How-tos: Checking out eBooks

Since we first started offering eBooks last year, there has been one question that reigns supreme; how do you check out an eBook? When you look at all the options available to you, and trying to figure out your device, the whole task can be quite intimidating. So we put this little guide together to help you check out eBooks.

Where to start

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The first place you will want to start is at our catalog. If you don’t know how to get there, go to our website and click the “Search Our Catalog” button. If you need more help using the catalog, check out this past post. You will need to log in using your library card number and phone number/password.

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Once you’ve gotten that first accomplished, it is time to look for your first eBook. You have two different options to use. The first, and probably the easiest, is to simply look in our catalog. The list of OverDrive eBooks (and audiobooks) are integrated straight into our catalog. Just like with regular books, the eBooks will appear green when there is a copy available and when it is pink there is not one. The second option is to go directly to OverDrive by clicking the icon on our catalog.

Before you check out a book

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By default, the check out period of all eBooks is one week (7 days), but you can change that limit. We suggest that you extend it to the max of 14 days. This will give you plenty of time to finish your book. However, if you can read your book in a week, you don’t have to mess with this.

Checking out an eBook

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Now that you are set up to check out a book, it’s time to actually check out a book. Once you find a book to read, move your mouse over the book and click the “Borrow” button. If you would like to find out a little more about the book first, you can click on the books title (not the book cover). Once you do that, you will receive a summary of the book with a big “Borrow” button right next to the cover.

Reading the eBook

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In order to read your eBook, you have a few different options.

No Device

If you do not have a mobile device, or eBook reader, you have the option to read the book through your Internet browser. This is probably the easiest way to access your new eBook

Kindles

This is probably the second easiest way to access your eBook. Simply choose the Kindle book as your chosen download type. You will then be taken to Amazon’s website, where you will have to log into your Amazon account. Once you are there, you can tell Amazon on what device you would like to have your eBook sent to. If you have another (non-Kindle) device with a Kindle app downloaded to it, the process is exactly the same as if you had a Kindle.

Other Devices

The other option for reading your eBook is a ePub book. These books can be read on all other devices (iOS, Android, Windows, Nook, etc). In order to read these books on your devices, it is best to download the OverDrive Media Console app. Doing it this way, you will also have to set up an OverDrive account. This is a simple process, but it adds extra steps to the process. If you have a Nook (not a Nook Tablet), the process is a little more complicated. So check out this post on the OverDrive website to find out how to do it.

Done reading the book?

IMG_0027If you are finished reading your book early, you can return your item early. If you are reading the book through your web browser, simply go to your bookshelf. Underneath the rating for your title, there is a button to “Return Title”. If you are using a non-Kindle device, push and hold on the book cover and an option will appear to return the book. If you are using a Kindle, you will have to log into your Amazon account to return the book.

If you’d like to have someone walk you through this post, check out this video:

UPDATE: (7/06/2015) After you checkout a book, you will now have to go to your bookshelf to download/read the book. OverDrive no longer automatically takes you to your bookshelf when you check an item out.

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Why Batman Is A Great Literary Character

In honor of this year’s superhero themed Summer Reading Program, I thought it would be appropriate to describe why a certain superhero is a great literary character. First the argument would probably be made that superhero stories aren’t real literature, to which I will send you to the post from a couple weeks ago. Yes, superhero stories get looked down upon, but they can also show us a lot about ourselves. Thus, their characters shouldn’t be simply tossed aside because you have to look at them on every page. According to this post, there are 5 key elements that a character must have to be a good, memorable character. So we’re going to see how Bruce Wayne/Batman fits all of these criteria.

1. Recognition

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Miles Scott aka Batkid

Recognition means that we have to be able to see ourselves as this character, or have some sort of connection.

Who couldn’t recognize themselves as Bruce Wayne or Batman? Aren’t we all billionaires that own super successful companies and at night hunt the city for bad guys that we beat to a pulp? NO! Of course that’s not true. But most people can still relate to Bruce. He lives a life that he constantly has to keep secrets, while also fighting to do good. Sometimes we go about it in the wrong way, but it is often said that the ends justify the means. No, we don’t have endless cash to fund our crusade against crime. Yet we can connect with the focus to do good for the benefit of all.

2. Personality

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Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne for Fox’s Gotham

Personality show us that we have a relationship with this character.

Batman has seen the dark side of his home town (Gotham City). It drives him to have one goal, to eradicate evil where ever it hides. But this isn’t where it stops for Bruce. He’s a friend, a son, a lover, and a father. All of these he blends in to his crime fighting. However, he has a character flaw that all of his acquaintances have come to accept. Bruce is a loner. Even when teaming up with the Justice League, he will take some time to himself (and usually solves the big mystery in the meantime). But man can be full of wit, and straight up bluntness that most superheroes don’t have.

