Category Archives: Tech Tips

“Secret” Things the Library Can Do for You: Part 2, Totally Online Stuff

HERE IT IS. The long-awaited second installment of things you never knew about the library. Today we’ll be talking about some of the techy secrets – the things the library offers 24/7 through our website.

Woman with laptop looking shocked.

I know. I’m excited, too.

 

A lot of times when I have to tell someone there’s a waiting list for a book they want they seem so disheartened. “But don’t give up!” I say, “there are audiobook versions! And eBook versions! And eAudiobook versions!” Often they end up with the book they want, just not how they expected.

(I know it can be daunting to get set up with a new format, but remember, you can always ask us for help.)

So here’s a super quick run down of the online and downloadable info and entertainment you can get through us, in case it helps you find something fun, interesting, or informative. It can all be found through our website as shown below, or through our eMedia Guide.

screenshot

I drew the red arrows myself.

 

Warning: A lot of these services have nonsense names, so it’s easy to get confused. But you’ll get used to it!

 

More than 5000 eAudiobooks!

I’ve just recently become reacquainted with the joy of being read to. It’s a fabulous way to squeeze more reading into your life, since you can do it bussing or driving, or while doing housework, cooking, or gardening. We offer two ways to find thousands of electronic audiobooks – through OverDrive and Hoopla (more about both below).

 

TV and movies! And music!

hooplaHoopla also offers free streaming of movies, TV shows, and popular music. No holds, wait lists or fines. Hoopla! A different music service, called Naxos Music Library has tons of classical, folk, world and jazz music.

 

Magazines!

zinDownload full-colour, complete issues of magazines, like US Weekly, National Geographic, Mental Floss, Newsweek, Cosmo and more straight to your tablet with Zinio for Libraries. And then they’re yours to keep forever!

 

eBooks, so many ways!

We are a library, after all, and books are a big part of what we do. Some of our eBooks can be read right in your web browser (no apps to download or set up). This is offered through: Overdrive,  McGraw Hill, Tumble Books, and Bookflix.

McGraw Hill eBooks offers eBooks in lots of subjects like business, computing, nursing, languages and sciences chemistry, mathematics, psychology, accounting and computing.

tumblebooklogoTumble Book Cloud and Tumble Book Cloud Junior have eBooks, read-alongs, classic works of literature and audiobooks for EAL audiences, high-schoolers, and elementary school kids. Read-alongs are especially great for those still struggling with reading, or for EAL students. There are never any waiting lists for these.

Tumble Book Library is also great for kids as they are animated, talking children’s picture books adapted from print books, but made interactive with quizzes, puzzles and memory games.

BookFLIX does something pretty unique, in that it pairs classic storybooks with related non-fiction books, so kids can learn new things in the context of their favourite stories.

frodWe also subscribe to two downloadable eBook services – Overdrive and Freading – so that you can download books to your mobile device (smart phone, tablet, or eReader) and take them wherever you go. Overdrive is great for popular, newer titles. Using it is very similar to print books, though, in that the library pays per copy of each book, so you might find yourself on the waiting list for something in demand. Freading is great for when you want to find an ebook right away as they offer unlimited use of the books we purchase from them.

Did you already know any of these secrets??

 

Happy reading (and watching, and listening)!

– Erica

February is Album Writing Month!

mouse-sheetmusic_640Back in 2004, 4 friends decided to see if they could write 14 songs during the month of February. The challenge, inspired by the National Novel Writing Month challenge, was intended to overcome the tendency many people have of being over-critical of their own work by forcing themselves to push out new music. The next year, they opened up the challenge to other people online, and 25 people participated. Last year, over 1000 people from around the world wrote over 10,000 songs as part of the February is Album Writing Month challenge.

If you’ve been thinking you’d like to write some songs, FAWM is a great opportunity to do it together with a supportive global community at your side. Some people focus on lyrics, some record and share fully-developed demo recordings, and many do something in between. There are experienced and extremely talented musicians, and there are people who are putting their first lyrics to paper who have never picked up an instrument before. Some people don’t write or record any music at all; they just listen to the cool free music and provide encouragement. All are welcome.

songwritingfordummiescoverIf you’re new to songwriting, a book like Songwriting for Dummies by Jim Peterik  might be a good starting point. If you’ve written a song or two before, books like Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison or Melody in songwriting by Jack Perricone might help you improve your skills and give you a few more ideas for your next tune. Or maybe some of these titles  will suit you. Don’t forget to grab a rhyming dictionary too!

