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  • freegal halloween

    There are two holidays that stick out in my mind as having the best music. Christmas, of course, and Halloween. Nothing gets me in the haunting mood like a creepy minor chord.  Freegal, which allows you to download 3 songs a week with your Provo City Library Card, has a wonderful collection of those classic creepy tunes you are looking for.

    Here’s a list of some of the best for your spooky playlist!

    THRILLER
    By Michael Jackson
    (1984)

    MONSTER MASH
    By Bobby Boris Pickett
    (1962)

    GHOSTBUSTERS
    By Ray Parker Jr
    (1983)

    I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
    By Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
    (1956)

    LOVE POTION #9
    By The Clovers
    (1959)

  • borrow ebooks

    I recently learned that Google has made finding free legal eBooks that can be borrowed from the library easier than ever. I was curious how well it worked, so I experimented with the feature. Here is what I discovered for both desktop and mobile versions.

    Desktop Computer3.12 Desktop Version

    After entering a book title on Google, the feature appears on the right side within what is known as the Google Knowledge Graph display. Basically, there is a box on the right side of the screen next to the search results. The box contains information about the book including ratings and reviews from various websites, book summary, publication date, author, genre, awards (if any), online bookstores where it is available to be purchased and FINALLY the Borrow ebook section.

    Be aware that if the book title is not available from the library, you will not see the Borrow ebook section. However, keep reading for additional search quirks.

    If the eBook is available, you will see a list of libraries within your geolocated range or, in other words, libraries nearby. If the wrong libraries are displayed, you can change your location by clicking on the Edit Location link and entering your zip code or city name. The library list will then reload.

    Don’t see Provo City Library listed? No problem.

    Provo City Library’s eBook holdings are found within the Utah’s Online Library collection. Utah’s Online Library gives Provo City Library card holders access to both the Provo City Library eBook collection and the Utah State Library collection.

    After searching, click on Utah’s Online Library to either borrow the item immediately or place a hold which will then notify you via email when the eBook is available.

    Please note, to borrow free legal eBooks from the online library, you will need a Provo City Library card. Library cards from other Utah libraries can also be used to check out eBooks from Utah’s Online Library, but will not give you access to Provo City Library’s collection.

     

    Mobile Device3.12 Mobile Version

    After searching Google on a mobile device, look for the block of color in the search results that shows the title and author of the book. Just below the title and author is a mini menu.

    Tap on Get Book in the mini menu. Then look for Borrow ebook. This section can be found just below the list of online bookstores.Tap on Utah’s Online Library. You will then be redirected to the eBook entry for the title you entered. Here you can either borrow the item immediately or place a hold which will then notify you via email when the eBook is available.

    Please note, to check out free legal eBooks from the online library, you will need a Provo City Library card. Library cards from other Utah libraries can also be used to check out eBooks from Utah’s Online Library, but will not give you access to Provo City Library’s collection.

    My Discoveries

    Through trial and error, I have discovered some quirks to be aware of with this search feature.

    Only OverDrive: There are other eBook collections out there including RBdigital which you also have access to with your Provo City Library card. However, Google search currently only works with OverDrive, so you will not see any results for other eBook collections.

    No audiobooks: Even though Utah’s Online Library also offers free legal audiobooks to borrow and listen to, Google’s search feature only works for eBooks. No results will come up if there is an audiobook but no eBook.

    Books made for the silver screen: Books made into movies or TV series don’t always return results. For example, I tried searching for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library which is a movie and a book. The title does not return any free eBooks even though the book is available in Utah’s Online Library collection. However, a search for the second book in the series, Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Race, which does not have a movie version, does come up.

    I have discovered that sometimes, adding “book” to the end of the title will help return the correct results, but not always.

    Correct titles: You know how Google is great for finding something even if you can’t quite remember what it’s called? Well that doesn’t work so well when finding eBooks. I tried experimenting with variations on book titles with poor results. For example, I search for Mistborn but no eBooks came up. However, when I changed my search to Mistborn: The Final Empire, then it came up.Tip: if you can’t remember the title, search for it on Google. After finding the correct title, perform a new search.

