Author Archives: virtuallexicon

Now’s Your Chance! Let Us Know What You Think.

The Digital Resources Committee (DRC) is working on updating the Database and Downloadable websites ( and respectively), and we need your input!

Do you use these sites? Do your customers use these sites? If you don’t use them, why not?

Please complete our short survey, and let us know what you think.

Members of the DRC will be looking at survey responses and will use your input to inform our changes, so please respond and tell us what you think about our Database and Downloadable websites.

Thank you! ~ Hilary Lewis Lackner



Great British Television on Hoopla!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of all things British. So I was very excited to see that Hoopla is now offering many of the most popular British Television shows (and movies) for bingeing! Favorites like Doc Martin, Vera, Poirot, and Miss Marple along with some new and somewhat more obscure titles like Acceptable Risk, Partners in Crime, and Humans.

hoopla acorn


And now that Hoopla is available on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV, there is no reason our patrons (and us!) can’t enjoy all of these great British shows!

Tracy – Monroeville Public Library is a public service of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) that serves as a one-stop career and college planning website. EducationPlanner provides practical and easy-to-understand advice to help prepare middle and high school students for the important decisions they will face in the future, such as applying to college, paying for college, and career planning. Interactive self-assessments are available to help students discover their strengths and weaknesses, and they can also ask a guidance counselor questions about higher education, financial aid, and careers.

In addition to being a resource for students, EducationPlanner also provides information and tools for parents and guidance counselors to help students prepare for college. Parents will learn how to teach their child about money management, saving for college, finding scholarships, the FAFSA process, and understanding ACT and SAT scores. Counselors can learn how to set up a job shadowing program and host a student aid event.

So the next time you have patrons who have questions about college, be sure to let them know that help is freely available at

I’m in the Mood for…

Whatever book I want!  Try the new Appeal Mixer in NoveList Plus, our fiction and non-fiction readers advisory (and more) e-resource.  The Appeal Mixer generates a book-list that suits the reader’s mood by allowing them to select and personalize these key literary elements:

  • Character
  • Illustration
  • Pace
  • Story-line
  • Tone
  • Writing Style

Choose a character that is quirky, a story-line that is unconventional, and a writing style that is lush- it’s up to you!  The Appeal Mixer can create a variety of combinations to help find the perfect read.

appeal mixer

NoveList Plus also has Appeal Combos ready if you would rather browse.  Amusing & Likeable, World-building & Atmospheric, and Journalistic & Compelling are examples of the exciting genre and appeal mixing reading lists awaiting lucky readers!

For help, download the free guide and watch a tutorial on “How to Match Readers and Books using Appeal” and check out the glossary of Appeal Terms.

NoveList Plus has many other wonderful features including:

  • Author Read-alikes
  • Book Reviews
  • Reading  and Award Lists
  • Lists of Titles in a Series

Since NoveList Plus covers fiction and non-fiction, it is perfect for almost all Library patrons!

Rob Kalchthaler – Bethel Park Public Library


A Truly Great Resource for Kids

Know of any curious kids looking for answers?  Maybe they’re working on a school project or just want to better understand the world around them.  Lead them to TrueFlix – a collection of interesting non-fiction eBooks that are enhanced with additional true, fact-based resources for a more complete learning experience.

Similar to BookFlix, which pairs classic storybooks with related non-fiction titles, TrueFlix combines non-fiction eBooks with a variety of primary resources, videos, articles, quizzes, games and more.

From the main page, you can browse by subject categories, including everything from biographies, governments, sciences, to the human body and outerspace.


There are several topics of eBooks available within each subject category.  Once you find a topic you’re interested in, you can watch a video about it, read the eBook, access related articles, websites, project ideas, activities and more.  Each topic even includes a lesson plan for teachers, homeschooling parents, etc.


Also like BookFlix, the eBooks have a read-along function that highlights words as it reads aloud.  This feature is great for early-readers.


If you’re looking for a great, true, and engaging reading source, checkout TrueFlix.


Richelle @ Sewickley Public Library

Watch a Movie in Mango Languages

I love the movies in Mango Languages. Currently there are movies in French, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. To access the movies in Mango, click on the “Languages” tab. Then click on “All Movies”. The movies will display.

Before watching the movie choose either “Movie Mode” (“Sit back and enjoy the show!”) or “Engage Mode”, which helps you learn dialogue, grammar, and culture with short lessons and interactive content.

Then choose subtitles. For example, you can have either English, German, English and German, or no subtitles.

Each scene has a “Scene Introduction”

Scene Introduction

and each scene has a “Follow-up” which reviews the scene’s dialog part by part.


If you love languages, and would like to get beyond “How much is the bill, please”. Or if you just love movies, you should check it out.

Mary Lee Hart, Northland

Learn a New Language with Mango!


We are moving into the new year, and people are making their travel plans.  It is fun and helpful to know at least a little of the language of the country they want to visit.

Help your patrons learn a new language with our Mango Languages online learning resource.  Mango Languages is linguist-approved interactive learning software that teaches practical conversation while being fun and encouraging.

Patrons can get started by either  creating an account – or just using Mango as a guest.  Encourage your patron to create an account, because it offers progress tracking.


Patrons can choose from over 70 languages – from Spanish to Swahili, English to Icelandic, and Shakespeare to Pirate – covering just about everyone’s language and cultural curiosities.  Here is the list of 72 languages currently offered through the library and Mango.

As noted above, English courses are included.   More than one in five U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home, and nearly 22 percent require development in their English skills.   Mango offers a complete English learning experience that is easy to follow and fully narrated in the learner’s native language.  This can be a critical resource for non-English-speaking patrons.

Because patrons like the convenience of using mobile apps.  Mango has a mobile app that offers patrons a remote, anytime-anywhere learning experience.

Mango is a wonderful learning resource offered by the library.  Its fun and free with a valid library card.  Introduce your patrons to Mango.  They will love it.


Lisa D., Upper St. Clair Library