Android Basics: The user interface

Once you’ve figured out how to use a touchscreen, you’re ready to dive into the Android user interface. This may look different depending on the specific device you have, but in general, all these things will be present on any Android device.

Lock screen

The first thing you’re greeted with when you turn on an Android device is the lock screen. The lock screen is simply a barrier that prevents anyone who picks up your smartphone or tablet from accessing all the information and apps you have stored on it. The lock screen also displays useful information like notifications and the time/date.

To get past the lock screen, swipe up. If you have your device set to require a PIN or pattern, it will ask you for it at this time. (If your device doesn’t have one, it’s a good idea to set a PIN—it prevents strangers from picking up your phone and having instant access to your email, Facebook, and other sensitive information.)

Home screen

The home screen in Android is similar to the desktop on a Windows computer—it’s the launching point for pretty much everything you do on your device. The home screen is composed of several different parts:

Navigation buttons

At the very bottom of the screen, you’ll see three buttons. How these appear varies by device, but in stock Android, they are represented by a triangle, circle, and square.

  1. The triangle (left) is the Back button. When you’re in an app, this brings you back to the screen you were previously looking at. This could be another screen within the app or, if you just launched the app, the home screen itself.
  2. The circle (middle) is the Home button. You can use this button to return to the home screen when you’re in an app.
  3. The square (right) is the Overview button. This shows you any apps you have running in the background. You can switch to open apps here or close them.


The dock is where you can store your most frequently used apps for quick access. In many cases, you’ll also see an icon for the apps menu, which displays all the apps installed on your device. For some newer versions of Android, there’s no longer a dedicated button for this—you have to swipe up from the dock to reveal this menu.

App icons

The majority of the home screen is taken up by space for app icons. This space is customizable and gives you quick access to frequently used icons. You can have multiple screens with different icons, usually represented by small dots beneath this area. Swipe left to view additional icons.

Notification drawer

At the top of the screen, you’ll find a status bar that displays the time, your device’s signal strength, notifications from apps, and other information. This bar will be present regardless of if you’re on the home screen or in an app. If you swipe down, this bar expands to reveal the notification drawer. Notifications are messages sent by apps on your phone that alert you when you have new messages and emails or provide other information the app deems important.

You can tap on a notification to open the app that sent it. If the notification is very long, sometimes all of the text won’t be displayed—you can simply swipe down on the notification itself to reveal additional information. Notifications can start to pile up if you don’t keep them tidy, so you can dismiss them by swiping them away to the side. If things get out of hand, there’s also a Clear All button that allows you to dismiss all notifications at once.

Swiping down again from the top of the notification drawer reveals quick access to frequently-used settings, like Wi-Fi networks and screen brightness. There’s also usually a gear icon displayed that lets you access the Settings menu.


Hoopla and Comic Books

Hoopla Digital is an online resource that is offered by the Stark County District Library.

Hoopla offers Audio books, Movies, Music, Comics, EBooks and Television.

One of the features in Hoopla is the Comic Book selection.

***Hint, Graphic novels are included in this category.


There are 12,769 comics that range from kids to adult, with more being added.

With a range of categories that can be chosen, from Abrams-Zenescope.

Capture.PNG 1


Nonfiction comic books are also included.


There is even a category for DC’s 25 Essential Graphic Novels.

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So, for a wider range of comic book and graphic novel reading, Hoopla is an excellent alternative.

Android Basics: How to use a touchscreen

If you’re used to a traditional mouse and keyboard, it can be hard to use the touchscreen on an Android device at first. In many ways, however, touchscreens are simpler—rather than having to manipulate a mouse cursor, you just directly touch your finger to the screen.

There are five basic types of touchscreen gestures you’ll need to able to perform to effectively use your Android smartphone or tablet:

