Goodbye, Flipster

In September, the Digital Resources Committee announced that Allegheny County Libraries’ subscription to the eMagazine service Flipster would not be renewed and that on December 31st, 2022, this service will disappear. 

Some patrons may take issue with Flipster disappearing, so if that occurs, here are some talking points. 

  • Usage for Flipster has decreased over the years while circulation numbers for Overdrive and Hoopla have risen.  
  • Public libraries have limited resources. 
  • Flipster offers limited access to latest/back issues and the app is limited when it comes to accessibility features. 

There will still be plenty of options available for magazine lovers. In fact, Overdrive offers thousands of options to choose from and Hoopla’s growing collection can be accessed with a single borrow as part of its BingePass program.

-Erin Weaver, Bridgeville Public Library

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New Tech E-Book Collection

Tech users rejoice! A new collection of e-Books was recently made available to all Pennsylvania residents with a library card via the POWER Library.

Patrons can now explore a great collection in EBSCO E-Books that can help in library technology projects and to advance their career, hobby, or home-tech. Look for keywords like Ansible, Apache, AWS, Azure, DevOps, Django, Godot, Grafana, Java, Kubernetes, Microsoft, .net, Python, Rust, Swift, Unity, and so much more to find e-book materials and guides to using current and cutting-edge technologies.

Titles are available for download to a computer or via the EBSCO mobile app with unlimited access for simultaneous use. Be sure to pass on to tech-interested patrons about this new collection!

For more information, see the press release from PDE: PA Department of Education: Nearly 1,000 New E-Books Added to POWER Library for Pennsylvanians.

— Heather Auman, Western Allegheny Community Library

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It Came from the Library!

Ready to hear a scary story involving two fantastic digital resources that are perfect for instigating Halloween fun?

It was a dark and stormy-uh…morning…when the library patron walked into their local library. They were there to check-out their favorite Halloween movie. When they approached the circulation desk they saw…A LIBRARIAN! No, something scarier…a TECHNICAL SERVICES LIBRARIAN!

This feels like an overreaction.

Anyway, they asked for help finding the movie but to their horror they couldn’t quite remember the title! It was based on a book written by Anne Rice. Brad Pitt was in the movie along with…Jonah Hill? No, you’re thinking of Moneyball. Did Anne Rice write Moneyball?

The patron’s movie plans were getting slashed right before their eyes until they were reminded of, the exact resource they needed — linked right there on their library’s website. The Internet Movie Database provides information on films, television series, and online streaming content. The patron was able to figure out the movie they were looking for and they found information about the cast, production crew, plot summaries, trivia, ratings, and reviews!

Yeah, I remember it being a 7.5 too.

They also learned through that Interview with the Vampire was recently re-VAMP-ed into a TV series. That’s going on the binge watch list. As the patron was checking out, they remembered their Interview with the Vampire themed Halloween party. That’s tonight! They meant to grab a copy of the original movie soundtrack! Surely, getting ahold of this item was going to be a hassle.

Oh no! The narrator was conveniently wrong for the sake of proving a point!

The patron was reminded of hoopla, the free resource through their library where they can stream all sorts of digital media like music, audio books, e-books, movies, TV and comics. They can stream this soundtrack directly from their computer or phone! They even found some Halloween e-books to read to their children after a fun night of trick-or-treating.

The library patron left with exactly what they were looking for and more, thanks to and hoopla. Both of which can be found on your very own library website. Scary stories don’t usually get endings as happy as this one. What a twist!

Derek, South Park Township Library

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Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Do you ever find yourself wondering if a company is reputable or if a deal is really a scam? Maybe you want to give an end of year donation to a charity and need to know more about them. Sometimes we could benefit from tips to stay safe online or even read about celebrating Halloween on a budget.

Luckily, there is the Better Business Bureau to help with all of this and more! The BBB is a private non-profit organization that is not affiliated with any government agency. It has been in existence since 1912 continuing to offer its services to consumers free of charge.

Some of the services they offer include:

  • Search for a specific company or charity
  • Browse for a company by topic
  • File a complaint
  • Have your businesses accredited
  • Use the BBB Scam Tracker to search for or report a scam
  • Sign up for the monthly BBB electronic newsletter
  • Submit a review on a business
  • Schedule a free guest speaker for your next meeting/program
  • Get tax tips

These and many more services are available via their web site. So next time you are in need of a contractor, charity, lawyer, etc. be sure to do your homework and use the Better Business Bureau’s resources.

Lisa Akenhead – Northland Public Library

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