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Weekly Shhhout-Out

Roaming librarians file dispatches from the world of information.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Can I Get a Title? Just Ask!

One of the fun questions librarians love to get is when patrons need help remembering the title of a book.  Sometimes it's a beloved picture book from their childhood.  It might be a book they saw in a newspaper but they can't remember the title.

So here are some good places we look, and you can too, to pin down that elusive title.

New MCPL Catalog
For adult and teen books:  NoveList Plus
For kids' books:  NoveList K-8 Plus
Online articles from Magazines and Newspapers

But don't forget your most important resource...our staff!  Whatever information you need, or book question you have, we've got you covered.  You can:

Visit or call your local library
Call or e-mail our Ask-a-Librarian staff
Chat 24/7 with MCPL librarians or our library partners

To keep up with our fabulous events, services, and resources you can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

We've got something for everyone at MCPL.  Just ask! 



CATEGORIES: Books , Librarians , Libraries , Susan M.
POSTED: 9:52:00 AM |

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's All-New, Just for You!

In recent weeks, some exciting changes have been made to several of our electronic resources. The online catalog, Interlibrary Loan/Marina interface, and Overdrive have all been updated within past few months. And that’s only the beginning!
Will MCPL’s online catalog boldly go where no catalog has gone before? Well, not quite, but Enterprise does have a few nifty new features. By logging into your account, you can create your own lists of favorite reads, books you’ve read or would like to read, etc. You can also text links to the catalog record of any book you are looking for right to smartphone or tablet device. No more jotting that title down on paper before you run into the library to look for it! For those who prefer the old version of the catalog, it hasn’t gone away and can be found here or by clicking the “Classic Catalog” link on the upper lefthand side of the new catalog.
In mid-January, Marina, the State of Maryland’s Interlibrary Loan service, introduced a new interface for its online catalog called RelaisRelais more clearly identifies items by type (book, audio, video) and whether they are currently holdable or not. It also provides customers with an estimated date when many items that are presently unholdable because they are unavailable or new will become holdable. Perhaps the biggest change is that requests for materials that are not found in Marina (and must be searched for in a wider area using OCLC) can only be made by logging into Relais. The form is generated when a search brings up no results and can also be accessed by click on “Your Account” at the top of the screen.
OverDrive users may have noticed that the checkout process has been streamlined. The step of adding a title to your basket has been eliminated so that items can be checked out after the first click. The new interface also makes it easier to tell if an item is available or not. If the book or headphones icon in the upper right corner of each title image is grayed out, it’s unavailable and must be placed on hold. If the icon is solid black, you can download it right away. You can also more easily refine your search results to only available titles by clicking on the “Available Now” box at the top of the search results screen. (Searching with OverDrive Media Console on your tablet or smartphone? You can refine your search in the same easy way.) There’s also a new “OverDrive READ” format. These eBooks opened right from any browser, eReader, or tablet without having to download any special software or apps.
CATEGORIES: Libraries , Chris B. , E-Books
POSTED: 12:39:00 PM |

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's going on...?

at the library?

You can find out easily with our online calendar of events.

From our library home page (you do have it bookmarked...don't you?) the pale green rectangle on the right side is your entree. Just click on 'Calendar of events' to access its power.

library page

The first line of blue text 'see today's events' will show ALL of today's happenings at ALL branches.

calendar of events

If you are in a somewhat more selective mood you may choose the next alternative 'choose library branch'. By selecting your nearby branch you will see the entire month's calendar. Clicking on a specific heading will give you the details for each club, storytime or special event.

The left column shows a tiny calendar of the month and you can click on any highlighted day to zero in on its schedule, or choose the little caret  >  beside the name of the month to scroll forward to the next month's schedule.

BUT! you say. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! I'm too busy to review an entire month's goodies!

 I just want a storytime for my two-year-old. Or tax help. Or a book discussion! How can I find what I want without reading the entire month's calendar - possibly for many branches?

Of course! The bottommost choice "Search the Calendar of Events" is just for that purpose.

 You can slice or dice our event information five different ways!

If you just want to know where that Mike ROse Magic show is going to be, or which branches have a chess club, you can type 'Mike Rose' or 'Chess Club' into the Keyword box and click 'Find' at the bottom of the page. You will see just this month's calendar with the entries that match yours displayed. Hover your cursor over the text to see the details.

As you look at the four large boxes stacked vertically, you'll see that you can browse by date OR location OR type of event OR age group - and you can combine all these searches.

Hint: For the bottom three boxes, the default is ALL of the choices. Just click on the first box (ALL LOCATIONS or ALL EVENT TYPES or ALL AGE GROUPS) and all the checkboxes will empty. Then you can select two or three nearby branches, one or two age groups that you are focusing on; like 'preschool AND kindergarten' and just one or a few types of events you are seeking and get this month's calendar with the events you really want to see.

 Next month? Just click that little 'next' to the right of the month's name. No need to run another search.

We hope you will find our searchable calendar helpful and turn to it often.


Jan D.

CATEGORIES: Jan D. , Events
POSTED: 11:59:00 AM |

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

C'mon Get Appy.

smartphoneMCPL offers a selection of IOS and Android apps for your smart device. Some of these have been around for a while and some just added. Here’s the current roundup –

bookmyneBookMyne is the app that you use to access the library’s catalog and your account information. You can check titles, place holds,  get recommendations and join the Goodreads social media network, all from your device.


One of the newer audiobook collections, OneClickDigitalone click, has content from the well known Maryland-based Recorded Books company, Using this app makes getting the content on your device quite simple. One particular nice feature about this collection is that the content is always available, so no placing holds and waiting.


The OverDrive Media Consoleoverdrive app allows you to access and download the Ebook and audio content directly from the Maryland Digital E-Library Consortium. The content in this collection is limited in the number of copies for each title, so you may find that you have to place a hold on a popular item. There is also a collection of always available titles, although these are mostly older books in the public domain.

I have been using the library’s Freegalfreegal Music service for a while now, to beef up my Itunes music collection at no charge. You can download three songs for free each week, and the collection ranges from current pop by performers like Beyonce, to hot classical hits from Bach. I had missed the fact that Freegal now offers an app for the IOS and Android smartphones. Downloading the app makes it a snap to get the content right on my device, and the files can be transferred to my full Itune library.

Another app that I really like is the one from Mango Languages. Mango Languagesmango is an online language learning program which includes 44 languages plus English courses for speakers of other languages. I’m working through the Spanish course on my Iphone, which is very easy to use, and has a pronunciation correction function.


The EBSCOhostebscp app will give you access to the thousands of articles contained in 11 different research databases including Business Source Premier, the History Reference Center and the large general article database, Masterfile Premier. Using this app requires that you follow authorization procedures that give the user a six month access period.


 I also use  two other interesting apps that are library related, although though not Montgomery County Public Library products. todaysdocument The first is  "Todays Document " from the National Archives. This mobile app is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the US National Archives through a collection of  fascinating documents and photographs from throughout history, with different highlighted each day.

"Library of Congress - Virtual Tour" librarycongress is an app which will (as the title says)  give you a virtual tour that mirrors the Library of Congress Experience, an award-winning group of exhibitions and features that has drawn record numbers of visitors.


Have fun and enjoy the apps!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketanita

CATEGORIES: Apps , Anita V.
POSTED: 12:05:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/6/2007