  1. Tap– The simplest gesture is the tap. Tapping simply involves quickly pressing your finger down on the screen, then letting go—almost like clicking a mouse. The key is to tap quickly, not allowing your finger to linger on the screen and potentially be interpreted as a long press. Tapping is used to launch apps, open links, press buttons, etc.
  2. Swipe- The next important gesture to learn is the swipe. To swipe your finger, just gently move your finger in a straight line across the surface of the touchscreen. Swiping is used to scroll through apps or webpages, and can also be necessary to answer phone calls. The most common directions to swipe are up, down, left, and right, but in some apps—like Google Maps—you can swipe in any direction, even diagonally.
  3. Long press- As opposed to a simple tap, a long tap or press is where you hold down your finger on a button or text on the screen. After a second, you’ll feel a slight vibration and will then get a context menu. This is the equivalent of right-clicking on a computer and can be used to select text and copy and paste, as well.
  4. Drag- This gesture is a combination of the long press and the swipe and is how you move app icons on the home screen. While long pressing on an icon, simply drag your finger along the surface to move it, then let go when you’ve moved the icon where you want it. Be careful to keep pressure on the screen with your finger while dragging.
  5. Pinch-The final type of gesture you’ll need to know how to perform is the pinch. A pinch can be done in two different directions—pinch in or pinch out—to zoom in or out on your screen. To zoom in, place your thumb and index finger diagonally apart from each other, then spread them away from each other. To zoom out, simply reverse this motion and pinch your fingers together. Pinching is commonly used for photos, maps, and websites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices.

If you’re able to comfortably use the above gestures, you should be able to launch apps and navigate around the Android interface. Remember to be careful about inadvertently tapping the screen—it can be very easy to accidentally launch apps or enable settings if you’re in the habit of resting your fingers on the screen.

Returning Ohio Digital Library items @ SCDL

SCDL Mobile AppMany patrons know they can order they digital materials directly from the SCDL online catalog. But did you know you can also return your Ohio Digital Library items from the online catalog as well?

To return your ODL items from the SCDL online catalog, sign in to your SCDL online account. You will need your library card number and pin.

My account

Find your account information by selecting your name at the top of the screen.

Account Name

Once your are into your account, select My eBooks.

eBooks 1

Your digital items from the Ohio Digital Library will appear in a list. Each item will have the title, author, checkout information, provider, Check In and Get eContent options.

eBooks 2

  1. Title: Select the title to view the item’s record. eBooks3 Note: Use the back button to return to your account.
  2. Date: The date feature provides the item’s due date as well as the number of days remaining until item in automatically returned. ebook4
  3. EBook Provider: The ebook provided indicates the lending library. This logo is the Ohio Digital Library and OverDrive. ebook 5
  4. Check In: You may return your digital item by selecting Check In. eBook6     eBook7
  5. Get eContent: You can download your digital item directly from your SCDL online account by selecting the appropriate digital format. Note: It is best to do this from the device you will be accessing your digital materials. ex: Tablet, eReader, computer with proper apps.

ebook 8

Now you can keep track and work with your printed and Ohio Digital Library digital materials using your SCDL online catalog.

Happy ready,


Preferred Searches @ SCDL

SCDL Mobile App If you have a busy life like mine, searching for my favorite author’s new release or the next book in a series often goes to the bottom of the priority list. With Preferred Searches set up on my SCDL online account, I will receive an email letting me know when an item has been added to the collection.

Setting up a Preferred Search in your SCDL online account is easy and only requires your SCDL card number and pin.

Begin with signing into your library account.

Preferred Search 1

Log in to your SCDL online account using your library card number and pin.

Preferred Search 2

Select your name at the top of the page to open you online account. Then select Preferred Searches from the list to see what searches you have ready.

Preferred Search 3

To create a Preferred Search

Select the Classic Catalog option at the bottom of the page.

Preferred Search 4

Enter in your search terms as a Keyword, Author, or Series. There additional options under the drop down arrow. You can also narrow your item format using the drop down arrow for the View Entire Collection option. When ready select Submit.

Preferred Search 5

Your search will generate a list of items focusing on your search type, search terms, and collection options. The list will change as items are added or removed from the collection. When ready select Save as preferred search.

Preferred Search 6

Notice there are additional options for you to select.

  • Limit to titles which aren’t in my Reading History-Your list will not include items you have already read if you have the Reading History opted on.
  • Limit search to available items-Your list will only include items that are available at the time the list is selected from your Preferred List option.
  • Sorted by relevance | date | title-Your list will appear in the order of relevance. You may change it to Date or Title.

Now each time you select Preferred Searches from the list on your online account, you search will generate a new list with your search criteria.

Preferred Search 7

Happy Reading,


Creating a (Wish) List of Books and more @ SCDL

SCDL Mobile App Wondering what your next great read be? Discovered an interesting title while placing a hold on another? Or perhaps a friend recommended a book for later reading. Where can you keep a list that automatically links to the library for easy ordering when you are ready for it? Look no further, your SCDL online account can generate title lists connected to the catalog for easy access.

