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.