Freegal Announcement

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh first subscribed to freegal in 2012. In 2014, CLP expanded the subscription to provide access throughout Allegheny County. Throughout the course of our subscription, the user base for freegal has not continued to grow and in fact, this year the user base has declined.

CLP, with the full agreement of Downloadable and Streaming subcommittee of the county-wide Digital Resources Committee, has decided to not renew the freegal contract. This decision was based on an evaluation of the resource that considered many factors including usage and download statistics. The current contract expires on December 31, 2017. After this date, staff and patrons will no longer be able to access the freegal website.

The CLP and erec websites will be updated this week to inform patrons that this service will no longer be available starting in 2018. Libraries that host their own downloadable pages should modify the language on their page to alert their patrons that the subscription to freegal is ending at the end of December.

We have posted an updated eTips handout to reflect these changes.

We understand that some patrons who use this service may be disappointed.  However, we encourage staff members to direct patrons to Hoopla where there is a wide variety of music albums available at all times – no waiting!  Below are some talking points to share with patrons who have questions about freegal.

Talking Points:

  • While we are sorry to eliminate this resource for those people that were making use of it, the number of users was very small, making the service extremely costly.
  • We took into consideration other available services, both those available through the library (Hoopla!) and those freely available to the public.
  • Hoopla offers a great selection of complete albums, all available with no wait. The Hoopla music collection currently offers 293,866 albums including albums from popular music labels such as Verve, Atlantic Records and Def Jam Recordings.
  • We will continue exploring new ways to make music available to patrons.


A question was asked that if a patron has music only saved in the Freegal app, will they lose it. Here is the response from Freegal: 

iOS: (Apple devices)
If the user is still logged into the app after service has stopped they can continue to listen to music that’s still in the app. If they log out, or an app update forces them to log out then they will not be able to use the app to listen to their music as they won’t be able to log back in. The music will still be in the app as long as they don’t delete the app and they can transfer it.

The music is stored outside of the app and will not be deleted by removing the app. If you clear the data then the music will be lost.

In both cases it’s best for users to go ahead and backup their music in another location other than the Freegal app.

Continue ReadingFreegal Announcement

Holiday Guide

Whether you’re ready or not, the holidays are quickly approaching!

Check out the holiday titles available through e-resources. 



With RBdigital (formerly Zinio), you can borrow and enjoy free magazines and more from your library’s digital collection.


holiday magazines


With hoopla, you can enjoy free television shows, movies, music, ebooks, audiobooks, comics, and more from your library’s digital collection.


holiday movies.png


With Freegal, you can borrow and enjoy free music downloads from your library’s digital collection. (3 free mp3’s per week.) 




Image result for overdrive icon

With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your library’s digital collection.






Continue ReadingHoliday Guide

Digital vs. Physical Items in Catalog

One of our avid patrons regularly checks her account for items currently checked out, and the addition of Overdrive digital items is great, but potentially confusing.  The catalog now allows people to sort physical vs. digital items — and gives a subtotal of each type of item.


The default setting lists all items intermingled in a list, but you can choose to sort this list.   

It’s nice that digital items are now listed, but it can be maddening if you only want to know your physical items.  For example, sometimes you just need to know if you have to search all of the crevices in your car, look behind the bed again, or dig through your child’s sticky backpack!  And you know you can safely ignore the Overdrive titles that will automatically be returned, so you definitely don’t want to take time to mistakenly look for those.

 To change the setting to sort physical vs. digital items 

  • Log in to your account in the Catalog. 
  • Choose Account in the upper right (it might be the menu icon with the three horizontal bars). 
  • Choose Profile. 
  • Choose About Me. 
  • Choose the option labeled “E-Content Checkouts and Holds“. 

 Choose either:  

  • Show With Physical Items (this intermingles all of your items and is the default)
    … or …  
  • Separated from Physical Items (this sorts physical vs. digital – the sections are marked with gray boxes). 

digital vs physical items screenshots

Christy Barowich

Carnegie Library of McKeesport


Continue ReadingDigital vs. Physical Items in Catalog