Do you miss being able to get current computer or technical magazines from the San Jose Public Library or from your local bookstore? Are you hesitant to purchase a subscription because you may only need one or two issues?
Fortunately, many computer and technical magazines can be found through the RBdigital database available through the SJPL.org website.
Periodicals, available through a local library, are a great way to preview a magazine without the commitment of a subscription. I have found the availability of periodicals very helpful especially because I may only be interested in one article. I also fear investing in a subscription and then receiving issues I have no interest in reading and thus creating extra paper I have to add to the recycle bin. However, I will admit that a subscription is tempting because the magazines will have a discounted price compared with the local bookstore or newsstand. I have found checking out magazines at the library has helped me not only save money but read the periodical at my leisure as though I had a subscription. Because of the closures of public business, access to physical magazines maybe limited to those without subscriptions. This can cause an inconvenience to those readers, like myself, that like to browse different periodicals.
In this blog, I am going to show you how you can access magazines online and what to expect once you have logged into the RBdigital database. I am going to show you how to find the link to RBdigital on the SJPL.org website. I will also provide links and a shortcut button at the end so users can find the web pages included in this post.
Although I have included several key steps and details about the site, RBdigital is a very user-friendly database. I would like to point out that a benefit to using the RBdigital database is that your e-magazine selection will have no return date.
First, users will need to find the "Books & eLibrary" section in our site menu. Then choose "Online Learning" under the "ELEARNING" heading. This will take users to all of the online learning resources without filtering the results. To get to the computer and technology online resources, users will have to sort by subject, see Step 2.
In the image above, users will see a white bar with a blue downward arrow (circled in red) and an APPLY button to the right side (a black outline arrow is pointing at this button). On the Online Resources page, choose "Computers & Technology" from the drop down menu subject filters. Then click "APPLY" to filter the results. Computer & Technology Magazines from RBdigital is the first choice, so just click on the link provided on the page.
Once users have clicked on the link, Computer & Technology Magazines from RBdigital, provided from the Computers & Technology selection, they will see the RBdigital homepage. Users will then have to log into RBdigital. Users reading this blog will most likely not have an account set up with the database. This is easily solved. In the upper right hand corner of the home page, users will see a link that says, "Create New Account" (the link is circled in red on the screenshot).
I also want to draw attention to the options RBdigital has for users. If users do not want to read computer and technical magazines, they can select other subjects as well as other languages. I have put a red box around the two selection filters which both can offer more choices on the drop down menus by clicking on the downward arrows.
Create New Account:
When users click on the link, "Create New Account", a pop-up window will appear that asks for a library card number. The number will be entered into the field and then users can click on the Next button. This will start the process of creating an account. These accounts are part of the privileges of having a SJPL library card and no one will ever be charged for access to the RBdigital database.
**Please note: For this example, I have put in the first five common numbers of SJPL library cards and used hash tags/pound signs to represent the remaining numbers.
Logging into Your Account:
Users can log into their accounts by clicking on the "Login" link provided in the upper right hand corner of the RBdigital homepage. When creating an account, users will have to give themselves an user name and create a password. This information will be typed into the pop-up window and then users can click on the Log in button to access the magazines. I have provided a screenshot of the pop-up window. The pop-up window does have a "Remember me" option that will, by default, be checked. I usually uncheck this box by clicking on the check mark, but that option is left to the user.
**Please note: I have typed in generic information that does not belong to anyone for the sake of providing an example.
Selecting a Magazine:
I am providing a screenshot of a RBdigital web page after I have successfully logged in to the database and clicked on a magazine cover. Users will see their names in the upper right hand corner (a red circle is around the name and the account option button); I will show more details about the account option button later in the blog. Users can click on the back issue magazine covers that will come up with the cover initially selected. I have circled the blue check out button that will allow users to read the magazine of their choice. It is important to note that the magazine will open in its own tab. Users can close the magazine by closing the tab but the RBdigital account webpages will remain until a user logs out of the account. Once logged out, a screen will appear with the San Jose Public Library logo and users can click on this logo to go back to the website.
I have put a black outline arrow pointing to a magazine I will use as the example in the next few screenshots.
Database Features 1:
I have selected the magazine I want to read and have checked it out. The database will open up the file for the user at this point. The screenshot to the left shows some options users have to find content easier through selecting the Table of Contents icon or bookmarking a page. The database also provides a print option. These options are provided on the left hand side of the screen and will remain in this spot as the user turns the pages of the magazine. I discovered when I opened the magazine that I could click on the title of the article and this action would automatically take me to that article. I put a red box around the article title to show this addition option.
Database Features 2:
After I clicked on the article title as mentioned in the previous screenshot information, the magazine file jumped to the article. I am including this screenshot to show a few more features. The red circle highlights the right facing arrow that will turn the pages to the right. On the left hand side of the screen, a similar arrow will face left and will allow the user the turn the pages back.
I have two outline arrows at the bottom of the screenshot. The leftmost outline arrow shows a slider that can be used to turn pages faster and skip to another part of the magazine. The rightmost outline arrow is pointing to a magnifying glass icon that, when clicked upon with the mouse pointer, can make the page bigger. Also, to the right of the magnifying glass icon, another icon which looks like a broken square can make the magazine fill the whole screen.
These feature items will appear or disappear based on the location of the mouse pointer. If a user moves the mouse pointer toward the location of the icon, the icon will reappear but will disappear when not directly triggered with the mouse.
My Magazine Collection:
In the screenshot information for "Selecting a Magazine" above, I circled the user account name and button. I would like to show one option that can be useful from the the account button. The picture of the account features, I apologize, is a bit small. I have placed a black outlined arrow above the option. Inside of the small button is a downward arrow. When a mouse pointer clicks on this arrow, a drop down menu will give three choices. The middle choice, "My Magazine Collection" will take the user to a screen, like the one shown to the left, that will have all the magazine covers of the items checked out. By selecting this option from the list, a user can view all of the checked out magazines and then proceed to click on the magazine of interest. Below the magazine cover, users can also click on the garbage can icon to delete the magazine from the collection. The username and the account button will appear in the same place on all of the website pages but will not appear when a magazine is opened. Only the magazine and the database features mentioned previously will be visible in its own tab as mentioned in the "Selecting a Magazine" information.
As promised, I have included a green action button that will take an interested reader directly to the RBdigital web page. I like to include the steps to find resources on the SJPL.org website because users may find something else on the web pages that will interest them. SJPL.org has many online resources, including access to instructional websites that are included with the privilege of having a library account. E-resources, like Lynda.com (see my blog about Lynda.com) and Treehouse.com, normally have fees. However, library card holders can access these sites without any additional charges. I hope readers of this blog will take full advantage of all the benefits of having a SJPL library card.