    Vague titles: Titles that are not specific enough to return good results can also be problematic. For example, Hunted. Just entering “hunted” in the search box will not return any eBook results. However, try adding “book” to the end of the title or the author’s name and you will have far better luck.

    My Conclusions

    While this is a handy new, automatic feature built into Google, the results are still a little sporadic. Readers that frequently look for books by searching Google will find this a useful tool. However, if you really want to know if an eBook is available, I would recommend directly searching Utah’s Online Library (https://utahsonlinelibrary.overdrive.com/). For me, I think this is a great new feature for browsing and chancing across interesting books, but it is less useful when I am looking for something specific.

  • unknown holidays

    Now that November has come around, we are all preparing for Thanksgiving, that big holiday at the end of the month. However, there are a lot of other holidays this month that just get overlooked in our turkey preparation.

    Yeah, Thanksgiving is fun, but should it so blatantly overshadow Have a Party with Your Bear Day? (Yeah, look it up. It’s worth a Google.) Or what about the equally important National Fast Food Day? Should that be passed over for a holiday that we just go and eat food?

    I agree with you that we should absolutely not! So, to help correct this egregious oversight, we at the library are happy to provide some books to help you properly celebrate some of these other holidays (as well as letting you know when these are).

    You’re welcome. 

    National Clean Your Refrigerator Day
    November 15

    Just a week and a half before Thanksgiving, this is an important holiday if you want to properly celebrate the leftovers you are bound to have. Depending on the state of your fridge, you can observe this holiday by throwing away old leftovers, wiping down your shelves, or, if your fridge is past all hope, throwing it away and buying a new one. We have lots of resources that can help you out with any of that. For a good start, take a look at HOUSEHOLD HINTS: AMAZING USES FOR SALT, LEMON, VINEGAR, AND BAKING SODA by Heather Rodino (2015) for some good cleaning solutions you can make with stuff you have around, or check out our online database, HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER, for information on buying and repairing fridges. 

    National Parfait Day
    November 25

    This holiday gives you the perfect excuse to sit back and enjoy a delicious dessert.  A parfait is a dessert that is layered in a glass, usually with whipped cream and fruits, but also chocolate and ice cream. The best part about this is you can create it any way that you like, so don’t sweat putting in the fruit. If all you have is pudding and Oreos that still counts! However, if you need some inspiration on what to make, try checking out one of our recipe books, like PUDDIN’: LUSCIOUS AND UNFORGETTABLE PUDDINGS, PARFAITS, PUDDING CAKES, PIES, AND POPS by Clio Goodman (2013) or just get in the mood by reading A PARFAIT MURDER by Wendy Watson (2011). 

    Stay Home Because You Are Well Day
    November 30

    Are you sick of work? You know, sitting at a desk and listening to a boss you don’t like all day? We’re not either. We promise. However, you should still totally observe this holiday because you feel good and you deserve it. Call in sick with a convincing cough and then relax the day away. To help you celebrate properly, come into the library to check out THE MERCK MANUAL GO-TO HOME GUIDE FOR SYMPTOMS by Robert Porter (2013) to help you come up with a convincing disease, and while you’re here, grab THE CHECKLIST: WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NEED TO KNOW TO PREVENT DISEASE AND LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE by Manny Alvarz (2007) to help ensure that you are actually well enough to celebrate.

  • A Very Freegal Christmas

    If you don’t know what Freegal is, you are missing out. Freegal is like Pandora or Spotify but it’s better because it’s ad free and provided for you by your friendly local library!  To find more information about how to access and use Freegal, see videos here. To access Freegal through the Provo City Library website, click here. Or you can download the free app from your app store and login that way.   

    What will you find on Freegal? Music!! With your library card you can stream 5 hours of music each day and each week, you can download 3 songs to keep forever! That’s right! You get to download songs and play them whenever. 

