News from the Reference Desk Category: Technology

O’Reilly offers new business and technology titles

O'Reilly logo
A new and notable web resource is available for patrons to use at the library or from home with their library card.
O’Reilly for Public Libraries offers current and popular titles in the fields of technology and business. Patrons looking to expand their technical and career skills will be particularly interested in checking out this resource.    

The collection, which features more than 50,000 e-books and 30,000 hours of video, can only be viewed through the O’Reilly for Public Libraries website.


O'Reilly Playlists

Included in the collection of titles is most of the popular “For Dummies” series. Looking for a deeper dive in to a specific topic, such as Blockchain or Business Strategy? O’Reilly for Public Libraries offers expert-curated playlists on subject including machine learning, cloud computing and software architecture.

Try searching for other specialized technology and business subject areas such as:

  • Data Engineering 
  • Adobe Photoshop 
  • Amazon Web Services 
  • FinTech 
  • Team Management and Leadership 
  • Stock Trading 
  • And many, many more. 

As always, if you have questions about accessing this or any of the resources available through the Web Resources page, contact the Research Desk. 

Free tech courses available to job seekers

Computer displaying online learningA technical skills upgrade is one effective way to add valuable, attention-grabbing content to an existing resume. LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft are making several technical courses available for free of charge and certifications in selected skills available at a greatly reduced price for many workers 

LinkedIn Learning has identified ten jobs that are in-demand in today’s economy and are positioned to grow in the future. They are making ten LinkedIn Learning Paths aligned with these jobs available for everyone for free in 2021.  

The ten role-based learning paths are:  

  1. Software developer – Become a Software Developer
    Sales representative – Become a Sales Representative
    Project manager – Become a Project Manager
    IT administrator – Prepare for CompTIA Network+ Certification
    Customer service specialist – Become a Customer Service Specialist
    Digital marketer – Become a Digital Marketing Specialist
    IT support/help desk – Prepare for the CompTIA A+ Certification   
    Data analyst – Become a Data Analyst
    Financial analyst – Become a Financial Analyst
    Graphic designer – Become a Graphic Designer 

LinkedIn Learning has also made learning paths focused on helping professionals come up to speed on soft skills.  

  1. Job seeker – Finding a Job During Challenging Economic Times
    Critical soft skills – Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills
    Digital transformation – Digital Transformation in Practice: Virtual Collaboration Tools (combination of digital fluency and remote work)  
    Allyship and inclusive conversations – Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All 

In addition, Microsoft Learn is offering free and in-depth technical learning content that also supports these roles and job seekers pursuing developer roles can access the GitHub Learning Lab to practice their skills. 

Industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications are being offered at reduced cost. Exams that normally cost $100 or more will be offered for $15 for individuals who are unemployed or furloughed due to COVID-19. All exams are available in English, Spanish, French, German, and more. See the website for complete Terms and Conditions. 

Tinker with Your Car with Library Resources

U.S. road signs

If you’re like me, you aren’t driving a lot lately. I love cars and driving about in my comically small SmartCar. So I was thinking about finding activities to do with my car that don’t involve driving in circles. Mount Prospect Public Library has two auto resources. One is Auto Repair Source. This is one of the most comprehensive collection of automobile repair reference information and contains repair and maintenance information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles. New repair procedures and updates are added to the product on a regular basis. I have used it to read up on service bulletins, get a chart on when various fluids should be changed, and learned how to change my headlamps.

Our other resource, Driving Test Prep, is a lot more fun. By “fun”, I mean testing myself on Illinois’ Rules of the Road, and I’m only half joking about it being fun. There are practice tests set at levels of Easy, Hard, and Hardest for getting your license to drive a car, a motorcycle, and commercial truck.  If I needed a copy of the Rules of the Road, I can download a PDF of it in English, Russian, and Spanish.

Here’s a sample question:

If a driver behind you repeatedly flashes his or her headlights, you should do which of the following?
1.  Switch on your high-beam headlights.
2. Increase your speed and move ahead.
3. Get out of the way.
4. Switch on your low-beam headlights.
I said #2, but the actual answer is #3. Get away from aggressive drivers.
Aggressive driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. If you notice a driver behind you repeatedly flashing his or her headlights, you should not retaliate or engage the other driver in any way. Get out of the driver’s way and allow him or her to pass.
This is the one thing I have not missed about commuting – aggressive drivers. I can’t wait to get back to the Library and help people face-to-face, and when we do my car will be in top shape as will my knowledge of how to be the best driver I can.

New Genealogy Resource

October is Family History Month, and the Library is celebrating by announcing the acquisition of My Heritage, a genealogy subscription database. Like Ancestry Library Edition and Ancestry.com, My Heritage has indexed census, vital records and family tree information. My Heritage,however, can be accessed at home by Mount Prospect Public Library cardholders! To find more clues to your family MyHeritage web resource iconhistory check out this resource either in the Library or at home. Please remember that the Library Research Services staff is available to help you search this database and any of the others in our collection. You may also set up an appointment with Genealogy Librarian, Anne Shaughnessy. Let’s celebrate our families, past and present!

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials, and exceedingly relevant for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999. In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer, but unknowingly provides the means to do so. For example, our Library safeguards against infringement liability by requiring patrons not partake in “conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement,” according to our internet service policy. Copyright trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant. Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.