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Archive for Category: Resources
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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 »




Chelmsford Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library

   Friday, May 24th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

familysearch logoThe Chelmsford Library recently became a FamilySearch affiliate library, which means patrons interested in genealogy have greater and more convenient access to the wealth of resources available through FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the world's largest repository of free genealogical records, based in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has amassed billions of birth, marriage, death, census, land, and court records of genealogical significance from over 130 countries.

You can search the Family History Library Catalog online at FamilySearch.org to see available records and to order microfilm. There is a nominal fee of $7.50 to order a microfilm, which is then sent to the Chelmsford Library. Once the film arrives, patrons use the Chelmsford Library's microfilm reader to view it.

More genealogy research tools are available on the library's website. If you have any questions about FamilySearch or researching your family tree, please contact the Reference Desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

If you have any question about genealogy

   Posted in Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




Town Common Purple Beech Photos Donated to the Library

   Monday, April 8th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Purple Beech photosThe well-known and much-loved purple beech tree, planted on the common in 1892, was taken down in November 2012. Present on that day was local photographer Steve Hardwood, who chronicled the process of bringing the tree down.

He donated his series of photographs to the library, to commemorate the event and the life of the tree. Steve's photographs were supplemented by additional photos from the collections of Fred Merriam and the Chelmsford Historical Society, and Library staff also researched news articles about the tree.

This entire collection was then framed and hung in the Group Study Room, on the lower level of the Library, near the Library's other historical resources. Please check out this tribute the next time you're in the Library.

The Library would like to thank Steve Hardwood for getting the ball rolling, and also Fred Merriam and the Chelmsford Historical Society for contributing to the project. The generosity of community members like this helps preserve Chelmsford for future generations.

   Posted in Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




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