    As a compulsive reader and book listener, I have to admit I’m not an avid music fan. I don’t listen to the radio much and other than my daughter’s favorite collection of lullabies, I don’t usually listen to much music. However, that all changes in December. During the holiday season I listen to Christmas music whenever I get the chance and I love being able to listen to the classic Christmas carols as well as new renditions by current artists. 

    That’s where Freegal comes in super handy. Here are a few Christmas Playlists Freegal has available to you and to me this very minute! 

    A MERRY MODERN CHRISTMAS MIXTAPE

    Featuring:

    • All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey
    • Underneath the Christmas Tree by Kelly Clarkson
    • What Christmas Means To Me by Pentatonix
    • Must Be Santa by She & Him
    • And 83 more!  
     

    CHESTNUTS ROASTING: CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

    Featuring:

    • White Christmas by Bing Crosby
    • The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
    • A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
    • And 75 more!
     

    HOLIDAY SONGS

    Featuring:

    • Frosty the Snowman by The Ronettes
    • Santa Baby by Kellie Pickler
    • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Noah Cyrus
    • Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan
    • And 71 more!
     
  • global road warrior 4

    global road warrior

    I would not yet call myself a seasoned traveler. I’ve gone abroad, but never to a non-English speaking country or somewhere with a culture vastly different from my own. 

    Next year that is going to change. I’m excited and terrified! I’m going to be confused and love it! I’m going to South Korea and Indonesia! Ahh! So many exclamation points!

    As I prepare for this trip, I’m going to be using Global Road Warrior a lot. This is one of my favorite library databases because it provides so much well organized information for over 175 countries. I love recommending it to international travelers to become familiar with the country they are going to visit, and also to students as they learn and report on countries for school.

    There are so many informational pages for each country I won’t list them all, but to the right is an example of what you might find. This particular list is for South Korea.

    One of my favorite listings is the “Food and Recipes” section. Not just because I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, but because everyone eats, and trying local cuisine is a big part of international travel. Several times I’ve had parents come to the library and tell me that their child is about to live abroad for a couple years, and they’re trying to learn about the country. They appreciate the ability to find some common traditional recipes that they can make at home before the traveler leaves the country.

    Other information that is really handy to have includes what types of documentation travelers need (do I need a visa?), common phrases and information about the languages (how to say “hello,” and “I need help”), holidays, points of interest, common methods of transportation, and some basic history about the country.

    Whether you’re simply curious about a country, doing a report, preparing to travel, or preparing to discuss an international book at your next book club meeting, Global Road Warrior is a great resource to start your international exploration.

    Happy travels!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • freegal

    In the world of online music streaming, there are a variety of options and each with its own quirks. For simplicity’s sake, I often find myself loading Youtube, finding a song I want to hear, and then letting the website automatically load more music as I go throughout my day. Unfortunately, I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated with YouTube’s ads and their odd recommendations (Youtube: “Remember that one time you listened to a Jimmy Buffet song? You love Jimmy Buffet now. Here are 20 other songs by him”). I’ve also tried Pandora and Spotify’s free services but the ads tend to drive me crazy. Happily, Provo City Library’s subscription to Freegal means that I can listen to 5 hours of ad-free streaming music every day! A big bonus is that if I find any songs I’m crazy about, I get three free downloads each week, so I can download them to my phone and listen when I’m away from data and wifi connections: perfect for summer hiking and camping trips.

    As I’ve been exploring Freegal’s music library, I’ve been creating a list of gems, some well-known and others I’d never heard before. I’ve tried to include a variety of genres below in the (likely) case that your music taste isn’t a dead-ringer for mine. Not every genre is covered as these are just my recent favorites, but try giving one or two a listen – you can hear them in their entirety via streaming, and if you really love it, you can download it for free! Just grab your library card so you can log in.

