July 25, 2011

Mango Languages iPhone/iPad App Now Available

Now you can take Mango Languages with you wherever you go, thanks to the release of the Mango Mobile Library Edition app for iPhone and iPad. This new app includes all of the languages that are available through Mango, and also has many features of the Internet version of Mango, including grammar and cultural notes, interactive phonetic spellings, and semantic color mapping.

To use  this new app, you will need a valid Troy Public Library card. You will also need to set up a Mango account, which you can do by visiting our Mango Languages site here. You device also needs to be running iOS4 or greater.

The Mango Mobile Library Edition app can be downloaded here through the iTunes App store.  For more information about this new app, visit this site.

July 18, 2011

NetLibrary is Changing to eBooks on EBSCOhost

Troy Public Library's NetLibrary eBook collection is scheduled to switch to a new platform called EBSCOhost.  All of our eBooks that were available through NetLibrary will be available on the new EBSCOhost platform.  Additionally, the NetLibrary name will be retired.

If you are a regular user of NetLibrary eBooks, you need to be aware that your NetLibrary account will no longer be available to you after this switch occurs. Any information that is associated with your account (such as notes you have taken in specific eBooks) will be deleted with your account. 

To use eBooks on the new EBSCOhost platform, you will need to create an EBSCOhost account. Account creation is easy, and you can find step-by-step instructions here.  For a tutorial on how to search for eBooks in EBSCOhost, please view this tutorial.

eBooks from EBSCOhost will function just like NetLibrary eBooks did.  They will not be downloadable. Instead, you will be able to view them directly from within your browser. They are non-holdable, can't be used on eReaders, but are always available for viewing. Additionally, after creating an EBSCOhost account, you will be able to make notes in eBooks you view.

We hope you try out eBooks on EBSCOhost. Please let us know if you have any issues by leaving us a comment.

June 27, 2011

SYNC is Back for 2011!

Are you interested in downloading some FREE eAudiobooks this summer? Now you can, thanks to Audiobook Community's SYNC campaign.

The SYNC campaign, which is back for 2011,  is designed to get more young adults listening to audiobooks. From June 23 through August 17, two audiobooks will be available each week for download. One will be a current young adult title and the other is generally a classic. Each week both books will share a common theme. All audiobooks used in the SYNC campaign are in the MP3 format and will work with both PCs and Macs. They can be transferred to a wide array of mobile devices. 

Additionally, OverDrive is distributing all of the SYNC titles. To download titles, you will need to install the OverDrive Media Console. After you have downloaded your free titles from SYNC, be sure to check out other OverDrive downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks that are available from the Troy Public Library here.

In addition to free eAudiobooks, the SYNC campaign also features a discussion group on audiobookcommunity.com to discuss the books that are being offered.

For more on SYNC, including the release schedule for free eAudiobooks, go here, or text syncaya to 25827 to receive text alerts on when new eAudiobooks are available for download.

June 16, 2011

OverDrive Now Available for Windows Phone

OverDrive already has apps available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry. You can now add Windows Phone to that list. With OverDrive's recent release of their  OveDrive Media Console app for Windows Phone, there are now apps available for all major mobile operating systems.

The OverDrive Media Console app for Windows Phone offers the same features as other OverDrive apps for mobile devices, including:

  • The ability to download EPUB-format eBooks and MP3-format eAudiobooks directly to their device
  • The Get Library feature that allows you to easily find your local library that provides eBooks
  • The ability to easily return downloaded items early

You can download the OverDrive Media Console app for Windows Phone here

For a look at how the app works, watch this video produced by OverDrive:

June 14, 2011

Avoiding Online Scams

Recently, a patron called the Technology Center saying that she picked up a computer virus. She received a pop-up that her computer had been infected and a company was offering her antivirus software to clean her computer and protect her from future viruses. She decided to purchase the software, called Vista Antivirus 2011, clicked on the link and provided her credit card number. Shortly thereafter, her bank's anti-fraud division called to tell her that the company she was purchasing the software from was fraudulent and they cancelled the charge.

No harm done, right? Wrong!

By clicking on the link, the patron actually infected her computer with a malware that rendered her computer inoperable. She couldn't access the Internet, she couldn't access files on the hard drive, she couldn't even run a scan using McAfee, the antivirus software she already had installed on her computer. She now has the daunting task of cleaning the insidious virus from her computer.

Reader's Digest published an article about seven typical online scams and how to avoid them. You can read the article
here. Our patron fell victim to scam #4. Here is another good article about how to protect yourself online. Microsoft is also aware of this issue, and has an article regarding "scareware" scams here. Additionally, this article from the excellent (but unfortunately recently ended) technology blog Download Squad has some good tips as well on how to spot fake anti-virus scams.