You can view videos about songwriting and music theory through the lyndaLibrary service, available through our website – especially helpful if you’re more of a visual learner, and it’s great to be able to hear the results immediately.

One of my favourite parts of the FAWM challenge is listening to the new songs posted by participants. If you’d like to do this, but recording yourself singing or playing an instrument seems daunting, there is help to be had! The Library is offering a Basic Home Recording workshop on Saturday, January 23rd at the Millennium Library. The program has just filled up as of this writing, but you can call 204-986-6450 to get on the waiting list in case there are any cancellations.

guerrillahomerecordingcoverThere are plenty of books on home recording available at the library too, but Guerrilla Home Recording by Karl Coryat stands out as an excellent example with great practical advice for those of us recording on a budget. If you want to take your finished audio recording to the next level, then check out Mastering Audio by Bob Katz; it’s widely regarded as possibly the best book available on the subject.

lyndaLibrary  has resources for recording and music production, too. There’s a course called Audio Recording Techniques, a great introduction to the free recording program Audacity, videos covering mixing and mastering, and more.

There are still a couple of weeks to prepare for this year’s challenge, so if you’re inclined, sharpen those pencils, tune those guitars, and get those creative gears turning. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there too!

Dennis

kitty-guitarcase_640

Who is lynda?

Who is Lynda? Lynda Susan Weinman and her husband are the founders of lynda.

Official-company-logo-for-lynda.com_400x400px

What is lynda? lynda (always lowercase) is a popular web site with high-quality video courses on a number of subjects including:

(note that all the links above will require you to sign in with your library card and PIN. If you’d like, you can test drive lynda without needing to login)

lyndaPhotography

Many of these subject areas are information technology based, but not all. You can learn to take better pictures, how to design a logo, or how to find a job. There’s courses that are right for you, whether you are terrified of touching a computer or are already highly skilled in your field.

lyndaLogo

You might be able to tell, but I love lynda. You might be wondering, though, why I seem so determined to get you to use it. No, I don’t own stock in the company. For some time, the Winnipeg Public Library has been looking for a learning portal for its customers. Then during our Inspiring Ideas campaign, you told us how much you would like ways to improve your skills for interest and career advancement. Well, last month the Winnipeg Public Library made lynda available for all Winnipeg Public Library cardholders!

One of the things I love about lynda is I can watch the courses anywhere. I watch them on the bus to and from work on my phone. I cast them to the TV while I’m rocking our baby to sleep (I think she likes them too). I can watch a small segment of a course at my workstation when I need to quickly learn how to fix a problem I’ve having with a program or web page.

So check it out, there’s probably something there for you!

-Mike

Do websites get retirement parties?

oldcatalogue

Our old catalogue interface officially retired this month. After 12 long years of use, the time had come for the old cowboy to head off into the sunset – after all, for a website, 12 years is a long, storied life. The old site had been chugging along just fine, but the software it was running off of was retired by the vendor, leaving no room for new growth or changes, and no way to properly incorporate our new and emerging library collections like OverDrive eBooks and hoopla movies.

newcatalogue

While we were sad to see it go, the thing that surprised us the most was how may of you, our patrons, were surprised/shocked/annoyed/disappointed to see it go. Clearly, many of you had the same affectionate feelings for our virtual library as we know you have for our physical spaces.

Here’s some of the questions we’ve been hearing from you:

Since when do you have a new catalogue?

