eReader, Tablet, Phone, Computer? Help!

It’s that time again…time to answer all those burning questions about eReaders. It seems like every year, we go through a cycle of time where people turn up with new devices and need help downloading books. Maybe it’s the summer, when people are traveling and need the ability to take multiple books with them without the extra weight. Or maybe it’s the holidays, when well-meaning family or friends purchase those devices as gifts, and then go happily back to their lives, leaving their recipient with millions of questions on how to use the thing. Whatever the reason, we have a few suggestions.

While we can’t recommend specific devices, we can steer you toward the easiest options for YOU.

I want to be able to read an eBook on a device outside in the bright sunshine.

Then an eReader with some sort of real paper technology is what you’re looking for. Tablets aren’t really capable, and some eReaders just don’t use the technology. But if you’re only interested in being able to read on the beach, do your research and find a device that mimics paper while lighting it enough that you can read while outside. They’re out there, but not on all devices.

I want to listen to audibooks while I’m at the gym.

You have several options. The easiest one is to download an app onto your cell phone or tablet and plug in the earphones. We have some great free apps for downloading audiobooks—Libby (formerly OverDrive), and Hoopla are both available in your app stores, require minimal setup, and you can be listening in minutes!

You can also download audiobooks to your computer, and transfer them to some eReaders that have MP3 capabilities. This option is rather involved (a specific, kind of antiquated program to help you transfer the items, a computer, and your eReader). It’s a little tricky. If you’re not into tricky, try another option. See above.

I want to read eBooks and listen to audiobooks on something other than my computer. And, oh, I’m over 40 and suddenly can’t read any fonts smaller than 14 point.

Don’t go the cell phone route. Even when you can pinch open a page to make it larger, you’ll only have a few words on your screen, and that can be annoying. You might be able to swing an eReader, which will help you make the font larger, but it’s also a bit tricky to download books (see above). What you need is a tablet!

You can do all of these things on a tablet, and you don’t need to purchase an expensive one to do it. As long as your tablet can download apps, you’re good to go. While the app won’t necessarily let you make the font larger, you’ll have plenty of screen to open the books on without sacrificing space. Try to aim for the largest screen you can, if you’re going to do eBooks specifically. But if you’re going for audibooks, you can size down for prize and go for the best deal. It’ll work great!

I want to be able to cast my audiobooks using Alexa or Google Home, or listen to them in the car on bluetooth.

For both of these, you’ll need special devices. To listen to audibooks using your Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home, you need a subscription to Audible.ca. Libby and Hoopla books don’t work quite yet, although Hoopla might have something coming in the future.

To listen to audibooks in your car, you have to have Bluetooth installed in your car, and set the bluetooth to “on” on your phone. Then, you should be able to play your audiobooks through your car speakers just fine.

We love audiobooks and eBooks through both of our wonderful programs, but you do need to think about what you want your device to do before purchasing something to make sure you get the most out of it!

And ALL of your downloads from Libby and Hoopla count toward our circulation, so just because you might not be coming to the library as often for physical books doesn’t mean you aren’t moving our circulation along. Keep reading and keep listening! We love our patrons!

Advertisements

Public Computers

Have you ever used one of our public computers? We have regular users, drop in users, and occasional users…and we’re proud of the fact that so many different people in our community can enjoy computer access without needing to purchase one of their own!

HOW CAN I USE ONE OF THESE COMPUTERS?

We have five public computers available—one 15-miute express computer, and four others that you can have for up to one hour. In the past, you had to sign up to use a one, but with our current system, all you need to do is drop in and if you see a computer free, sign on using your library card. If they’re all busy (which is rare, except in summer), we have a virtual queue. Our booking computer will allow you to register your name, and you’ll automatically reserve the first free computer. It’s easy!

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A LIBRARY CARD?

You don’t need one, but it’s easy to get one, and gives you a little bit longer on a computer. With a library card, you’ll automatically get 1 hour for your session once you log in. If you don’t have a card, ask us at the front desk for a guest pass, which is good for 45 minutes. And you can always extend your time if you need a bit more. Ask us at the desk, or follow the prompt before your time expires.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE ON YOUR COMPUTERS?

We have private browsing so that you don’t have to worry about your surfing history remaining for the next person to see. And our browsers will allow you to go to pretty much any site online with no restrictions.

We just ask that if you’re inputting personal information (like passwords, or contact details), that you remember to log out of your accounts before closing the browsers to ensure that all of your information remains private.

At the end of the day, our systems wipe any downloads that have happened on our computers, which is great for us…and maybe not so great for you. If you’re working on a resume or document, make sure to send yourself a copy or save it on a flash drive before closing. Our system will get rid of it overnight. We wouldn’t want you to have to start all over!

CAN I PRINT SOMETHING? SCAN SOMETHING?

Of course!  It’s 25 cents a page for black and white printing, or $1/page for colour. Just ask us before you’re ready to print if you need some help.

We also have scanning to email or scanning to USB services, if that helps. It’s free, and takes a minute or so, but works well.

Sorry, we don’t have faxing available at the library.

WHAT IF I HAVE A LOT TO PRINT? CAN I PAY BY DEBIT OR VISA?