Access your SCDL online account from the library’s website.

My SCDL account

Log in to your SCDL account using your library card number and pin.

Account Log In

Access your Lists from your account.

My List 1

My List 2

To create a list locate the Classic Catalog option at the bottom of the page.

My List 3

Generate a Keyword, Author, even a Series search for your item(s) and then select Submit.


My List 4

Select Save to Book Cart to begin creating your list. You may select one title or as many as needed to complete your list. You may also add titles later.

My List 5

Select View Book Cart.

My List 6

Check each item you want on your list; select the drop down arrow and select Create a new list from the options; select Go.

My List 7

Give your list a title and description and then select Go.

My List 8

My List 10

When finished logout of the classic catalogy.

Now when you open up your SCDL account you will see your My Lists.

My List 11

Select a list and then select a title to open up the record in the catalog for requesting.

My List 12

Now you can enjoy adding titles to you lists for future reference.

Happy Reading,


Your Reading History @ SCDL

SCDL Mobile AppSo you remembered over the weekend that last year you had borrowed a book from the library containing recipes for cupcakes. It also contained a recipe for buttercream icing. Now what was the title humm….

Keeping a reading history is a great way to track the books you’ve read and to refer back to when things like recipes are needed. While not a wish list, it can even help you to decide what to read next. On your SCDL online account you have the option to participate in a reading history.

To find your reading history, first sign in to your SCDL online account.  You will need your library card number and pin.

My account

Find your account information by selecting your name at the top of the screen.

Account Name

Once you are into your account, select My Reading History from the list on the left side of the screen.

Reading History Link

Locate and select the Opt In button.

My Reading History Opt In

Now each time you check out an item from any location or online resource the title, author, date and number of copy details will add to your Reading History. Notice you can Delete items, Delete All items, Export your Reading History or Opt Out. You can even Print your list using the Print option on the right side of the screen.

Reading History Opt In window

If you see a title you would like to order again, click on the item title.

book information

You are taken to the item record where you may request the title or place it on hold.

Happy reading,


Paying Fees and Fines Online @ SCDL

SCDL Mobile App  Did you know you can pay your fines and fees totaling more than $1 online?

Paying your Fee or Fine can be done online using your SCDL online account and a credit card.

  1. Select My Account My SCDL account
  2. Log in to your SCDL online account using your library card number and pin.

Account Log In

3. Select Fines/Fees from the menu on the left of the screen.

fines and fees

4. Select Pay Online.


5. Enter your card information select Continue to finalize the process.

card information

You may still visit any SCDL location to pay any fines or fees if you rather to pay in person.

Continue watching for new blogs regarding the benefits your SCDL online account has in store for you.


Google Movie Maker

Did you know that you could make a short movie with Google Photos. It can only be done with an Android phone or tablet, but this has me excited. So, not only am I able to edit my photos that I take using Google Photos, I am now able to use those same photos to make a short movie with music and photos.

Image result for google photo movie

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app  
  2. Sign in to your Google Account
  3. At the bottom, tap Assistant
  4. At the top, tap Movie
  5. Select photos or videos you want in the movie
  6. At the top right, tap Create
  7. To add a title, at the top, tap Untitled
  8. For Music, tap Music
  9. For Themes, tap Themes
  10. To Remove or reorder clips, tap Edit
  11. When you’re done editing, tap Done

*For any Google Support questions, is a great place to start.

Make a fun and free New Year’s resolution with Mango Languages

A screenshot of the calendar for Mango’s 31 Days of Language challenge. You can also follow Mango on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to receive the challenges each day.

If you’re looking for a fun, free, and achievable New Year’s resolution, consider checking out Mango Languages and taking their 31 Days of Language challenge. Mango is encouraging its users to start learning a new language and complete an activity in the language they’re learning each day in the month of January.

We’re already a few days into the New Year, but it’s not too late to start. You can access Mango from our website under the Databases A-Z page or simply click this link. After authenticating with your library card number, you can access Mango anywhere.

Mango Languages is a language learning service provided by the Stark County District Library to its patrons free-of-charge. It offers courses designed to help build conversational skills in 72 different languages. You can find more information about the 31 Days of Language challenge on Mango’s blog.