- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
All PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press are now free to download. This includes more than 4000 titles, and various future reports. Visit http://www.nap.edu to access these free eBooks.
BookFlix is a new digital collection of animated books and games for kids grades K through 3. You can watch animated storybooks, read books online, and play fun educational games. Both classic fictional video storybooks from Weston Woods and non-fiction eBooks are available. Try it out and let us know what you think in a comment!
After months of debating which eReader to buy, I finally decided to go with the new Simple Touch Reader Nook from Barnes & Noble. The reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive, with sites like CNET & PC Magazine naming it a top pick. It features a featherweight ergonomic design, amazing battery life, and e-ink technology. I personally prefer it to the Nook Color because I find the Nook Color’s LCD screen a bit harder on the eyes for extended reading. The new Simple Touch Nook doesn’t have the bells and whistles of an iPad or other tablet computer, but if you’re looking for something simple, fairly affordable, and hassle-free to use just for reading books, then this Nook might be for you.
Check out some great Nook-specific instructions on how to get started with SJPL’s OverDrive eBook collection, or visit OverDrive's help page. I’m having a great time so far with the many titles available for download. It’s exciting to be able to continue to use the many great (and free!) resources that the library has to offer, but in a brand new way.
In July, NetLibrary will become part of the Ebscohost platform. What does this mean? Your current NetLibrary account information; checkout/download history; current checkouts, downloads and any information on holds you may have placed on eBooks/Audiobooks; and any notes that you have created will not be migrated to the new system, and will no longer be available to you. So, if any of this account information is important to you, please make sure to save this information somewhere safe prior to July 16, 2011!
I recently had a conversation with a colleague in which we agreed that movies based on books, no matter how good, are virtually never as good as the book itself. However, I've become a big fan of audiobooks, and I believe that many audiobooks are as good or even better that the print version of the book. Listening to books instead of reading them has obvious benefits for people who have a vision impairment or who want to enjoy a book while driving, walking, or exercising. But beyond that, some books seem especially cut out for the audio format because there are multiple narrators, each of whom can be supplied with a distinct voice. A well-read (acted?) audiobook can add intonation, accents, and other elements that enrich the story. Case in point: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Set in the early 60s during the civil rights era in Jackson, Mississippi, the book is told through the viewpoints of two black maids and a young white woman who wishes to write a chronicle of the maids' stories. Listening to the book, I find it hard to imagine that I could enjoy it any more in print format (although, with the book's bestseller status, the print version is doing just fine, thank you). Another book I found particularly suited to audio format is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger -- again, because the book is told from the standpoint of more than one narrator. San José Public Library has an increasing number of audio options available to customers. In addition to books on CD, you can download audiobooks with your library card via Overdrive, MyiLibrary, and NetLibrary. I was able to download The Help from Overdrive with no waiting, and transferred it to my iPod. I'm looking forward to the movie scheduled for release in August... but I doubt it will be as good as the (audio)book!
For basic help, attend one of our free one-on-one computer tutoring sessions, where you will get personalized assistance with most any computer-related matters, like email, typing a resume, searching the Internet or other related tasks. You may also like to try a free class in Computer Basics. These classes cover various topics, such as Typing & Mousing, Microsoft Word and email. You will get all the basic information you need to tackle these and other computer tasks, all for free!
Computer users who have already mastered the basics but want to learn about a specific application will benefit from CustomGuide’s tutorials. Go to our databases page and click on “CustomGuide Online Software Training.” Create an account (just takes a minute to do) and then you have access to tutorials for various versions of many Microsoft applications. When the library upgraded its computers to Office 2007 I used CustomGuide to learn how to use Word and Outlook, since there were a lot of changes to these programs.
More advanced computer users will find all kinds of computer help topics covered in our collection of electronic books from Safari. Go to the library’s downloads page and click on “Computer Books from Safari Books Online.” Topics covered include Apple development, Windows server administration and Java development, in addition to many more.
If you can’t find what you need on these pages, don’t hesitate to ask a staff person at your local library – we’re happy to help!
With summer vacation quickly approaching and travel plans getting made my curiosity was piqued by the premise of Seth Stevenson’s book Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World. This electronic book available through Overdrive, tracks his effort to travel around the world without ever stepping foot on an airplane. The means by which he accomplishes this feat is both ingenious and amusing. The author a freelance travel writer provides humorous descriptions about all he encounters while philosophizing about how traveling should not just be about the destination but how you get there.
Check out other articles written by Seth Stevenson through our EBSCO host database.
Possibly, you’ve already heard about Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese; the epic novel that follows its characters from India and England to Ethiopia to New York. I had, too, and was anxious to get my hands on it. Daunted by the long waiting list for the print version, I decided to try out the e-audiobook version. I am so glad I did. For one thing, the waiting list was a whole lot shorter, but more importantly, the audiobook reader, Sunil Malhotra, tells the story beautifully. He convincingly performs distinctive voices for a large cast of Indian, African, British, and American characters. I was taken in and totally engrossed by this skillful narration of a magnificent story. Would you like to hear a sample? Visit the e-audiodownload page for Cutting for Stone where you can play an excerpt.
A change in service - you now get two downloads per week now with Freegal. Freegal is a music download service that gives you MP3s without any digital rights management so you can transfer them to devices, or even burn them to CDs. These songs never expire!
In his memoir The Longest Trip Home, John Grogan, author of the bestselling Marley & Me, recounts his experiences growing up in a strong Irish-Catholic family outside of Detroit, and the decisions he makes as he grows to adulthood. It’s a testimony to the power of family throughout our lives. The book is divided into three parts. In part one, Growing Up, Grogan brings to vivid life the adventures and misadventures of his youth as he recounts incidents both hilarious and touching. In part two, Breaking Away, he begins his career, marries, and establishes a family of his own. His life choices and decisions don’t always align with his parents’ faith and values, straining their relationship as they avoid or tip toe around sensitive issues. Finally, as his parents age and their health begins to fail, Coming Home, recounts the author’s reconnection with the love and faith of his parents. It’s a book for adult children who’ve made life choices at odds with those of their parents, but also for the parents whose love for them never wavers. This engaging title is also available as an audiobook, digital audiobook, and downloadable electronic book.