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MaBiblioNumérique: An Introduction

April 2, 2015 | Susan | Comments (0)

MaBiblioNumérique is a new French language eBook provider for adults, children, and teens. It just became available at the Toronto Public Library in mid-March, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you more about it. If you happen to speak French, I recommend Toronto Public Library's En français blog, which has a very informative introduction to MaBiblioNumérique. If, however, you just started learning French, or are trying to help a native French speaker download an eBook, I've compiled this information (in English) to help get you started.

You can access MaBiblioNumérique from the Toronto Public Library website by navigating to either Downloads & eBooks or A - Z List of All Databases.

MaBiblioNumérique Access Online

Once you've logged in with your Toronto Public Library card and PIN, you'll find yourself on a page that looks like this:

MaBiblioNumérique Home Page

If you prefer to access MaBiblioNumérique in English, click on the 'ENGLISH' button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. I've circled it in red in the screenshot above.

Now, you're ready to find some reading material!

Most titles on MaBiblioNumérique are from Canadian publishers in Quebec: Alto, Boréal, Cornac, Druide, Hurtubise, Le Quartanier and Québec Amérique. Some of the titles also come from Canadian francophone publishers outside of Quebec: Bouton d'or Acadie, Éditions David (Ottawa), Éditions Prise de parole (Sudbury), Éditions des Plaines (St-Boniface), Éditions Perce-Neige (Moncton), Éditions La Grande Marée (Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick). Some European titles can also be found on MaBiblioNumérique, with more coming later this year. 

To find a title, you can either browse through the 'Categories', use the search box, or use the 'Advanced Search', as seen below. There are also new and featured titles, which you can find on the home screen.

Advanced Search

Once you've found a book you'd like to read, click on the 'BORROW' button. 

Abby by Sylvie Marcoux

Here are a few things you need to know about borrowing items from MaBiblioNumérique:

  • You can borrow up to 10 items each month.
  • You can place up to 5 holds each month.
  • Items can be borrowed for 21 days.
  • Items are returned automatically.
  • Items cannot be renewed.
  • If you want to return an item early, you can do so using Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader.
  • You can read a sample before borrowing an item (pictured below).


Once you've selected and borrowed your eBook, you're ready to download it. Unlike other eBook providers such as OverDrive, if you're using a public computer to borrow an eBook from MaBiblioNumérique, you need to email yourself a link - at least according to the instructions on the website (shown in the screenshot below); however, the 'My Account' section (which can be accessed any time from any device) also has a 'download' button next to each item, and you can use that instead. I'd recommend emailing yourself a link just in case, and using 'My Account' if you find it more convenient.

Public Workstation

Now you're ready to open and read your newly downloaded eBook!

MaBiblioNumérique eBooks are available in ePub format, and in some cases as PDFs, and can be read on various devices. There are great device-specific step-by-step instructions in the help section.

When using a computer or a Paperwhite Sony, Kobo or other eReader you'll need to download Adobe Digital Editions and either create an Adobe Account or sign in using your existing Adobe ID. 

If you're using an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), an Android device (phone, tablet, or eReader), or a Windows device (8.1, 8, or 7 SP1), you'll need to download the Bluefire Reader app and either authorize it with your Adobe ID or create an Adobe Account.

Note that you can only use one Adobe ID to borrow any given eBook. That means that if you're using multiple devices, make sure to use the same Adobe ID on all of them.

Also note that MaBiblioNumérique eBooks are not compatible with the OverDrive app, so you need to download the Bluefire Reader to access them on your mobile device. It's an app created specifically to access Adobe DRM protected (and DRM free) EPUB and PDF eBooks, and is very easy to use. Below is a screenshot of Bluefire Reader taken with an Android device.

Bluefire Reader

When an item is not available to be borrowed, you'll see a 'PLACE A HOLD' button instead of the 'BORROW' button (shown below).

Place a Hold

As you've come to expect from other eBook providers such as OverDrive, when you place a hold, you'll be asked for your email. You'll receive an email confirmation once you've placed the hold, as well as a notification once your eBook is available.

