Promoting eMagazines with Your Print Collection

A simple way to promote eMagazines is along with your actual print display.  Many of the magazines that we have in print are also available through Overdrive and Zinio.  Our library has placed a small sign with each magazine on display that may also be checked out in a digital format.  For those patrons who love eMagazines this is a nice reminder that their favorite magazines may also be found on their device.  For those patrons who are unaware of eMagazines it’s an eye-opener. Download an easy template HERE.


Other marketing and promotional resources and templates may also be found at the Overdrive site —





OverDrive – Tips & Tricks

As much as I use OverDrive both personally and helping patrons, I find myself still discovering more ways to have a better experience with OverDrive. Here are a few that may be of use to you and your patrons.

  • IMG_1851OverDrive History: On certain devices in the OverDrive app, under your menu there is a section that is “History.” This feature only keeps track of your history with OverDrive on that specific device.  Additionally you can delete these titles off and remove them from your history two different ways: 1. Under the history tab, you can select different titles and remove them individual or all at once. 2. Under the Settings Tab, you can select clear device history.  According to the OverDrive help page, OverDrive does not have access to your history and it is only for your personal use.
  • Filter by Subject: Often when I am assisting a patron with Capture
    OverDrive, they just want to browse as opposed to searching for a specific author or title.  On the left-hand side of the page there is a way to filter by subject.  While this fields a lot of results, it is an easy way for patrons to have a more specific browsing experience and may help to jog their memory of a title or author they would like to investigate further.  Another way you can filter by subject is at the top of the page, clicking the “View More…” link, sends you to a list of different subjects as well.  While there are a number of ways to help patrons browse on OverDrive, these two are incredibly user-friendly and ones they can do easily on their own.

Pam Calfo – Baldwin

Hamilton Fever!

Alexander Hamilton. A Founding Father who is every where these days. Sure, you see him on your $10 bill all of the time. But lately, Hamilton is just about the hottest celebrity.  Why? Well, it’s all thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his modern musical hit.

Perhaps you watched the Grammy Awards and saw the cast of Hamilton perform the show’s opening number live. Maybe you’ve seen pieces about the musical and its creator on Sunday morning television or perhaps you’ve read one of the countless articles about it. Either way, it’s the hottest Broadway ticket in years and everything about the show has entered pop culture officially.

History, Music, Hip-Hop, Rap Battles, Love Stories, War, Duels and One Incredible Story.

Nothing like this has ever been done before and it’s just about blowing minds all over the globe. The Grammy Awards were really the first time most Americans were able to see what all the fuss was about and it’s so protected that a legal video of the performance is not available on YouTube, but you can head over to Vulture to watch the official CBS video.

Can you feel the energy and excitement?


The Hamilton Soundtrack

Believe it or not, Hamilton didn’t make its Broadway debut until August 2015. But tickets are sold out, prices are high, and every day a lottery is hosted where hundreds of people enter to try and win free tickets to show. How many tickets do they give out at each performance? Just twelve. But the Grammy-award winning soundtrack is at the library just waiting for you! After one listen you’ll be sucked into the story of our “Founding Father without a Father” and even if hip-hop isn’t your usual cup of tea, you’ll soon have favorite tracks on repeat and be singing along in no time. With Hoopla you don’t even have to wait for it. You can have hip-hop and American history right at your fingers immediately. Once you become addicting to the musical’s fast-paced and gut-wrenching songs, you can read all about the making of the broadway hit by reading Lin-Manual Miranda’s Hamilton book and see real-life photos of the actors and the stage.

 Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

One of the best things about Hamilton the musical is just how much you’ll learn as you’re listening to the music tell his story. Just how did a Broadway composer know so much about a Founding Father? Well, he started here. Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton is the basis of the musical. In fact, this book is the first full-length biography ever written about Hamilton and spans the life of Hamilton from his boyhood in the Caribbean to his untimely death by duel. Pick up the book as you listen (or before) and you’ll surely impress friends, family, and office mates with your in-depth knowledge of Alexander and America’s birth.  You can also check out a digital audio version of the book .  digitally too.

