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Library patrons have plenty to tap into

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:46 p.m. CST

Hi everyone! This month, I would like to tell you about a couple of services that Three Rivers Public Library District subscribes to for patron use.

Our newest database is Zinio, which is a way for patrons to download magazines to their computer, most tablets and smartphones. The best thing about Zinio is that once you download a magazine you can keep it for as long as you want. You cannot download back issues, though. We currently have a small selection of magazines, but it continues to grow.

Another fun database that we offer is called Universal Class, which has more than 500 courses you can take online at your own pace. There is everything from gardening and computer classes to scrapbooking and photography. Some of the topics have multiple courses available. For instance, there are 24 cooking classes to choose from, ranging from basic cooking and baking to catering 101 to Spanish cooking.

If you’re a music lover, you’ll want to know about Freegal. With your library card, you can download three free songs per week, yours to keep for as long as you want. There are more than 3 million songs in the database currently. We were excited to learn recently that Freegal will be expanding the musical selection. By this summer, it will have more than 7 million songs to choose from. They will also have a selection of music videos, each worth two of your three weekly downloads.

For our book fans, we have downloadable e-books and audiobooks. Similar to Zinio, these items can be downloaded to a computer, most tablets or smartphones and also e-readers. The difference is that most of these are a one-to-one checkout, meaning only one person at a time, just like a physical book. We do belong to a consortium, which helps us to greatly increase the titles we can offer. There are additional titles that we purchase for our cardholders. You can select your checkout period for 7, 14 or 21 days.

At the end of the checkout period, you will not be able to read/listen to the title. If no one had a hold on it, you can check it out and download it again.

If you prefer a physical item, check out one of our Playaways, which are audiobooks on an MP3 player. These devices are nice because you don’t have to worry about switching out CDs. You can also checkout an auxiliary cord for use in your car or a tape cassette adapter, if applicable. These are available in both of our buildings.

You can download an app to your smartphone or tablet for Zinio, Freegal or Overdrive (downloadable books).  For Zinio, you do need to login on the computer to get the most recent issues of the magazines to download.

If you need help using any of these services, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout at (815) 467-6200 in Channahon or (815) 467-1600 in Minooka.

Happy reading and listening.

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