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Archive for Category: Library Information
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Latest on Proposed Move for the Dutton House

   Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Dutton HouseIn case you haven't yet seen the story on the Chelmsford Independent's website, they posted a recap of the latest Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to review the proposal to move the Dutton House.

Since there are still challenges to the Dutton House's proposed new location and use, the ZBA has scheduled a site walk to get a better idea of what the move would mean to the surrounding neighborhood.

The site walk, at 71 North Road, will talk place Saturday, April 12 at 8:30 a.m.

For historical photos and documents relating to the Dutton House, you can visit the Chelmsford Historical Commission's listing for 10 Bartlett Street. They also have information on many other homes and significant resources in Chelmsford.

My favorite Dutton House photo includes the old water tower:

DuttonHouseHistorical
   Posted in Current News, Library Information | No Comments »




Library Offers Array Of Electronic Services

   Friday, March 7th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

The following article appeared in this past Thursday's issue of the Chelmsford Independent. It should become available on the Independent's website on Sunday.


Digital World - Library offers array of electronic services
Chelmsford Independent (MA) - Thursday, March 6, 2014
Author: Molly Loughman mloughman@wickedlocal.com

Despite rapid technological advancements, public libraries across the country haven’t stopped safeguarding one of America’s fundamental ways of life: freedom of information.

As Chelmsford Public Library creeps into the 21st century, investments continue to be made toward connecting locals with resources and ideas, not just through yesterday’s bookshelves, but also via today’s limitless realms of electronic content (e-content). This is available to all Chelmsford residents who are members of the library.

Using eight service vendors, the library’s current e-content is available through its website. This includes online databases, educational resources, audio content, images, music, video content, e-books, business web support, along with a multitude of digital references and publications. New services are Hoopla, Zinio, MA eBook Project and Freegal.

“Offering all these resources, it’s not that it’s a fad or something new we want to try. It’s an easy way to supplement our collection. We could never afford the floor space or the shelf space to offer this much stuff as we can electronically,” said Chelmsford Library Head of Reference Brian Herzog. “Electronically is much more convenient for people. They can do it 24 hours a day and they don’t have to come in the library… I think Chelmsford has a reputation of being proactive and being willing to try things.”

Knowledge is power

One of the library’s four newly released services is Hoopla. This offers a wide array of streaming videos, including movies and television shows. Although it may not always boast the latest blockbusters, Hoopla, with a user-friendly interface, provides a wealth of educational documentaries.

“Everything they have can also be downloaded… When you stream it, you have three days to watch it without the library being charged again,” said Herzog. “When you download music there, you download an entire album at a time.”

The library began with popular fiction and non-fiction e-books and audio books provider Overdrive several years ago, according to Herzog. The service is said to have a catalogue of around 5,000 downloadable e-books.

“A lot of our patrons are familiar with that because up until very recently, that was the only thing people had access too,” said Herzog.

Chelmsford residents can also use Safari Books Online, streaming computer and business e-books.

“Which works well for business books and computer books… you can just go into Safari, look it up, figure it out and move on with your project. It’s not something you’d put on a kindle, it’s just a different kind of resource people have access to,” said Herzog.

Offering animated and read-aloud e-books for children is Tumblebooks, which can be streamed on any computer, explained Herzog, adding it also has streaming videos. The picture books highlight words, helping to guide young readers through each page.

Another new service is Zinio for Libraries, which gives readers full color digital copies of popular magazines. The material is automatically sent to subscribers once published.

“Another problem with e-books services is a lot of the publishers don’t want to sell e-books to libraries because we loan them for free. They want to sell things to people,” said Herzog, explaining the library doesn’t always receive newly released movies or bestseller books.

However, Zinio Libraries gives Chelmsford Library members access to major magazines, for example: Businessweek, Bloomberg, Discover, The Economist, Gardening & Outdoor Living, Inked, Macworld, NEWS, National Geographic, Newsweek, Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Smithsonian and more.

“It’s just like having the magazine in front of you. It’s full color, full spread and you can click on an article to read the whole thing,” said Herzog, noting some outlets attach videos to articles. “It’s a pretty neat tool. It’s such an easy way to get information, especially for commuters- [Zinio] has been pretty popular with people.”

New and different from other e-content services is the MA eBook Project. This is an effort driven and funded by the state government for the MA eBook Project, made possible through the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and its partnership with Ebook Library (EBL).

Chelmsford Public Library is one of 50 pilot libraries in the state offering its patrons more than 170,000 titles until the end of June. Streamed or downloaded, the MA eBook Project offers content for all academic and professional subject areas.

“Because it’s a state product, they want it to appeal to everyone… It’s a really broad collection,” said Herzog. “But its is a good project because it’s something the state is doing directly to offer more electronic resources to patrons.”