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

One of the ways you can tell you’ve officially caught Hamilton fever is that you’re eager to dive deep into history and learn more about America’s birth than just what you learned in high school. Originally published anonymously, The Federalist Papers first appeared in 1787 as a series of letters to New York newspapers exhorting voters to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States. You probably remember learning a little bit about them as a student and might even remember that there were 85 of these letters. But one of the very first facts I learned after listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack is that John Jay got sick after writing just five, James Madison composed 29 letters, but Alexander Hamilton wrote the other 51! Many copies of The Federalist Papers are available through the library collection as they have been studied and debated throughout generations.

It’s a rare moment when a musical enters our pop culture lexicon with such force. Hamilton doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon and you might be surprised to find how much you enjoy the history lessons along with the music…even if musicals and hip-hop aren’t normally what you listen to. And if you find yourself caught up in Hamilton fever? Raise your glass to freedom!

YouTube Channels: next best thing to a webinar

Many of our database companies offer YouTube Channels and Playlists dedicated to providing video tutorials for their product.  Basic tours, lessons and tips can help you and your patrons make the most of these resources!



Mango Languages

Ancestry Library Edition


Other video help sites direct from database providers include: OverDrive, Gale Legal FormsChilton Library and Zinio.

rob / Bethel Park

Let That Be A Lesson!

Where did the summer go? Your children and teen patrons can soak up the sun guilt-free a little longer, but those of you who serve teachers and other classroom support staff know that plans and preparations for fall learning are already in full swing. Did you know that some of our electronic resources contain materials that can help them prepare great lessons and classroom activities? Read on to see what you can find, and where to find it.

Teacher Reference Center 

trc_button_150x75Let’s not overlook the obvious: this resource has “teacher” right in its title, and yet your users might not know it exists. Educators looking for new ideas can consult abstracts of 260 periodicals for articles about topics such as:

  • Assessment
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional media
  • Literacy standards
  • Science & mathematics

plus a whole lot more!

Although Teacher Reference Center is not full-text, you can often get to the full-text by

  • adding other EBSCO databases to your search.
  • searching the article title in other county/POWER resources.
  • submitting an  ILL request.

For more immediate needs in the social sciences, Gale’s got you covered.

History in Context (U.S & World), Opposing Viewpoints

uhic-webThese three databases feature a taxonomy of content linked to current educational standards. When you enter each of these databases, you’ll see a link to “Curriculum Standards” at the top. Clicking this brings up a drop-down menu of national and state standards (World History in Context also includes international standards–neat, eh?).

whic-webOnce you’ve selected your state, you can choose to see the social sciences standards for either middle school or high school. Subdivisions within each standard are linked to specific database content. So, for example, teachers preparing a lesson for 9th graders on the rule of law could access U.S. History in Context and, using the taxonomy, jump directly to materials on that topic, as well as on civil rights and the common good.

ovic-webOpposing Viewpoints in Context contains curriculum standards for both the social sciences and the hard/applied sciences. There is also a “Maps” feature that provides not just maps, but all sorts of graphics teachers can use to share statistics or present key information visually.

Speaking of science…

Science Reference Center

SciRC_button_150x75This resource is a gold mine of information for the science teacher who could use support. The reference shelf, on the right-hand side of the landing page, contains links to:

  • More than 2000 lesson plans on a wide variety of topics.
  • Science experiments (full projects and support articles).
  • Research and citation guides to share with students.
  • Worksheets for chemistry, physics, biology, scientific math, and more.

Like the social science databases, Science Reference Center also contains curriculum standards organized by state, grade level, subject, and subtopic. However, instead of linking the user directly to the material, EBSCO provides suggested search strings.

Novelist / Novelist K-8


English teachers will love the support materials they’ll find in Novelist and Novelist K-8.   If they’re in a hurry, you can very quickly show your patrons how to search by lexile and Accelerated reader. If they’ve got time to spare, though, there are more materials to show off.

