Tech @ the Library

Updates on website upgrade

We're still working on a few issues from our migration to hmcpl.org. The 'My Account' page is still currently disabled. To renew items or place holds, visit our catalog directly. Access to Heritage Quest is back! Go here to learn how to access it from home using RocketSearch.

We're also gradually rolling out new features to help you stay more in touch with your library, including an RSS feed of front-page news and a simplified mobile version of our site at m.hmcpl.org.

Thank you for being understanding while we make this move!

Keep track of your books with Library Elf

Need help keeping track of what library materials your family checks out? Library Elf can help. Learn more about it

Coming Oct. 1: online holds!

Get the books you want at your branch! Starting October 1, you'll be able to place a hold on a book through our online catalog and have that book delivered to your local branch for you to pick up.  Stay tuned for details!

Wirelessly...

April 2008's big library technology event is "going live" with our public wireless network. Free public wireless isn't a new concept, providing a free wireless network for the public has been in each of the Library's technology plans since 2001. But riding the teeter-totter of public sector implementation means continual adjustment of plans in the face of competing priorities. (No IT project ever dies, some are just delayed a while.)

Features HMCPL needed in a wireless network:

  • seamless ability to wander in buildings without disconnect
  • easy public logon, with existing library card
  • capable of filtering to meet Federal requirements for CIPA
  • equally available to all the library locations
  • low impact for front-line staff
  • reasonable network security

What might this require?

Funds. IT hours. The right product. And vocal and monetary project support from the library board, administration, public, staff, APLS, city and county funding agencies, and legislators who make possible federal grants for technology in public libraries.

What we used:

The equipment bid process led us to:

Come in and enjoy the mobility. Free to all with a library or PCUser card, available at any service desk.

Linux on the Desktop?

Running Linux on the desktop can save money for an organization. Given time and staff, ITS could certainly implement thin client Linux desktops for the public, and move from Microsoft into the open source realm. Open Office, Scribus, TheGIMP, all good "no-cost" substitutes if you are interested in the finished product, not the process.

But user expectations have a way of thwarting money-saving intentions, and in this area, with so much missile defense infrastructure, provision of Microsoft Windows and Office may be one of those expectations. Employers expect their employees to be able to use the software they provide, and if a service priority for the Library is to train our local workforce, using Linux desktops exclusively has the potential to create a growing service gap.

Entertaining article from ZDNet, "My Son Hates Linux":
http://education.zdnet.com/?p=1626

Happy Birthday, Main Library! (2007)

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is having a birthday party and the public is invited! Drop by Thursday, April 26 at the Main Library and celebrate 20 years at the 915 Monroe Street location.
The celebration will last all day and into the night with special programs highlighting the library and all of the wonderful things it has to offer. Mark your calendar for:

Behind the scenes tours of all departments
Special programs to highlight the collection
Contests such as “Guess that quote” from beloved books and “Guess that line” from the DVD collection
Popcorn, Cokes, and birthday cake
Genealogy programs
Live concert by SlipJig in the Atrium at 6 p.m.

We look forward to celebrating 20 wonderful years! See you there!
Schedule of events:
All day

Bookmobile and Ready Reader Van tours in the parking lot
“Guess that quote” contest, Circulation Desk
“Guess that line” contest, Audio-Visual Desk
Refreshments on the second floor
20% off in the Friends bookstore for everyone, not just Friends!
All About Court Records: Utilizing Genealogical Resources in the Madison County Records Center (third floor)
Tours of the Madison County Tax Records Room (third floor)

9 -9:30 a.m.

Behind the scenes in Technical Services (second floor)
Tour the Computer Training Center and library website (third floor)

9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Genealogical and Historical Resources in the Huntsville Public Library (Heritage Room, third floor)

9:30 – 10 a.m.

Simple Words to Communicate in Spanish (International Media Center, second floor)
Booking a Cruise (Adult Services, second floor)

10 – 10:30 a.m.

How to Find What You’re Looking For (Circulation Desk, first floor)
Consumer Health Information (Reference, second floor)
Mending and Keeping Books (Technical Services, second floor)
Discovering Your African-American Ancestor (Heritage Room, third floor)

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Coffee Break and Tour of Internet and Technology Services Department (third floor)

10:30 – 11 a.m.

Anniversary Storytime (Youth Services, first floor)
Simple Words to Communicate in French (International Media Center, second floor)
Day Trips from Huntsville (Adult Services, first floor)
The World of Acquisitions: Where Books Come From (Acquisitions, second floor)

11 – 11:30 a.m.

How to Search for Magazines @ the Library (Reference, second floor)
Behind the Scenes (Technical Services, second floor)
Photographing Old Documents and Court Records Using a Digital Camera (Heritage Room, third floor)

11 a.m. – Noon

American Citizenship (International Media Center, second floor)

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

The World of Acquisitions: Where Books Come From (Acquisitions, second floor)
Tour the Computer Training Center and library website (third floor)

1 – 8:30 p.m.

Tour of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped with demonstrations of cassette players, talking books, and other games (second floor)

1:30 – 2 p.m.

Caring for Crepe Myrtles (Adult Services, second floor)
Keeping and Mending Books (Technical Services, second floor)

2 – 2:30 p.m.

How to Write Children’s Books with Hester Bass (Youth Services, first floor)
Simple Words to Communicate in Chinese (International Media Center, second floor)
Behind the Scenes (Technical Services, second floor)
Searchin’ Serials: Using Genealogical Periodicals in Family Research (Heritage Room, third floor)

2 – 3:30 p.m.

Coffee Break and Tour of Internet and Technology Services (third floor)

2:30 – 3 p.m.

How to Find What You’re Looking For (Circulation, first floor)
Microwave Cooking (Adult Services, second floor)

3 – 3:30 p.m.

How to Search for Magazines @ the Library (Reference, second floor)
Tour the Computer Training Center and library website (third floor)

3:30 – 4 p.m.

How to Find What You’re Looking For (Audio Visual, first floor)
The World of Acquisitions: Where Books Come From (Acquisitions, second floor)
Finding Your Ancestor Online (Heritage Room, third floor)

4 – 4:30 p.m.

Huntsville Weather for Kids with James Paul Dice (Youth Services, first floor)
Consumer Health Information @ the Library (Reference, second floor)
GPS for Genealogy: Using Maps and GPS to Track Down Cemeteries (Heritage Room, third floor)

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Birthday Cake in the Atrium (first floor)
Concert by Slip Jig (Atrium, first floor)

6 – 6:30 p.m.

Locating Your Revolutionary Ancestor (Heritage Room, third floor)

7:30 – 8 p.m.

Just Because It’s Old Doesn’t Make it Rare: Collecting Rare Books (Heritage Room, third floor)

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