    LOCAL FAVORITES

    7.18 Bohemian RhapsodySong: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 
    Artist: Pentatonix
    Album: PTX Vol. IV – Classics

    Pentatonix’s YouTube channel is currently the 13th most-subscribed music video channel, so it’s fair to say they are popular, but their albums consistently top our most-checked out here at the library as well as among our patron’s downloads on Freegal. This album is their most recent release and features some of their best work to date – every track is recommended.

    R&B

    7.18 LocationSong: LOCATION 
    Artist: Khalid
    Album: Location (single)

    Khalid is a classically-trained vocalist who hit the R&B scene last year with this single, which he wrote as a senior in high school, and later in the year it went platinum. The highlight of the song is his soulful voice, backed mostly by light prickles of strings, bass, and background vocals. The biggest appeal of this track is just how fresh it sounds – it’s R&B but it’s been elevated into something else.  A single from his latest album, American Teen, is also available on Freegal and is worth checking out as well.

    SUMMER POP

    7.18 MalibuSong: MALIBU
    Artist: Miley Cyrus
    Album: Malibu

    When Miley Cyrus released this single a few weeks ago, listeners were surprised – it suggests that Cyrus is heading in a new artistic direction, leaning back into her alt-country roots. This song will undoubtedly be the sound of the 2017 summer for many young people around the world.

    OLDIES

    7.18 God Only KnowsSong: GOD ONLY KNOWS
    Artist: John Legend & Cynthia Erivo featuring yMusic
    Album: God Only Knows

    Okay, so this is an updated cover of the classic tune by the Beach Boys, but believe me, it is WORTH checking out. John Legend and British actress-singer Cynthia Erivo sang it at the 2017 Grammys as part of the “In Memoriam” segment, and it drew rave reviews. Luckily, Legend had a studio version to share with the world. This rendition is stripped down, replacing the original lush production with simplicity and warmth that showcases the gorgeous voices of Legend and Erivo. 

    CLASSICAL

    7.18 Feux dartificeSong: PRELUDES BOOK NO. II: FEUX D'ARTIFICE
    Artist: Claude Debussy, Krystian Zimerman
    Album: Maestros de la Música Clásica, Vol. I

    If you are a classical buff, I hope you can forgive me for only recently becoming familiar with Krystian Zimerman, the Polish virtuoso pianist who I am now obsessed with. All of the lofty adjectives that people use to describe musical genius – I need them ALL to describe him. If you’ve never had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with his work, I’d highly recommend checking out this track which will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions from the impassioned to the sublime.

    FOR THE KIDS

    7.18 TrollsArtist: Various
    Album: TROLLS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)

    This album has been on Freegal’s “Most Popular” list since it came out last year, and if you’ve got kids they will love you for streaming this up-beat toe-tapping collection. Featuring many covers as well as a couple of originals, and artists like Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, Zooey Deschanel, and Ariana Grande, there’s something here for everyone in the family to enjoy.

     

  • IB LLL FB

    There is a stigma about learning: Learning is often associated with school and tests and things that happen between kindergarten and college—and it’s often seen as something a kid or teen is forced to do. However, I believe that learning can be fun and is actually a life-long process. 

    Think about how a baby will giggle once he learns how to mimic sticking his tongue out. He can’t get enough of the new skill. On the other end of life, I think about my grandmother who up until just a few months before she passed away was learning Spanish, studying Latin, watching documentaries about subjects that interested her, and knitting or crocheting afghans. She was in her 90s and still had an active mind that could run conversational circles around me. And she enjoyed it. (She often played games against me and declared she was the “Grand Champion of the Universe” when she beat me—which was quite frequently!) So, I do not believe that learning is boring or only something that kiddos in school should be doing. We can all enjoy being life-long learners! 

    The library is a great place for people who love to learn. We have so many great (and fun) educational resources. I can’t tell you how many times I see kids so excited that they are jumping up and down after getting out of an afterschool program—they just had so much fun learning! Yeah, you heard me right: Kids like learning. As long as it is a cool subject and they don’t have to take a test afterward…they will enjoy it. And let’s not forget about story time! There is so much giggling and laughing that goes along with those youngsters learning early literacy skills. Not to brag, but kids’ programs are one of our fortes. 