Since April of last year! Our new catalogue was officially launched on April 22, 2014, after a soft launch and testing period in the first part of that month. We left the old catalogue running to ease the transition, and many of our patrons continued linking to the original page simply because that was the page they had bookmarked for quick access. We couldn’t keep both sites running forever, though, and chose the one-year anniversary as a reasonable date for the old site’s retirement. The old site is now completely blocked to outside use, so if you click on a saved bookmark and get a “this page can’t be accessed” message, you need to delete the bookmark and replace it with one that points to the new site, http://winca.ent.sirsidynix.net

I can’t log in, I’m getting an error message

Problems logging in the first time you try to access your account on the new site? Contact the library, we can fix it right away. An error message popping up the very first time you try to log into your account  means that you had books saved in the “My List” part of your library account that haven’t transitioned smoothly to the new site. To get the problem fixed, send us an email via this form, making sure to include your library card number and PIN (last 4 digits of your phone number) and indicating that you’re stuck with the “First-time catalogue login problem.” We can fix the problem for you in no time flat.

I never added any books to My List, so why would that be the problem?

You may not even remember adding the books to a “My List”, but there’s probably something there – those lists never expire so a book added back in 2008 may be the culprit.

Is there any way to sort my holds? I can’t see how to do that now.

We’ll admit that this one is a bit harder to pick out than other features.  If you have a long holds list and like to be able to sort through them to see what’s coming or suspend groups of titles when you go on vacation, sorting the list by title or status is a useful option. The sort option is the little circle icon next to each column header; click on that icon to sort A-Z, and click it again to reverse the list. sortmyholds

 

Why does “My Account” on new site show me my personal information instead of showing my checkouts or holds?

That’s easy – it’s because you haven’t had a chance to go in and set your personal preferences yet. In the third section of the “Personal Information” tab, you get the option of choosing what view you default to when you log in to your account. If you frequently log in to check your holds and see what’s waiting for you on the pickup shelf, you can tell the page to default to “Holds” view. If you’re more often coming to the site to renew your materials, you might want to tell the page to default to “Checkouts” view. It’s up to you!

catalogue_preferences

For more Q & A and helpful tips: 

Mobile Website changed

Another recent website change! This past week we changed our mobile website (the page that you get to when you visit our library home page, wpl.winnipeg.ca, on a smartphone or small tablet) so that it takes you to the web version of our WPL to Go app, instead of to a basic information page. The benefit to this is that it gives you a quick, mobile-friendly catalogue search on your phone, without having to browse the full-sized page on your small screen or installing the WPL to Go app. You’ll also be able to access all of our upcoming event listings, quickly locate the closest library branch, grab an available eBook from OverDrive or eMagazine from Zinio, and more!

To try it out for yourself, just enter wpl.winnipeg.ca in your phone’s browser.

Enjoy!

-Sophie

New Features in the WPL to Go App

wpltogoapp

We’ve got some new features in our WPL to Go app that we’re sure you’re going to enjoy. If you’ve got the app already installed, the features are live already (no need to install an update, just open your app and explore!)

wpltogoappmainNew Look

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that we’ve updated our app icons… our old icon set was looking a bit dated, so we’ve gone in and done a bit of a makeover. The new look is cleaner and sleeker – we hope you like it! If something’s not where you expect it to be in the app, note that all of the services that you’ve been using the app for – searching for books, checking your library account, contacting the library – are still there; we’ve just rearranged things a bit to make room for some new content.

Leave your card at home

The most anticipated new feature is the app’s ability to store your library card number and display your barcode for scanning at the checkout desk.   That’s right, you can now leave your library card at home (or lost in the back of your wallet, whatever) and just scan your app instead!

To show your barcode at checkout, you need to first save your library card in the app. If you use the app to place holds on items all the time, you’ve probably done this already – just check the “Remember login” box on the My Account sign in page.

wpltogoapplogin   wpltogoappshow   wpltogoappcard

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll now see a line that says “Library Card (#####): show card for scanning.” Tap this and a version of your library card will appear on the screen. You can show this to the staff member at your local library’s checkout desk to access your account, or use it on any of our self-checkout machines (note that you may have to turn your screen brightness up to 100% to get the scan to work).

cool new content

wpltogoappcontentWe’ve also added more library content on the front page of the app, so you can launch all of your favourite WPL services with a tap of your finger. We’ve always included a quick link to our available OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks (and that’s still there) but now we’ve also added quick links to our hoopla digital (movies, music and audiobooks) and Zinio eMagazines services, too.

