Monthly Archives: May 2015

Best of the Best Free Email

Email has become an essential part of life in the twenty-first century. Everywhere you turn, you’re being asked for your email address. If you don’t have one, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to complete certain everyday activities.

The following is an overview of the three most prominent free email services. Whether you’re looking to create your first account or simply sign up for a secondary one, any of these are good choices.


Gmail delivers a clean, uncluttered interface that provides a number of useful features. Google’s email service features handy organizational tools, including labels and tabs. It also integrates nicely with other Google web apps, such as Drive and Calendar. Gmail comes as part of a Google account, which also gives you access to Google’s many other online services.

For an overview of everything you can do with Gmail and to sign up for an account, click here.

Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo! Mail provides all the basic features you’d want in an email service, including threaded conversations, search options, and custom folders. These are all features that are available on other platforms, but if you’re looking for a simple, free email service, Yahoo! Mail is a fine choice. Yahoo! also advertises that they offer 1 TB of free storage space for your messages, which is an impressive amount, although you’re unlikely to ever use that much.

You can check out the rest of the features that are available on Yahoo! Mail and sign up for an account here.

Not to be confused with Microsoft Outlook, which is a desktop application that’s part of the Microsoft Office suite, is an online email service provided by Microsoft. Outlook’s simple and minimalist interface is reminiscent of Gmail, and since it comes as part of a Microsoft account, it gives you access to other online products such as OneDrive and Office Online.

Microsoft provides a complete overview of’s features and an opportunity to sign up for an account on their website.



Coming Soon!! OverDrive Listen at SCDL

OverDrive ListenWe are excited to announce a new listening option for audiobooks in the Ohio Digital Library that’s coming on Tuesday, May 19, called OverDrive Listen. Similar to OverDrive Read for eBooks, OverDrive Listen offers the same ease of use; simply browse, borrow, and listen right in your browser with a single click. There are no downloads or software required; all you need is a compatible web browser. Using OverDrive Listen, you can add bookmarks, take notes, or make highlights. On May 19, this additional listening option will be automatically added to MP3 audiobooks in the Ohio Digital Library. We look forward to offering this new listening option.


For those of you unfamiliar with Instagram… where have you been for the past five years? Instagram is a photo sharing app for iOS and Android devices, featuring several editing filters that give pictures custom effects.

To create an Instagram account, first download the app to your iPhone or Android device from your app store.

If you have an Instagram account, press the Log In link that displays when you open the app. If you do not yet have an account, when you open the app you will have the option to register with your Facebook account or with your e-mail.

Access your profile by pressing the profile image at the bottom right of the screen.  3a

Change your profile picture and edit your profile information by pressing the blank profile image on the top left of the screen. A list of options will display. Choose an option to select your profile picture.

Accounts are made public by default, but there is an option to make an account private. At any time, you can select EDIT YOUR PROFILE and opt to turn privacy ON to approve follow requests.  From here, you can also change your name, username, bio, password, etc.

From your main profile screen you will see all of the pictures you have uploaded on Instagram. On the menu of options displayed on your profile screen, you can choose to: 6

A. View your photos in a grid

B. View them individually in a column

C. See a map of locations where your photos have been tagged

D. See what photos you have been tagged in


You can add photos to Instagram by uploading pictures already taken from your device’s camera, or by taking a photo from within Instagram by pressing the camera icon at the bottom of the screen.



And now, the fun begins with filtering your photo!

Instagram offers filters which add different pre-determined layers to your photos and give the effect that you’ve altered or professionally edited them. Experiment with the best filter for your selected image.

NOTE: Most filters have their own associated border. To add a border, press the filter and select the square border image on the right. Also displayed is an adjustable filter scale. Adjust the filter with the round blue circle. Press the checkmark to save your changes, or the x to discard these changes.


When you are finished editing your photo, press the blue arrow.



You can also share short video clips with Instagram ranging anywhere from three to fifteen seconds long. To record a video, press the camera button at the bottom of the screen like before, then choose the video recorder option on the right. A video recording screen will appear. The red, round circle is the record button. To the left of the record button is a link you can press to upload a video from your gallery. The forward-facing option link is above the record button. To go back to camera mode, press the camera image on the right.

Choose to film either one continuous segment or several clips spliced together, which allows for some creative stop-motion or animated videos. To create multiple clips, lift your finger off the record button. If you aren’t happy with a previous clip, delete it by pressing the X image. 19

When you’re finished recording your video, press the blue arrow in the top right corner of the screen to add a filter, exactly as you would a photo, only Instagram Video offers different filter options than photo.

After selecting your filter, press the blue arrow in the top right corner to continue to the next screen. From here, you can slide the image through the frames of your video to select a cover frame for your video. Again, press the blue arrow in the top right corner to continue.

For the last step, as before with Instagram photos, you can add a description with hashtags and/or @mentions, add your photo to the photo map, or select which social networks you would like to share with. Press the blue checkmark in the top right corner to upload the video.


Now you’re ready to find users to follow. Chances are many of your social media friends are already using Instagram, and on the top of that, a bunch of celebrities are, too. Head to your profile tab. Press the menu on the top right corner and select “Find Friends.” You may search for friends who have linked accounts to Instagram, or you may input your phone’s contact list to generate further connections.


Instagram’s presence on the web has improved enormously in the last year. Although you can not upload pictures and videos at this time, you can use the web version to edit your profile, comment and like photos, and discover and follow other users. To access your profile, simply navigate to and enter your login info.