Place Hold

Lastly, you can see the items you've borrowed and placed on hold in 'My Account'. This is where you'll also find that 'Download' button I mentioned earlier. You can see items borrowed in the past (including on other devices) and download them. While MaBiblioNumérique does not let you suspend holds at this time, you can cancel holds from here. 

My Account

If you get stuck at any time, MaBiblioNumérique has help pages in English. If you prefer, the same help pages are also available in French.

If you have any questions, please post them below and I'll be happy to help you on your MaBiblioNumérique journey.

E-resources in Chinese

February 19, 2015 | Niki | Comments (0)

ThCAETNP9NHappy New Year!  Happy Year of the Yang!  The big debate over Sheep or Goat is explored in this CTV story but most treat it philosophically: "The year of the yang, 2015, is neither a sheep nor a goat. It is a beautiful and elegant milk yang! Abundant milk, clothes and food. It will be a halcyon year," wrote one user on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

To celebrate this major, global holiday I thought I'd look at some of the e-resources that we have in the Chinese language.

1Overdrive:  Overdrive has about 1200 eBook titles in Chinese. You can filter a search by language or click on  Chinese in the Language Collections at the top of the home page to bring up a list to browse.  We could also type a search in Chinese characters that would bring up the title.  Most titles appear to be in simplified script.

Zinio: Zinio has about 40 magazines.  The great thing about its content is that many are popular, Hong Kong and Taiwanese titles. They include various editions of Cosmopolitan and GQ as well as well as Common Health Magazine and Next .  These can also be searched in Chinese characters but with 40 titles its easy Coverto browse.

hoopla:  While unable to search in Chinese characters hoopla does have a good browsing collection of movies in "Chinese Cinema".  The language is specified as Cantonese, Mandarin or (unhelpfully) Chinese.

2Chinese E-magazines: This carries 2300 full-text magazines from  the People's Republic of China.  They cover a broad range of subjects including art, literature, history, science, politics, health, business, economics and more. The magazines can be viewed in both simplified and traditional characters.  The interface can be set to traditional or simplified so the magazines are more accessible.

This is just a quick list.  What have I missed? 





Safari Tech Books Online

January 26, 2015 | Susan | Comments (0)

Have you ever felt sheer panic when faced with an unfamiliar piece of technology?

A few years ago, when Windows 8 first came out, I was expecting a spiffier-looking version of Windows 7. Instead, the operating system looked different, the icons were in all the ‘wrong’ places, and the Start menu was nowhere to be found. When library customers needed help with basic tasks on their Windows 8 laptops—be it connecting to the Wi-Fi or opening a Microsoft Word document—I was stumped. I admit I panicked. If I didn’t own a Windows 8 PC, how was I supposed to learn to use one?

Safari Tech & Business Books Online saved my life!

ProQuest Safari Books Online

I accessed a few introductory videos and quickly learned the basics. Then, I turned to eBooks—and the ‘search this book’ feature—to find all the information I needed. My Windows 8-related anxiety just melted away.

Search This Book  Using Windows 8

Before you ask, I did also search Google and YouTube, both of which are great resources when you have tech questions. I found I prefer Safari because it provides trusted content that’s thorough, well-organized, up to date, and easy-to-understand.

Safari is now a hidden gem that I cannot live without!

While Windows 8 will soon be a thing of the past—Windows 10 is here, and rumor has it that upgrading is FREE—there’s always new technology, as well as skills that need refreshing, and questions that stump us.

 Safari Tech & Business Books Online

As of today, Safari Tech & Business Books Online contains "over 36,755 technology, digital media, and business books and videos." Access is unlimited and available anytime, anywhere, with a valid library card.

To access Safari, you need to navigate to the eBooks & Downloads section of the TPL website (where OverDrive, Zinio, Hoopla, the lesser known OneClick Digital, and eBooks for Kids are housed).

Safari is the place to go if you need a tech book ‘now’ and: the book was published yesterday and hasn’t yet made its way to the library shelves; it’s 2am and you really can’t wait until morning; the only library that has the books you need is halfway across the city; or all the copies of a particular book are checked out. 

Safari has lots of eBooks to help you with basic computer skills, from Microsoft Word and Excel, to Facebook, and using Email.