We’ve also added a quick link down at the bottom of the app that takes you to our full library website, for those occasions when you find you need to access a library service that isn’t included in the app (after all, it’s an app, it can’t do everything).

what’s happening at the library this week?

wpltogoappcalInterested in checking out a program at the library? Want to know if there’s any interesting programs at your local branch this week? Or looking for computer classes to help brush up on a skill? Tap on Programs and Events to open the complete list of upcoming library events – and then search the Calendar list for something you’re interested in.

Enter your local branch name in the search box to find events near you, or search for a descriptive word like “story,” “ipad,” “HELP” (yes, we have programs that match that term!)

Try it out!

If you haven’t already downloaded the WPL to Go app, you can do so right now just by going to https://winnipeg.boopsie.bredir.com/ (the page will redirect you to your device’s app store so you can install it right away – it’s free!).

You can also try it live before installing the app by going to http://winnipeg.boopsie.bredir.com/m on your device. You can try this on your computer, too – just go to the page and then shrink your page window down to phone size.

We hope you enjoy it!

-Sophie

Searcher beware

In our internet age, it can seem as though the library is losing its place as a provider of information. I just want to say that can’t be farther from the truth! Sure, you can Google any kind of information, or YouTube many of the DIY videos available out there, or even Wikipedia just about any subject. But unfortunately, much of that information may be erroneous, misleading or biased. It’s not rare to get a message like this from Wikipedia:wiki

Or find joke YouTube channels like this one, which purposefully mispronounces words for no reason at all. And don’t get me started on all the misinformation one can get from a Google search.

The internet can be a great starting point, but I find I end up doing more research than necessary to figure out if that information is accurate.

Of course the library has many books on just about any subject, and the publishers often have better fact checkers than… whoever fact checks on the internet, if anyone does! But that’s not all the library has to offer. We have many online resources that provide accurate information, which anyone can access at home. Let me list a few databases as alternatives.

Instead of Wikipedia, check out Grolier’s Multimedia Encyclopedias and Oxford Reference. Grolier’s has articles for all reading levels, as well as videos and timelines, and Oxford Reference is a helpful resource with articles ranging from mythology, history, dictionaries, law, biographies and so much more.

Our new Chilton’s Auto Repair database is a wonderful alternative to looking up YouTube DIY videos or sifting through pages and pages of online forums.

For those of you looking for proper English pronunciation, make sure you get the right one and look at Pronunciation Power. This wonderful database helps those who want to improve their English pronunciation hear the different sounds of English and includes recordings of a wide range of words.

Getting proper medical information on the internet can be very tricky, so make sure to reference our new online database: Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties. CPS is the standard for drug monographs and will have all the information you need.

Online reviews can be deceiving or contain little explanation for their ratings. Some product reviews are even written as a form of sarcastic entertainment (such as the BIC Cristal for Her Ball Pen). Make sure to get serious, independent reviews for all your next purchases with our subscription to Consumer Report.org.

Finally, the database of databases, EBSCOhost, includes 8 databases that you can search at the same time. From academic articles to newspaper and magazine articles regarding all kinds of subjects, this resource will help you with almost any school or university project. It will even help you find that article you read a few years ago in Maclean’s…

And of course, if ever you need help navigating these databases, never hesitate to call your local library or visit the information desk there. We will gladly help you!

Rémi

Library apps on your Tablet – more than just eBooks!

You’ve got devices, we’ve got apps!

ipad_hero_20100305-300x191

This fall, the Library is offering a new series of tech workshops designed to expand the range of “things we show you how to do” on your devices. We’ve focused on eBooks (and to some extent, eAudiobooks) in the past, but we’ve never covered the whole RANGE of options. This is partially because some of our services are newer than others – our eMagazines service has only been on offer since January, and our streaming movies and music service only since April.

The other major reason that the range has been limited is that to explain all the services on all of the various tablets that people bring in takes a lot of time and can be confusing (brain/information overload!). To deal with this, for our fall series we’re splitting the sessions by device type – iPads in one class, Android tablets in another – so that no one is presented with information that doesn’t apply to their device and everyone can follow along, step-by-step.

