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Archive for Category: Resources
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New Museum Pass: Einstein's Workshop

   Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

einsteinsworkshopChelmsford patrons have access to a new museum pass through the Library: Einstein's Workshop, in Burlington.

Einstein's Workshop offers many science and technology classes, and has a great drop-in space. The Library's pass offers free admission during drop in hours and admits up to 2 children.

Drop-in hours vary, so check our museum pass website for more information, and to reserve a pass. You can also visit Einstein's Workshop's website at http://www.einsteinsworkshop.com for more information on their activities.

In other museum pass-related news, the library is running a trial for the summer to make our passes more accessible. We're going to waive our regular pass limits for any day-of-use pass that isn't already reserved that day. So, if you already have something booked, and another museum you'd like to visit is also available on that day, you can now borrow both of them.

At the end of the summer we'll evaluate how the trial went and decide how to move forward. If you have any questions or suggestions about museum passes, please contact the Reference Desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

   Posted in Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




Now You Can Borrow A Telescope From The Library

   Friday, May 30th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

telescopeThanks to a very generous recent donation, Chelmsford now has two telescopes available at the library!

The telescopes (one at the Main Library and one at the MacKay Branch) can be checked out just like a book or DVD, so you can use it at home to look at the stars. They are small but powerful - easy to take home with a built-in carry handle, but strong enough provide views of craters on the moon or the rings of Saturn.

You can reserve the telescopes through our catalog, and then check it out for one week. Patrons must be 18 or older to check one out, and a picture ID is also required. The telescopes each come with an operation manual, a starguide, and a headlamp.

The telescope at the Main Library is a gift in memory of Eugene Schueller, by Rich and Sue Schueller. MacKay's telescope is a gift from Bruce and Donna Berger.

Explore the night sky with these wonderful additions to the library collection! Contact either the main desk at 978-256-5521 or the MacKay Branch, x6, for more information.

   Posted in Library Information, Resources | 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 »




New Museum Pass: Boston Harbor Islands Ferry

   Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

boston harbor islands logoThere is a new pass available this summer - discount ferry passes to visit the Boston Harbor Islands.

It runs May through October, and is valid for weekdays only. It is a 2-for-1 ferry ticket coupon for up to 4 people (so, two people could go for the price of one, or eight people could go for the price of four, etc) - however, it is based on the availability to either Georges or Spectacle Islands (good for one island only).

The ferry boats are run by Boston Best Cruises, and schedules and fares are available online or you can call call 617-770-0040 to make a reservation. You must present the coupon at the ferry center at Long Wharf North on the Boston waterfront.

This pass (and discounts to many other area museums) is available on the library's website, or you can contact the Reference Desk at 978-256-5521 x211 to reserve it.

Library museum passes are provided by the Chelmsford Friends of the Library.

   Posted in Friends of the Library, Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




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