If you’ve been victimized by one of the latest scams, don’t be embarrassed. Scammers work overtime at perfecting their trade and new viruses are introduced every day. And remember, you can call the Technology Center at 248.524.3542 if you have any questions regarding antivirus software.

May 26, 2011

OverDrive Apps Upgrade to v2.3

OverDrive, a supplier of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks to the Troy Public Library, has upgraded their OverDrive Media Console app for Android, BlackBerry, and Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads, to v2.3. This upgrade now allows users to return EPUB eBooks early and also makes the Adobe Digital Editions authorization process easier. 

If you already have these apps installed on your device, they should update automatically. If you are new to using OverDrive on your mobile device, you can download the mobile versions of OverDrive Media Console here.

April 28, 2011

Brainfuse Upgrades to HelpNow 3.0

Brainfuse, an online tutoring service available through the Troy Public Library, has upgraded its HelpNow software to v3.0. This upgrade includes an easier to use launch screen and also adds some new features, including:

  • Flashbulb: An online library of flashcard sets that cover a variety of subjects.
  • Brainwave: Records actions written on the Brainfuse Notepad while in a tutoring session. These recorded sessions can be saved or shared.
  • Test Center: The Test Center features practice ACT and SAT tests, and also a variety of state standardized tests.

As always, Brainfuse continues to provide online, live tutoring in a variety of subjects. Tutors are available from 2pm - 11pm, Monday through Sunday. Remember that Brainfuse is not just for students. They feature an Adult Learning Center where you can get help with Microsoft Office products, writing a resume, preparing for the GED, and much more.

Brainfuse can be accessed through the Troy Public Library's  website.  Click on the eResources link on the left-hand side of the page under the Library Links menu. Click on Online Tutoring, then Brainfuse. Remember, you need to have a valid library card to access Brainfuse.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

April 20, 2011

Disney Digital Books Now Available Through OverDrive

Disney Digital Books are now available through OverDrive. This collection of over 650 titles includes books for a wide variety of ages that feature both classic and new Disney characters.

Disney Digital Books are also interactive. Some books will read the text to you. Others feature trivia games as you proceed through the title. All Disney Digital Books feature a built-in dictionary that will pronounce and give the definition of a word when clicked.

Disney Digital Books work a little differently than other eBooks offered through OverDrive. Unlike other OverDrive items, Disney Digital Books are not downloaded directly to your computer or transferred to a portable device such as an eReader. Instead, they are viewed from within your computer's web browser. After checking out a Disney Digital Book, visit your Digital Bookshelf in OverDrive and click the Launch button for the book that you wish to view. The Disney Digital Book will open in a new tab or browser window.

Click Launch to open a Disney Digital Book

Another difference with Disney Digital Books compared to other OverDrive items is that they are always available. You do not have to place holds on them; they can be checked out at any time and by multiple people at the same time. Please remember, though, that Disney Digital Book checkouts do count towards your 10-item OverDrive checkout limit. Also, remember that there is no way to return Disney Digital Books early.

Additionally, Disney Digital Books currently are only available for use on PCs and Mac computers. At this time they are not available for viewing on devices such as the iPad. For a complete list of Disney Digital Book technical requirements, please go here. Like all eResources provided by the Troy Library, you will need a valid Troy Library card to be able to access Disney Digital Books through OverDrive. To get started, go to troylibrary.info, click on the "Download eBooks, Audiobooks" link, and select OverDrive.

We hope that you like this new collection of titles available through OverDrive. Let us know your thoughts about Disney Digital Books by leaving a comment below.

April 18, 2011

OverDrive Updates Android & iPhone/iPad Apps

OverDrive, a supplier of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks to the Troy Public Library, has released updates to their OverDrive Media Console apps for Android and Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads. The new updates include the following features:

OverDrive Media Console for Android (v2.2)
  • Sepia display option for eBooks
  • Screen-dimming override for eBooks
  • Faster EPUB performance
  • Sleep timer for audiobooks

OverDrive Media Console for iPhone/iPad (v2.2.1)
  • Orientation lock for eBooks
  • Night mode and sepia display option for eBooks
  • Screen lock override for eBooks
  • Improved range of font size settings
  • In-app library “Website Finder”

If you already have these apps installed on your Android device or iPhone/iPad, be sure to check the app for these new updates. If you do not have them installed already, you can download OverDrive Media Console for Android through the Android Market or download the iPhone/iPad version of OverDrive Media Console through the iTunes App Store.

