Thursday, April 10, 2014

eContent and Libraries

eContent and Libraries
I am going to start my article by using a little bit of library jargon, which I try not to do too much, but every once in a while I just have to use library terminology.
 It has been a wild year in what is called electronic content.
To simplify the term, electronic content includes things like Ebooks.  However, the full scope of electronic content is growing every day. 
Almost every time you go to one your favorite websites, I bet you see an advertisement for some company selling you electronic content.  Some of these companies are Amazon, NetFlix and Hulu.  Unfortunately, these are not the companies that the library can work with to bring you electronic content.
In the eBook world, it is pretty straightforward for us.  We buy books and can circulate them with whatever the restrictions are that the publisher puts on them.  For some publishers, that is a limit of the number of times an item can go out.  For others, it is a time limit, such as we own the book for two years.  Price can also be a restriction for libraries.  Some publishers charge libraries 300 times what they charge consumers for the same eBook title.
However, the big development in the eBook world for us is that libraries now have more choices in how we can make eBooks available.  In the past, the options available to libraries have been very limited, but in recent months we have learned of many new companies making eBooks available to libraries.
The easiest way to get our eBook collection is to install the 3M mobile app to your tablet or phone and you can almost begin to download books immediately.
Also, audiobook downloads are electronic content.  The big development in our audiobook product, OneClickDigital, is the ease of use with their mobile app.  They do have a program which you have to download to copy the audiobook to your listening device, but if you want to use your smart phone or your tablet for listening to audiobooks, the mobile app is a great option.
In the coming years, we are going to be expanding electronic content in a number of ways.  It will soon be possible for you to stream movies or music from the library.  Our ability to offer this is under consideration and we hope that we will have something to announce soon.   Other electronic content developments are also under way, such as circulating magazine content.
Our biggest issue with all of this electronic content is how to add new formats while still paying for the traditional paper content which is still so important to the mission of the library.  We work on this issue every day.  Currently, we spend about 75% of our budget on traditional print items and about 25% of our budget on electronic content.  That number will be shifting as time goes on, but we believe in doing that in a responsible and responsive manner.
Innovation is an important value of the library system.   However, pragmatism is also a very important value of the library system.  Therefore, we will do our best to expand our electronic content, but not in a manner which will put us too far ahead of you and make library service harder. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child Reading Initiative

Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child Reading Initiative
     For the ninth consecutive year, Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child program will lead the way and highlight the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers ages 3 to 6. In its inaugural year, the One Book, Every Young Child program won the coveted, national John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award.
     The title selected for this year's program is Stripes of All Types, written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale.  This story explores how animals around the world benefit from their stripes.  Each striped creature is described in action in its natural habitat: "Prowling the prairie, perched on a peak, crawling on cactus, and camped by a creek."
     All branches of the Adams County Library System will feature Stripes of All Types at storytime programs during the month of April.  Librarians will also visit every Adams County Head Start classroom to provide a storytime and a paperback copy of the book to each student. Plan to attend a storytime program at the ACLS branch of your choice.  You can also visit for ideas on how to use the PA One Book Every Young Child with your family.
     The collaborating agencies involved with the program all believe strongly in supporting early literacy efforts. They are working together to develop a multifaceted program accessible to all areas and populations of the state. There are more than 545,000 children in the target age group, many of which are in the state's childcare facilities, Head Start programs, licensed preschools or kindergartens.
     The One Book, Every Young Child program goes far beyond just giving parents and caregivers a book to read to preschoolers. The program's design is based on studies showing that simply reading a book is not enough. Adults must find ways to engage children in activities like talking about a book's cover and illustrations, discussing the action in the book and favorite parts, pretend play related to the book, and more.
     Through this program, adults with preschoolers in their lives will learn how they can support the development of literacy in preschool children. Because it is important for children to be prepared for school, One Book, Every Young Child will provide opportunities for adults to read aloud and share books, stories, and related activities with preschoolers. These activities have been shown to be crucial to early learning.
     One Book, Every Young Child information and program ideas have been developed by librarians and museum educators from across Pennsylvania to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to preschoolers and to encourage family bonding through books and reading.
     One Book, Every Young Child is made possible through a collaboration of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Please Touch Museum, and State Museum of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Library Association, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, The Pennsylvania Child Care Association, Pennsylvania's Promise for Children and PennSERVE.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Janet Powers: Engaging Women in Cambodia


Booktalk is a monthly discussion group for those interested in current and cultural topics in general and literary subjects in particular. 
            Booktalk usually meets at 12 PM on the last Monday of the month in the USS Eisenhower Room which is located on the third floor of the Gettysburg Public Library.  All programs for Booktalk are free and open to the public.
            March is Women’s History Month.  On March 31, Dr. Janet Powers will present a power point discussion which she has named “Engaging Women in Cambodia.”   From December 30, 2013 to January 11, 2014 Janet was a member of a tour sponsored by Friends With Cambodia a non-government organization to which she belongs.  The visit included programs and discussions to help Cambodian women escape sex trafficking and poverty; to train street urchins to prepare for employment in the service industries; and to advise village women on setting up self-help projects for income.
Janet and the group traveled to the Angkor Watt temples around Siem Reap, the capital Phnom Penh and the rural areas around Kep.  She and the group were also able to visit the sites which memorialize Cambodia’s cruel history under the Khmer Rouge. 
Janet says this program will focus entirely on Cambodian women.  Perhaps in the future she may have another program on Cambodia’s culture and its history. 
Janet is a Professor Emerita of Interdisciplinary Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Gettysburg College.  She is also a member of a number of local activist groups.

