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The Toronto Poetry Map - A New Pattern for Our Digital Projects

April 9, 2015 | Alan H. | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

We launched the Toronto Poetry Map at the start of April to mark National Poetry Month, and I've been  pleased by both the media interest and the social media traffic. I had a strong personal interest in this project as a reader of Canadian poetry, so it was a particular pleasure to serve as the technical lead - I don't normally get to combine my academic background in literature with my career as a librarian and software developer.



The poetry map originated in a collaboration between the library and the city's fourth Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke. I think it provides a unique way to explore Toronto through poems associated with the city’s neighbourhoods, intersections and landmarks.

The map in a technical sense represents a very new way of working for us - it's our first released project using Ruby on Rails, a web development framework that will no doubt be familiar to some of our more technically-oriented readers. Rails let us turn around a great experience in record time and promoted an iterative, collaborative working style that I favour for web application development.

It's also:

  • our first released application built from the beginning for mobile layout
  • our first cloud-deployed application (on DigitalOcean if you're curious)

At heart, the decision to use a new approach was made due to content requirements and a need to be able to easily add new poems and features in the future. The poetry map data model is surprisingly complex and multi-dimensional - a location can have multiple poems associated with it, or a poem can mention multiple locations, and we needed to be able to model those relationships in the underlying data in order to deliver the desired experience.

Longer term, I'm hoping to reuse some of the approaches and technologies to rapidly build similar applications - maybe even open source the code so others can build their own maps for their own places.

Zinio eMagazines Now Easier to Use

March 10, 2015 | Joanne | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

  • Only one Zinio library account is now needed to checkout, read and manage your magazines on a computer. You won't have to create or sign into a second Zinio account to read a magazine
  • The current issue of a magazine can be checked out right away by using the new Checkout Now icon found on the bottom right of the magazine cover

Checkout now

  • You can start reading the magazine instantly in your browser

Start Reading

Read Now

 

  • You can change your display preferences or delete issues within your account by selecting My Collection after signing in at Zinio eMagazines

Manage Checked Out Magazines

 

New Zinio for Libraries app for iPad and Android users (4.0.3 and up)

  • There is a new Zinio for Libraries app available for iPad and Android . The new app is intended for users who only borrow magazines from the library as it does not include an option to purchase magazines. It does not replace the original Zinio app; if you have a paid account you can continue to use the original Zinio app to manage the magazines you have bought as well as those checked out from the library
  • If you download the new Zinio for Libraries app it may take a week or so for your older checked out magazines to appear. If you want to read those issues, you can continue to use the original Zinio app
  • When you want a new magazine you must always start at Zinio eMagazines; the app is for reading only.
  • Note: The New Zinio for Libraries app for iPhone is scheduled for release at the end of April

Have fun reading your favorite magazines!

 

Vanity Fair magazine cover Business Today (Chinese) magazine cover Canadian Living magazine cover Wired magazine cover
The Economist magazine cover Hello cover Car and Driver magazine cover M55BM61B US Weekly magazine coverJ55EKYHW

Zinio eMagazines: New Magazines Added, Including National Enquirer

March 2, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Many more new magazines have been added to our Zinio eMagazine collection, including the checkout line favourite National Enquirer.

Any magazines you check out are yours to keep - they do not need to be returned.  

Amazing wellness Food and travel Harpers Hollywood reporter Homes & gardens
Maclife Mindful National enquirer New republic Pc games
Popular woodworking Ricardo Soap opera digest Women's running Writer's digest

 From a variety of countries as well:

French l'officiel Italian geo Portuguese Elle Spanish micasa Vietnamese doanh nhan
France Italy Portugal Spain Vietnam

 

New to Zinio eMagazines?  Have a look at our Getting Started with Zinio eMagazines webpage.

Related posts:

Zinio eMagazines: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Many Other Magazines Now Available

 

Browse the OneClickdigital Collection For Many Popular eAudiobooks

February 2, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

If you love the convenience of downloading audiobooks from OverDrive, be sure to have a look at the Toronto Public Library's OneClickdigital eAudiobooks collection as well.

Yes pleaseWhile this collection has many popular titles, probably the most popular at the moment is Amy Poehler's biography, Yes Please. Told through a collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and a haiku, Amy gives her thoughts on everything from her "too safe" childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and 'showbiz' and much more. 

If you can't decide between reading or listening to it, you should know that Amy is the one narrating the audiobook! How great it that!

Like OverDrive, you can borrow these audiobooks for up to 21 days. You do not need to return them, the audiobook file will stop working at the end of the borrowing period. You can have 15 audiobooks checked out at any one time and 10 on your holds list. 

