Stay Safe (Online) in the New Year

With all the talk about hacking and internet security recently, we thought we’d highlight some products designed to keep you safe online.

1280px-tor-logo-2011-flat-svgThe Tor Browser is an internet browser that lets you explore the internet without tracking your activity (sites you visit, searches you perform, login information, files you download). Easy to install, this program can be kept on and run from a portable USB drive. It works on all major operating systems and is pre-configured for ease of use.

ddg-icon_256x256DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t keep track of any search that you perform or the location you are searching from. It won’t follow you across sites with ads or remember any personal information. You don’t have to install anything, just go to their website before you search.

signal_blue_iconSignal app (available for iOS and Android devices) is a free messenger app that allows you to send private messages,  photos, and video to your current contacts without a separate login. You can also place calls. All calls and messaging are encrypted and completely protected from Signal as well as outside parties. No call or message logs are maintained by the company.

Go ahead and give any of these a try for a more secure web presence in 2017.

Star Light, Star Bright

Spring Astronomy Week is May 9 to 16 and is a great time to learn more about the stars. These free apps and websites can help you get started exploring the universe.


Includes over 14,000 images, links to NASA videos on demand, and the latest news and feature stories. Follow current NASA missions or download amazing photos for backgrounds or wallpaper. And much more!
(iOS, Android)

Space images appSpace Images by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology

Because you can never have enough incredible photos from outer space. The images are available for download and use as background and wallpaper on your device.
(iOS, Android)

Night Sky LiteNight Sky Lite by iCandi Apps

With this app, you can simply point your phone at the sky to identify stars, planets, and constellations. In addition to an immersive Sky View, the app includes a 3D Earth View, World Traveler Mode, and stargazing graphs with updates on local stargazing conditions. It can also help you connect with other stargazers and astronomers to shares tips and observations.
(iOS, Android)

Galaxy ZooGalaxy Zoo, a Zooniverse Project

Galaxy Zoo lets you be part of a real scientific study of galaxies. It is a citizen science project sponsored by Zooniverse. Since 2007, thousands of ordinary people have logged on to the website, or used the app to submit millions of classifications based on pictures of galaxies. Data collected by Galaxy Zoo has contributed to more than 40 professional publications. You, too, can be part this real-life science project!
(iOS, Android)

Homework Help at JMRL

young woman using laptop in library

School is back in session, and that means the return of homework and research projects. JMRL has several online services that can help with those assignments.

Teen Homework Help – Internet Links By Subject
Whether your assignment topic is government or science, or if you are struggling with math, this collection of Internet links can help you find the answers you need. The websites are organized by subject to make it easier to find useful information. The best part is that a JMRL Teen Librarian has already evaluated the quality of these websites for you.

Do you need a bit more depth, or a more authoritative source? Try the JMRL Databases. They include everything from online encyclopedias to newspaper articles to scholarly journals. Use Transparent Language to practice your foreign language skills or use Literary Reference Center to find information about an author for your English class. Literati by Credo even offers free, live tutoring for Math and Science.

Ask a Librarian
Still need more help? Use the Ask a Librarian reference service. During hours the library is open, librarians are standing by to answer your questions by text or chat. Or you can use email to ask more detailed questions. Better yet, stop by your local library and ask a librarian in person. They are experts at helping you find the information you need