On Monday February 24, 2014  Booktalk  celebrated Afro-American History Month.  Dr. Byravan Viswanathan discussed the book “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America” by Gilbert King.  Byravan discussed the complicated history of this travesty of justice along with the efforts of Marshall and the NAACP to end segregation in the south and elsewhere particularly in education. 

            On Monday April 28 Booktalk welcomes Mr. Dennis Khan a novelist and poet who resides in Thurmont, Maryland.  He has published two novels “Walls to Freedom” and “Wayward Wind” with Publish America.  He has also written several short stories one of which has appeared in a Frederick newspaper.  Dennis’ discussion will feature excerpts from “Walls to Freedom,” a murder mystery which takes place in Mexico.  More information in next month’s article.
                                                 MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!  
 Booktalk is looking for local published and unpublished authors to talk about their work.  Book sales are encouraged. 
Representatives from area service organizations are also welcome to talk about the missions and activities of their groups.  Inquiries: 717-337-1155
              The Friends of the Library has a book store which presents   a wide variety of gently used,  attractive and interesting books for sale.  It is located on the first floor of  the Gettysburg Library just inside the Baltimore Street entrance. Members of the Friends are entitled to a 20% discount on most materials.  Stop by!! Join!! Be a Friend!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Language Learning at the Library

Language Learning at the Library
The Adams County Library System subscribes to an online language learning tool called Mango Languages.  This tool is available for free to all residents of Adams County who have a valid library card.  Access to Mango is found through the library’s website at
Mango offers a fast and convenient solution for our community’s increasing language-learning needs. Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and culture. Users learn actual conversation, breaking down complex linguistic elements within an audio-visual framework that draws important connections and builds on information they have already learned.  It is a great tool that allows users to learn at their own pace—want to hear a phrase again during a lesson? Just click the sound icon.
Mango also offers mobile apps for Android and iPhone to allow users the ability to learn a new language wherever they are. Now you can now take advantage of mobile access to Mango’s more than 47 foreign language learning courses and 16 English language learning options.  Simply search for Mango Languages in your mobile device’s app store to download the app.  You will need to use your library card number to gain access once the app is downloaded.
If you’re looking to learn a new language and would rather do so through film, Mango has you covered there too.  They have recently launched Mango Premiere, a new method that teaches users through foreign-language movies.  Mango teaches users to understand both written text and speech with full subtitles in both languages as the movie plays.
Mango Premiere has two modes.  The first is “Movie Mode” which plays the film with subtitles in your native language and the language you want to learn, which enables users to match the words you see and hear.  “Engage Mode” takes users through the movie scene by scene, teaching and quizzing along the way.  Along with teaching language, Premiere also gives you cultural notes, which help users understand jokes that may not be apparent to an outsider.  Currently, Premiere has films in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese.  Films in more languages will be added as time progresses.
So don’t hesitate if you’re looking to learn something new.  Stop by the library’s website,  and gain access to the wealth of information that’s available to you.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What's New at the Library

What’s New at the Library

              Here is a look at some of the DVDs recently added to the adult collection at the library. If you’ve missed a new movie or television program, wish to revisit an old favorite, or are looking for something completely different, stop by and browse through our selection of videos. They are all available to borrow free of charge.
              Explore history with WWII From Space, a History Channel documentary showing what satellite images of key campaigns of the Second World War might have looked like. Mysteries of the Museum is a Travel Channel series visiting libraries and museums around the country and telling the stories behind some of their most unusual and historic objects and documents. Lincoln@Gettysburg from PBS discusses Lincoln's appearance at Gettysburg and his use of the telegraph.
              Plan a summer vacation with new travel videos on Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, and the Treasures of New York.  The first two videos are part of a new series focusing on America's national parks. Treasures of New York consists of episodes originally airing on public television and focuses on lesser-known cultural attractions.
              There are two fun new nature documentaries from the BBC. Snow Babies looks at the first year in the lives of such animals as arctic wolves, snow monkeys, reindeers, otters, and polar bears. Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, narrated by David Tennant, uses video made with animatronic cameras disguised as penguins to bring the viewer inside their world.
              Work on some of your New Year's resolutions with our new workout videos. There's something for everyone with 30 Minutes to Fitness, Cardio and Strength Training Workout for Seniors, Discover Tai Chi for Fitness, and the New York City Ballet Workout.
              New in pop culture and the arts are Birth of the Living Dead, about the creation and impact of everyone's favorite zombie film, Night of the Living Dead.  Frankenstein, the Real Story investigates the truth behind Mary Shelley's tale of a mad scientist. Baby Peggy, the Elephant in the Room is a biography of the child star of nineteen twenties' silent films. Other films available include the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris,  Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, and the PBS special, 1964.
              For Anglophiles, season four of the ever-popular Downton Abbey is available.  Season three of Sherlock is also here as well as two related PBS programs, How Sherlock Changed the World, and Secrets of Scotland Yard. Catch up on other favorite British programs with the latest seasons of Doc Martin, The Fall, The Lady Vanishes, Last Tango in Halifax, Midsommer Murders, The Paradise, and Silk.
              Upcoming films on DVD to look forward to include: American Hustle, Anchorman 2, Copperhead, The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Monuments Men, Out of the Furnace, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
               Be sure to check the library's Pinterest page, also accessible through our website, for updates on our new DVDs. All of these videos and many more are available to you with your library card.