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Back to school already? We can help!

Summer is quickly drawing to a close for students who are returning to school within the next few weeks.  We have enjoyed seeing throngs of kids and parents this summer at the Library and are still giving out prizes to those who finished our summer reading program.

Going back to school brings lots of changes.  Besides getting everyone up and going on time, making lunches and getting school supplies, kids will once again have HOMEWORK!  And this is where the Library can help.  If you have booklists or other school assignments, of course you can check and see whether the Sunnyvale Public Library  has the book.  Additionally, on our website, there are many online resources that can help your student with many subjects. Once you have a library card, you have access to the online version of World Book Encyclopedia  which is simply incredible.  It includes newspapers from around the world, as well as videos and ebooks on a multitude of subjects.  There is also a Spanish edition of the encyclopedia.  If you or your child is learning a new language, there is online help for that is well with Mango Languages.  Forgot your textbook at school?  See if it is part of the Digital Textbook Initiative.  There are too many other resources to name them all here, but check out our Kids Website  for more online help.

No one at home to help with algebra problems?  Don’t despair.  Our Homework Help Center will be starting in September on  Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 to 6:00 in the Children’s area of the library.  We have wonderful  teens who volunteer to help your students in grades 3 – 8 with their school work.  If you have a first or second grader who just needs some additional reading practice, bring them on Monday or Wednesday and those same smart teens will read with  your child.

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Taxes. Didn’t we do that last year?

Due to the anxiety that attends this season, the Sunnyvale Library is here to help. While we do not have the tax forms on hand to give out, we will gladly help you print or photocopy them. Should you need some help with filing, we have some resources to assist you to that end. On Monday, February 27 from 2-7 pm, the Library will host tax volunteers who will be offering assistance to qualified individuals. For more information and to learn if you qualify, as well as what to bring to your appointment, download this .pdf, and call 1-866-577-1231 to make a reservation.

Both State and Federal tax returns are not due until April 17, 2012.

Where to get tax forms

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): www.irs.gov
Order Forms & Publications: (800) 829-3676

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) (California State Taxes): www.ftb.ca.gov
Order Forms & Publications: (800) 852-5711

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The Hidden Gems of the Library Website

Let the cat out of the bag

As you may or may not know, Librarians love to share information so much so that the Library website probably has some buried resources that you may not know about. And of course we WANT you to use these tools and so I am going to let the cat out of the bag and divulge some clickable treasures that may inspire you, impress you, and enlighten you.

How Do I…do that?

If you can’t quite figure out how to Download Ebooks from Overdrive, Search the Library Catalog, Place a Hold on a Library Book, and Search Link+.  We have created step-by-step videos to walk you through the process. To find this link, visit the Library Website, then click  How Do I…?  on the left hand side of the screen.

You Missed Out…

Have you ever really wanted to come to a library program but you have other plans or maybe you are feeling rather Howard Hughes-ish that evening? We understand…and we have made it so you can relive the experience on your own terms. Visit the Sunnyvale Library Podcasts  page to listen to The American Civil War: Looking Back 150 Years, Part 1, How to Make Your Nest Egg Last, An Evening with Author Laurie R. King, and more. To find the link, visit the Library Website, then click on  Library Blogs and Social Media link on the left hand side of the screen.

I love booksI  Books 

Would you like to see the newest book and film titles (separated by genre) in the Library? Find the “Quick Links” section on the right hand side of the Library Website then click  New Book-Movie-Music Arrivals !

Text Us

Need a quick answer to a burning question?  Sunnyvale Librarians will try and answer any question with a short answer.

Here are some examples:

  • What is Senator Diane Feinstein’s phone number?
  • Can you please remind which author wrote The Night Circus?
  • What year did Oscar Wilde Die?
  • The first prototype of the legendary Atari arcade game PONG first appeared in what Tavern?
  • What time is storytime on  Saturday?

Text a Librarian is the Library’s text message reference service. To access the service, text keyword asksun to 66746 on a mobile device to send and receive quick, simple answers from Sunnyvale Librarians. Text a Librarian is available during all open hours and a response to questions will generally be received within an hour or less.

Explore some of these treasures and stay tuned for the Hidden Gems of the Library part II!

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Away on Vacation? Freeze your holds!

Frozen ExtremesAre you going on vacation during this holiday season, but have items on hold and don’t want to lose your place in line in case they come in while you’re away?  Just freeze your holds!

Freezing a hold allows you to maintain your place in the hold list without your hold fulfilling if your turn comes up.  If you become hold number one, patrons behind you will jump ahead, until you return and unfreeze (thaw?) your hold.  At that point, your hold will fulfill when the next copy becomes available.  Please note that you cannot freeze an item that is already on the holdshelf awaiting pickup.

The freeze holds feature is easy to activate:

  1. Log in to your library account.
  2. Click to view your holds list.  You should see a column labeled “Freeze” on the far right of the list with a checkbox next to each freeze-eligible item.
  3. Check the boxes next to all items you would like to freeze.
  4. Click the “Update List” button at the top or bottom of the list.  You will be asked to verify with the text “The following hold(s) will be cancelled or updated, would you like to proceed?”  Click ‘yes’.
  5. You should see each frozen item’s line change color and icicles appear.

When you return from vacation, don’t forget to unfreeze your holds!  Simply repeat the process, by unchecking the freeze box and updating the list.  We hope this feature helps you take one more thing off your mind so you can enjoy your vacation!

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Search Mobile!

Search Mobile!

Go mobile with Sunnyvale’s updated mobile catalog! With your Internet-ready cell phone or mobile device, connect and enjoy the following library services:

  • Search the library’s catalog for books, music, and movies
  • Place holds on materials
  • Visit your library account to renew your materials
  • Discover all of the events at the library

Go to m.sunnyvalelibrary.org with your mobile browser or use your phone to scan the QR code above.

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