Format Painter Saves the Day

Have you ever gotten a paragraph, table, spreadsheet cell, etc. formatted just the way you want it, only to find yourself struggling to create the same format in another place? Or, have you ever decided you wanted to change the format of all of the document headings and realized it would take forever? Enter Format Painter to make your life easier.

The folks at Tech-Talk have provided lots of articles and videos to share all kinds of formatting tips and tricks for documents, spreadsheets, slide shows, and more! To learn about how format painter (in both Microsoft and Google applications) can help make formatting a breeze, check out this page.

Copy, Scan, Fax, and Print at the Library

The library’s copier is once again open for self-service, and not only is it a new machine, the procedure for using it has changed.

What’s Changed?

  • We have a new copy/scan/fax machine, and its new location is near the new nonfiction books, across from the checkout desk.
  • The new copier does not have a coin vending machine because the library wanted to be able to accept credit/debit cards for printing and allow patrons the option to create and fund their own copier accounts.
  • We no longer have a separate fax machine. Faxing is now part of our copier’s functions. Our previous fax machine could only take credit/debit payment, but now users can pay in their preferred way.
  • Users enter a code to start rather than putting coins in a vending machine.

The New Copy/Scan/Fax Procedure

  • Walk up to the copier to start the copy, scan, or fax job. (Skip to next section for printing)
  • Enter the code posted on the wall at the copier to login to the generic account and select the desired function. Choose “device functions” to copy, scan to usb, or fax. To scan to email, select the “scan” function.
  • Refer to the instructions at the copier for next steps by function.
  • Keep track of the number of copies made or fax pages sent. Scans are free. Copy cost is $.15 per black and white page or $.50 per color page. Fax cost is $1 per page.
  • Head to a staff desk to pay for your copy/fax job(s). Cards can be taken at the checkout or reference desks, but currently only the checkout desk can take cash.
  • Are you regular user? See a staff member to create your own copier account. You can add money to it and skip repeat trips to pay staff on future visits.

Printing at the Library

Printing is not yet self-service at the library, but there are a few different ways to get your job printed there.

  • Use a library computer. Print jobs can be sent by the user, who then sees a staff member to pay for and release the print job.
  • Send a print job from home using our print portal. Here is more information about how to use the print portal. After sending the job, report to the reference desk to print and pay. To print an email using this system, it must be saved as a pdf. If you don’t want to do that or you have difficulty with the print portal, you can try the next option.
  • Email your print job to reference@eglibrary.org. When you arrive at the library, let the reference staff know you sent an email and they will print your job and take payment. Please note, library staff will do everything they can to maintain a user’s privacy, but this is the least secure printing method.

Got Questions?

Ask us in the comments or contact the library at eglibraryinfo@eglibrary.org or 518-477-7476.

Ancestry Library Edition @ Home

Several libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition for their patrons. Ordinarily, libraries are only able to purchase subscriptions for on-site use. During the pandemic, however, ProQuest has made remote access available at no additional cost to libraries. Remote access is currently set to expire on March 1st, 2021, but may be extended if the majority of libraries are still working under reduced services due to the pandemic.

If you are an East Greenbush/Schodack resident, you can access Ancestry remotely from our login page using your library account number (barcode). If you are not a resident, this link won’t work for you. Check with the public library where you reside to see if they have set up similar access on their website.

If your library doesn’t have access, you can connect to the library’s Wi-Fi and go to https://ancestrylibrary.com. Portions of Ancestry content are available from home to all New York State residents with a free Ancestry.com New York account.

New to Ancestry? Check out our help materials:

Technology Help Live or On-Demand

Tech-Talk is a resource the library provides to its staff and resident patrons, and it is available in three formats. The free weekly newsletter provides tips in text and video formats. Those articles, as well as free webinars, quick reference guides, and more are archived on the website and the app.

The technology-focused e-newsletter is perfect for professional development for non-techies.  It introduces fresh ideas and ways to use technology to work more productively and communicate effectively.  With a focus on productivity software from Microsoft Office and interpersonal communications, Tech-Talk doesn’t just tell people how to do things, it tells them why and shows them new ways to make technology work for them.

Tech-Talk arms you with the missing technology (and communications) skills you need to get good grades, better jobs, and higher pay. It is digital learning with easy-to-read articles, videos, and other fun stuff with the tips and tricks you need to be competitive in today’s hi-tech world. Some of the topics covered in Tech-Talk include:

The Website and App

The Tech Talk website can be accessed in a browser or using a mobile app (Apple and Android). To get the app, go to https://www.tech-talk.com/get-app.

If prompted, enter eglibrary as both the user name and the password. This password can be saved.

Articles

To search or browse for topic, click on “Articles & Videos” in the top menu. You can then search by keyword or topic, enter a problem to solve, or ask a new question if you haven’t found an article or webinar to meet your need. You can scroll down to browse articles in date order (newest first).

Learning Activities

In addition to articles, Tech Talk has tool kits, scavenger hunts for training, one-sheet reference guides, targeted problem-solving, webinars, CE certificates, and so much more. To see an index of all of them, click “Learning Activities” in the menu. Alternatively, hover over it and see a categorized sub-menu.

