Google Translate Helps to Break Language Barriers on Free Library Website
The Free Library is happy to announce the latest addition to our website: the integration of Google Translate!
As part of the Free Library’s strategic plans, it has been a goal to present our website content in multiple languages to cater to the diverse population of our patrons throughout the City...
Fall into these cool web extras!
If you haven't viewed our Extras page in a while, we've recently updated it again with some new autumn-themed digital images from our various digital collections, including our vast Historical Images of Philadelphia collection.
Add a crisp and cool touch of fall to your desktop, tablet, phone, e-reader, or mobile device...
Check Out Our New Blog Redesign!
If you're looking at this blog, you may notice something different: more stories, more color, more pictures.
We've redesigned our blog!
When you go to Free Library's blog now, you will notice two views available in the upper right-hand corner of the page: Grid and List.
The dynamic grid layout allows for multiple...
Helping to Bridge the Digital Divide
There have been a number of news stories over the past few weeks discussing the digital divide that still exists around the world.
Studies and statistics show that access to the internet has improved over recent years to a certain extent, but that there are still 60 million Americans who have...
Author Pseudonyms and Pen Names and Aliases, Oh My!
The saying goes, "Everyone loves a good mystery".
And a recent mystery in the literary world has people rushing to libraries and bookstores to pick up a book called The Cuckoo’s Calling.
A debut crime novel from first-time author Robert Galbraith, said to be a former member of the Special Investigative Branch...
Alternative RSS Readers to Replace Google Reader
As reported on this blog back in March, Google Reader announced that they were shutting down their Google Reader service as of July 1st, 2013.
Once we went through the five stages of grief, we started to do some research and test out the myriad of other news readers available on...
Find Summer Reading Booklists Instantly In Our Online Catalog
Online Summer Reading is in full swing right now here at the Free Library with kids, teens, and adults from all over Philadelphia reading as much as they can all summer long to meet our 20-Million-Minute Challenge goal!
For school-aged children from grades K - 12, we've partnered with The School District of Philadelphia on reccommended summer reading lists. This year, you can find those booklists and titles easier than ever before as we've integrated them into a special featured tab on our main online catalog page.
Just click on the tab for your appropriate grade level, scroll through the book covers...
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...
Free Library Mobile Services at the Tap of Your Finger!
The Free Library Mobile Services page has recently been updated!
There are new step-by-step instructions and screenshots illustrating how to access and bookmark the Free Library's mobile website on your mobile device of choice. By adding our mobile app icon to your mobile device's home screen, you can access all the great books, music, movies, information, resources, and services available to you from the Free Library with a tap of your finger!
You can sign in and manage your library account, search our vast catalog and databases, download ebooks and podcasts, browse through thousands of images in our extensive digital collections, view...
Free Library Branches and Departments on Facebook
If you attended any of the recent Philadelphia Book Festival events, or are planning on attending any of the remaining Philadelphia Science Week or Philly Tech Week events, you've probably stopped by one of our 54 branches.
Want to continue to find out about exciting, educational, and enlightening events at your local neighborhood library?
Have a Facebook account?
Surf on over to our Facebook page and at the top you will see a tab for "Branches and Departments".
Click on that tab and you will be able to access links to all of our branches and departments that have Facebook pages.
Find your local neighborhood...
Pinteresting Spring Extras
If you haven't viewed our Extras page in a while, we've recently updated it with some new spring-themed photos from our various digital collections.
Add a touch of spring to your desktop, tablet, phone, e-reader, or mobile device by downloading a new wallpaper or screensaver!
Speaking of digital images, have you visited...
Amazon Buys Book-centric Social Networking Site Goodreads
In tech news reported right before the Easter holiday last week, it was revealed that Amazon had bought the social reading website Goodreads.
The news was posted on Goodreads official blog, expressing their excitement over the new partnership, especially the ability to now bring Goodreads to the most popular e-reader in...
"Be afraid... Be very afraid." - An Exhibition of Horror
"Be afraid... Be very afraid." is the newest addition to the ever-expanding collection of interactive online exhibitions featured on the Free Library's website.
The exhibition, researched and written by Cameron Dahl, a Librarian 2 in the Literature Department, and Aurora Deshauteurs, Curator of the Print and Picture Collection, spans centuries of...
Google Reader Service Ending July 1st, 2013
Some sad news came across the internet last week as Google posted on their official blog that as of July 1st, 2013 they would be shutting down their Google Reader service. Google Reader is--or rather was--one of the easiest to use and best RSS web-based readers out there, so there...
Find Your Way Around Parkway Central via Google Indoor Maps
Back in November 2012, Google updated its Maps service for browsers, as well as Android powered mobile phones and tablets, with indoor maps and floor plans of over 10,000 locations inlcuding airports, shopping malls, train stations, and museums.
You can now add Free Library of Philadelphia to that growing list of institutions, joining our Parkway neighbors the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, that are now available on Google Indoor Maps.
Google representatives visited the library back in August 2012 to survey the building and record GPS coordinates. Working together with Google's representatives, Web Development's Graphic Designer Kristin Crawford created...
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...
Our New Catalog Launches Monday - Take 2!
It has been a while since our first attempt to launch our new online catalog. During our first launch in April, we discovered some hardware limitations that were holding us back. (In a library system this busy, we get plenty of traffic on the servers that run the catalog, and this new catalog was the straw that broke the camel’s back.)
We’re very happy to say that we’ve made some hardware upgrades that should help, and we’re planning to launch the new online catalog again on Monday, July 23. At that time, when you search using the box on our homepage...
New Catalog Launch Delayed
We apologize if you were trying to use the new catalog this morning and were caught in a virtual traffic jam. We’ll keep you posted as we work on a few lingering bugs that are causing slowdowns. We hope to have a new launch date very soon – in the meantime, we thank you for your patience with us! We’re looking forward to getting everything working smoothly, and judging from your positive feedback about the new product, we think you are too!...