Tag Archives: eBooks

More than your Grandmother’s Library…


I bet this picture is what you imagine libraries are like. You would not be alone. It’s not unusual for people to walk into our building, (newly constructed in 2006), and be shocked! It’s not just the bright, modern, physical building that amazes them. It’s our collection. It’s what a 21st century library offers. We are often  asked questions like:

  • Can you take out the DVD’s?
  • You have music? Can I take it out?
  • Can anyone use the computers?
  • Do you have WiFi?

The answer, of course is yes, yes, and yes! We have for years and it’s all free! What they don’t ask, because I suspect, they can’t even image what a 21st century library could offer is:

  • Do you circulated eBooks or Audiobooks?
  • Do you circulate eReaders?
  • Can I access Encyclopedia Britannica from home? Online? For free?
  • Do you have Music I can download from home?
  • Do you have computer and technical ebooks I can use from home?

Again, yes, yes, and YES!!! The library offers 24/7 services. Though it would be cost prohibitive to have the physical building open those hours, we do offer online services that you can access with your library card just by going to our website www.dracutlibrary.org .

Overdrive allows you to download eBooks or audiobook – for free. You don’t need to pay Amazon prices – check us out instead.

Encyclopedia Britannica is also available for free. It’s not that black bound tomb of a book you or your parents remember either! It’s a colorful teaching-education tool! Broken down by age group and ability, Britannica Online has some pretty nifty features like illustrations you can use for projects, maps, videos, and games.

And did you say you wanted free music? Try Freegal – download music with your library card. Oh, and did we tell you get to keep the music you download? All you need is your library card!

Have you been looking for the most up-to-date computer books but don’t want to pay the $50 or more? Did you know you can access these books from Safari Books Online? Safari Books offer an “online collection of over 3,000 computer and technical ebooks, covering programming, design, desktop publishing, ecommerce, online business, hardware and more, from publishers such as O’Reilly, Wiley, Pretence Hall, and many more.” It too, is free with your library card.

We are always trying to keep up with our community needs. We offer free movie showing, author talks, writing groups, children’s programs…the truth is, I could go on and on! We recently started a baking section which includes cake pans which you can check out – again for free. So far, our circulating cake pan collection has been a great success! We understand that not everyone can afford to purchase items they may only use once. That’s why we encourage you to get and use your library card. The truth is, if you haven’t been to a library lately, you really haven’t been to a LIBRARY!


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What we do…

Libraries are that government entity we sometimes forget exists. No, we’re not a flashy group of people. We’re just here for you when you need us – librarians trying to anticipate your growing needs. We purchase the books you will want to read, the movies you will want to watch, the music you may want to listen to. We have Kindles and eReaders  for you to use, and a staff person who can answers your questions and teach you how you use it. We have discounted passes to nine local museums like the New England Aquarium, Boston Museum of Science, and Zoo New England, (just to name three) – because we understand that otherwise, some in our community would never have a chance to experience the joy of discovery! We have computers for the community, because we understand not everyone can afford a computer and an internet connection. We are your connection to the world – whether your world is watching funny videos on YouTube on our public computers, emailing friends and family, posting pictures on Facebook, or downloading eBooks, audiobooks  or music through our FREE services, OverDrive and Freegal.

Libraries are Community. We have long been a food drop-off location for the Dracut food pantry. In the winter, we are a coat drop-off location for the Middlesex Shelter. We offer a Home Bound Delivery program for Dracut residents who, due to illness or age, can not longer drive to our building. We try to help keep your children’s minds active. Our children’s summer reading program had over 650 children participating this year. Our various summer activities, i.e., performers, movies, crafts, drew close to 700 people – both adult and children!!! Of course, we don’t know how many people have used our library for study groups or tutoring. We know our quiet study rooms are booked and our tables are being used. Parents,teachers, tutors, and students know we will provide a quiet, safe location – a respite – and that’s good enough for us. That’s what we are here for.