Search

The search page has the same search options we saw on the articles page, and it also includes titles of the latest 10 articles in each of 21 different categories for quick browsing.

The Newsletter

You can opt-in to the e-newsletter to receive a short weekly email with a productivity tip and a communication tip. Videos and text are both provided. To sign up for the newsletter, fill in this short form. If prompted, the username and password are both eglibrary.

Got Questions?

Need help finding or using the database? Installing the app? Subscribing to the newsletter? Ask us in the comments, call the library at 518-477-7476, or email us at eglibraryinfo@eglibrary.org.

Free Digital Content, For Everyone

With many people throughout the world being asked to stay home, many streaming providers have been offering free content. We’ll go over some of the places where you can watch things for free while social distancing and how they can be accessed.

Apple TV+ is offering a decent amount of their original series for non-subscribers. You will need an Apple ID to sign in (you can get an Apple ID for free if you don’t already have one). These shows include:

  • Servant
  • Little America
  • Helpsters
  • For All Mankind
  • Dickinson
  • Snoopy in Space
  • The Elephant Queen
  • Ghostwriter

Apple TV+ can be accessed through an app on streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Firestick/Amazon Firecube and also on smartphones, tablets and laptops. When navigating the Apple TV app, you will see a large “Free for Everyone” tab that you can tap or click to access the content.

Also accessible through Apple TV+ channels app is Epix. They feature a large offering of movies and TV programming. Their selection is free when accessed through the Apple TV app.

HBO is offering a selection of movies, documentaries and its original series to non-subscribers through the HBO Go and HBO Now app. For information on what programming is available, check out their website. Some selections include: series like The Wire, Big Little Lies, The Sopranos; movies like Pokemon Detective Pikachu, Isn’t it Romantic, and Blinded by the Light; and documentaries like The Apollo, McMillion$, and United Skates.

AMC Networks is running a “We’re With You” campaign that includes the first half of Season 10 of The Walking Dead.

Other networks that fall under AMC Networks include BBC America, which offering a collection of nature documentaries, the entire new season of Dr. Who, the entire series of Orphan Black, and many other neat programs. Additionally, the season three premiere of Killing Eve is available. To watch, go to their website.

IFC (the Independent Film Channel) is offering a comedy lineup for those of us that could use some laughs. They are offering free full seasons for the month of April of shows like Birthday Boys, Baroness von Sketch Show, Spoils of Babylon, Spoils Before Dying, Bunk and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The programming can be accessed on IFC.com and on their IFC TV app.

Sling TV is offering free TV from 5pm through midnight every evening. There is also a selection of free TV shows and movies available anytime for non-subscribers. The content can be accessed through their website or through the Sling TV app on Roku, Amazon Fire, and many other devices. To get started, select the free option on the app or browse available content on their website.

YouTube is offering a decent amount of their original series for free for a limited time. You can check this list for the complete offering. The list has links to watch the programs.

Last but not least, Hoopla Digital and Overdrive both offer a large collection of streaming videos. Both are services offered from the Upper Hudson Library System and are free for residents of Albany or Rensselaer County. If you belong to a different library system, check out their digital collections, as there is a good chance they also offer one or both of these great services. Both can be accessed on their websites or through their apps, which are available on smartphones, tablets and other devices. The Hoopla app is available on devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more. A full listed of supported Hoopla devices can be found here. The Overdrive app is available on iOS, Android devices, Kindle Fire, and more. A full list of devices that can access the Overdrive can be found here.

Other offerings

There are also a handful of original episodes of Showtime original programing that can be watched on their website.

Focus Features will be streaming a free movie every Monday in April for free on their Facebook page. The movies begin at 8pm, EST. The schedule for the rest of April:
-April 20, Mallrats (featuring a Q & A with director Kevin Smith after the movie)
-April 27, My Summer of Love

SiriusXM is offering free streaming of their satellite radio service for all North American residents. To get started, head over to their website.

Streaming Services With Extended Trial Periods

Many streaming services offer a free seven day trial period. During social distancing, many services are offering a 30 day (or longer) trial period, during which the trial can be canceled at anytime. As a heads up, you will probably need to enter your credit card information to begin any of these trials. These are just trials and if you don’t cancel before the end of the trial period, you will be charged the regular monthly rate.

  • CBS All Access For the CBS All Access extended trial, use the code ALL
  • Acorn TV, a large selection of British TV and movies. Use code FREE30 when signing up on their website.
  • History Vault, a collection of documentaries from the History Channel.
  • The Lifetime Movie Club, a collection of new and classic Lifetime movies.
  • Noggin, featuring many children’s programs such as Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer and more. (60 day trial)
  • Shudder, featuring horror, thriller, and suspense movies and programming. Use code SHUTIN on their website.
  • Smithsonian Channel, a large collection of documentaries on a variety of different subjects. Use the code ALONETOGETHER on their website when signing up.
  • Netflix, movies, TV shows, documentaries, and original programming.
  • Hulu, movies, TV shows, documentaries, and original programming.

Do you know of any other services offering free programming while we’re all at home? Let us know in the comments.