In the Stacks: Renewals and YOU!

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve

This week’s edition: Renewals and YOU

emediaHello my fellow readers! It has been quite some time since I wrote last, I am so terribly sorry for the delay. I am writing today to share some new news that I have recently discovered and to shed some light on older news. What news am I talking about? Well I am talking about the greatest tool that is accessible to everyone in this district… RENEWALS!!!!

What are renewals you may ask (but probably not)??? Renewals are when you keep an item longer than when the item is initially due back. So to be a little nostalgic here, who remembers when you could only renew an item once? Yes to all of you interested folks out there, there was indeed a time in the district long long ago when you could only renew any item once. How the district didn’t buckle and shrivel down under the strain of that rule is certainly nothing short of a miracle. But now as we live and breathe, it is absolutely possible that any item you check out from one of our fabulous library branches is able to be renewed as many times as you want, provided that the items DO NOT have outstanding holds on them. Also, at certain libraries, periodicals (magazines) are only eligible to be renewed once. Another point is that items from one of the other libraries like the North Las Vegas branches might still only be able to get renewed once. I can say from experience though, that there are certain circumstances where library staff can circumvent that policy on a strictly case by case basis.

And to emphasize again how to renew your items I have a couple of simple solutions for you guys. The first way you can renew an item is to go to the self-check kiosks that you used to first check out your items and follow the same procedures as last time. Those procedures being that you enter in your card number and then your PIN. From there you just place the items back on the RFID pad to trigger your current due date. If the items don’t read on the pad, then by all means you can just scan the items under the portable scanner next to the pad. If you don’t have the items with you do not panic because you can still renew the items manually. To do that you just enter your card number and PIN on the kiosk to get to your main page. Then you press the bottom tab on the login screen that tells you how many items are checked out to you. Once that screen you selected pops up, you will see your full list of currently checked out titles. Then you just select the items that you want to renew and hit the “Renew Items” button on the bottom right corner of the screen. The items will trigger the new due dates and once you hit the “Logout” button you will get a new receipt with the renewed items listed as well as the new due dates. The next approach to renewing an item is to renew online. You will need to access your online account by going to our website (everyone say it with me, “LVCCLD.org”) and clicking on the “My Account” tab in the main screen. You will be prompted to enter your library card number and PIN and then a new page will come up to display your name and everything currently checked out to you. Like on the self-check kiosks, you can select the items that you want to renew and then hit the “Update” tab on the top of the screen to renew the titles. Now take a moment here fellas because it is up to you as patrons to make sure a new due date pops up after all that. Again, if there’s holds on an item and for some reason the items couldn’t be renewed, don’t go thinking that just because you followed the steps and hit all the right buttons that everything gets automatically renewed. CHECK FOR THE NEW DUE DATES!!! And just in case you all were thinking this, allow me to fill you all in on another detail about renewals. If you have an item that is overdue and you want to renew it, don’t think you won’t have a fee if you renew the item while it’s late. An item can still be renewed on your card (although late) for more time, but you will accrue whatever the current late fees are on your record. Late fees are typically .25 cents per item per day. The goal is to enjoy your items for as long as possible without owing us money. That way we are all happy.

Now dear readers… that was just the old news I wanted to bring up for your knowledge. Here is where the information gets “juicy” so to speak. As I’m sure it has become abundantly clear to most of you, our library district has become more and more experienced in this new technological age by increasing our services in the form of e-Media. The one main question that every e-Media savvy patron asks us is: “Can you renew e-Media items?”, and if you’ve ever asked a staff member that question then you already know the answer… NO. Yet I sit here today proud to tell you all that as of Monday, July 22nd– that policy is about to change. Starting this coming Monday, e-Media items will be eligible to get renewed once for you guys. Here’s how the new service will work: Once you check out (download) an e-Media item, you then go back into your online e-Media account and there will be a new tab next to the item title that simply says “Renew”. By selecting that tab, you are putting yourself back on the request list for the item that you just checked out. This way, once your item has reached its expiration date and would normally clear itself from you record, the item will just “fill your hold” and then you can check the item out again for a longer time. Now there is an obvious point to be made that if you aren’t the next person on the hold list for the item, you will have to wait longer to check it out again. But I have to say everyone, something is better than nothing right?

So mark your calendars for Monday the 22nd, and try out this amazing new feature provided to you by the one and only LVCCLD. Until next time fellow library lovers, stay reading, and stay classy. J

Advertisements

In the Stacks: eMedia – Help is on the way!

