Monday, April 21, 2014

Your Ohio Digital Library Account


I’ve been borrowing e-books from the library for as long as the library has offered them. And through every upgrade and change, I’ve done my best to stay on top of the process of finding, borrowing, downloading, and reading the library’s e-books. But for some reason, I never paid much attention to my Account with the Ohio Digital Library aside from the Bookshelf showing what I have checked out, and the Holds section to see what’s happening with items I’ve requested. But last week I found myself poking around the other two sections of my Account—Lists and Settings—and I found two things I’d never seen before. On the off chance that others haven’t looked through their Account either, I thought I’d share my discoveries.

Lists

Now, I’d been in Lists before, and I knew that this is where ODL saved my Wish List items so I could find them later. But then I opened up the pull-down menu and saw that one of the options is Recommended for you. ODL didn’t do too bad recommending titles for me based on what I’ve checked out, although I already knew that I would like Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters since I checked it out and read it from ODL. Perhaps the algorithm will improve and the recommendations will get better, but for now, it’s an interesting feature, and I will at least consider the titles on the list.

 
 

Settings

Like Lists, I know I’ve been in Settings before, because this is where you can change your default Lending periods. For each format, select a short, medium, or long period (7, 14, or 21 days for e-books). This can be great of people who check out the allotted 10 items at a time, read them quickly, and then want more. In that case, 21 days would be an awfully long time. But for busy people who don’t have as much time to read as they would like, having 21 days to finish a title is wonderful. But if you scroll down farther, there is a High contrast setting. Switching to High from Standard, the background is black and the text and icons are in vibrant colors. This is a sort of “night” view that I know can be handy when looking at a screen in a dark room. I’m not sure many people would want to make this switch, but it’s nice to know the option exists. (Oh, and be sure to Save your changes before leaving the Settings page.)

 
 
Shelia

Monday, March 24, 2014

Finding Digital Library Material

For a long time when I talked to people about the easiest way to find e-books and e-audiobooks from the library, I admit that I would frequently recommend just skipping the Library’s online catalog. If you wanted to borrow a digital item, you would have to go to the Ohio Digital Library to find out if it was available, and then if it was, download it, or if it wasn’t, put it on hold. Then Hoopla came along, which offers another option for e-audio, so that added another site to check.   
 
But with a recent update to the Library’s online catalog, Encore, searching for digital materials has become so much better that I encourage everyone to start their search there. (Encore is the version of the catalog that’s on the Library’s home page on the left side.) Now the catalog lists what I think are the three most important facts about digital material.
 
1. Is the item available? 
 
This was always the big problem with searching for digital materials in the catalog previously. There would be a moment of elation when you discovered the library owned the e-book, only to have your joy melt away when you connected to the Ohio Digital Library and saw there were no available copies. Now you can see whether or not a digital item is available without ever leaving the Library’s catalog.
 

 
2. How long is the hold list and how many copies are there? 
 
If an item isn’t available, I can’t help asking “How long is the hold list?” The length of the list is now available in the catalog, although a long list should never deter you from placing a hold. If enough SCDL patrons want the same item, there’s a good chance more copies will be purchased. 
 
3. What site has the item? 
 
When the Library added Hoopla service, a second place to find e-audiobooks opened up. But rather than checking the Ohio Digital Library and Hoopla to see if either site has the item and if it’s available (Hoopla titles are always available), that information is easy to spot in the catalog.
 
 
Of course, the other great bonus here is that for those of us who want a book so badly we don’t care if it’s e-book, hardback, paperback, CD, e-audio, or any other format that can be imagined, there’s one simple place to start looking—the Library’s catalog
 
Shelia
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 24, 2014

I belong to the local Science Fiction group Harry. The upcoming meeting’s book discussion is Frank Herbert’s Dune. I’ve read the Dune series in the past and don’t really have the time to reread it before the next Harry meeting. I decided to go to the Literary Reference Center and check to see if it had a synopsis ior the story or any other fun tidbits.
 

I started with a Title search Dune.  As you can see this gives me 137 hits on the series with some of the hits not being about the Frank Herbert book.

I decided to go to the advanced search and added the author Frank Herbert  into the mix.


By doing the search this way I get 43 hits on the book .
I can now narrow the search to full text and  Plot Summaries by clicking the boxes on the left of the page.


I choose The Great Dune Trilogy because that is specifically on the book Dune wiwhich is the first book of the series.

The synopsis will then give me a short listing of information about the author and the various subject headings of the book.
 


One of the fun things that this database does is translate the synopsis into several different languages.
 