Sorry…we only take cash. But there are banks across the street. It’s easy and convenient to get some cash if you need it!

THOSE COMPUTERS LOOK CLOSE TOGETHER. CAN I GET SOME PRIVACY?

Yes!  Just ask us at the desk. We have a special privacy screen available to borrow, which makes it almost impossible for the person sitting next to you to see anything on your screen.

I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COMPUTERS. CAN I GET HELP?

We’re always willing to help if you have a few questions, need to find the print button, or have some general computer questions. But if you’re going to need extensive help, we’d recommend bringing someone along with you who has a bit of experience, or booking some tech time with Caroline, our tech tutor, on Thursdays, to learn how to use the system better. We’d love to be able to sit and help with ALL questions, but sometimes it’s just too busy at the desk for one of us to take the time away.

I HAVE MY OWN COMPUTER/TABLET. CAN I JUST USE YOUR WI-FI?

Absolutely! We have great Wi-Fi here, and you’re welcome to find a comfy chair, or a free table and log in for as long as you like. It’s nice and cool in the summer, and warm in the winter, and we don’t mind if you bring along a coffee.

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below, or drop by the library to ask us in person. We want to make your visit to the library as easy as possible.

Electronic Resources at the Library

While many of you are already thinking summer, we’d like to remind you about some of the great eResources we have available on our library website to help with homework, reading and more. There is more here than just an online encyclopedia—how about book suggestions, read-alongs, and more!

To access any of these great eResources, all you need to do is visit our website at:

http://carletonplacelibrary.ca

eResourcesDid you notice how many of these offer French options? And everything is available 24/7! All you need is your library card. Click on one of the links above, and get searching.

Just for Fun!

Because we deal with technology here everyday, we’ve heard young people come into the library, sit at one of our older computers, and say,

Wow! This computer has Windows XP!  Where are the apps?

Of course, this will happen with all of the new generation at some point (Windows 7?? Wow!), but this video made me laugh.  Remember Windows 95?  Yeah, so do we…..

Life Long Learning & Social Media

Social-Media-IconsLife Long Learning is a brand new series we’re starting at the library in 2016. Our programs will be informative and entertaining, given by professionals who are at the top of their game.

SOCIAL MEDIA INTRODUCTORY SEMINARS:

Twitter 101 —-  Saturday, January 16th, 2-4pm —-An intro to Twitter as a communication tool, social networking platform, and information sharing structure.

Facebook 101— Saturday, February 20th, 2-4pm — An intro to the popular social media site. Learn how to be safe using this platform, and have fun at the same time.

LinkedIn 101— Saturday, March 19th, 2-4pm—-This great intro to the career-based communication tool will help you navigate the confusing waters and improve your career presence.

FINANCIAL WELLNESS SEMINARS:

How Money Works: A Family Finances Seminar-–Saturday, January 20th, 10am—This information session will provide families with great tools to use now and plan for the future.

Making Your Money Last: Planning for Retirement—-Saturday, February 13th, 10am—-Join us to learn how to transition into your retirement.

Women and Investing—Saturday, March 26th, 10am—An informative session to help women understand the often confusing world of finances.

All sessions require registration, so please call the library at 257-2702 to sign up well in advance. We know a lot of these programs will be popular, so don’t miss your chance to learn something new!

 

New Programs at the Library!

Starting in January, we have a whole host of new programs on the schedule. There are book clubs, craft nights, workshops, and much more. You can drop in right now to pick up the 2016 Winter Newsletter for adults and teens, and take the new children’s Newsletter at the same time. There’s something for everyone!

20151209_161258You’ll notice we have the regular storytime beginning again. This session, we’ll also have Toddlers, and a little later on, babies again! Our French storytime session will start up on Fridays again, and we’ll have things to keep the kids entertained on PA days all winter long.

If you’re wondering about March Break, you’ll have to wait a few weeks, but we’ll let everyone know when we have that special schedule out. And if you have young crafters, make note of the registration dates for Valentine’s Craft Night, and Spring Craft Night. These fill up fast, and they are always popular! We’ve already started Forest of Reading®, so register early and begin reading right away!

20151209_161247Our adult and teen programs are even more exciting for 2016!

Starting with teens, we’ll begin our Nerd Herd Teen Book Club again in January, and run it through May. We’re also gearing up to celebrate Rock the Drop again in April for Teen Literature Day….and keep a lookout for a few special new programs for teens a little later on.

For adults, we’re starting up the VERY popular tech training again, as well as our adult book club. But if you’d rather take part in a different type of book club, we have one to bridge the generation gap! (It’s a lot of fun, and it gets everyone involved.)

If adult colouring is more your thing, we’ve got plenty of great colouring pages ready for winter. See all of the details above, or drop in to pick up your own copy (it’s super clear, and has a lot more detail).

20151209_161240The BIG fun happens with our workshops this winter. We’ve got creativity fun, social media info, and money workshops for women. We’re also excited about a special astronomy talk with Frank Hitchens in January that you won’t want to miss!

If you want to know more about any of these great programs, drop by the library, take a gander at our online catalog (http://olco.canlib.ca/client/cp), or give us a call at 257-2702. It’s going to be an exciting winter….even if we don’t get any snow!