if you have any questions.
Ready or not, the holidays are fast approaching. And with them come a multitude of family and social events. Whether it's the homecoming game, holiday pageant, or Thanksgiving dinner with the folks, you'll want to record the goings-on for posterity. Don't have a video camcorder or don't have the time to figure out how to use the one you have? No problem. The Darien Library just added four new Flip Video MinoHD camcorders to its supply of circulating technology. Like the older point and shoot camcorders that we've circulated for the last three years, the new Mino cameras are fun and easy to use. Here's a summary of their key features:
Compatible with both PC and MAC computers, the MinoHDs come with FlipShare software that allows you to browse, play, and share your videos with ease. You can watch your videos instantly by connecting the Mino to your TV, or view them on your computer using Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, or iTunes. And, if you want to share your work with the world at large, you can burn them to DVDs or upload your videos to YouTube or another favorite web site.
The Library will begin circulating the MinoHD camcorders on Monday, November 2. They will circulate for two weeks, and will be renewable once if no one is waiting. For more information or to reserve a Mino, call the Help Desk at 203-669-5238.
When our new web site was launched on Labor Day 2008, one major change was quickly apparent. In order to access your library account information online from home, you needed to create an account, with a username, a password, and a unique email address. It was this last requirement that caused some difficulty for our many families with younger members who have their own library cards, but do not yet have their own email accounts. We know this has been a stumbling block for many of you and we are happy to announce that, effective immediately, it is no longer necessary to have a unique email address in order to set up an account on the Library’s web site. When you click on the Log In button on our web site, you will see that it now says : ”Username, e-mail, or library card #.” You still need to remember your password, but that’s just a fact of life in this post-Millennium age!
The Small Office Home Office Copy (SoHo) Center is located on the Lower Level inside the Power Library. The available equipment is perfect for the small business owner, entrepreneur, or student users. These services and supplies are competitively priced!