Improvements for Kindle users in Ohio Digital Library

If you’re a Kindle lover like me, then I have some good news for you. On October 30th, Overdrive made several changes to improve the user experience specifically for Kindle users. The first of these changes can be found on the Loans page. The Kindle option is now the first format presented to borrowers as seen in the grey box below. You can simply click this link to be taken to Amazon to download your book.

The second change allows readers to select Kindle as their preferred format. To do this, go to your Settings page and scroll down to Content Preferences. Once there, you will see where it says Kindle Preference. Click to check mark the box and save Kindle as your preferred reading method. This will set it so you will only be shown the Kindle option for your borrowed ebooks.

 

This setting can also be changed when you filter a search by Kindle Book or when you borrow a Kindle Book. A box will pop up and ask you if you want to select Kindle as your preferred reading method going forward. Simply click on the red box as seen below to do this. This preference can be changed at any time from the Settings page.

The final change you will notice is a Kindle Books link in the Navigation menu. This will generate a search for all Kindle Books in the library’s collection, sorted by date added. This is just another way to browse Kindle Books.

I think these are great new features for us Kindle users and hopefully they will improve your experience and help you find your next favorite book even faster.

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iOS 11: 3 new features to check out on your iPad

iOS 11 was recently released for iPhone and iPad owners. The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system includes some useful new features that allow you to multitask easier, especially on the iPad.

If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 11 yet, go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPad. If you have an older iPad, your device may not be compatible with the latest update—check out this list of iPad models compatible with iOS 11 (scroll to bottom of page for list).

The Dock

iOS 11’s biggest innovation is bringing the Dock to mobile devices. If you’ve ever used a Mac, you’ll be familiar with the taskbar at the bottom of the screen that allows you to quickly switch between different apps. The Dock has made its way to iOS, and it behaves very similarly to its desktop counterpart—most notably, it can be accessed even while you’re using another app.

To reveal the Dock from any running app, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen. On the left, you’ll see your favorite apps you’ve pinned to the Dock. On the right, you’ll see several recent or suggested apps you can quickly switch back to. You can add apps to the left side of the Dock by going to the home screen and dragging apps onto the Dock.

Control Center

Control Center has been redesigned in iOS 11. To open it from the home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If you’re already in an app, do the same thing, but keep swiping after the Dock is revealed until the Control Center appears. (Alternately, you can do a short swipe once to reveal the Dock, then swipe again to reveal Control Center.)

The new Control Center shows your running apps as well as provides you with quick access to commonly used settings. You can hold down on some settings to expand them and see more options. If you want to customize what buttons appear in Control Center, go to Settings > Control Center.

You can close out of apps from the Control Center by swiping them vertically. If you tap on an empty space in the Control Center, you’ll be taken back to the home screen.

Split View & Slide Over

Another new feature introduced in iOS 11 is the ability to view two apps at once in a split-screen view. To use Split View, open one app, then open the Dock and drag the other app you’d like to view to either the right or left side of the screen. The second app will expand and take up roughly a third of the screen.

Drag the bar in the middle of the two apps to adjust the proportions of the Split View. If you want to remove an app from Split View, just drag the slider toward one side of the screen until the app disappears.

Certain apps also support running as a small window on top of other apps as a Slide Over. To create a Slide Over, drag an app above the Dock and release it. You can move the app’s position by dragging the small bar at the top to the right or left. Drag the app down and then to either side of the screen to create a Split View, or drag the app off the screen to the right to dismiss it. The Slide Over app can be reopened by swiping in from the right side of the screen.

Both Split View and Slide Over seem to be limited to apps located on your Dock, so it’s probably a good idea to put frequently used apps there.

Hoopla adds Pimsleur and Little Pim for Children!

Have you always wanted to learn Mandarin?  Perhaps Russian? Both along with 30+ additional languages are now on Hoopla! Learn your language of choice while driving or walking your dog. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Children can also enjoy mastering a new language with Little Pim. Each lesson contains 60 plus vocabulary words and phrases for them to practice at home.

