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!...
Our New Catalog Launches Monday
The beta period for our new online catalog is drawing to a close. During the last six weeks, we’ve read your comments and suggestions, blushed at your kind flattery, fixed some bugs, and made plans for future development in response to the things you’ve told us would be most useful. We were very happy to know that lots of patrons are really looking forward to using the new catalog when it is fully launched!
We will officially retire Aquabrowser on Monday, April 23. Going forward, when you use the search box on our homepage (or in the sidebar of other pages)...
Website Updates - Mobile site and Branch Pages
Our website is constantly evolving to allow you quick access to our resources, and we love when we get feedback and suggestions from patrons. One patron suggested we provide links on our mobile website to our ebooks so she could easily download books to her phone--done! Another patron wanted to...
New Digital Collections RSS Feed
We just launched a new RSS feed for our Digital Collections. The feed posts images recently added to our collection so you can stay up to date with our extensive collection.
Digital Collections - more than 17,000 images digitized from the Free Library of Philadelphia's extensive collections
Digital Collections RSS Feed - stay up to date on new images added
All Free Library RSS Feeds - subscribe to our blog, author events, podcasts or build custom feeds
Learn about RSS...
More Mobile Web Features
In July, we launched the Find a Location, Calendar of Events, and I Would Like To... features to our mobile website, and today I would like to share a couple cool new features.
Podcasts – Instantly listen to your favorite author events that take place at Parkway Central Library on your mobile phone...
Find Book Descriptions & Reviews in our Catalog
Starting today, you will find a new link for "Book Description & Reviews" for items in our catalog. When you click the link, a new window will open, displaying reviews from our librarians and staff as well as GoodReads.com user-generated content. If you're a GoodReads user, you might just see...
RSS - Let Information Come to You
RSS--which stands for Really Simple Syndication--is a web format that allows data from frequently updated works, like blog entries, news headlines, and audio and video content to be viewed in a standardized format. If you are like me, you are probably a fan of many blogs, podcasts, and news websites, but...
New Website Feature – Extras!
Have you ever wondered:
“Where can I get cool Free Library wallpaper?”
“Is there a way to search the library catalog from my browser?”
“I wonder if the Library Twitters?”
“I need more friends on Facebook... who can I add?”
“Where can I watch Free Library videos?”
Well, don’t worry; the...
Share Your Comments
Have an opinion about books you’ve read or films you've seen that you want to share? Starting today, you can now post your comments. Click on “About the Blog” for information on how to post comments. Free Library staff will also be posting more often about new or favorite titles. We hope you will join the conversation!