New Library Ideas

As many of our patrons know, we’re planning a bit of a refurb for our library in the near future, and that means we have lots of ideas swirling around our heads. While we might not have the $245 million budget of Calgary’s new Central Library, it certainly has plenty of wonderful features that are inspiring us right now. A performance hall? Maybe not, but the quiet spaces, and children’s area are beautiful representations of what good design looks like.

Take a look at the video for a great overview, and you can read more from the Calgary Herald to see what else was incorporated into the new space. Tell us what you love most….we’d love to know!

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Eye in the Sky

If you’ve been to any of our space talks with local astronomer Frank Hitchens, you’ll be excited to know he’s visiting us with a new one!

Join us on Monday, October 29 at 6:30pm for “EYE IN THE SKY: THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE”. It will be an interesting discussion about one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.

Please call to register for this event at 613-257-2702. Spaces are limited!

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!

Libraries Replaced by Amazon? Absurd!

A recent Forbes article by Panos Mourdoukoutas recently made a lot of people crazy. It was called “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”. I’d like to link it here, but the article appears to have been deleted fro the site, leading only to an error message now (which was really what we all thought).

But the uproar over it hasn’t stopped. Essentially, the author claimed that libraries weren’t needed because people now use Starbucks, Netflix, and Amazon more. He claimed we don’t need library spaces, and that they are underused. Apparently, the man hasn’t been to a library since he was a child.

As frustrating as the article was, it’s the backlash that has been the most interesting. You can find a great (although long) post from the Nocturnal Librarian here. She makes some great arguments, and has the facts to back it up. Although it’s a little difficult to read through the text, stick with it. It’s interesting.

And the tweets that follow Mourdoukoutas’ twitter post after his article ran are even better. And it applies just as much to Canadian libraries as it does to American libraries.

What do you think? Will Amazon ever give libraries a run for their money?

Working Remotely? Why Not Try the Library?

Do you ever work outside of your place of business? Do you work from home, but have to get out sometimes just to get things done without the distraction of your fridge or comfy couch? Have you ever thought about working in your library?

I recently came across a post about the top 5 places in Toronto to work remotely. One of them–unsurprisingly– was the Toronto Reference Library. What do you need to work outside of your home?  Reliable Wi-Fi, a quiet space, somewhere that allows coffee, and maybe access to a printer? We’ve got it all!

We often have people come in, grab a table, and set up shop for an afternoon. While we don’t want to promote seeing clients, or doing meetings in our quiet(ish) spaces, we’re certainly up for people bringing their laptops and getting down to work. We have a couple of great little nooks, mostly away from the busy circulation desk, and you can sit and be productive for as long as you need.

If the coffee shop is just too noisy to focus, try your local library branch. It’s cool in summer, and warm in winter. And you might just find a great book to take home while you’re here!

Are you a Bookworm?

This week, we’re doing a little bit of special FUN-draising at the library. With all of the kids off for March Break, we’re looking to add a bit of excitement to an already busy week…and it’ll help us out, too!

Drop in anytime this week and donate $1 toward our Children’s Summer Literacy Program, and you’ll get a piece to add to our bookworm. We’re going to see just how long this bookworm can get. Maybe he’ll grow to the entire length of the library….or maybe he’ll even get TWICE as long!  Who knows?  It’s all up to you.

So, bring your loonies with you, and we’ll do the rest.  All of the proceeds go toward helping young community members who need a little extra reading help over the summer. We’ll be telling you more about this great program as the weeks go on, but without your support, we might have to scale it back. So please donate. Even one dollar will make a big difference.

And if you can’t make it into the library, you can always donate online. It’s easy…and you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas!

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/carleton-place-public-library/

Thanks from all of us at the Carleton Place Public Library! Your generous support means so much to us, and will mean even more to a little reader out there.

 

Thinking of Donating?

We run lots of fun programs at the library, and one of our most popular (and constantly growing programs) is our Children’s Summer Literacy Tutoring program. Let’s face it—funding is tough for libraries, and we’d love to keep this one going at full speed, and possibly expand. But we need your help. That’s where our FUNdraising program begins!

Starting this week, drop into the library and stop by our FUNdraising wall. It’s loaded with envelopes, each with a denomination on the front. Pick a donation you’re comfortable with, take the envelope, and fill it with cash or a cheque in that amount. Any and EVERY donation is welcome, even the little ones, so don’t feel shy.

For donations over $10, we can provide a charitable receipt, so keep that in mind–it’s good for us, and for you. Cheques should be made payable to the Carleton Place Public Library. And if you don’t have time (or the cash on you) when you drop in, make sure to take the donation envelope of your choice and bring it back in later.

As always, a HUGE thank you to all of our patrons for making our library such an important part of our community. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

Questions? Give us a call at 257-2702.