Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto City Library continued to add more avenues to use the library and interact with library staff and the greater library community in 2013. With the holidays – and new phones, tablets, and e-readers arriving as holiday gifts – here is a quick highlight of the free resources available. Enjoy convenient access to the library catalog, eBooks, audiobooks, music downloads, newspapers from all over the world, language learning, museum passes, and research capability. If you haven’t already, try these free resources today!
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One of the most useful mobile apps is the library’s Mobile Catalog – Library Anywhere. Access the library anywhere you use your smartphone or favorite mobile device. Search the catalog, place holds, review your account, renew items, locate library branches, browse event listings, contact the library, & discover other mobile services. The mobile site (http://www.libanywhere.com/la/index.php?lib=299) works on any phone with mobile web browser.
Many of the services listed here have an iOS and Android version of the applications available. Some require that you register on the websites before. URLs are available at the library website.
eBooks can be checked out for up to 21 days. There are a couple of services you can use to download and enjoy anywhere on your favorite mobile device or eReader. Automatic expiration means there’s no action required to return, so you’ll never get late fees. One collection is available through OverDrive. You will need the OverDrive Media Console app w/Adobe ID (http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/). Then, go to the OverDrive NCDL site URL http://ncdl.lib.overdrive.com/, which automatically directs you to the mobile version of the website for the mobile web browser.
The second eBook collection, Axis 360, can be found at http://pacl.axis360.baker-taylor.com/. You will need the Blio app w/Blio account http://www.meetblio.com/download/. The Axis 360 site (http://pacl.axis360.baker-taylor.com/) automatically directs you to the mobile version of website for the mobile web browser.
Check out audiobooks for up to 21 days - download and enjoy anywhere. Automatic expiration means there’s no action required to return, so you’ll never get late fees. Again, you’ll find these in the OverDrive Northern California Digital Library collection. You’ll need the OverDrive Media Console app w/Adobe ID http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/. Then access the downloads from the OverDrive NCDL site URL http://ncdl.lib.overdrive.com/.
One of the most popular new services this year was downloadable music through Freegal. Download 3 songs free each week from a collection of over 3 million tracks in the standard MP3 format which is compatible across devices. The songs never expire; they’re yours to keep.
Interested in what’s going on in the world? Want to read a paper from another country? Users can read their choice of over 2,200 national and international newspapers from 97 countries in over 54 languages through Library Press Display (http://library.pressdisplay.com/). It will automatically redirect to the mobile version of website for the mobile web browser.
Mango Languages is a language learning system that teaches conversation skills, vocabulary, grammar, and culture for the world's most popular languages. Mango includes 35 foreign languages for English speakers and 15 English-as-a-Second-Language courses for speakers of other languages. The Android platform does not yet support languages whose writing goes from right to left. Users need to create account on the website first: http://librpa.cityofpaloalto.org/rpa/webauth.exe?rs=mango.
Discover & Go allows users to reserve free and discount passes to a wide variety of Bay Area museums and other cultural destinations. The mobile site (http://discover.cityofpaloalto.org/) will automatically redirect users to a mobile version of the website for the mobile web browser. Some venues included will accept digital passes on your mobile device for entry; most require a printed pass.
For anyone needing to do research, the library offers a number of resources, many of which now have additional mobile features that add to the functionality and improve the user experience.
- Gale Access My Library (http://m.gale.com/aml/PublicPatron/): Find reliable information, available 24/7, from current magazines, journals, encyclopedias, how-to guides, and more. AccessMyLibrary uses GPS to find libraries within a 10-mile radius of your location and then gives you free, unlimited access to their reputable, authoritative Gale online resources, without needing to log in.
- EbscoHost Mobile (http://librpa.cityofpaloalto.org/rpa/webauth.exe?rs=f6h) automatically redirects to mobile version of the website for the mobile web browser. Here, users can research any topic right in the palm of your hand, and it includes Consumer Reports. An app is also available: to download the EBSCOhost app, access EBSCOhost as you typically would via your library/institution website. Click the link at the bottom of any EBSCOhost page to email yourself the download instructions, access key, and a link to the app store.
- Looking to find a person or a business? AtoZ Databases’ app allows you to quickly find businesses and residents across the U.S. The iOS app can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/atozdatabases/id495894640?ls=1&mt=8.
To find out more about the Palo Alto City Library, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/library.