Downloading Files (5)

October 28, 2007

Question: Can you download files (or anything) to the library computers? If you’re talking about a program, answer is no. If it is a file, like a typed document or a photo, then usually yes. Here are a few examples for you:

Q: “Can I download iTunes and use it on a library computer?”
A: No. iTunes is a program, like MS Word or Windows Media Player. Programs cannot be downloaded to public computers.

Q: “I have a photo someone emailed me. Can I download it and open it?”
A: Yes. In this case, the download is just a file being pulled from an email. We’re downloading it just to open it. That’s okay.

Q: “Can I download an Overdrive audiobook at the library?”
A: No. Overdrive audiobook program is not installed, so you cannot download the books to library public computers.

Q: “I have a computer program on CD/floppy disk. Can I use this on your computers?”
A: No. Programs cannot be installed on library public computers. You can open files, not programs.

Q: “Can I download a 1040 from the IRS?”
A: Yes. You should be able to retrieve and print most tax forms online. Certain forms, requiring duplicates or specific sizes, may not be available.

So, as a rule, files like photos or documents can be downloaded because you’re just getting them from the Internet and opening them. Things like programs cannot be downloaded because they have to be installed to work – if it has to be installed, it isn’t going to work on library computers.

Here’s a question to all of you. We’ve seen lots of iPods and mp3 players in the library lately and we’ve been asked several times about downloading music. Most music sites require that you download media software before you can download music or transfer files to a portable player. Are there music web sites where you can download songs without downloading software?

We’re excited to hear from everyone!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1. Test yourself – take the downloading files quiz.
2. Keep your ears open for questions about downloading stuff to library computers. What kinds of requests do you get the most? Does anyone know a way to download music to an mp3 player? Let us know in the comments.
3.Take the survey.

We know Google can search the Web, but Google also has other useful features, like maps, an online calendar, and an office suite called Google Docs. Most of these features are at the top left side of the page.


So, where is Google Docs?
Click on the More menu to select Documents.


Before you get started, you’ll need to create a Google Account. If you already have GMail or a Google account, you can use either.

Google Docs in Plain English (3 min)

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Using Google Docs


What can you do with Google Docs?

Upload Existing Documents
Use Google Docs to save MS Word documents online. This is much easier to manage than unreliable floppy disks.

Create New Documents
Create a Document from scratch. Google Docs is a simple, no-frills word processor, that keeps all your work together online.

Work Together Online
Collaborate with another user to edit your documents online. This is a much easier than emailing attachments back and forth. You will see changes instantly. Then, you can undo their multiple grammar errors.

Email Documents Instantly
Email your document from within the program; no need to open up a separate Email program or create an attachment.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1. Navigate to Google Docs.
2. Create a Google account or login to your existing Google account.
3. Open a new Document. Write your prediction for baseball’s next World Series.
4. Email it to yourself or a friend.
5. Take the survey.

If you already know how to save a file and attach it to an email, you got off easy this week! If you don’t already know how to do this, don’t sweat it. There’s a first time for everything. Lots of our patrons look to us for help saving files. Wouldn’t it be great if they could count on all of us to help them? We’d all be the “tech people” and that just makes you feel good.

First things first. Before you can attach anything to an email, a picture, resume, anything, you have to save it somewhere first. Why? Well, you’re telling your email program to go get something and pack it with the email. If you haven’t saved the file first, the email program won’t be able to find the file. It will be like trying to find an invisible toothbrush when you’re trying to pack for a trip.

Attaching a file in email


Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1. Create a word document.
2. Save the file to your desktop.
3. Attach the file to an email and email it to yourself.
4. Take the survey.

James USB
Click to Play

How to Save a File (2)

October 8, 2007

The first month of Staff in the Know is “Save As” month. To start things off, we’d like to herald the arrival of some “flashy” new devices arriving at branches all over the system. USB Flash Drive, we welcome you.

Flash drives are as easy to use as floppy disks, but they do demand to be treated better. Take a look at our task bar below. See the green arrow icon on the right, in the circle? That is the “safely remove hardware” icon. If you use it, your flash drive is your friend. If you don’t, you can mess up your data (think ejecting floppy while green light is on!)


Never fear…we’re here to walk you through the process of saving a file to a flash drive. Give it a try. You’ll want one of these gadgets yourself!

Here’s a video to help you out:

How to Save a File: USB Flash Drives


And a video for fun:

How to Save a File (a parody)


Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1. Create a word document.
2. Save the file to a USB flash drive.
3. Safely remove the flash drive from the computer.
4. Take the survey.