Sorry, I had to add this one
Sorry, I had to add this one

3. Humanity

Batman and Robin Sometimes Dead Is Better

Humanity is what helps us see the character as more than what they are.

Bruce has long been the epitome of stone faced and unflinching. Yet he has one major soft spot, which usually comes in the form of whoever is in the Robin costume. This started because Dick Grayson went through a situation that reminded Bruce of his own (both witnessed their parents murder). So Bruce took him in and cared for him. Since that time, Batman has always had a special place in his heart for each one of the Robins. As the “Bat-Family” expands (Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Bat-Woman, etc), Bruce tends to open up just a little bit more.

4. Enrichment

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Enrichment is how we see our characters in the real world. Can the make mistakes and deal with real world problems?

Aside from the crime fighting, we see Batman deal with personal crisis over and over. Batman started with personal tragedy. Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents in a back alley of Gotham City. This was what sent him on his path to becoming the Batman. Yet the troubles don’t end there. One of the most notable ones was with the death of Jason Todd (Robin #2). Batman went on a rampage where everyone he came in contact with usually got his fist in their face. Yet when Tim Drake (Robin #3) deduced Bruce Wayne was Batman, he was able to convince him that he needed Robin to help him from going to a dark place.

5. Pain

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Pain describes how our characters deal with pain.

Batman is no stranger to pain. He’s been feeling it since he was a boy that witnessed his parents murder. Then there was the death of the Graysons. Then Jason Todd. Batgirl was beaten so severely by the Joker, that most thought she was going to die. There was also the death of his own son, Damian Wayne. There have also been countless times of physical pain, most notably when Bane “broke the Bat”, by breaking Bruce Wayne’s back. Through all of the pain, people (especially those who have lost people close to them) have been able to connect with this character.

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So what do you think? Can superheroes be great literary characters as well? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

Database Spotlight: Legal Forms Library

This month our featured database is the last of our most recent additions, Legal Forms Library. Over the years many people have come into the library looking for a form, or what you need to get their legal actions taken care of. So we purchased this new resource that is free to you, so long as you have a library card. Legal Forms Library is full of thousands of forms that fit inside hundreds of different categories. So here is a quick walk through to help you get started using this resource.

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To get started,you will need to log into our catalog. Under the “Electronic Resources Available to Logged-In Users” section, you will find the button for Legal Forms Library. Once you click, you will be taken to a brand new page where you will be. Given access to all of the legal forms.

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The first section you will probably notice is the most commonly searched for forms. Here you can quickly find forms to help with Divorce, Bankruptcy, Power of Attorney, Wills, Leases, and many more. Simply click on one of these buttons and you will see all the forms available to you (and are good for the state of Indiana). Underneath is a list of all categories of law that you can find forms for.

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Once you find a form you would like, click on the link and you will be given a full description of the form along with the option of how you would like to download it. If you chose the “MS Word” option, a “.doc” file will download to your computer. You will be able to open this file in Microsoft Word and make any changes that you need to make. If you do not have Word (or another program that can read .doc files), you may chose to download the Rich Text version. This form will open up in any text editor on your computer (e.g. Notepad), so you can still make the changes you need.

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Legal Forms Library isn’t just for legal forms (despite the name). You can also find a few tools to help your own understanding of the law (and your newly downloaded form). Three buttons exist on the side. “Definitions” will help you learn what certain legal terms mean. “Law Digest” will help you learn about important legal matters, and people of interest. “Legal Q&A” is full of sample questions and answers of law in various states.

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However, there is only so much you can do on your own. If you need legal counsel, there is a handy directory of attorneys built right into the database. Click the state you live in, and then select what kind of lawyer you need, and Legal Forms Library gives you a list of lawyers that can help you out.

As always, if you have any question do not hesitate to ask. Leave them in the comments, or send us an email through our website.

Graphic Novels Are NOT Throw Away Literature

Let me start by saying, the goal is to get people reading. It doesn’t matter what the reading material is (it could be the cereal box), just as long as you are reading. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re reading and I couldn’t be happier. That being said, there is a medium that is being looked down upon as lesser literature; that we can somehow pretend that these books don’t exist, and that they will simply go away because we ignore them. These books (if you haven’t guessed it) are Graphic Novels.

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There is a difference between graphic novels and comic books. Graphic novels are usually longer, and tell a complete story from beginning to end. On the other hand, a comic book comes in installments that can tell a whole story, or is a compilation of several smaller stories. To put it another way, Batman: The Killing Joke is a graphic novel, Garfield at Large is a comic book.