The drawback to this arrangement is that to cover the range of tablets available, we need to have more sessions, and our resources are limited. To start off, we’ll be offering sessions for iPad and Android only, but Windows 8 devices will be offered as an option in the near future. If you’re interested in having the Windows 8 session at a branch near you, please contact the branch directly and let them know!

A listing of when & where these sessions will take place can be found in the September/October issue of @ the Library (coming to a branch near you next week). Subscribe to our email newsletter to get it delivered the first day it’s available!

Because some people prefer the “Do-It-Yourself” method, here’s a rundown of the library services you can get on your device with links to our “visual guides” for setup and installation:

OverDrive Media Console App: for eBooks and eAudiobooks

Search your app store for the keyword: Overdrive

OverDrive is our most popular eBooks platform! To download books from OverDrive, you need to install the OverDrive Media Console app, even if you already have an app like iBooks or Kobo for your purchased eBooks. Library eBooks have “time-lock” software attached to them that controls the lending/returning of the books (the “library” part of the deal!), and you need an app that knows how to handle the library code. Luckily the OMC app is free and easy to use – just follow the steps in our visual guides:

OverDriveiPad

Guide to OverDrive for your iPad

OverDriveAndroid

Guide to OverDrive for your Android Tablet

OverDriveWin8

Guide to OverDrive  for Windows 8 tablets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoopla app: For streaming and downloading Movies, Music and Audiobooks

Search your app store for the keyword: Hoopla

Hoopla is the newest download service offered by WPL, but it’s quickly becoming one of our favourites! Hoopla allows you to stream movies, TV, music and audiobooks on any computer, and if you’ve got an iPad or Android tablet, you can download your items and save them for offline use (like road trips, plane rides or days at the cottage!). You can check out 10 items per month, per card.

hooplaiPad

Guide to Hoopla for iPad

hooplaandroid

Guide to Hoopla for Android

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zinio app: for downloading and reading eMagazines

Search your app store for the keyword: Zinio

Zinio eMagazines are great because they never expire! Once you’ve checked out an issue, you keep it for as long as you like. The only complication is that the account setup process can seem a bit confusing. If you read through our Zinio Account Setup Guide, though, you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly. Once you’ve got your accounts ready, download the Zinio app and start checking magazines out! Note that even though the eMagazines don’t need to be “returned” to the library like our eBooks do, you still need to use this specific library app to download the files. The eMagazines are in a proprietary file format that can only be opened in the Zinio app, so other apps like Newsstand can’t open them.

zinioiPad
Guide to the Zinio App for iPad
ZinioAndroid

Guide to the Zinio App for Android

ZinioWin8

Guide to the Zinio app for Windows 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

WPL to GO: the Library’s OWN App!

Search your app store for the keyword: Winnipeg

Last but not least, we have our own app – one that gives you quick access to the library catalogue, shows you holds you have available and when your items are due, all in a touch-friendly environment. For more details and links, head to our demo page where you can try the app live before you download it!

Enjoy!

-Sophie

Suspended Holds and Auto-Checkout now available for OverDrive

We’re happy to announce that some long-anticipated features are now available in our OverDrive eBooks/eAudiobooks catalogue:     

Suspend a Hold

suspended3This feature allows you to temporarily suspend a hold on an item in the waiting list. Just like when you suspend holds in our “physical items” search catalogue, your position will continue to advance in the queue while the hold is suspended, but the hold will not be filled. This can be useful for a number of reasons, like stopping new book deliveries while you’re at the cabin for a week or away from your email, or if you’ve got ten books to read and can’t check out anymore until you’re finished with them.

suspended2
suspended1

You can choose to suspend your title for 7, 14, 21, 28, 60 or 90 days. Once the suspension ends, the title will go back to advancing in the list until the hold becomes available. If you advance to the first position in the waiting list while the hold is suspended, the system will skip ahead to fill the next available hold – but you’ll stay there waiting at position #1 until your suspension ends. If you’d like more details, here’s a link to OverDrive’s instructions on their Help site.

