Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – Questions & Reference

So it’s school holidays and you’re trying to keep the kids amused, especially during the heat of our summer.  Kids have curious minds and you want to be able to foster that inquisitive sense, but where do you find your answers?  We’ve got a few apps below that may be able to answer those day to day questions and possibly help you win that obscure trivia question the next time you join the pub trivia team.


Wikipedia – a FREE smartphone app that gives you access to the worlds most used reference site. Whether the facts are reliable not, that’s a different debate, the app provides quick and simple access for inquiring minds on the go.  There are featured articles and pictures that you can read through or save for later in a SAVED tab. You can search for articles via keyword, name or using the PLACES for locations on the map.


Goodreads – Are you an avid reader?  Do you like to keep a note of what you’ve read; good, bad or otherwise?  Goodreads is a great social app that can help keep track of your have-reads, to-be-read and currently-reading on virtual bookshelves in the app. Read reviews, make friends, join groups to discuss books and search for your next great read!

goodreads – Thinking of buying a new house, need to get into a better rental or just sticky beaking into that house for sale down the road? app has you covered.  Look for properties to Buy, Rent or that has Sold using suburbs or the map functionality. Narrow down your search by choosing price, property size, number of bedrooms etc. Create an account and have notifications of new properties matching your search criteria emailed to you and save properties in a tab so you can look through later.

Real app

Laundry Day –  This is an app that will cost you $1.49, but it does take the confusion out of the day to day hieroglyphics translation that takes place in the laundry when trying to wash without ruining your new shirt.   Scan your tag and let the app do the work for you or just search through the list of icons until you find the corresponding picture and importantly the explanation!

Laundry Care – Another laundry app for translating those strange icons.  This is a FREE app with no bells or whistles so you just have a list of icons and explanations then you can successfully wade through the washing. 

Washing Machine

IMDb – It’s another hot, Australian summer’s day, you’re stuck inside sheltering in the air conditioning watching a movie and trying to figure out where you’ve seen that actor before. Here is IMDb to your rescue. This database is available just by using your browser but if you’re using a smartphone there is an easier way to navigate through all the interesting facts and faces with the app. Find a movie, actor/actress, director, song, television series and more. Just like falling down the rabbit hole, each new find will reveal something else interesting about the movie, actress/actor and TV series to click onto. You can even watch trailers and find cinema screenings in your area for the latest release movies.


Food Switch – Do you have an allergy or are you trying to cut down your sugar or fat intake?  This is a great app to have at your fingertips while you’re at the supermarket doing your shopping.  There are five tabs to help you get better acquainted with what’s hiding in the products on the supermarket shelves.  There is a ‘How it works’ area with a tutorial so you can get stuck into using the app quickly and get immediate, easy-to-understand nutritional information about the packaged food products you’re looking at. You can scan the item’s barcode, get the nutritional information and get other options that have less; fat, sugar, salt, energy or gluten allergens.

Food Switch

And if all that doesn’t get some of those questions answered, then come visit us at the library we’ve got plenty to do and read to keep busy minds active during the school holidays. Check out the Library’s calendar of events here.


What’s Your Dewey? – Sizzling Summer – A cool tour of Dewey.

It’s safe to say that Summer brings out our inventiveness, as we seek the best cooling options on offer. Many simply want instant relief – to get through the unbearably hot day (or night), while others take a long term view, acknowledging that the hot weather is here to stay. Anyone not convinced that extreme hot weather is here to stay, need only watch the global weather reports and browse the latest books in the 551.5s that chronicle the changes we are experiencing.

Rather than watch the thermometer rising (which never provides me with a cooling effect), I thought I’d see what cooling ideas are out there and where in Dewey I might find them. There are many ideas out there, from the obvious to the complex. Here are just a few…

Stay safe in the sun
While it may seem obvious, our summer fun-loving ways mean that we want to go to the beach, play tennis, watch cricket or have a barbie in the park. Clearly, not all of us are prepared to stay indoors, so if we venture out, how can we do it safely?
Dress Appropriately
This includes what we wear and what we put on our skin. For those who are handy with needle & thread, scissors or machine, 646 may be a good place to start.
Simply sewn : clothes for every season by  Michiyo Ito is just one example of titles that look at seasonal fashions for the budget conscious, handy seamstress or tailor.
Wear a hat
Still in the 646s but specifically, 646.5 will provide readers with excellent millinery ideas for those who think carefully about what goes on their head!
…and of course – wear sunscreen!
Find shade
Wherever you may be outdoors in summer, it is always a good idea to  find some shade (or bring it with you). If you choose to bring it with you, then camping equipment might meet your needs but if you seek a cool, shady spot to have your picnic, then you may find the 725s (public structures) useful.

Keep cool on the inside
What you put in your body is just as important as what you put on the outside. The 641s will provide many ways you can keep your insides cool, with recipes for cold soups, salads and cool deserts.
Summer treats! : cool snacks for warm days by Cherise Pagano is just one example of easy, cool recipes.
Stay out of the sun
Many of us have air-conditioned cars and air-conditioned homes. Our public buildings and commercial providers also operate from air-conditioned premises. Apart from the concerns this raises with relation to our community’s energy consumption (and therefore its impact on the environment and by implication, climate change), there are also concerns about the way this constructed environment impacts our health.
 636.7 is one area where this topic is explored and Losing our cool : uncomfortable truths about our air-conditioned world (and finding new ways to get through the summer) by Stan Cox suggests some ways in which we can ameliorate the problems raised by living in an over-conditioned world. One way to do this is to make your home as climate efficient as possible and there are may books out there that suggest simple and complex ways to do this – from creating shady gardens with water features (the 710s), for example; Glorious shade : dazzling plants, design ideas, and proven techniques for your shady garden by Jenny Rose Carey…

…to designing or retrofitting your home (with cooling and ventilation in mind) in the 697s.

The eco-home design guide : principles and practice for new-build and retrofit by Christopher Day is just one example.

There is of course the drive to be practical and concise so if you are after a go-to guide then the 613s or the 649s may provide just the right book! How to beat the summer heat: A family guide to having fun and staying safe in summer by Carolyn Stone and Jacinta Carey is an example that is also available on Kindle.
You can look inside here: How to Beat the Summer Heat
Whatever you may choose to do this summer,  just remember there are many cool Dewey places you can look to find suggestions and solutions… and of course, it doesn’t hurt to stay a while in the library and just browse and read!






How Does That Work? Magazines – RBdigital

RBdigital is the name of our digital magazine collection. Available 24/7 on your computer, tablet or smartphone devices. You can download the apps and access the webpage to sign up here.

Digital magazines are simple and great to use when you’re travelling around this time of year.  Load up your tablet with the latest issue, all the back issues and you’ve got interesting articles to read for hours! There are so many categories to choose from and many titles within them.  Here’s a quick run through of how you can get started with RBdigital…RBdigital logo

  • Go to the website through our link to Register New Account with your email and library barcode.
  • Once you’ve created your account, log in now or at checkout when you’ve selected your magazines.
  • Find titles by using the Search button.
  • When you’ve found what you’re looking for, click Checkout.
  • You can continue to read online or keep browsing the collection.  Many articles can be read as is or as text only.
  • You can get help by clicking on the ? on any page footer.
  • Download the app applicable to your device and you can browse, checkout and read magazines using your library account from anywhere at all.

Adult reading ebook

If you’re requiring any further assistance, have a quick look through our RBdigital Magazines FAQ or come into the library with your device and we may be able to answer any questions for you.