For more information about these new releases, see this post from the OverDrive Digital Library blog

April 14, 2011

Download EPUB eBooks Directly to Your BlackBerry

If you own a BlackBerry and use OverDrive, you can now download eBooks directly to your device. In addition to MP3 eAudiobooks, OverDrive's new Media Console for BlackBerry v2.1 app now supports direct downloading of EPUB eBooks. After downloading the app to your BlackBerry, use the "Get Books" feature within the app to browse and download eBooks. 

In order to use this app with your BlackBerry, you must have BlackBerry OS 4.5 or newer for non-touchscreen devices or BlackBerry OS 4.7 or newer for touchscreen devices. You can download the app directly here.

March 31, 2011

Happy World Backup Day!

The folks at PC Magazine want to remind you to that March 31is World Backup Day, a reminder to secure your data before you lose it.

World Backup Day was created by Reddit users (a computer discussion website) to spread awareness and to get those who have never backed up data to start. The World Backup Day site also provides resources on how to backup data. It gives step-by-step options for three different manners of securing data: USB stick or external hard drive, DVD/CD-ROM/Blu-ray, or online backup. "It's a good idea to backup files regularly and in at least two separate places, just to be safe," the group suggested.

There are also a growing number of options for data storage in the cloud. Amazon recently debuted its Cloud Player music storage service. Google is also expected to launch a similar service, called Google Music. Additionally, Apple is said to be revamping its cloud-based storage service, MobileMe.

Have you backed up your data today?

February 23, 2011

Spring 2011 Troy Today Computer Class Listings - Corrections

Computer class listings offered by the Troy Public Library as shown on page 20 of the Spring 2011 edition of Troy Today are incorrect. The correct dates and times are:

Computer Basics 1
Wednesdays, March 16 and 23, 1 pm
Wednesdays, April 20 and 27, 1 pm

Beginning Word 2007
Wednesdays, March 2 and 9, 1 pm
Thrusdays, April 7 and 14, 10 am

Beginning Excel 2007
Tuesdays, March 15 and 22, 1 pm
Tuesdays, April 12 and 19, 1 pm

Beginning PowerPoint 2007
Tuesdays, March 1 and 8, 1 pm
Wednesdays, April 6 and 13, 1pm

Registration is currently open for March classes. Registration for April classes begins Friday, March 11 at 10 am. For a complete schedule of classes and to register online, please see our calendar here.

February 18, 2011

OverDrive Optimizes Support for iPads

OverDrive, a content provider of eBooks and eAudiobooks to the Troy Public Library, has upgraded its OverDrive Media Console app for iPhone and iPad to v2.2. The biggest new feature included is full iPad support. While previous versions of the app worked for iPad, this new version is optimized to take advantage of the bigger iPad screen. Additionally, downloaded content can be displayed in either portrait or landscape orientation.

To use this new upgrade, your device must be running iOS v4.0 or above. You can download OverDrive Media Console for iPhone/iPad v2.2 directly here.

January 13, 2011

Highlights from 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

This week, mashable.com reported on the 5 big consumer tech trends at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). These include:

Dual-Core Smartphones: LG and Motorola announced that they will introduce phones that run 1GHz dual-core processors as smartphones take a major leap in power and functionality. Users are demanding more and more multitasking capabilities from their handheld devices.

Android: The best devices at the show all ran on Google's Android Operating System platform. Companies like Samsung, Motorola and LG see Android as the industry's only alternative to Apple.

Seeking the iPad Challenger: 2011 will be the year of the tablet as companies rush to find a competitor for Apple's iPad. The Motorola Xoom has emerged as the best option to give Apple a run for the money.

TVs Get Smart: New TVs revealed this year can connect to the web and run apps. But will people really use their TVs to browse videos on YouTube?

Apple Casts a Giant Shadow: Although Apple does not attend CES, they still try to steal the spotlight. This year, Apple launched the Mac App Store and announced the Verizon iPhone at venues other than CES.

To learn more about the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

More New Languages Available from Mango

If your New Year's resolution was to learn a new language, you now have more languages available to you through our language learning eResource, Mango Languages.

Mango has added several new languages to their offerings, including Cantonese Chinese, Croatian, Danish, ESL Mandarian Chinese, Finnish, Haitian Creole, Irish, Levantine Arabic, Norwegian, and Urdu. You can start learning these languages today by visiting our Language Learning eResource page here.

January 5, 2011

Get Free eBooks from Kaplan Publishing

Did you get a new eReader for Christmas and need to add some books to it? Kaplan Publishing is giving away over 130 free eBooks that work with the Nook (both black and white and color versions), now through January 10. Titles include books about education, medicine, and also many test preparation books that Kaplan is known for. To access these free books, visit this site.

Update (1-13-11):  Kaplan has extended their free eBook offer through January 17.