Auto-Checkout for Holds

At the time that you place a hold, the option to ‘auto-checkout’ the title when it becomes available can be set.

auto2

autocheckoutsIf you choose this option, you will receive a notification email when your title is available, but the email is just to confirm that it has been checked out and can now be found on your account bookshelf. Basically, when the previous user’s loan period expires, the book automatically adds itself to your account. You’ll still need to log in and download the item to your computer or tablet from the bookshelf page, but you won’t have to worry about the hold expiring after 96 hours if you miss the email!

If you select this option but are unable to borrow the title at the time it becomes available (for instance if you’ve already reached your maximum checkout limit) you’ll be sent the same hold notification email you’ve seen in the past and will have the full 4 day/96 hour hold pickup period to make your checkout. If you leave the auto-checkout option unchecked, you’ll also get the old 4 day/96 hour notification email.

Here’s an article in OverDrive’s Help that explains this in more detail.

“Recommended for you” collection

recommended for you

After you sign in, a collection of recommended titles will appear on the homepage. Recommended titles will be available for checkout and suggested based on titles you currently have checked out or on hold. If you do not have any checkouts or holds, this collection will not appear.

Maturity Settings

Two options have been added to the Account Settings page that will allow you to customize your browsing and discovery experience based on content maturity level:

1. The ability to exclude certain content based on the maturity level (Juvenile, YA, General, Adult). This will allow adult users to exclude titles for younger readers and young readers to exclude adult-only titles from their experience.

maturity levels
More information how to use this setting is available in this Help article: http://help.overdrive.com/customer/portal/articles/1492447.

2. The option to “mask” all adult cover images with a basic cover image. This option will be set to “No” by default.

cover images

Search Relevance Improvements

Based on feedback from users, the default word used between your search terms in the OverDrive search box has been changed from “OR” to “AND.” What does this mean? Basically, previous searches for ‘Stephen King’ would return all records that contain either the word ‘Stephen’ or the word ‘King.’ That means in addition to books by Stephen King, your search result list would show books by Stephen R. Covey, Laurie R. King, etc. With the new search style, your search will only return records that contain both the words Stephen and King. The new search style means the number of results returned for a search will likely be lower than with the old search behavior, but the relevancy of the results will be higher.

If you have questions about these new services, drop us a line in the comments!

 -Sophie

Tech Tips & News for April

Phew, it’s been a busy few months around here! First we launched our RBDigital/Zinio eMagazines collection, and now we’re launching two new library services – a new library catalogue interface and a new streaming/download service for movies, music and audiobooks.  On top of that, we’re keeping tabs on new updates to existing services like OverDrive to make sure that you have the best patron experience possible. Here’s a run-down of all the recent developments in the “online” part of Winnipeg Public Library’s services:

A New Search Interface

We’ve been quite busy putting the finishing touches on our new library catalogue. If you haven’t explored it yet, there’s never been a better time, because starting today (April 22, 2014) all of our website links are set to direct you to the new site instead of the old one. If you’re curious about the new site and would like a guided tour, we’ve got that covered! Our quick visual catalogue tour covers all the basics of the new search interface. For those among us who like digging into the “how does it work” details, there’s also an extensive help document that covers all the functions and options of the catalogue/account system. As with any new product roll-out, there are bound to be kinks found and adaptations to be made after the launch. At WPL, we’re proud of our customer-driven focus and as such, welcome any feedback that you might have on the new search interface. If there’s a function that you think is missing, or would like to see added, let us know; if it’s not something that can be added at this time, we’ll try to add it in future upgrades!

What’s all the Hoopla? New Video and Music Streaming Service

banner-no-textOn April 14, Winnipeg Public Library joined forces with hoopla, an innovative new service that partners with local public libraries to bring you thousands of movies, television, music, and audiobook titles for free. All you need is your library card; enter your barcode and PIN (last four digits of your phone number) and you’ll be able to register for a hoopla digital account.

Your hoopla account allows you to borrow 10 digital items per month, and the choices range from movies and TV episodes to music (all genres, including popular chart-toppers) and audiobooks. You borrow the items for a period of time, and during that time you get to listen to them or watch them on your computer any time you want, as much as you want. If you’re planning on watching your movies/TV on a computer, you’ll need to install the Widevine plugin in your browser, as the service uses it to stream the content. You can also install the hoopla app on your mobile device and save your content for offline viewing/listening, so you can take your content with you wherever you go during your lending period. That means you can check out a movie, save it on your iPad and watch it on the plane or on your road trip!