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Since they were first introduced in the late 70’s, graphic novels have been looked at as “for children”. While this is certainly the case for some, there are still others that can reach us in a way that no “regular” book can. That’s the point of literature; to affect as many people as possible, and help them see the world in a different light. How are they regarded as “for children”, you may ask? Simple. They have pictures! Some of them bight and beautiful, while others are dark and gritty.

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Another reason that graphic novels are looked down upon is because a large portion of them are superhero stories. While superhero stories can also be good literature (that is for a later post), this isn’t reflective of the whole group of books. Several of them seek to put us into the shoes of someone else. I recently read a post talking about this. It focused on a graphic novel called The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The book is the author’s story of growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. She uses the pictures to help her audience enter into her world.

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Page from The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Graphic novels have shown a light on several topics over their years that are beyond the good vs evil motif of superhero stories. Here are just a few:

  • Blankets by Craig Tompson – the adolescent years and questioning faith
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – stories of Holocaust survivors
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – philosophical conversations between ideas and historical figures
  • Y: The Last Man by Brain K Vaugh – feminism
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore – critique on the superhero genre, capitalism, and the nuclear arms race
  • Pyongyang by Greg Delisle – the culture of North Korea

“Graphic novels are not traditional literature, but that does not mean they are second-rate. Images are a way of writing. When you have the talent to be able to write and to draw, it seems a shame to choose one. I think it’s better to do both.” — Marjane Satrapi

Essentially my claim is that we shouldn’t write off graphic novels because of what they are. Give them a try. They can be just as good as any other “regular” novel. If you need helping picking one out, you can always go to your local library and ask a librarian for some help. Take the opportunity, while libraries across the county do Summer Reading, to try something new.

Summer Reading Preview

Well it’s that time of year again. The time where kids and adults go crazy, and read a TON of books! Of course that isn’t all that happens. So read on and get a bit of a preview over what’s happening this year for the Summer Reading Program (SRP).

Who?

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The SRP is designed for all ages. The Tadpoles group is meant for children from birth to preschool. They will have sheets designed to increase their early literacy skills with the help of parents. The Frogs group will be for school age children (up to children going into 5th grade). These children will have time-logs to fill out, to designate the hours they’ve put into their books. The Teens have their own program too! This is open to all young people from entering 6th grade to going into 12th (if they have graduated high school, they aren’t teens anymore). They have to keep track of their time as well, but in order to qualify for the Super Reader prize they must turn in a small book review. The final group is the Adults. The adult program is for everyone from after High School till you can’t read anymore.

What? (The Super Reader Prize)

SRP Prizes

Each group has it’s own super reader prize!

  • Tadpoles: Leap Pad Ultra XDI w/ Get Ready for Kindergarten bundle
  • Frogs: iPad Mini
  • Teens: Beats Headphones
  • Adults: Kindle Fire HDX Tablet

When?

SRP Calendar

May 27: Sign-up Day

On May 27th, registration for the SRP will officially open up. Come in anytime after we open and register. This applies to all of the programs.

May 30: Superhero Saturday

Keeping up with the theme of this year’s SRP, our big kickoff party will be Superhero Saturday! Meet us at Pleasantview Elementary School between 11am-1pm. There will be a bounce house, Super Hero training, Super Hero masks, as well as a photo booth to take your own heroic picture.

June 3rd: Snakehead Ed (Tadpoles & Frogs) / Masked Marshmallow Men (Teens)

June 10th: CR Ryan Magic Show / Frankentoy Friends

June 17th: Ruditoonz / Caped Crusader Cubies

June 24th: Jill’s Giant Adventure / Comic Collages

July 8th: The Water Show / Masquerade

July 11th: Final day to pick up weekly prizes

If you would like anymore information about the events of the SRP, please contact our Youth Librarian.

Where?


All programming (except Superhero Saturday) is scheduled to take place at Morrow’s Meadow. The Tadpoles & Frogs programming will begin at 2pm and the Teen programming will be right after at 3. If the weather disagrees with us, our rain location is the PVE gym.

How to get prizes?

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Tadpoles will have a sheet full of early literacy activities. Once they do all they activities on 1 sheet they can turn it in and receive a prize. Want to earn more? You child can turn in up to 3 sheets a week for a prize! In order to be entered for the Super Reader prize you must turn in 10 pages for 1 ticket. So keep the pages coming in all summer long.

Frogs will have a time log they will have to use to keep track of their time reading. Once they reach a total of 1 hour reading, they get a prize! Just like the Tadpoles, your child can turn in up to 3 hours per week for a prize. For 1 ticket in the Super Reader prize your child must read 20 hours.

