A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

New Product News – Jan/Feb 2011

by Vicki Nesting on April 26, 2013

Geek the Library Campaign Now Available

Geek the Library, a community-based public awareness campaign, is now available for adoption by any United States public library. The campaign is designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries in today’s challenging economic environment and to increase local library support. Geek the Library has proven ability to improve public perceptions about local library funding needs in test communities.

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OCLC Online Computer Library Center helped libraries in central Iowa and southern Georgia pilot the campaign from June through December 2009.

Pilot libraries used the campaign to position the library as a critical asset—for individuals (e.g., to find jobs, re-educate themselves, and enhance literacy) and for the community (e.g., access to technology, continued education, and economic benefits). The campaign served as a springboard for initiating and expanding relationships with influential members of the community and the media, and for starting important local library funding discussions.

Interested libraries can register on the website via the URL shown above for more information about executing the campaign locally. Libraries and library systems that meet minimal commitment requirements for implementing Geek the Library will receive full access to all campaign material and initial campaign training from dedicated field managers. This team will focus on supporting participating libraries through the planning and launch stages, but will provide ongoing guidance, as needed.

Mango Mobile

Mango Mobile is a Mango Language application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. By downloading the application for free from the iTunes store, library patrons will be able to access Mango courses just about anywhere.

After library users download and launch the app, they will be asked to login with their library user name and password. Only courses available through the library will be available through the iTunes store. Once the app has been downloaded, users will be able to use the lessons with or without an Internet connection.

The lessons themselves work just like the online Mango lessons. The presentation, functionality, and course organization is very similar. Users simply touch the screen to reveal answers, hear pronunciations, and interact with the lesson format.

The Future of Electronic Messaging

The Potomac Electronic Messaging System was built to create a better way to communicate important information to library users. Potomac can improve the appearance of the library facility by removing all paper signage and placing the information on a TV screen for better viewing by the public. Potomac Electronic Messaging creates high impact signage that will always be current. The easy to use interface allows users to schedule items in and out of rotation without having to stop the system.

Potomac also offers Potomac Interactive, an interactive kiosk solution for a variety of applications. The Potomac Interactive is completely customizable and can be used to surf the Internet, retrieve e-mail, create flexible “attraction loops,” collect data with user input fields, create dynamic “way-finding” maps, search a database, and display search results, or assign any object one of twenty-five-plus touch actions.

Playaway’s Circulation Station

The more that library patrons are aware of Playaway, the more the Playaways will circulate. Librarians can use Playaway’s Circulation Station marketing materials and the following tips to help drive awareness and circulation of the Playaway collection. Playaway’s Circulation Station allows librarians to design custom posters, brochures, and other marketing materials or order readymade items directly from Playaway.


  • Customize posters and trifold brochures; hang near the Playaway collection, at the entrance to the audiobook section of the library, and near the circulation desk.
  • Give the staff Playaways on lanyards to wear to generate word of mouth.
  • Use Playaway wallpaper on public computers to raise awareness.
  • Update the library’s website to include a page about the Playaway format.
  • Hold a Playaway Day with help from a Playaway sales rep (includes staff training and product demonstrations with patrons).

Library PressDisplay: 1600+ Newspapers, 92 Countries, 48 Languages

Library PressDisplay offers library patrons the whole newspaper without all the paper. Every article, advertisement, crossword puzzle, and cartoon is presented in its original context. By subscribing to Library PressDisplay, libraries can:

  • Save thousands of dollars a year while significantly expanding the collection of newspapers and magazines. For the price of a few printed editions, libraries can offer their patrons access to hundreds of publications, with new titles being added every month at no additional cost.
  • Deliver today’s local and international newspapers to patrons as soon as they are published, often hours before they hit the newsstands.
  • Decrease the effort it takes to manage media resources. Library PressDisplay requires no software downloads and easily integrates with all existing catalogues.
  • Free up space in the library once reserved for printed newspapers by offering an online product that works with any browser on existing in-library computers. PressDisplay is also accessible to patrons remotely.
  • Reduce the library’s ecological footprint by choosing an environmentally friendly solution that to date has saved more than 100,000 trees and doesn’t get users’ hands dirty.

Library PressDisplay also offers powerful navigation, cross-title searching, listening, sharing, and social networking, tools to enhance the reading experience of your patrons.

Gale’s Power to the Usher

Power to the User is Gale’s new website to bring together a variety of tools to help support libraries, increase usage of Gale resources, and help libraries remain relevant to their communities.

Power to the User includes tools such as posters, bookmarks, and tent cards to create awareness and increase usage of these go-to resources. There’s also a section for libraries to share their success stories, widgets to add to your library’s website, templates for press releases and publicity guidelines, and a variety of other tools to help libraries market their resources successfully.

iLibrary Kiosk Provides High-Tech, Unique Service for Library Systems

Washington County (Minn.) Library (WCL) has brought a new community asset to the City of Hugo, as well as all WCL patrons, with the introduction of the Washington County Library Express—a high-tech kiosk called iLibrary (developed by LEID Products in Auburn Hills, Mich.) where patrons can order, pick up, and return library materials, using a self-service kiosk, locker system, and book return. WCL Library Director Patricia Conley called the Library Express an innovative new way to deliver services to areas where a full-service library may not be close by and during a time when budgets are tight.

“Hugo is a community which is seeing substantial growth. We want to make sure access to library services is a cost-effective benefit which can contribute to that growth,” Conley said. “We envision people stopping by the Library Express to pick up their books in the midst of their other daily errands. It’s a fast process and only takes a few minutes to pick up the items they have put on hold. Because the Library Express is self-service and located outside Hugo City Hall, it will be open twenty-four hours a day. It can really be a convenient part of our customers’ daily lives.”

To request books, customers use their library card number and must have an e-mail address on file with WCL. Library cards are available online or through any WCL branch. Using either the Library Express kiosk or the WCL website from their own computer, customers designate the Library Express (Hugo City Hall) as the pickup point. They will be informed via e-mail when their materials are available. The items will be available for forty-eight hours from the time of delivery to the library.

National Book Festival Welcomes E-Book and Audiobook Downloads on the Digital Bookmobile

On the tenth anniversary of the National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, e-books have gained a foothold with the reading public. A majority of American public libraries now offer free e-book downloads, and circulation is skyrocketing.

OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile demonstrated digital book downloads available from America’s public libraries at the 2010 National Book Festival in September 2010 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Digital Bookmobile, developed inside a seventy-four-foot, eighteen-wheel tractor-trailer, is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The one-of-a-kind community outreach vehicle creates an engaging download experience with the host library’s “virtual branch” download website and digital collection of e-books, audiobooks, and more. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internetconnected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players.

The Digital Bookmobile has traveled 50,000 miles and hosted nearly three hundred events with 61,000 library patrons and staff in forty-seven states and Canadian provinces since launching its national tour in New York City in August 2008.

WilsonWeb Launches New Interface for Smart Phones and Other Mobile Devices

Library users can now bring an important part of their library with them wherever they go, with the new WilsonWeb Mobile interface for smartphones and other mobile devices. A free service for WilsonWeb subscribers, WilsonWeb Mobile provides “anytime, anywhere” access to WilsonWeb reference databases with smartphone convenience.

WilsonWeb Mobile functions seamlessly with all of today’s most popular mobile devices and browsers, including Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Internet Explorer mobile, Opera mobile, and Firefox browsers.