To locate the list of 30+ languages use the keyword search “Pimsleur” or “Little Pim” in Hoopla’s search box.

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The search will reveal all of the language courses available to borrow using your Hoopla account and an SCDL library card.

To borrow an item from Hoopla, select the item to open.

Tap on the Borrow button to add the item to your Hoopla account.

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To locate borrowed item tap on the My Hoopla option at the top of the page.

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Locate the item in your list of borrowed items and then select item cover to open.

Select the Play button to begin learning a new language.

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Learn more about Hoopla and other SCDL digital collections by contacting your local SCDL location or visit online.

Need assistance? Set up an appointment with one of our Digital Trainers.

 

Book an Expert @ SCDL

Help with mobile tech devices, Microsoft, Google, Macs, Internet and more is available for you at your nearest SCDL location. Whether you’re a novice learning a new device or a power user looking to make the most of your technology, our trained tech librarians can help. You may set up a 55 minute appointment with a trained librarian at an SCDL location closest to you.

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Need additional time for learning, or are you someone that would like to take a technology class? Join one of our many technology classes that range from basic skills for beginners to more advanced classes in Facebook for Small Business or Creating Websites: Google Sites. Need office skills? Join us for our Job Skills Training Series in Microsoft and Google products.

To learn more about our Technology Training classes contact your local SCDL location to speak with a Technology Trainer or visit SCDL Computer and Technology Training. Registration for all technology classes can be done using our online registration. To register for recent or future classes visit SCDL Events use the search term Technology and expand the Date Range for up to 6 months.

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Hoopla: The Great Courses

Hoopla logoAre you a lifelong learner? The Great Courses, now offered on Hoopla, include college-level courses in digital format. Join us on Hoopla and discover the History of the Ancient World or explore Gothic cathedrals in the Cathedral series. Learn a new language or study math and physical science at your own pace. All are just a few clicks away. All you need is a device with Internet access and an SCDL card. Don’t have an SCDL card? Click here to apply today.

To locate the list of 1200+ titles with the keyword search “Great Courses” in Hoopla.

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The search will reveal all Great Course options to borrow.

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To borrow an item from Hoopla, select the item to open.

Tap on the Borrow button to add the item to your Hoopla account.

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To locate borrowed item tap on the My Hoopla option at the top of the page.

Locate the item in your list of borrowed items and then select item cover to open.

Select the Play button to enjoy your Great Course selection.

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Learn more about Hoopla and other SCDL digital collections by contacting your local SCDL location or visit online.

Need assistance? Set up an appointment with one of our Digital Trainers.

 

 

There are dinosaurs in the library!

Pick up an Augmented Reality book and explore new worlds and technology.  Augmented reality books allow you to not only read about a subject but also interact with it by “lifting” it out of the book and into your world.  All you need is an AR book, an app from the Apple or Android app store, an internet connection, and the desire to have fun.

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The library carries several AR books on different subjects including dinosaurs, bugs, robots, storms and more.  I created the above picture using the Jurasic World book.  Create your own by

  • Checking out an AR book
  • Download the app listed in the front of each book
  • Follow the directions in the book to interact with the contents
  • Even take pictures to share with friends

Kids, teens and adults have fun reading, exploring and creating with AR books

RBdigital app replaces Zinio for Libraries on mobile devices

If you’re still using the Zinio for Libraries app to read magazines from the SCDL, be sure to update to the new RBdigital app. Starting later this month, the Zinio for Libraries app will no longer work.

Patrons still using the Zinio for Libraries app may encounter a message such as this one prompting them to download the new RBdigital app.

Recorded Books, the vendor we partner with for this service, has been informing users of Zinio for Libraries about the need to update to the new app for several months.

The new RBdigital app streamlines the process for downloading magazines. Now you’ll be able to browse and read digital magazines within the same app with one account that’s linked to your SCDL library card.

