Basic Internet Searching

Computer ImageWould you like to find exactly what you need without searching through billions of web pages?  You need just a few basic techniques that will let you search smarter instead of harder.

First you must use a search engine.  A search engine is a specialized website that helps you find what you need on the web. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are currently the most popular search engines.  Search engines use “spiders” to “crawl” through web pages, index the information and add it to the search engine.  Search engines search the Internet for you and give you a list of search results.

Just type in what you’re looking for in the search box .  You must type in specific keywords to yield better results.  The search engine will look for matching websites from all over the Web.  Your results will contain your search terms.

You will need to look over your first page of search results.  Try different search terms if you need to change your results.

Happy searching!

Tips For Improving Your Searches:

  • Start simple and then refine your search by adding more search terms
  • More specific, unique terms usually return better results
  • Use quotation marks to search for exact phrases
  • Don’t worry about punctuation
  • Don’t worry about capitalization
  • Set a time limit and change strategies if necessary

Boolean Basics:

  • Narrowing your search results leads to more relevant results
  • The AND (+) command returns only documents that contain all the keywords listed
  • The OR (-) command returns documents that contain any of the keywords
  • The NOT command returns documents that do not contain the keywords listed

Registration Open For September 2015 Classes

Registration is now open for staff and the public for the September 2015 Classes.  During this month, we include our popular computer classes, as well as a variety of personal development classes.  All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.

Please note that registration does not necessarily guarantee you a spot in the class. You will receive an email confirming your registration for classes.  You may also call to confirm your registration.

To register for any class, please email us at cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or call 205-226-3681.   You may also download and print a pdf copy of the September 2015 Class Schedule to bring to a Computer Commons staff member on your next library visit.  Please note that the September 2015 Class Schedule pdf can be sent to us as an email attachment.

September 2015 Classes Image

September 2015 Schedule

“A Book Is a Dream”

Book Image Gaiman

“A Book Is a Dream You Hold In Your Hands.”– Neil Gaiman

We can accomplish our dreams and goals by staying focused and taking a single step toward fulfilling those dreams.  What will you do today to realize your dreams?

The Birmingham Public Library has books and resources to help you on your path to achieving your goals.  Just visit our catalog to search for books and materials in a variety of formats.  Our dedicated staff will help you on your journey.  We look forward to your visit with us soon.

Comment below and tell us about a book that you plan to read to fulfill your dreams.

Registration Open For August 2015 Computer Classes

Registration is now open for staff and the public for the August 2015 Classes. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.

To register for a class: ((Please note that registration does not necessarily guarantee you a spot in the class. You will receive an email confirming your registration for classes.  You may also call to confirm your registration)

  1. Complete name, address and phone information. PLEASE PRINT.
  2. Place a check mark in the check box next to the class(es) you would like to attend.
  3. Return the entire form to a staff person in the Public Computer Services department.
  4. You may also send an email to cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or use the online form to register.

August 2015 Classes

Podcasts For Learning

Technology Image

Podcasts are audio or video episodes available for free online.  They usually are one hour-long and come out about once a week.  You can subscribe to a podcast or download individual episodes to your computer, tablet or other mobile device.

Podcasts cover an incredible range of topics including science, arts, culture, history, language, news and much more.  These broadcasts present material in an entertaining, easy-to-learn format, that makes learning fun and enjoyable.  If you are short on time, these podcasts will expand your knowledge and add more productive hours to your day.

The next time you are doing your laundry, walking to class or working out at the gym, try listening to a podcast.  You might just find that you’ve learned something while you were being entertained.

Here’s a list of favorites for you to check out:

Good Job, Brain

A History of the World in 100 Objects

How Stuff Works

RadioLab

The Skeptics Guide To The Universe

StarTalk Radio

Stuff You Should Know

TedTalks

Now, what are some of your favorite podcasts?  Let us know in the comments below.

Registration Open For July 2015 Computer Classes

Registration is now open for staff and the public for the July 2015 Classes.  All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.

To register for a class: ((Please note that registration does not necessarily guarantee you a spot in the class. You will receive an email confirming your registration for classes.  You may also call to confirm your registration)

  1. Complete name, address and phone information. PLEASE PRINT.
  2. Place a check mark in the check box next to the class(es) you would like to attend.
  3. Return the entire form to a staff person in the Public Computer Services department.
  4. You may also send an email to cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or use the online form to register.

July 2015 Classes