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve

emediaHello, my dear readers. It is time once again to mention some more amazing services that your local library has to offer. I wanted to touch up on something that I’ve mentioned before in a blog long long ago. That subject being none other than LVCCLD’s eMedia Catalog. Now here at Whitney Library, we are planning on getting serious about our eMedia services this summer. We understand that our catalog keeps adding more and more electronic copies of materials, added to the fact that thousands upon thousands of you fine patrons are getting Kindle Fires and iPads for presents and have finally decided it is time to get some free stuff loaded onto them. Since that is the case more often than not, many of you keep putting off eMedia because you can hardly get past even turning on your electronic devices; and personally, I can’t blame you guys. If any of you remember my last blog about eBooks, you’ll recall how long it took me to realize I could get eMedia downloads onto my iPod Touch!

Now I completely get that since this e-download stuff started happening it seemed like rocket science to master how to set up your device and download materials from our website (lvccld.org in case you forgot). However fellas, the library district has honestly felt your pain, and we want nothing more than for you all to freely check out our eMedia services and start downloading our awesome materials that we have available for check out. So… I’d like to take this time to share some helpful tips on how to further proceed with mastering our eMedia Catalog. For starters, once you log onto our website you select the tab on the top left of the screen titled “Books, Movies, & More”. That will bring you to a new page where you will see five grey tile boxes on the top of the screen. The box furthest to the right as you shall see is called simply “eMedia”, select the box and it will show you links to everything you need to know about the online catalog. It will give you a quick start link which will give you step by step instructions on what software to download and how to start browsing our online catalog for downloadable titles. There are links to FAQs and more helpful hints about eMedia. There is also a link to tell you what devices you can use with our eMedia and what type of files can be put on each device as well (like EPUB, PDF, etc.). And if you still find yourself lost and bewildered online without any idea of what to do next, you can always call our Virtual Library at 507-6300 during regular business hours and someone will happily assist you.

In terms of eMedia services within the library, Whitney Library is offering wonderful help this summer! We have just set up an entire display up front devoted to promoting our great eMedia catalog. There are bookmarks, fliers with detailed instructions on how to download titles, and many MANY books about service and maintenance for all those different e-book devices out there. And on a side note, the wonderful librarians in Reader Services are looking into setting up one on one sessions for interested patrons about some hands on instruction with managing your devices and setting up your eMedia accounts (but shhhh… it’s not official just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for any news about that service later in the summer). The point is guys; we would love nothing more than to help you with your eMedia questions and concerns as much as possible. We are all trying to master this new wave of technology and the ways books and audiobooks check out nowadays, and we want to be able to give you all the help that you need. And before I forget patrons, if you are marked in our system as a Henderson resident, you will unfortunately not be able to access our eMedia catalog. But you can always stop by a local Henderson location and they should be more than happy to let you use their eMedia catalog. So stop on by everybody! While your kids are signing up for our fabulous Summer Reading Program, head over to your Reference/Reader Services area and look into getting some e-books this summer.  And don’t forget we also have other online services like Freegal and Zinio for online music and magazines!

In the Stacks: Free, Fun, and Fabulous eMedia!

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight From the Mind of Steve

emediaI am really hoping that this won’t sound so bad, but I absolutely love stuff that is free. Not that I will go out of my way for bargains on most things, but when something of good quality is provided to me without any fee or charge, it’s just fantastic! My latest “freebee” I’m going to gloat about getting… an eMedia account.

Now, I’m sure most of you are saying “Steve, come on! We’ve had eMedia forever, you’re only just now using it!?” Well yes, unfortunately for me I am just such a late bloomer to most hip/new things. By that I must say that it took me all the way until the opening weekend of the last Harry Potter movie to actually read all of the books! Now to provide some back story to this whole eBook business, I’d like to share with you all that I own an iPod Touch. I have had it a little over a year now, and I love it something fierce. Yet with me being a big music buff, all I have ever used it for is playing my plethora of songs off of my iTunes account. It never even occurred to me that I could also be getting free materials from the library on my iPod as well. Boy, what a fool was I.

About a month ago, I decided I was going to tackle the feat of getting eMedia items on my iPod Touch. I will admit that I had always felt intimidated by all of the steps involved with setting up an eMedia account on one’s portable device. However readers, I am here to say it really wasn’t that bad at all. All you really need to set up your device to get eMedia items is a wireless connections and a quick download of one, maybe two types of software and or apps. Now I am sure I could go on pontificating about which devices require which specific type of software/app to use, but I will stop myself and simply say that if you ever have any direct questions on those matters, please feel free to contact the Virtual Librarians at 507-6300. Also, if you felt so inclined, there will be a digital bookmobile stopping by Summerlin Library on March 25th and Clark County Library on March 26th. There will be various staff members and volunteers there to physically provide you with all the general services required for getting your devices set up with eMedia. The bookmobile will be open to the public from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and there will be a drawing at the end of those days for someone to win a free Sony eReader!!! But enough plugging our services; back to the story at hand.