Also available is the ability to have the review read to you in either  American English, Austrailian English or British English


You can also regulate the speed and whether or not the words or sentences in the synopsis are highlighted.
By doing this and looking at some other articles I refreshed my knowledge of the book without having to reread it and I’m now ready for the  next Harry meeting.

Thanks for listening!
Norma

Monday, February 17, 2014

The eReader Room for Kids is Now Open





Have you had the chance to check out the new Ohio Digital Library for Kids? If you have children of your own, work with children, or know children with access to a digital device, go to http://www.ohioebooks.com/kids to explore the kid-friendly version of the Ohio Digital Library. It's a safe place for our youngest readers to download free eBooks and audio books, accessing only age appropriate content. All that's needed is a valid library card! No adult titles are available from this site; however, children's titles are still available from the main site.

Sign in using the button on the top right-hand side of the page and explore. To return to the main site to access the rest of the collection, just click or tap on the house in the upper left-hand corner.



The site is bright and colorful, and easy to use. In addition to searching by favorite title or author, you can browse by subjects (fiction, nonfiction, biography, comic and graphic novels, history, humor, mystery and suspense, and picture books), collections (new, recently returned), or even by levels (reading or interest level, Lexile Measure or ATOS level). The advanced search will limit the results by year published or device. There's even a section for award-winning titles.

The checkout process is the same as on the original site. Using a library card, you are able to download up to 10 titles at a time for a loan period ranging from 7 to 21 days. If you need help, our website has great  information and tutorials on downloading eBooks or audio books to your device. From our main page, click on or tap "Services", then "Computer Training", and finally "Digital Collection Instructional Material". There you will find information for your specific device.

Our youngest readers will enjoy using this fun site designed just for them and will certainly find something to suit every reading taste. There are titles for all ages ranging from Dora the Explorer and Fancy Nancy for the youngest readers, to Lemony Snicket and Percy Jackson for the older readers, with a multitude of titles in-between. Whether they want a favorite storybook or Disney character, or the latest Newbery award winner, there's something for everyone in the Ohio Digital Library for Kids. Happy reading!

Kathy

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ohio Digital Library: Kid's eReading Room

 
The Ohio Digital Library is about to become even better! What’s better than a website that offers free e-books, audiobooks and music? How about one with a special area for kids only? The “Kids’ eReading Room” will highlight e-books and e-audio intended for the younger readers.  These items can be searched by title, author, subject, interest level, reading level, or even device for ease of use.
 
Many kids have access to their parents’ e-readers or tablets, or have their own devices. The Kids’ eReading Room will allow them free and easy access to age-appropriate digital materials.  Just as our physical libraries have a children’s area, so will our digital library. This is a great way to instill or further a life-long love of reading.

The Kids’ eReading Room will be available soon. Check The Ohio Digital Library or our webpage http://www.starklibrary.org/ for more information.
By the way, have you set your reading goal for 2014?
Kathy

Friday, December 13, 2013

We needed something to be able to give to the patrons to take home after showing them here in the library how to find the library's databases. I created this to hand out if it was needed. I hope you find it useful.

Norma

Monday, November 18, 2013

Technology Gift How-to Instructions for Library Digital Materials

Hello Everyone,
It's that time of year again when people are making decisions about what to buy their special someone, family member, or friend.  For those of you who decide on a technology device such as ereader, tablet, notebook, computer, or smart phone I have a little recommendation for you. Try adding  just a little more to the package: How-to Instructions on Downloading Library Materials.

The devices listed above can be used to read ebooks, listen to audio books or music, even read digital magazines or watch a streaming video.  Not sure how it is done?  Well, turn to your local library for assistance.  Many libraries such as the Stark County District Library have created handouts, provide training classes, or individual assistance for those needing help with downloading digital materials found in their collection.
The SCDL Digital Collections includes:
The Ohio Digital Library--ebooks, audio books, music, and videos
Hoopla--Audio books, music, videos, and TV programs
Zinio--Digital magazines collection

Want to make it a little more personal, ask if the instructions can be printed from home.  If you have a printer you can use special paper to print the instructions.  I know my sister loves butterflies.  I printed her instructions on stationary with butterflies.  Want to be a little more creative?  Try a word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Pages to copy and paste the instructions into and then add borders and/or clip art.  Even if you don't have a printer at home, libraries such as the SCDL provide computers and printing in color.  Note:  There is a small fee for printing in black and white or color.  Contact your local library for find out pricing.

By including How-to Instructions on Downloading Library Materials in your gift this year, you have opened up a whole new world of adventure, romance, mystery and more.
Happy Reading!
Dee