It’s why we were not surprised by the work of the librarians in Ferguson, MO. during the recent riots. I’m sure they were surprised that what they do everyday has suddenly received national recognition http://goo.gl/x34VWk or http://7shores.sharedby.co/QE5249 or http://goo.gl/HPLb17 We are proud of them – but not surprised by what they have been doing. Libraries, after all, are that forgotten government entity, quietly working behind the scenes in our communities. Here when you need us – and still here even when you don’t think you do (but really, you do!) If you haven’t visited us lately, you’ve been missing out on some great, free, community fun.  So I want to share with you some of the things we have planned  in the next couple of months (but always check our EventKeeper for a complete list and to register! http://goo.gl/muUYtx) And remember, we will always provide those quiet spaces for those who need it too!

September & October

  • Cake Decorating Demo & Tasting/Cake Pan Lending Launch Party
  • Knitting Connection (drop-in/open to all)
  • LEGO Club (for kids in grades K-5)
  • Bambinos (babies 1-11 months)
  • “The Fault in Our Stars” DVD release screening (Young Adult)
  • Meet the Chicken (meet a real chicken & make a craft)
  • Cribbage Club (all ages)
  • Adult Writer’s Program
  • Tiny Tea Party (children aged 2-5)
  • Busy Bee’s (ages 2-3)
  • Cosplay Day
  • Genealogy Programs
  • Old Fashioned Monster Movie Marathon!
  • The Delvena Theater Company Presents Jack the Ripper
  • Author Events
  • The Graveyard Girls (performance)
  • Halloween Party

Join our Community! You don’t know what you’ve been missing if you haven’t been visiting the library!

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Storybook Apps

When the Academy Awards were announced in January, our attention was drawn to Moonbot, a software developer and creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an iPad app that doubles as a book (or maybe it’s a book that doubles as an iPad app), which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short.  Children’s apps for the iPhone & iPad are not new,  and yes, Storybook apps – interactive children’s books for your iPad, have been around. For example, these were the Top Ten Storybook apps according to Kirkus Reviews for 2010. Storybook apps are what’s happening now and probably will be the future of children’s publishing (in some shape or form).  If there were doubts, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore may have changed a few minds.

For those parents who feel left behind in the digital age, we  introduce you to Apps for Homeschooling an app reviewing website that is for homeschoolers by homeschoolers. There are some great children’s apps reviewed here and you don’t need to homeschool to take advantage!  If you’re in shock that a library is promoting Storybook and iPad apps, my humble opinion is if an iPad app is the best way to educate and inform then, YES, do it! With Apple selling 15.4 million iPads last quarter, the digital world will only continue to grow. We know that – but our mission to direct you to helpful resources and information will not change – even if it means pointing you in a digital direction.

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Shopping Reviews for eReaders

Our Reference staff would like to share some eBook reader reviews for those who may be planning on buying an eReader this holiday season.  Check out the following links: eReader Comparison or eBook Reader 2012 for on line reviews. Or come in and check out the December 2011 issue of Consumer Reports (the Reference Desk has an issue you can view if the others are already checked out) or the January 2011 issue of PC World which feature reviews and articles on eReaders. Looking for information on how to download free books from Overdrive? Check out our December 8, 2012 blog post here.

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Using Overdrive for your ePubs & Audiobooks

Are you getting an getting a Nook, Kindle or iPad for Christmas? Did you know that you can download material for free using your library card? Our Reference staff has put together a quick getting started guide on how to download material using Overdrive. Remember however, that prior to using your device, you must register it with your manufacture (i.e, set up an iTunes account for example if you are using an iPad), prior to attempting to download anything. If you do not have a library card, (Huh? You don’t have a library card?!) – well, you need to come and pay us a visit so we can get you started! If you do have your card and your device, use these quick tips to get started:

Go to www.dracutlibrary.org

From the tabs at the top:

Click on Books & Media


Click on Digital Downloads

Please remember that not all books are available in Audio or E-Book format. There are usually a limited number of copies available of each title and you may need to go on a waiting list just as you do with the print format. Once you are at the

Overdrive site 

          Go to  Help/Information section (in the column along the left side)

You will need to check to see if your device or the device you are planning on purchasing is compatible   The Quick Start link will answer many of your questions.

