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Weekly Shhhout-Out

Roaming librarians file dispatches from the world of information.

Monday, February 07, 2011

From the Past to the Future

A recent spate of intrigue and research took me to different ends of MCPL’s spectrum of resources.  One day I found my deciding to jump on the bandwagon and try the latest in book reading technology.  Never much one for listening to audiobooks (regardless of the format), my curiousity was piqued when word came forth that Overdrive, one of our ebook and eaudiobook providers, had launched an update of its app for iPhones (also works on iPod Touches).  I decided to download it on mine and give it a whirl. I’m now three or four chapters in to my first ebook, So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld.  So far, it’s been a pleasant experience.  The ebook even tells me how many pages I have left in each chapter as I go along. 
Apparently, many of you have made a connection with our virtual collection of reading materials.  A recent check showed that on the selected day only 22 of the 1,467 epub formatted ebooks in our collection were checked in and ready to download.  The rest are sitting in various iPhones, Androids, iPads, and other such devices, being devoured by rabid 21st century readers. 
For those who haven't made the connection yet, MCPL has two great electronic library resources worth plugging into: Overdrive (for ebooks and eaudiobooks) and NetLibrary (mainly audiobooks but also has ebook versions of CliffsNotes).  Note to eReaders: only epub files can be read on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod).  The app comes in handy in this regard since it will only search and display titles that can be downloaded to one of these devices.  Happy eReading!
At the other end of the spectrum, spending the holidays with my family got me interested in once again exploring old census records in HeritageQuest in search of my ancestors.  I had previously been able to find members of my mother’s family and my dad’s maternal grandparents but my dad’s paternal grandparents had proven to be elusive.  My search was made complicated because my last name isn’t easily spellable. After much searching, I found them.  Our last name was one letter off in the 1930 census (and not the letter that’s usually wrong) and was spelled even worse in the 1920 census. 
Looking at these old census records provides one with more information than you might think. Apparently, my great-grandfather was a catcher by profession, early in his working career.  No, he wasn’t a forerunner of Johnny Bench or Ivan Rodriguez.  He actually worked in a tin mill, catching the sheets of tin as they came out of the roller and putting them back in to be flattened even further.  The censuses provide a wealth of other information as well, including age when married, language spoken, year of immigration, birth country or state of parents, and much more.  In the process of discovering this wealth of information, I found a new challenge for myself, my paternal grandmother is thus far no where to be found in the 1920 census though she’s got to be in there somewhere. 
Whether you’re delving into the latest e-technology or digging up the past, MCPL is here for you!

- Chris    

2/16/11 Update: Just a week after this blog was written, Overdrive announced the release of its new app which is optimized for iPad!  Check it out here or search for it in the Apple App Store directly from yoru iPad.
CATEGORIES: Genealogy , E-Books , History , Chris B.
POSTED AT: 1:37:00 PM |
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Last edited: 11/6/2007