Here are a few of the eAudiobooks available through OneClickdigital that you won't find in OverDrive:

Orenda One plus one Written in my own Ghost ship Cooked
Mrs lincoln's rival Invention of wings Americanah Bully pulpit Rosie project
And the mountain Otherwise engaged By Its Cover Doctor sleep To sell is human

To use the OneClickdigital eAudiobooks, you will need to create an OneClickdigital Account through the Toronto Public Library's OneClickdigital website. You will need a valid Toronto Public Library card to create this account.

After that, you will need to download the appropriate OneClickdigital software (OverDrive software will not work with these items). There is desktop software for both Windows and Apple computers as well as Apple and Android apps.

Sign into the software using the Username and password used when you created your OneClickdigital Account. If you are using a mobile device, here is a video to explain how the app works:

More tutorial videos are available from the Help section of the OneClickdigital website.

An update on the account redesign project

January 13, 2015 | Dara Renton | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

One of our main projects over the past year has been a redesign and rebuild of the account section of the library website, with a focus on making it mobile friendly. Some of you have helped us out by participating in usability testing and providing feedback on design mockups, so we wanted to give you an update on where we’re at.

 

Toronto Public Library account summary screen grab mobile
The redesigned account summary screen

Another project involving an upgrade to our application servers delayed progress on the account redesign, but we are continuing to work on it and hope to launch the new version sometime in 2015.

We have evolved the design based on findings from user testing, and we’ve also been working on the web services that will connect the new account with the library’s underlying circulation management system.

We’re planning for additional testing before we launch the new version of the account. If you’d like to be involved, sign up for the Website Advisory Group.

New to Library eBooks, eMagazines, eMusic and eMovies? Start here!

December 23, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

If you haven’t heard yet, Toronto Public Library has a great selection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, movies and music available online. You can access them through OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks, Zinio eMagazines and Hoopla.

The eBooks are available to borrow for 21 days. The downloaded file will stop working after the borrowing period has ended - no need to return the eBook. There are never any fines with eBooks. The eMagazines are free to download and they never expire - you can keep them for as long as you wish. Television shows and movies are available for 3 days and music albums for 7 days. Just like eBooks, the items will be returned automatically at the end of the borrowing period.

OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks

To download and read OverDrive eBooks on a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) or eReader (like a Kobo Glo), you will need a few things:

Your-library-card1. A valid library card. Sign in to Your Account to make sure your card is still active. If it needs to be renewed, please visit your local branch with required identification. If your library card is blocked due to fines, you can now pay your fines online.

2. A supported device. Most devices from major electronics manufacturers are compatible with OverDrive. To make sure your device will work with library eBooks, check the OverDrive supported devices list for eReaders and for mobile devices. Please note that the Kindle Fire is the only Kindle that will work with OverDrive in Canada.

Appicon3. Software. OverDrive has created an OverDrive Media Console app for many devices, including Apple, Android, and Windows 8. Download and print the guide for your device from our Getting Started with Library eBooks webpage.

IndexIf you have a device to which software cannot be added (like a Kobo Glo), then you need to download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer and add the eBooks to your eReader through your computer. Look for the guide written specifically for your device. If you do not find one, then download the general Getting Started Using eBooks guide.

4. OverDrive Account or Adobe ID. OverDrive users with mobile devices will be prompted to create an OverDrive Account when first opening the OverDrive app. For those with eReaders who are downloading to Adobe Digital Editions, a free account with Adobe (an Adobe ID) is required. Visit Create An Adobe ID to set up your account.

Help Resources:

Getting Started with Library eBooks: This webpage contains guides to using OverDrive based on the device (or operating system) you own. There are also links to step-by-step videos which demonstrate the set up of different devices for using OverDrive.

OverDrive Help and Support: OverDrive Help has many resources to help you answer questions and overcome problems when setting up your device. If you cannot find an answer there, contact OverDrive Support with the details of your problem and they will get back to you by email.

Still have questions? Attend an eBook program at one of our branches or ask staff at your local branch. Many branches offer the Book-A-Librarian service for one-on-one help.

 

Zinio eMagazines

Like eBooks, to use the Zinio eMagazine service, you will need a few things to set up your computer or device.

1. A valid library card. Sign in to Your Account to make sure your card is still active. If it needs to be renewed, please visit your local branch with required identification. If your library card is blocked due to fines, you can now pay your fines online.

Zinio2. Software. Zinio Reader 4 is available for PC and Apple computers. It will download and install in your browser the first time you open a magazine. If you want to read offline on a mobile device, Zinio has apps for Apple, Android and Windows 8 devices.

