The Updates Keep On Comin’…

As always, updates are plentiful in OverDrive land! The sun has officially set on the WMA and WMV formats, with a few exceptions.  It turns out that the deadline spurred a few audio publishers into action and we have a few WMA stragglers that will stick around for conversion to MP3 by mid-June.

There were some WMA titles with active holds and those patrons have received an e-mail notification that their hold will not be fulfilled. We will also be receiving a list of the WMA titles in our collection and will be checking for a supported format that we can purchase.

OverDrive Listen has also arrived.  Like OverDrive Read, OverDrive Listen allows patrons to listen to audiobooks directly in their browser, rather than downloading the files onto their device. You can also still bookmark, notate, and highlight as with downloaded files.  Find more information about this new format in the OverDrive help pages.

Starting June 1, there is more happening on the holds front as well. Patrons can now get a better idea of how long they’ll be waiting for requests. Rather than the total number of holds for a title, they will see a whole number ratio that represents the number of holds per copy.

And, finally, there’s more news about OverDrive’s new “Dyslexic font” option.  Starting on June 1, patrons will have the option to enable this font through their account settings on the OverDrive site itself.  This heavier-weighted font increases readability for patrons with dyslexia. The feature, when turned on, will work site-wide.

Jeff, South Park

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Swing into Summer With New Hoopla Content

Hoopla ebook meme

You’ve seen it in action at your library: patrons who love digital reading really love digital reading. In fact, they’re most likely some of your most voracious customers.

Hoopla’s got some good news for you and your power users: by the end of this month, e-books—including comics and graphic novel options—will be available through Hoopla Digital with an Allegheny County library card.

The new content, which includes books from a variety of publishers, will be available through the browser interface as well as LightSpeed, the new Hoopla 3.0 version of their popular app. The eReader technology is built directly into Hoopla’s infrastructure, so there’s no need to download additional software or create a second log-in: everything you’ll want to read will be right there at your fingertips with no additional learning curve needed.

The Hoopla eReader will have a number of features your patrons may have already come to expect from ebooks, including appearance adjustments (such as font size and background color), bookmark creation, and syncing across devices. To make reading digital comics more enjoyable, the eReader also contains the Action View panel, which activates with a simple click or two, depending on what kind of device you’re using. Action View lets readers appreciate comics the way they were designed to be enjoyed, with both full-page and panel-to-panel views.

The content itself will contain a wide variety of reading choices for library users of all ages and interests, including kids, teens, African American fiction, and LGBTQ lit. You and your patrons will be familiar with many of the participating publishers, such as:

  •  IDW/Top Shelf
  • Orca Book Publishers
  • Paragon
  • PM Press
  • Riptide
  • Saddleback
  • Sounds True
  • Tyndale House

More reading choices, with no additional digital hassle? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? The ebook content should arrive just in time for summer reading, which will give you and your patrons the chance to see for yourself.

–Leigh Anne (CLP)

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Medline Plus: It Just Got Better

Today, MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov/) and MedlinePlus en español (http://medlineplus.gov/espanol) released a redesigned site with a fresh look and feel.

 The new version of MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español uses responsive web design for ease of use on any device, whether that is a desktop monitor or mobile touchscreen.  Responsive pages automatically change their layout to fit your screen.  See our announcement page for more details.

 Because this latest release enables all users to access a layout of MedlinePlus.gov optimized for their device, there is no longer a need for the separate mobile (m.medlineplus.gov) sites.  These sites are now retired; visitors to them will be redirected to the new version of MedlinePlus.gov.

 We invite you to try out MedlinePlus’s full responsive design on your smartphone, tablet or desktop at http://medlineplus.gov/ and http://medlineplus.gov/espanol.  Take a tour of the redesigned site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tour/tour.html (also available in Spanish).  Please send us your feedback and comments about the new design via the Contact Us link that appears on every MedlinePlus page.

~Ann Andrews
Cooper-Siegel Community Library

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