New and available for download with no expiration is Freegal, which offers music at three downloads per week before they can be kept forever. Also available at the library is the Online Newsstand, which streams easy to reach magazines and newspaper articles.

Supported by the library, but not a vendor, Chelmsford TeleMedia is available to all, streaming local television and video recordings of popular school, library and around town happenings. The library welcomes additional ideas for other e-content vendors.

“The libraries don’t create any of this, we had to wait for the vendors to catch up… Now they’re finally coming out with projects that make it easy enough for libraries to be able to offer this to patrons,” said Herzog, admitting he would have loved this to happen years ago. Computer classes to navigate the services are also available to all at the Chelmsford Public Library.

“I would say Chelmsford patrons have a wider variety of electronic resources at their local library than most other towns’ residents... Using library resources has never been easier.”

For more information, visit www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/econtent

If you have any questions about the library's electronic resources, please contact the Reference Staff.

   Posted in Computer, Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




Try Out The MA Ebooks Project

   Monday, February 24th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

MA Ebooks ProjectThe Chelmsford Library is participating in a pilot project to help increase the number of ebooks Massachusetts residents can access through their library. This initiative is funded by the state and part of the FY15 MBLC Legislative Agenda

The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) created this pilot project to explore the potential of purchasing ebooks from a variety of sources, and make them all available in one place. The pilot started with two vendors (Baker & Taylor and Bibliolabs), and will soon add a third, Ebook Library (EBL). This collections increases the number of ebooks available to Chelmsford residents by thousands of titles.

To Get Started
Patrons have the option of using the new state ebook catalog, which searches everything available from the participating vendors. Or, you can go to each vendor's individual catalog directly (Baker & Taylor or Bibliolabs - EBL coming soon!). Brochures - and friendly staff - are available at the library service desks to help answer questions, too.

What It Offers
The project involves different vendors, because they each offer different types of ebooks and other electronic content, suitable for different audiences:

  • Baker & Taylor: their AXIS360 product includes popular fiction and non-fiction ebooks (similar to Overdrive). They also offer childrens picture books, and their special Blio reader software which displays pictures books exactly as if you were holding the book itself - the software will even highlight and read the words aloud!
  • Bibliolabs: their Biblioboard search interface is an easy-to-use tool for finding historical books, photographs, recordings, and other primary resources that are in the public domain, which can be read online or downloaded to your device
  • EBL: When EBL joins the project, their classroom-oriented content will be great for students working on projects. This content is all simultaneous use too, which means there is no limit to how many people can access it at the same time

You can also visit http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/econtent/ to see all of the download/streaming resources the library offers.

Tell Us What You Think
This initial pilot phase of the project includes 50 libraries across Massachusetts (including Chelmsford). And since this is the trial of something new, we'd like to hear feedback from patrons on what you think. If you have comments or questions, please contact Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, at bherzog@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

   Posted in Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




Early Christmas Gift for the Library

   Friday, December 20th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

The Chelmsford Library received an early Christmas gift this week.

Nick Arena, 2013 CHS grad gave us in 2 lovely handcrafted benches for the Children's Room. Nick made these benches out of the wood of the old purple beech tree from the Chelmsford Common.

He said that since the tree was originally planted by school children, he wanted to bring the benches to the Library for the kids of Chelmsford to enjoy. Nick, currently a freshman at UMass Amherst studying civil engineering, said that he wanted to thank two of his teachers at the high school, Matt Bartos and Doug Greenfield, for the idea and the inspiration.

Here's a photo of Nick with the benches - look for them in the Children's Room the next time you're in the library.

NickArenaBenchesGift

The workmanship and character of the wood is wonderful - you can even seen evidence of the disease that ultimately was the purple beech tree's demise. These benches are a great way to keep the history of Chelmsford alive.
Thank You Nick!

   Posted in Childrens, Library Information | No Comments »




Our Catalog is Now Mobile-Friendly!

   Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Our Evergreen catalog underwent a software update this weekend. Most of the changes were fixes to staff functionality, but one change that should benefit patrons is a new mobile-friendly design.

The new catalog is implements "responsive design" coding. This means that the website "responds" to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed. For instance, if you're browsing our catalog on a big desktop computer monitor, it should look just like it used to.

However, if you're using your mobile phone to browse the catalog, it will detect you're using a device with a small screen, and change the layout to fit better. A mobile device version of the catalog will look like this:

mobile catalog

You can try it for yourself, even without a mobile device. Just visit our catalog and then slowly shrink the size of your web browser window. You'll see the catalog reconfigure itself to fit different size screens.

All of the functionality of the full catalog should still be available in the different sizes, although buttons and information may be in different places. If you have any questions about the catalog, please contact the Reference Desk.

   Posted in Library Information | No Comments »




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