IMPORTANT: When using Zinio eMagazines for the first time, you will need to set up two accounts. The first is with RB Digital, the provider of the Toronto Public Library's eMagazine collection. The second is with Zinio.com, the provider of the software to view the magazines. The email addresses used to create both accounts must be the same. If you already have an account with Zinio.com, then use the email address associated with that account when creating your RB Digital/TPL eMagazine account.

Help Resources:

Getting Started with Zinio eMagazines webpage provides information on using this service, including a video from RB Digital demonstrating the steps involved in setting up the two accounts. There is also a Zinio User Guide that can be downloaded and printed and a FAQ section.

RB Digital Support is available if you have any difficulty with your TPL eMagazines account. If you have a problem with the ZinioReader software or Zinio apps, have a look at the Zinio Help pages or contact their support.

Still have questions? Attend a Zinio eMagazines class or ask staff at your local branch. Many branches now offer the Book-A-Librarian service for one-on-one help.

 

Hoopla Movies and Music

You can borrow digital music and video to stream in your web browser or enjoy offline on your mobile device. Just a few steps to get there.

1. A valid library card. Sign in to Your Account to make sure your card is still active. If it needs to be renewed, please visit your local branch with required identification. If your library card is blocked due to fines, you can now pay your fines online.

Hoopla2. A supported device. Hoopla will work on updated web browsers.  Hoopla is also available as an app for iOS or Android smartphones and tablets. In both cases, you will need an internet connection.

3. Software. The  Google Widevine video player will need to be installed to be able to play video content in your web browser.  You will be prompted to install this software the first time you play a video from Hoopla.

4. Hoopla account. Before using Hoopla, you must create a separate account using your library card and an email address. Once you have signed up, select Toronto Public Library from the list of nearby libraries.

Help Resources:

Getting Started with Hoopla webpage has all the information to help get you started on using this service. If you still have questions, you can download our Hoopla User Guide (PDF) or visit Hoopla’s help page, particularly if there are any difficulties installing Widevine.

Our staff is always available to help you over the phone, web or in person. Many branches now offer the Book-A-Librarian service for one-on-one help.

 

With thanks to Sumaiya

Get into the Holiday Spirit with Hoopla Music and Movies

December 16, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

While I could live without the the shorter days and colder weather that comes with December, I love the opportunity to get into the holiday spirit by listening to my favourite holiday music, watching my favourite holiday movies, and, of course, indulging in my Mom's Christmas cookies!  Yum!

Hoopla, the Toronto Public Library's digital music and video collection, has many music albums and movies to help you get into the holiday spirit too. Have a look, maybe you'll find a new favourite album or film to add to your holiday traditions.     

Here is a selection of the many holiday albums and movies available through Hoopla:

Holiday Music:

CHristmas Kisses Ariana Grande Il volo Oscar peterson White christmas Rod stewart
Ellen's holiday album Mary j blige Charlie brown Holy christmas Faith hill
Kenny rogers Idina menzel Seth mcfarlane Disney princesses Andre rieu

 

Holiday Films:

Christmas carol Story of christmas Christmas kiss Merry friggin christmas Dog saved christmas

For more information on using Hoopla, visit our Getting Started with Hoopla webpage and download the Hoopla User Guide.  New items are added weekly, so be sure to check back regularly. 

 

Zinio eMagazines: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Many Other Magazines Now Available

December 9, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

An excellent collection of magazines from publisher Condé Nast was recently added to our Zinio eMagazine collection. If it has been awhile since you browsed the collection, it's time to have another look!  

Are you new to Zinio eMagazines? Have a look at our Getting Started with Zinio webpage and download the Download Zinio User Guide. The Zinio app is available for Apple, Android and Windows 8 devices. 

The eMagazines checked out from the Zinio collection are yours to keep. They do not have to be returned and there are never any fines.

Here is a selection of the new magazines: 

Architectural digest Bon appetit Brides Conde Nast Traveler Details
Glamour   Golf digest

Gq Lucky New Yorker
Self Teen vogue Vanith fair Vogue Wired

There are also many new magazines in other languages.  Here are few: 

Marie Claire maison Vogue china Vanity fair italy Instyle Scientific american portuguese

 

Welcome to the Digital Library Services Blog

December 2, 2014 | Dara Renton | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Six years ago we created the Web Team blog so that we could talk with you about what the Toronto Public Library is doing and planning online. Topics included the libray account, search and all our online and interactive services.

The Digital Library Services blog is the new place where we'll continue that discussion, but we've added a bit more to the mix, mainly service updates and information about our rapidly growing and popular ebook and download services

So, welcome to the new home of discussions about our website and ebook and downloadable services.