Online Census Data during the Government Shutdown
With luck, the government shutdown will be a thing of the past very soon, but until then, remember that you can rely on the Free Library for many of your information needs. For example, census.gov is currently unavailable, but Business Decision, a great database available from the Free Library, offers complete...
What students (and often their teachers and their principals) don’t know about research and an enriching liberal education
With the fall season upon us, students, their teachers, and their principals have recently returned to school. In the School District of Philadelphia, each of those groups face immense uncertainty about the future. As do students and educators across the United States and Mexico. Despite these myriad challenges, librarians want to offer each group the same support for excellence in local term papers that we always have.
Let us take a tour of the library services, collections, and expertise we have to offer which support students as they take their first steps into the conversations of the global scholarly community:
UPDATE - Changes to Our Electronic Resources and Databases
Over the summer we blogged about a number of changes coming to our electronic resources and databases. The last of those changes has finally gone into effect.
The Free Library will no long provide access to Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Database or Mergent Online, though researchers who had previously relied...
UPDATE - Changes Coming to Our Electronic Resources and Databases
Last month we blogged about changes coming to our electronic resources and databases. A few of those changes will take effect this week.
First of all though, we are happy to report that after further negotiation, we will be able to retain Novelist and Novelist K-8. These excellent resources will guide you to the best in fiction based on the books you already know love. Learn more about how to find great that next great read.
Also this week, we will no longer offer the EBSCOhost Premier editions of the magazine and journal databases listed below. Instead, we will offer the Main edition...
Attention Readers: Your New Favorite Book Is Here
We've all been there: One chapter from the end of a great book, and the pile of on-deck reads atop the bedside table looking awfully slim. The anxiety of not having something to read starts to take hold and tomorrow's Regional Rail commute or worse, a long wait in the...
Tons of New Music Added to FLP's Streaming Music Collections
Our streaming Music Online collections, powered by Alexander Street Press, have recently added tons of great new content. You'll find these collections listed on both our Digital Media and Database pages. If you're new to the service, we have six streaming music collections you can access with your library card number and PIN:
American Song - Hear and feel the music of America's past. Includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys, as well as the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more.
Classical Music Library - The...
Now Get Even More from Freading!
Many of our ebook readers have already discovered Freading. It's a great alternative to our Overdrive collection with a wide selection of titles from a growing list of publishers. Freading definitely has something for everyone, but romance fans have discovered that their especially strong collection of steamy titles is not to...
Free Library Google Maps Upgrade and New Features
Google recently announced updates to their Maps API script, with more updates planned this summer for their overall Maps platform.
The Free Library uses this API to display Google Maps in various locations on our website, most notably our Branch Map and Map Mosaic.
In preparation for Google's update, Free Library web development staff worked to upgrade the code and data displayed on the maps, as well as add some new usability features for our customers.
The branch map has been updated to perform like most common “store locators” found on popular retail websites.
You can now quickly view all library branches on...
Changes Coming to Our Electronic Resources and Databases
In our continual effort to better serve you, a team of librarians has recently taken a fresh look at our many electronic resources and databases, and has recommended some changes. Public library services have shifted dramatically over the past few years, with not only greatly reduced budgets but also a growth in the information you can connect to online. Ultimately, we recognize that our electronic databases must be relevant to your needs and provide the excellent library service you deserve.
To that end we will no longer be subscribing to a small selection of our current databases. But don’t worry—we’ve got you...
This is a great time for music lovers. Not so long ago, we had relatively few choices when it came to how we heard our music. We could buy it, which is ideal if you’re sure you’re going to like it once you get it home; listen to the radio or watch MTV, OK as long as you’re content to hear what someone else decides you should hear; or go see it live, again wonderful, but depending on where you live and the kind of music you like, maybe not possible. And those examples only take into account our very recent...
Arts, Culture, and Creativity Mapped Out on CultureBlocks
Another resource and ally in the Open Data movement (as I've written about in previous blog posts) has popped up online as of last week: CultureBlocks.com.
CultureBlocks is a free web-based mapping tool that collects cultural data and assets throughout Philadelphia (i.e. schools, rec centers, public transportation, parks, and libraries) which...
VuFind, the Library's New Online Catalog!
We are excited to present VuFind, the newest version of our online catalog, starting on Wednesday, February 20th!
We've been running VuFind in beta since early last year, so some of you may already be familiar with it. But whether you have used it before or will be using it for the first time, below are some of the new and exciting features of our new online catalog.
Your Library Account
This new online catalog is fully integrated with your library account. Once you log in, you’ll be able to see and manage your Profile Information, Checkouts, Holds, Fines, and Favorites. You’ll...
Grab a Grammy Winner with Freegal!
The 55th annual Grammy awards were held this week in Los Angeles and the world was invited to sit on its collective couch and watch. Did the Grammys reaffirm your faith in pop music? Or like many in this age of increasingly fractured pop culture, where each of us is...
Tax Filing Tips from the Free Library of Philadelphia
Tax season is here, and as usual Philadelphians are flocking to every branch and regional library, as well as the Parkway Central Library, with questions about filing. Unfortunately, librarians won't do your taxes for you. However, as masters of the information universe, we can connect you the best resources on...
Have Yourself A Happy High-Tech Holiday!
If the previous year’s statistics are any indication of what consumers spent money on during the holidays, there is a good chance that you or someone you know may be receiving some sort of electronic media device as a gift this year.
Gartner, one of the world's leading information technology research and advisory companies, predicted back in April that "worldwide media tablets sales would reach 119 Million units by year’s end," a 98% increase from the previous year.
A recent Pew Internet study stated that "46% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in May 2011."
Free Library of Philadelphia Mobile Site 3.0
The Free Library of Philadelphia has released the newest version of our mobile site!
The new mobile site (version 3.0) uses responsive web design and provides an optimal viewing experience on all browsers and most mobile devices, regardless of screen size. The site was built using jQuery mobile framework and HTML5.
Remembering Dave Brubeck
Can a great urban library such as the Free Library of Philadelphia "remember" a musician? With yesterday's passing of Dave Brubeck (B. Concord, CA, Dec 6 1920; d. Norwalk, CT, Dec 5 2012), we couldn't help but reflect upon the role that the library has as a kind of memory...
Benefits and Possibilities of Open Data and the Free Library
Picking up from where we left off last week:
What does Open Data mean for patrons and customers of the Free Library and what are some of the potential benefits and possibilities?
If ever there was a perfect pairing it is Open Data and the Free Library!
The Library is a huge repository...
The Open Data Initiative and GIS Technology
This is the first part in a multi-part series looking at tech news and issues relevant to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s customers and patrons.
One of the more recent buzzwords gaining attention in the tech world and in government circles is the idea of “Open Data”. In its simplest definition, it is the sharing of information by everyone, free from restrictions (albeit without violating any copyright laws or rights to privacy), for the common good and betterment of the community.
This past April, Philadelphia joined the ranks of other major U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington,...