The RBdigital app can be downloaded for iOS, Android, and Amazon’s Fire OS. After downloading the app to your device, simply sign in with the same RBdigital account you were already using to browse and check out magazines.

Our digital magazine collection can still be accessed through the web, as well. Visit https://www.rbdigital.com/starkcountyoh/service/magazines to view the titles we offer and read them in your web browser.

Upcoming downtime for part of SCDL digital collection

***UPDATE*** RBdigital informed us that the scheduled time for the update has been changed to next Wednesday, September 20 at 8:00 pm. You’ll notice service interruptions at that time for the services mentioned below.

If you read digital magazines from the SCDL using RBdigital or Zinio, you might be in for a brief amount of downtime. RBdigital will be making an update to their services that could cause disruptions for users on the web and in mobile apps on Wednesday, September 13 starting at 8:00 pm according to an email sent by the RBdigital team.

For SCDL users, this includes the RBdigital app, Zinio, and Atomic Training. RBdigital is estimating the update could take up to eight hours.

Find items faster with redesigned website search

Starting today, you’ll notice a new and improved user interface when you search at starklibrary.org. The search results page has been redesigned to make it quicker and easier to find what you want in our catalog.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • It’s now easier to find different types of items. You can select between Books, Digital items, Video, and lots of other result types simply by clicking the bar at the top of the search results page.
  • The new user interface loads titles as you scroll, making in-depth searches a lot more convenient.
  • Digital materials are clearly marked by item type (for example, ebooks, audio, and video). This is indicated on the thumbnail for each item.
  • The links that take you to SearchOhio or OhioLink to see if they have what you’re looking for are now located at the bottom of the screen under the blue Can’t find something? bar. You’ll also have the option to conveniently request that we purchase an item not found in our catalog.

How to be safe and smart when downloading apps from Google Play

If you’re using an Android device, you’ve probably downloaded an app from Google Play at some point. Also known as the Play Store, Google Play is the go-to source for Android apps. In theory, all apps in an app store like Google Play should be safe because they’re vetted by Google prior to being published—that’s the advantage of the more controlled “walled garden” environment found on mobile devices.

Every garden has weeds, however, and Google Play is no exception. There have been reports that Google has removed apps from the Play Store due to the presence of spyware. Even relatively “safe” apps can request excessive permissions, potentially enabling data collection and tracking you aren’t even aware of.

The following are some tips for staying safe when downloading apps from Google Play:

Preview permissions

An example of the permissions an app on Google Play can require.

On Android, apps exist in what’s called a sandbox. Basically, by default, an app can’t access any other apps or make changes to the system as a whole. Although this keeps you safe from malware, it can also limit what apps are capable of doing. Permissions are granted to apps to allow them to perform special tasks—like access your camera or microphone—in a transparent and controlled way.

You can preview the permissions an app needs to run in Google Play before you install it by scrolling to the bottom of its page in the Play Store and tapping Permission details. This gives you an overview of the special permissions an app will receive when you download it. In newer versions of Android, apps have to explicitly ask you for certain permissions after they’re installed, like the ability to access your device’s storage.

Determine the number of downloads

Google Play prominently displays the amount of times an app has been downloaded at the top of the screen under the Install button. Keep an eye on this when you’re thinking about downloading a new app.

The number of times an app has been downloaded is displayed prominently in Google Play.

Although there’s nothing wrong with installing an app that’s only been downloaded a few thousand times, the more users an app has, the more visible the app will be and there will be less opportunity for malware to fly under the radar. It can also help you recognize and avoid “clone” apps that may distract you from the real app you’re trying to download.

Remember to research

Beyond permissions and number of installs, there are other ways to make sure an app is safe. In many cases, you can learn more about who made an app and what the app does by going to the app developer’s website (found at the bottom of the app’s Play Store listing under Additional Information). It’s also a good idea to check out reviews for the app, both on Google Play itself and online by simply searching for the app on a search engine.