    But what about teens or adults? The good news is that the library has fun learning opportunities for us as well! First of all, the Adult and Teen Department does an amazing series of programs called Learn It. A Learn It can be about anything from personal finance to personal health. In September there is a Learn It about braiding and styling hair (even promising a few quick options for those mornings when you are running late). And there is a Learn It about the health benefits of chocolate. (Who knew that chocolate could be considered healthy?!?) 

    Another option for learning is the Lynda.com database that the library subscribes to. This is a great place to watch professional tutorial videos that are so much better than the YouTube alternatives. Lynda even has certification programs you can list on your resume. Plus, Lynda.com can be accessed from home! 

    Let’s not forget that there are all the regular (but incredible) materials that most people think about when it comes to libraries—books, movies, CDs, magazines—all of which you can check out! I personally love watching a random documentary about a fascinating subject at the end of a long week. Just last week I learned all about the Wright Brothers’ rival who helped change aeronautics as we know it. Who knew?! The point is, life-long learning is fun—and you can do it at the library!

  • IB More FB

    When I tell people that I work at a library many of them are surprised that libraries are more than just books. But they are! Yes, we have books—lots of them—for all different subjects and age ranges. But there is so much more to the library than just books. First of all, the Provo City Library has a variety of programs (like the Fairy Tea Party that I wrote about last month). Second, the library has a plethora of meeting rooms. Some are large and can be rented, like the Ballroom. Some are small and can be reserved at the First Floor Adult Reference Desk, such as our study rooms or smart room. Finally, some of my personal favorite things that aren’t books are the databases. Provo City Library has quite a few databases that can be especially helpful.

    AutoMate can help if you are fixing your car and you need diagrams or repair manual information.

    The Home Improvement Reference Center database can help those doing any sort of home improvement project.

    The Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center has loads of information on any craft or hobby you may want to learn or read about under the sun.

    Lynda.com has a plethora of movies made by professionals (not just random Youtube channel vloggers) to teach anything from how to use the Adobe Suit software to how to use a brand new camera you may have purchased. Seriously. If there is something you want to learn how to do—you should check out this database.

    The Adult Learning Center: Learning Express Library and the College Center:Learning Express Library both provide access to all sorts of practice tests. And another database lets you take practice DMV Permit tests.

    Freegal is a music database where you can download (and keep forever) three free songs and stream a few hours of music per week (and who doesn’t love free music?).

    OverDrive is amazing for ebooks and audiobooks, but it also has some movies you can stream or download for free.

    These are only a few of the databases that we have available on our library’s website! So, when you think of the Provo City Library, don’t just think of books—remember that we are so much more than books. We are entertainment, a community space, and a vast reference to community resources. Come visit to learn what else the library can be for you!

  • Headphones freegal music listening

    We library staff have been working hard to make sure you know all the great services you can access with your library card. If you visited us in the last few weeks, I bet you heard us talking about Freegal Music, a downloadable streaming music service. Freegal Music gives you access to millions of songs (and even music videos!), with five hours of AD-FREE streaming per day and three FREE downloads per week. Use online or by mobile app, with no extra software or subscription needed. And for those of you already enjoying this awesome service, Freegal just got a makeover on April 4th, making it even easier to use!

    To get started:

    1. Access Freegal Music online via the link above, the Digital Services page of the Provo City Library website, or by installing the Freegal Music mobile app onto your device. It’s free!

    2. Sign in with your library card number and PIN

    3. Browse and search for music!

    4. Enjoy 5 hours of ad-free streaming daily and 3 downloads weekly 

    Like many of you, music played (ha! accidental pun but I’m keeping it) a large role in my family’s culture. Both my parents adore music and many of us kids play instruments and sing. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in the high school’s auditorium, watching my siblings perform in concerts and musicals and of shivering on icy metal bleachers for marching band half-time shows. Calling shotgun was a more extreme sport than even our most grueling nerf battles, since the coveted seat also came with radio station/cassette tape/cd selection powers. You’d think that this would make long car trips torturous, with six kids vying for musical control, but funnily enough it wasn’t a problem. Despite the wide range of tastes in our family of eight, we all agree: our road trip tunes were awesome. Even now, if we hear one of our family favorites, we’ll burst into song. Memories like that make life special, don’t they?