The first step I needed to conquer eMedia downloads was to have a wireless connection. Since I am at the library 5 days out of the week, I easily got logged into my library’s unfiltered access no problem. From there I accessed my iTunes account and downloaded the free Overdrive Media App. Once that downloaded I was prompted to download the newest version of the software titled “iOS”. Keep in mind this whole process only took me but 5 minutes tops. Once my iPod Touch had that software installed, I simply opened my new Overdrive App which told me I had to register an Adobe ID (which I did straight from the App and it only took my simple-minded self about two minutes). Then I was good to go and check out my pick of up to 50 e-media items. You can use Overdrive to search e-media catalogs from libraries all over the country (provided of course that you have an active membership with them).

I have been browsing our LVCCLD catalog for about a week now, but I still haven’t decided what my first book is going to be. I tried to download an eBook version of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, but that copy was checked out. I also was about to download The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London which always has copies available as it is a classic item, but I changed my mind at the last minute. Yes dear readers, I do have just as much of an eclectic taste in books as I do in music. Sometime soon, I just know I will pick my first eBook, and once I do all I’ll have to do is add it to my eMedia bag, then proceed checkout and download the book straight onto my iPod. I really am looking forward to it, but until that time I’m gonna keep browsing through the thousands of titles available right at my fingertips. Remember folks, don’t be a Steve… don’t be late to the party. Get your devices and start checking out some eMedia posthaste.

Get an earful of summer reading with this great offer!

Beginning June 14, readers of young adult and classical literature will have the chance to download 2 free audiobooks per week until August 22 from Audiobooksync.com.  First up is the young adult title The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch paired with the classic The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  Downloads are available for one week only and once loaded, can be listened to at any time.

Visit the Audiobooksync.com website for a complete list of this summer’s titles, and make sure you don’t miss out on each audio release date by signing up for alerts via text message or email.  Also, be sure to check out the extensive eAudio offerings through the Library District’s web page.  Some titles can even be downloaded to your iPod!

Audiobooks are a great way to do some summer reading.  Listen by the pool or while you’re cleaning your room.  They’re also perfect for long car trips and can be enjoyed by the whole family!  What great audiobooks have you listened to?

Reason #2 to Sign Up for the Summer Reading Program: There are SO Many Amazing Books to Read This Summer and So Many Ways to Enjoy Them!

Summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading all the amazing books there are to read, and there are so many different ways to enjoy books!  Not a great reader?  No problem!  Did you know that the best way to improve your reading is to…read?  Simply practicing your reading for 20 minutes a day can make you a better reader by the end of the summer.

Being read to by someone else is also a great way to enjoy books.  You can count those bedtime stories that someone reads to you as part of your 20 minute goal each day.  Teens, you can read to younger brothers and sisters for 20 minutes per day, and you’ll all earn prizes for it!

Going on a long car trip?  Check out a CD audiobook to listen to on the way!  Try the Harry Potter series read by master narrator Jim Dale.

Planning on spending all your time in front of your computer this summer?  Check out Funbrain.com where you can read books and mad libs.    You can read an online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid instantly!

Don’t forget about all the wonderful eBooks and eAudiobooks you can enjoy straight from your computer, your eReader, or even your smart phone through the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s eMedia Catalog.  All titles are free and access to the catalog is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week!

Not sure what to read?  Stop by the Children’s Desk and we will help you select the perfect book for your summer reading.  We also have reading lists on our website for Kids and Teens.

The Summer Reading Program starts tomorrow, June 1!  Come in to the library or go online to sign up and get your reading log.  Call 507-4015 for more information.

Meet our Branch Manager, Ann!

Ann has been working at the Whitney Library for almost 2 years.   Her favorite thing about her job is knowing that our library makes a positive difference in the community.

Ann wants you to know that in addition to the wonderful resources we have in the building, we also have quite a few valuable resources online, including databases, free homework help, and eMedia.  For more information about these services and how to use them, visit our website or give us a call at 507-4010.

One of Ann’s favorite books is Lost by Michael Robotham.

Ann and the rest of us thank you for using the Whitney Library and hope to see you soon!