For more details, check out our FAQ page.

Changes to the OverDrive Media Console App

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on Android

In mid-April, OverDrive released the latest update to their OverDrive Media Console App for iPad/iPhone and Android. The new version includes a stronger integration of the “OverDrive Account” feature, something that hasn’t been pushed heavily by the app before. Regular users of the app might be surprised to be asked to “sign in” the first time they open the app after installing the update, and that’s because the “sign-in” process is not connected to any library account you’ve created before. An “OverDrive Account” is separate from your Library account (you sign up using an email address and new password) and is designed to allow users to sync their reading progress across several devices. The sign-up has actually been available for over a year now, but has remained hidden as a option in the Settings menu that most people chose to ignore, unless they were specifically looking for ways to read titles on more than one device.

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on an iPhone

Now, the app has been modified to put the account sign up on the splash screen, making it look like a required step. It’s not; you can skip it and never be asked to sign up again, just by tapping the “Do this later” option that appears under the Sign in /Sign Up buttons on the splash screen. If you do want to sign up for the OverDrive Account, though, tap the Sign up button and you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your email address and a new password, which will be stored on the OverDrive cloud server and will allow your reading progress to be updated on all the devices that you use to read your books. That means that if you have an iPad and an iPhone both running OverDrive, you can start reading on the larger screen at breakfast, then leave for work and pick up where you left off reading while you’re riding the bus. Signing in to your OverDrive Account on a new device will also take care of the “Adobe ID” authorization on the new device, as that info is stored in your cloud account. If there are questions or issues, please send them to us as we’re always happy to offer help/troubleshooting tips. Happy eReading! – Sophie

New language-learning features from Mango!

There have been some exciting new changes made to our Mango Languages service for 2014!

The first is a change to the dashboard interface, moving from their old “antique paper” look & feel to a new, sleeker dashboard called “Mango Connect.” When you launch Mango, you will now see a message asking if you want to use the new dashboard or stick with the old one. The old interface will remain accessible until June of this year, but after that the Mango Connect interface will become the default.   

welcometomango

New Languages: Mango announced the addition of 14 new language courses to their complete subscription: Armenian, Azerbaijani, Hungarian, Kazakh, Serbian, Yiddish, Bengali, Malay, Malayalam, Punjabi, Telugu, Scottish Gaelic, ESL Arabic MSA and ESL Armenian. These courses are also available in the Mango Languages for Libraries app for iPad/iPhone once users upgrade to version 1.3.0, released January 28, 2014. The new languages do not seem to be listed in the Mango app for Android, but may become available in a future app update. 

mangopremiere

Introducing Mango Premiere – Language Learning Through Films: One of the new features introduced with the Mango Connect dashboard is the new Mango Premiere service . This service is integrated with our existing Mango product and can currently be accessed through our Search a Database page.

Mango Premiere takes films in several languages and builds a language-learning system around the dialog of those films. You can either watch the film straight through with two sets of colour-coded subtitles on the screen, or use the intensive “engage-mode” to break the film down into scenes and delve into the sentence structure, grammar, culture of those scenes and more.

For more details, there’s a brief tutorial/trailer explaining the service:


Try Mango Premiere without creating a Mango account: For a limited time, Mango is making Kung Fu Dunk, one of its Mango Premiere titles, available immediately without an account for trial purposes. Go to  http://trymp.mangolanguages.com/ to take a test run of this service.

If you’d like to try a movie in another language, log in to Mango from the Search a Database page, create an account if you haven’t made one before (you can also log in as a guest if you’re short of time)  and click on the Learn tab and look for the “Apps” link in the middle of the page. The Mango Premiere courses appear at the bottom of the “Apps” screen. We currently have ten Mango Premiere courses available covering five languages – Spanish (Latin America), Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and English for Spanish speakers. There are more films/languages listed on the Mango Premiere promotional site, but licensing restrictions in Canada mean that we currently only have access to a limited set.

మీరు ఆనందించండి ఆశిస్తున్నాము!
(That’s “we hope you enjoy”) in Telugu. :)

Sophie