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Teens will have a time log as well, but we’ve raised their reading requirement. Teens will have to read 8 hours a week to be entered into the weekly prize drawings. 8 hours will equal 1 ticket, so read more to get more tickets in the weekly drawing. In order to get tickets in the Super Reader prize drawing, you must turn in a small book review of a book at your reading level.

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Adults will have weekly prizes as well. Simply turn in a small review of a book and get a ticket placed into the drawing. All tickets are kept to be put into the Super Reader drawing. So the more books you read, the better your chances at getting that Kindle Fire!

If you want to stay on top of what is going on with the SRP you can always check out our Facebook page, or there is a page dedicated to the Summer Reading Program. Make sure to start coming in on May 27 (that’s this Wednesday) to sign up.

Any questions? Never be afraid to contact us or leave a comment!

Top 5 Ways to Keep Kids Reading Outside of School

As we approach the summer months, and the time kids are out of school, one question seems to pop up on parents’ minds; how do we keep our kids reading? We all have heard the many reasons why reading is so important: do better in school, improves imagination, boosts creativity, and is a great easy way to relax! Yet still, we need to figure out a way to motivate kids to read (and learn to love it) without an impending book report. Here are just a few ways that we have found.

1. Find a story that interests them

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DUH, this one is a no brainer. Who wants to read something that they have no interest in? We certainly don’t, so why should we make our kids do it outside of school. From the months of August through May, they are told what they have to read, so why not let them pick out something that interests them for a change.

2. Keep around plenty to read

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You can’t be expected to read, if you have no reading material. Make sure to have plenty of stuff lying around the house. Books, newspapers, magazines, even video game strategy guides are all things that they could be reading; which is the whole point. Having stuff to read, doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can visit thrift stores, used book stores, and even your local library to pick up plenty to keep your kids reading all summer long.

3. Give them praise when you see them reading

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Everyone loves getting a little acknowledgment for what they do, and so do our kids. Especially if reading has long been a struggle, make sure you recognize when they choose a book over television. It doesn’t have to be some loud, extravagant shout of praise, but maybe sit with them and ask about what they are reading. Which leads us to the next suggestion.

4. Family Book Club

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Everyone band together and pick a book that interests everyone. Now we know that this isn’t always possible, but maybe let the kids get a little more weight in the decision making. Not only is this a good way to motivate everyone to read, but it can even encourage conversation between you and your young ones. Have a big life event coming (like starting high school)? Pick a book about that topic, read it together, and have a discussion preparing both of you for the time to come.

5. Model it

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It has long been said that children learn the most by watching their parents. So if you want to raise readers in your family, guess what you have to do! Make sure you don’t read only when they are down for a nap, or after bedtime. The idea is that we want them to see you reading, so they will pick up a book for themselves because that’s what mom/dad does. Having trouble finding something to read? Ask a librarian or someone in a bookstore for help. It’s important that you like what you are reading, so you can show your kids just how fun it can be.

There are obviously many more ways to keep your kids reading. If you have any suggestions make sure to leave them in the comments, or message us through our website, Facebook, or Twitter pages.

Staff Picks: At the Water’s Edge

Adult Collection/Local History Librarian: Becky Bray
Adult Collection/Local History Librarian: Becky Bray

In this week’s post, I thought I would ask a fellow staff member about what they are reading. So I sat down with the lady in charge of the Adult Collection to find out what book she’s into at the moment.

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What book are you reading?

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen which came out in March of 2015

What other books is the author known for?

She has written several books, but is probably most known for Water for Elephants.

What is the book about?

This is a novel of secrets, relationships, betrayal, and monsters — both real and imagined. The novel begins in Philadelphia in 1944 and ends in Scotland, where the main characters are in search of the Loch Ness monster. The two main male characters are both wealthy and have lead a sheltered life of privilege, and have been deemed ineligible to serve in the military. One has married beneath his station in life, and she reluctantly follows the two across the Atlantic in a time of war. While the female character learns to appreciate the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the people (becoming stronger in character as time goes by), the men are treated with contempt by the locals. Thus begins the deterioration of their relationships and while searching for the elusive Loch Ness monster, other monsters are revealed.

What have you liked (or disliked) about this book?

I enjoyed this novel and I would recommend this for anyone who wanted a good read that did not require a lot of attention to detail. I enjoyed the main female character and I felt the author described the paths she had to walk to survive, whether of her own choosing or not, very realistically. I’m not usually drawn to novels that take place during WWII. The author included many rich details of the daily struggles of life in Scotland during the war, but it was secondary to the main story line.

 “A daring story of adventure, friendship, and love in the shadow of WWII.” — Harper’s Bazaar

Tell us what you think. Does this book sound interesting to you? Let us know in the comments. You can grab the book from our catalog in either Large Print or eBook. Need help navigating the catalog? Be sure to check out one of our previous posts.