If you select the “Quick Links” tab in either database, then click “Curriculum Connections,” you’ll find tons of book lists on common classroom themes. “Books to Reinforce the Alphabet,” for example, suggests books for teaching individual letters. Results can be limited by age, subject, and a variety of other ways. These include curriculum standards for those seeking specific lesson plans to illustrate a particular point.

logoNOVELISTK8Lg“Picture Book Extenders,” the last option under “Quick Links,” also contains curriculum standards-aligned activities that can be used in conjunction with specific picture books. This option, like “Curricular Connections,” is available in both Novelist and Novelist K-8, and results have the same set of limiters mentioned above. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will find these especially helpful as they pave the road to independent reading.

Novelist‘s book discussion guides are a good resource for high school English teachers looking for additional questions to get students thinking about assigned texts. Also located in the “Quick Links” section, these searches can be limited to teen audiences for best results. Each discussion guide contains a list of questions and answers, as well as recommended read-alikes that can help teachers get a curious child to their next book. Please note: this option is not available in Novelist K-8.

Although classroom teachers are the primary audience, these resources might also be helpful for homeschooling parents, child care center workers, or volunteer tutors. With a little help from you and a database, your patrons prepping for back-to-school time might just breathe a little more easily this year.

Browsing hoopla for children’s media is easy now

If you haven’t already explored it (and especially if parents have been asking) you should check out the new hoopla KIDS MODE, a setting that allows individuals to browse only materials created for children. It allows parents and children to discover all the great hoopla kids’ content, with one swipe. No more wasted time—and no more stumbling across titles like You Are a Badass, American Swing, or Sh*tty Mom that might create confusion or consternation.

Instead, you’ll see audiobooks, movies, music, comics, ebooks, and television shows just for kids.



This isn’t a separate portal, as in OverDrive. It’s an account setting that can be turned on and off easily. And the instructions are simple (really).

To use:  Click on your account (your email address) in the upper right side of the screen to access your profile.  Change the KIDS MODE toggle to on.   Be sure to click the Update button (in the lower left).



To return to unrestricted browsing: In your account, change the KIDS MODE toggle to off and update.  Note:  This affects the device on which you are browsing ONLY, not the account.

All content shown while in Kids Mode has been deemed suitable by hoopla for children up to 12 years of age.

To get started, go to Hoopla Digital.


Lisa Dennis/CLP


Keeping Up with the Librarians

Often if a patron is especially interested in a genre I don’t read (westerns, for example), it can be hard to keep abreast of the most recent titles to suggest to them, as well as find some classics that they may have missed.

I use NoveList for a number of questions, including series order and read-alikes, but have recently started using the Keeping Up feature as well, available from NoveList’s homepage. NoveList has created Keeping Up pages for most of the most popular genres, including Dystopian Fiction and Mystery. These pages include a selection of the most recent titles in that genre, as well as curated booklists and genre essentials.

Keeping Up aggregates best-of and award lists and can point you to key titles and authors in the genres that may not end up on your own reading lists. To this end, there is also an array of readers’ advisory tools and advice from other librarians that will help to acclimate you to these conversations.

Many of the Keeping Up pages are also geared to both an adult and YA audience (there is even a YA Lit Keeping Up all on its own). Need high fantasy suggestions for a teenage boy? Keeping Up has you covered!

Another great feature of Keeping Up is the printable marketing materials included. Read-alike bookmarks and more are perfect for supplementing book displays and make on-the-fly booktalks easier and more effective.

While NoveList isn’t one of our digital resources that is constantly updating and evolving, it has much to offer both patrons and librarians. Sharon had a great earlier Virtual Lexicon post on the Book Discussion Guides available through NoveList, which is another great resource that should be highlighted again.

Nobody can keep up with all the titles and genres that patrons are interested in and NoveList can help immensely in those difficult “Well what do I read next?” questions we all face.

Jeff (South Park)