Learning Microsoft Word 2013 Excel 2013 all-in-one for dummies My Facebook for seniors Communicating Effectively with Email

You can also use Safari to become a Digital Innovation Hub pro and learn all about: the Arduino or Raspberry Pi; 3D printing; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign or GIMP; and Adobe Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS.

Learn Raspberry Pi Programming with Python Mastering 3D Printing LiveLessons Real World Adobe InDesign CC Adobe Dreamweaver CC Learn by Video

Moreover, if you’re a visual learner and prefer videos over books, Safari could very well become your favourite tech learning resource.

It’s also great for very specialized tech book, especially ones which, in my humble opinion, sound like they’re in a foreign language. “Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101," “Apache Hadoop YARN,” and “Node.js, MongoDB, and AngularJS Web Development," are just a few examples. Yes, these are all real tech topics that you can learn about on Safari.

Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101  Apache Hadoop YARN Node.js, MongoDB, and AngularJS Web Development

While I’ve mostly focused on Safari's tech book and video content, I want to point out that it has other subjects as well:


Here are some examples of the type of content you can find on Safari:

No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline The Manga Guide to Physics Discrete Mathematics with Ducks Your Photos Stink!

I highly recommend you give Safari Tech & Business Books Online a try!

Take some time and explore all the great titles that are available. It is a wonderful resource if you're looking for non-fiction eBooks.

Digital Content For The Holiday Season

December 22, 2014 | Joanne | Comments (0)

OneClick Digital eAudiobooks

The holidays are a perfect time to relax and listen to some eAudiobooks. OneClick Digital Audiobooks has many popular titles for adults, teens and children. Set up is easy. First time users need to create an account and download the OneClick Digital Media Manager software to their computer.  Video tutorials are available to help you get started. The OneClickdigital eAudio app is also available for Android, iPhone, iTouch and iPad users.

The Orenda Z08003_image_128x192 And the mountains echoed 5000340_image_128x192 Bone clocks Z04473_image_128x192 Flowers in the Attic Z10410_image_128x192
Diary of a Wimpy kid Z0094_image_128x192 Invention of Wings Z07810_image_128x192 Pimsleur Chinese Mandarin 54303_image_128x192 Pimsleur French 54958_image_128x192


Simon & Schuster Titles Now Available in OverDrive

A great selection of eBooks published by Simon & Schuster was recently made available through OverDrive.

I've Got You Under My Skin {DE3AF86E-21DB-4CF0-9192-92A9880E6C59}Img400

One for the Money {2377EA58-AA5C-416B-BF89-A417F896A1AE}Img400 Hilary Clinton {CD270001-8A28-4C0D-8D7E-688D36A5FC99}Img400
Fahrenheit {63348573-0F7A-4FB9-B84F-F83F7FF14D54}Img400 Team of Rivals {BDACE166-9808-4859-A723-D933B7E6FF66}Img400 Steve Jobs {C6794636-A74F-49AE-A54D-C87EA3858B02}Img400


Zinio Digital Magazines - New Condé Nast titles now available

Some great new Condé Nast digital magazine titles are now available through Zinio. Customers can checkout and download issues to a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Vogue cover Vanity Fair cover   New yorker cover
GQ cover Bon Appetit cover Vogue Italia cover

   There is something for everyone. Happy holidays!




New OverDrive Features for Fall 2014

November 17, 2014 | Susan | Comments (0)




Over the years, OverDrive has made a lot of improvements, but they've really upped their game this fall. Not only are they in the process of retiring the Adobe ID (the thought of which still makes me shudder), but they've allowed for automatic hold borrowing, added a suspend hold feature, and found a way to properly format and display eBooks with illustrations. 

Goodbye Adobe ID, Hello OverDrive Account

Users can now sign up for an OverDrive Account instead of the long-dreaded Adobe ID. Registration takes seconds, and requires either an email or - wait for it - a Facebook accounts! The OverDrive Account works on up to 6 devices and syncs progress and bookmarks across them. The account even saves local libraries, search results, and favourite genres! You can even use the OverDrive account to authorize ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) on a computer, instead of using an Adobe ID.

Note: Existing OverDrive users don't need to sign up for an OverDrive account; however, if they're using the app and need to reinstall it, they will be prompted to create this new account. 


