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March 2011

New TPL iKits

March 31, 2011 | Brenda | Comments (0)

As Diana mentioned in her recent blog post, e-readers are certainly of interest to our customers who in turn expect us, their local information specialists, to be knowledgeable about mobile devices and the e-products that TPL offers.  Without hands-on experience it can be difficult to answer such questions. 


 A friend call me a few months ago looking for advice – she was thinking of buying an e-reader for her son in French immersion as she thought the built-in dictionary would help him with his reading.  She had two questions – which e-reader would I recommend and did the library have e-books in French.  At that time I had yet to try out an e-reader so my first thought was – they have built-in dictionaries, wow!  I was however, able to tell her which e-readers work with TPL’s OverDrive eBook Service but that currently TPL does not have French e-books (though they are available for purchase through Amazon).

Now TPL staff will have the chance to try out different mobile devices by booking a TPL iKit.  Each area has an iKit which includes a netbook (so you can practice downloading the software from TPL’s website) a Sony e-reader, iPad, and Kobo (so you experiment with downloading eBooks, eMusic and eVideos). Once you feel proficient you can offer sessions for the public to let them try it out. Hands-on time will definitely help you feel more confident answering customers’ questions.

So far staff at Lillian H. Smith and NYCL have offered public sessions which were well attended and received positive feedback.

A User Ed script will be available to staff later this spring, and "Conducting e-Device Workshops" staff training sessions will (likely) be offered in the fall.

But don’t wait – reserve an iKit for your branch today!

A good website to check out for more information about the features of the different devices and products is

To keep uptodate with new OverDrive services and changes, subscribe to the OverdriveDigital Library Blog: News and Info for Library Partners

Overdrive graphic

iPad 2

March 31, 2011 | julia | Comments (0)

Ipad 2


The Canadian release date for the new and improved iPad 2 was Friday March 25, 2011.  There was a great deal of hype surrounding the release, so customers may be seeking advice from Information staff about the device.  The iPad 2 features a sleeker design and is 33% thinner than the original version.  The Dual-core A5 chip means the iPad will be able to operate more applications at once.  The iPad 2 has ten hours of battery life and up to 9 times more graphic performance than its predecessor.  Another new feature is the addition of another camera meaning that there are now cameras on the front and back of the iPad 2.  In terms of operability, there are rumours that the iPad 2 will be easier to use with OverDrive, but these claims have yet to be substantiated.  Customers can still download the OverDrive Media Console application to access and download the library’s e-resources.  Until claims regarding the improved functionality of the iPad 2 with OverDrive can be backed up, it is best to advise customers to talk to Apple customer service representatives or wait and see how technology experts review the updated device.

"Just the facts" about eBook formats

March 21, 2011 | Diana S. | Comments (0)

I've been receiving a lot of questions about eBooks and downloading eBooks since the beginning of the year - especially after Christmas. Customers would ask via telephone or in person about eBooks for their sleek looking white iPad, brand spanking new Kobo, or elegant black Sony Reader. They have absolutely no patience with the procedures, or if they have actually tried to read them, they only want the highlights. 

Customers (and staff) are often puzzled about the two different formats of eBooks: EPUB; and PDF. So here are "just the facts".

Adobe® EPUB eBook

  • "Electronic Publication".
  • ePub, EPub, and epub are other spellings.
  • Apple devices are only compatible with this format. For other devices compatible with EPUB format, see Compatible Devices.
  • Need to download Adobe® Digital Editions; with iPad, need OverDrive Media Console apps from iTunes.
  • You can change the font, resize the text, or alter the size of your display and the text of the Adobe® EPUB ebook 'reflows' to fill the screen.

Adobe® PDF eBook

  • "Portable Document Format".
  • Need to download Adobe® Digital Editions.
  • There is no 'reflowing' of text with PDF - zooming in for better reading will have the text go outside your screen. You will need to scroll in order to read the entire text.
  • For devices compatible with PDF format, see Compatible Devices.

To find either the EPUB or PDF formats only, you must choose the format when searching OverDrive. This is useful since customers with Apple devices will only want to search for EPUB formats of eBooks. 

Choose a format EPUB or PDF 

Then there is always the question of if an eBook can be returned early. Adobe® eBooks may be returned early using Adobe® Digital Editions.

For more information on eBooks, check out the other resources:


Announcing the New Information Services Team Blog

March 14, 2011 | Mary-Beth | Comments (1)

New-green The Information Services Team (IST) has launched an internal blog for all TPL staff at  New articles will be posted at the beginning of each week featuring developments in information services and supporting technologies. Think of the blog as a weekly version of the IST Bulletin. You’ll find information on new print and electronic resources, tips on how to use databases, help with tough reference questions, and there’ll probably be a few surprises.  We’ll highlight opportunities for professional development like workshops, courses, websites and conferences.  We’ll let you know about the latest trends, innovative services and interesting tidbits including useful, or curious, websites.  Visit often and comment frequently because we want to hear from you too.

Welcome to the Information Services Blog! Visit often to learn about useful tools, collections and other resources to help answer reference questions. Get the scoop on new and innovative trends and services. Join us and send us your feedback!