      You may need to download free software

The My Help button will take you through the process step-by-step

When searching for material to download, be sure you click on the correct format:

          Audiobooks or eBooks

          You can limit your search to currently available titles

If you have questions on how to use your device go to the appropriate website.  Most e-reader manufacturers have excellent information on their sites.  Of course, the library staff will assist you whenever possible.

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Get your summer reading into Overdrive! Did you know, that with your library card, you are able to download ebooks, via Overdrive (MVLC Digital Downloads) at home for free? Compatible with eReaders as well as iPads, iPhone, iPods as well as your home PC – you can obtain a variety of titles anytime or anywhere! New to Overdrive? Click here for a step by step walk through to get you started!

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I spy eBooks!

Did you just get a new Kindle,  Nook or iPad? Are you looking for eBooks from a variety of sources? We invite you to take advantage of Overdrive from MVLC! Think of Overdrive as your virtual library: a free service that allows you to download eBooks 24/7 just like you would if you came to your brink and mortar library.

Of course there are other sources as well. I recently stumbled upon eBookFling billed as the next Netflix for ebooks. Give them both a try and let use know what you think! We’re always interested in sharing sources and sites you have found that are fun, useful and informative!

BookSwim, has launched a new website that it’s calling the “the Netflix for Books” called eBookFling.com. The site lets readers virtually “swap” eBooks using the Kindle and Nook lending features. The service is free and it only takes a second to sign up. Once you sign up, the site asks you to list eBooks in your library that you would like to share, pointing out that “sharing is caring.” You can import from either Kindle or Nook. Then you can browse titles to borrow from other users.

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1 Out-of-this-world Suggestion!

This posting is thanks to a sci-fi patron of ours. The site we were directed to is out of this world! Baen, the publishers of science fiction and fantasy novels, has made some of their material available electronically. The Baen Free Library allows you to download books in various formats. Since there’s no cost, it’s worth looking into – especially if you want to start a series and aren’t sure if you’re going to like it.

If anyone has other great finds, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!  Comments & suggestions are always appreciated! Find us on Facebook (dracutlibrary) or on Twitter @dracutlibrary

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National Read a Book Day

Today is National Read a Book Day!  I know that librarians can sound like nagging mothers when it comes to encouraging people to read, but we have medical science to back us up! Yes, some TV time can be a good thing but consider the follow (from Kidshealth.org) :

    Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight

    Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.

    TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.


    People learn to read by reading. Skill building is important, but without practice putting all the skills together, learning is slowed down. Quantity and intensity matter.

    Frequent practice reading for longer periods of time pays off in fluency and ability to use skills automatically.

    Increasing competence is motivating and increased motivation leads to more reading. When students can see their own progress, they want to read more.

    Pleasure reading has cognitive benefits. It improves skill and strategy use, builds fluency, enlarges vocabulary, and builds a student’s knowledge of the world.

    Children learn by example. Set aside 5 minutes of time where both you and your child read. Make it an important aspect of your day. As your child gets older, just doing the same activity can be a bonding experience – reinforcing the value of education. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, eReader or iPad, the important thing is Just do It!

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Summer crafts

Your kids have been out of school for 3 weeks and they’re bored already! Or maybe you’re looking for ideas so you can contribute items towards those fall crafts fairs. Let us direct you to a couple of craft websites recommended by our staff. The first is Craftown – a crafters paradise! Here you’ll find anything from online lessons, How-to eBooks to download even recipes and edible crafts! Whether you like crochet, cross stitch or are just looking for crafts to do with your kids, this is the site to checkout!

Have you always wanted to learn how to knit? Maybe you’re already a devoted knitter.  It doesn’t matter because Knitpicks has a little something for everyone. Get online tutorials, patterns, books even yarn!

Need more ideas for craft projects? Come in an browse our non-fiction shelves! We have a wonderful selection of  craft books,  just look on our shelves in our 745.5 section. Knitting, cross stitch and crocheting can all be found in our non-fiction 746.4 section. Confused as to where to find our books and DVD’s – Ask! We’ll be happy to show you the way!

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Filed under adults, all ages, children, Find It!, teen