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New Resource for Parents to Improve Early Literacy

   Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

kids blog thumbnailIn addition to the Fizz Boom Read Summer Reading program, the Library's Childrens Room also has resources for parents to work on the literacy skills of their storytime-age kids.

Check out the new Early Literacy resource, maintained by the Childrens Room staff. It has sections for:

  • Books from Storytime - Want to know the title of a book you saw in storytime? Or just want some great suggestions to read to your kids? It's all here! Staff post the titles from each storytime, so you can look them up or browse for ideas. Use the links under the "Storytime Picks" section to find age-appropriate titles for your kids
  • Get Your Child Ready To Read - tips for using the 5 simple practice areas for developing early literacy skills: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing
  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten - "Children need to hear 1000 stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!" ~ Mem Fox. Download reading logs to track your progress!

The resource is in blog format, and is updated on different schedules - storytime titles are posted shortly after the storytime ends, and there are also Weekly Tips on developing early literacy skills.

For more information, contact the Childrens Room at mfoley@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x4.

   Posted in Books, Childrens, Resources | No Comments »




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 »




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 »




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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