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,...
News from Databaseland
At the Free Library, we are always on the lookout for the best resources to add to our database collection. Likewise, we are constantly evaluating our current offerings to make sure you are getting the best service possible. In that spirit, I would like to share a few new resources we've recently added to...
Philadelphia: People, Places Things with Third Graders from Reynolds School
This morning the Techmobile hosted third graders from Reynolds School onboard for an overview of the Library’s electronic resources for children, and then did a hands-on activity using Google maps alongside the Free Library’s digital collections of historical maps and historical images of Philadelphia.
Students used our laptops and iPads to...
Your Money Matters: Morningstar Library Edition Now Available At All FLP Locations!
Morningstar is a trusted name in financial analysis. While its flagship product, Morningstar.com, has been available in our Business, Science, and Industry Department at the Parkway Central Library for some time, we are pleased to announce that this resource is now available at all Free Library locations. Use Morningstar for in-depth...
You've asked for 'em, now we've got 'em: interactive, talking ebooks for children!
TumbleBooks is "an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order...
Philanthropy In/Sight: Every Picture Tells a Story
In response to broad audience demand, the Foundation Center has created this spectacular interactive mapping tool. Designed for all persons interested in the impact of philanthropy around the world, Philanthropy In/Sight combines rich data on grantmakers and their grants with familiar Google maps to tell the story of philanthropy.
Changes to our database offerings
POWER Library has provided the public and school libraries within Pennsylvania with access to many valuable resources for years. The Office of Commonwealth Libraries has just announced that the following resources will be provided under the POWER Library Network this year:
General Periodical Resources (H.W. Wilson)
Newspaper Resources (Gale)
Business Resources (ProQuest ABI Inform)
AP Photo Archive
We’ve been told that Contemporary Authors and AP Photo Archive will continue to be available uninterrupted. We should know more details about the new additions to our resources next week.
This also means that some of the electronic resources and databases that the...