    With spring cleaning, summer road trips and barbecues on the horizon, there’s plenty of occasion to bring more music into your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming either - between Freegal Music for tunes on the go and our collection of cd’s at the library, you’ll never lack for the perfect soundtrack.

  • here to help

    I recently took a phone call from a library patron who was interested in learning how to use some advanced functions in Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, etc), but taking a formal class was cost prohibitive. This patron wanted to know if we had any resources that could help them.

    Oh do we have resources…

    Can I just tell you? Asking a librarian what resources are available for [insert task/project/assignment here] is one of the best ways to make us love you. We want to tell you all about the amazing resources that you can use for FREE!

    For this patron, I recommended four different resources:

    1. The Computer Help Lab which takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 5:00 PM in the Special Collections Room. This particular patron wasn’t available during those hours, so next I recommended…

    2. Book a Librarian. With this service the patron can request a time that suits them to meet with a librarian one-on-one to get individual help. The patron liked this idea, but was also interested in self-directed learning. So I also recommended…

    3. Learning Express Library, which has a lot of great resources that range far beyond just basic computer and Microsoft Office skills, including standardized test resources (ACT, ASVAB, GED, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, Praxis, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.), resources for becoming a U.S. citizen, basic math, reading, and writing resources, and so much more that this is just the tip of the ice berg.

    4. And finally, one of my favorites, Lynda.com. I don’t really know where to start when trying to describe the wealth of resources available on here. In addition to Microsoft Office courses, Lynda offers fantastic and professionally produced video courses on subjects relating to and including: 3D and animation, audio and music, business, CAD, design, courses for developers, education and e-learning, IT, marketing, photography, video, and the web.

    For the Provo City Library, providing our community with access to information, instruction, and learning is central to our mission. We are here to help, and want to make sure you are aware of the amazing, FREE resources available to everyone.

    The next time you come in, ask a librarian what great resources the library can offer, and watch their face light up.Just try it.

    I dare you.

  • Encyclopedias

    School is in session and that inevitably means homework. Last year, my first grader came home from school and informed me that he had a report due in a few days, and that he needed to research an animal of his choice and use reputable sources for his information. When I was his age, I would pull an encyclopedia off our bookshelves, but these days physical sets of encyclopedias are expensive, quickly outdated, and almost obsolete. Before I panicked, I remembered that with my Provo City Library card, I have access to World Book Encyclopedia online (http://www.provolibrary.com/a-z-resources-list/list/alpha/w).

    As my son and I researched his report, I realized that we have access to five different versions of World Book! Here is a little summary of each:

    World Book Online

    This option gives you access to all the other versions as well as Timelines and eBooks.

    World Book Kids

    This was the obvious choice for my little guy. This version is filled with fun graphics, easy to understand articles, and even games and interactive maps.

    World Book Student

    This version is geared toward elementary and middle school students. The information is a bit more detailed than the kids’ version, and it comes with neat tools like an option to sign in and save your research, as well as a citation builder that helps students create MLA, APA, and Harvard citations.

    World Book Advanced

    Here we have the graduated, grownup version of the encyclopedia. This no-frills edition has a more advanced search tool, and links to primary and secondary sources.

    World Book Spanish

    As expected, this version is in Spanish and is geared toward Spanish speaking students. The interface targets young kids and has activities and games as well.

    Wikipedia is awesome, but sometimes you need resources that are a little more curated and that is where World Book steps in to help!  Each of these portals provides quality information that is easily referenced and designed for its specific audience. 

    Sometimes, I’m a little nostalgic for that physical encyclopedia set of my childhood, but hopefully my son will build memories too as he discovers the wonders of information in a format made for his generation.