Tag Archives: electronic resources

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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eBooks & beyond

We know what you’re looking for and we’re here to help! Did you get a Kindle, Nook or iPad? Maybe you just want to download some eAudiobooks for your iPod. Here are a couple of sites we recommend. First start here! Yes here at the library.

One-Click digital is a newly purchased resource for Dracut library card holders. It is an eAudiobook service that allows you to check out eAudiobooks from anywhere! We’ll be purchasing new material from Recorded Books on a regular basis, so the selections are always changing. What is so great about this service? It allows multiple users to listen to a book at the same time. Most people don’t realize that with other services like Overdrive, only one user at a time can use the material – which can translate to longer wait times.  We like One-Click and hope you will too!

Overdrive, available to all MVLC libraries, offers both eAudiobooks and ePublications. The plus side is that it offers ePublications not just eAudiobooks.  The downside is that you may have to go on the waiting list in order to get it. Overdrive only has a set number of copies available for use (yes, MVLC has to buy these copies!), so in the case of a wildly popular best seller, you may have a better chance of getting the actual hardcover book faster than the eAudio or ePub. If you’re not the impatient sort, then this won’t be a problem.  However, if you are technologically challenged, you may have trouble just getting started with Overdrive. If that’s the case, please call us – we don’t want you having a frustrating library experience!

It’s no surprise that publishers don’t like the idea of libraries buying an eBook and leading it to countless people free of charge. After all, publishers are in the business of selling books not giving them away. Project Gutenberg, founded in 1971 by Michael Hart,  is the oldest digital library in the world. It’s goal is to digitalized cultural works and make them available for distribution as eBooks. This is an amazing resource for everyone! From the Holy Bible to Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. It’s a wonderful resource and, with the help of volunteers digitizing works, is an ever-growing collection.

Know of any great eBook & eAudio sites we should know about? Please let us know – we’re always looking for resources to share!

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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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Dracut jobs

Looking for a job in the Dracut area? We have resources that can help.  Indeed.com allows you to search Dracut (or any city or town) for jobs by job title, keyword or company name.  JobQuest is another free site run by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which allows you to post your resume, search for jobs and training sites, as well as alerting you to job fairs across the state.  Don’t have a computer at home? We have public computers available to use, free with your library card! Pass the word along to your friends and family – together we can all get working!

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Filed under adults, electronic resources, Find It!

Historical maps

If you are doing genealogical research or just like looking at old, historical maps this is a link you should be looking at! It’s fun and who knows what you’ll see and discover!

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Historical Quadrangle Scanning Project (HQSP) is in the process of releasing all editions and all scales of more than 200,000 historic topographic maps of the United States dating from 1884-2006.

For more than 130 years, the USGS topographic mapping program has accurately portrayed the complex geography of our Nation. The historical topographic map collection contains all editions and all scales of USGS topographic quadrangles. Files are high resolution (600 DPI) scanned images of all maps from the USGS legacy collection.

The historical topographic map collection includes all States and U.S. territories mapped by the USGS. The HQSP creates a master catalogue and digital archive for all topographic maps and provides easy access to the public to download this historical data to accompany topographic maps that are no longer available for distribution as lithographic prints.

Historical maps are available to the public at no cost in GeoPDF format from the USGS Store. These maps are georeferenced and can be used in conjunction with the new USGS digital topographic map, the US Topo

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Pulitzer Prize Winner 2011

Last week, the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2011 were announced.  Among the winners are Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe for journalistic criticism and Jennifer Egan for her fictional work “A Visit from the Goon Squad”. For a list of all the 2011 winner click on our Pulitzer Prize Link. To request any of the winner books check out our online catalog.

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Nursing Exam Practice

Are you studying to be an RN or PN? Are you getting ready to take your NCLEX? The Dracut Library can help you prepare! With your Dracut Library card you are able to access from home, the databases of the Testing & Education Reference Center. Simply visit the Dracut Library Homepage. Click on the link for the Testing & Education Reference Center (it may also be found under e-resources). You will be asked to sign in using your library password (that’s your Dracut Library card number!) Once signed in, proceed to the career tools and the NCLEX test prep! Good Luck and thanks for your career choice!

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American Ancestors

Are you interested in researching your family tree? The Dracut Library has free in-library access to the databases of the New England Historical Genealogical Society.  Take advantage of their online seminars, articles and databases. Obtain access to early newspapers and diaries; Massachusetts vital records; Records of Massachusetts soldiers of the Colonial Wars; Middlesex County Probate Records from 1648-1909 and too much more to list! The access is available only on an in-house basis (which means you need to be in the library to use this resource), but we think you’ll find that it’s well worth the visit!

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5 iPhone apps for eBooks

Sometimes you find that you are alone with your phone. You wish you’d remembered your iPad, laptop, eReader, book, magazine – anything! Sure you can surf the web on your iPhone but you just wanted the comfort of fine (or not so fine) literature. Enter Mashable.com‘s  5 best iPhone apps for eBooks! No, you’re probably not going to download that 500 page book, but a quick read in a pinch may be just what the stress doctor ordered!

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Free eBooks & Audiobooks!

Are you thinking about joining the eBook craze but don’t know what devices are compatible with Overdrive (the Library’s free eBook/Audiobook resource)? Before you purchase your device, check out this handy Overdrive Resource Guide Find out what devices are compatible with OverDrive, how to test your device for compatibility, even price out the cost of purchasing the device in a Google price search. Once you have your device, go to the getting started with Overdrive guide and begin to enjoy the benefits of your 24/7 online library! Let the down loading begin!

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