Automatically Borrow Holds

OverDrive now allows users to automatically borrow holds once they become available. They can still borrow holds manually, but the automatic borrow feature has its benefits. First of all, it eliminates the 4 day borrow window for available holds. This is a great time saver, as titles don't spend as long on the hold shelf. Moreover, users are less likely to miss their holds, since they no longer have to log in and borrow them within the 4 day window.

Note: If a user has the maximum number of titles checked out, they get notified that auto checkout failed. They then have the standard 4 days to make room for the hold and borrow it.


Suspend Holds

Did you know you could suspend holds on OverDrive? It's a new feature that OverDrive sneaked in with the latest update. It allows users to suspend their holds for a selected number of days (7, 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90) and re-activate them as needed. As expected, users continue to move up the holds queue until they're first in line.

Tip: This feature is great for users who are going away on vacation, placing holds on entire series, or are in the middle of another title.


EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks

I know it's a mouthful, but the concept of EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks is rather simple. It allows users to properly view graphic novels, picture books, and other eBooks with illustration. Titles come in this new format, and can be viewed in an up-to-date browser or the OverDrive app, without the user having to install any additional software or plugins.

Examples: If you're curious to see what this format looks like, try The Monster Returns or The Construction Crew.


If you'd like to learn more about these features, or other minor changes made to OverDrive this fall, check out OverDrive for Libraries: The next chapter, a webinar delivered on September 18, 2014. Information in this blog is based on the training webinar, as well as personal experience using OverDrive.

eBooks, eMagazines, music and video for summer

July 20, 2014 | Joanne | Comments (0)

Summer is a great time to relax and spend time reading, listening to music or watching movies. The library offers a wide variety of services for you to enjoy.

  • OverDrive is our largest eBook collection with over 40,000 available titles including fiction and non-fiction. Penguin Canada titles have been recently added.


419    Orenda7-2-2014 1-34-50 PM   Police Jo Nesbo 7-2-2014 1-37-06 PM

Cory Doctorow 7-2-2014 2-02-10 PM   California 7-2-2014 1-41-12 PM   Super Foods 7-2-2014 1-40-23 PM

Featured Collections

Featured Collections is a good way to find new releases, book club favourites, TPL Staff Picks, Toronto in Fiction and African-American & Urban Titles.

Featured Collections 7-8-2014 3-58-10 PM

A new OverDrive Kids eReading Room features picture books and chapter books that can be downloaded or read online.

50 Below Zero 7-2-2014 1-54-59 PM   101 Dalmations 7-2-2014 1-54-20 PM   Marvel Adventure7-2-2014 1-57-38 PM   Amber Paula Danziger7-2-2014 1-56-52 PM


  • Zinio provides over 300 current issues of popular magazines. Download the issue to your computer, tablet or phone. Some articles include interactive audio and video clips. Back issues are available. New titles will be added in September including Hello UK magazine.


       Economist png file 7-9-2014 9-15-28 AM   Canadian Living png 7-9-2014 9-16-03 AM


  • Checkout Hoopla to borrow digital music and video to stream in your web browser or enjoy offline on your smartphone or tablet.


         Lego Movie7-2-2014 2-46-29 PM      Northanger Abbey 7-2-2014 2-50-42 PM      Pink Panther 7-2-2014 2-45-25 PM

         Drake 7-3-2014 1-47-25 PM    Frozen 7-3-2014 1-45-27 PM       Lorde Pure Heroine 7-10-2014 9-17-28 AM


There is something for everyone. Sign up for a library card if you don't already have one. Enjoy the summer!







eBooks - The New Normal?

January 30, 2012 | Out of Print | Comments (0)


A few months back Library Journal hosted a full day webinar called eBooks: The New Normal which featured a number of sessions discussing the impact of eBooks on school, academic, and public libraries. The opening presentation was by Ian Singer, VP, Group Publisher, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book, and he shared the results of a large (2,446 responses) survey of U.S. public libraries. The results are interesting:

  • Average number of e-Books in public libraries: 4,350
  • Circulation is expected to double in next year
  • Percentage of libraries who loan pre-loaded e-readers: 15
  • Percentage of e-Book use on dedicated e-Book reader: 85
  • Most popular e-Book format: ePub
  • Percentage of libraries reporting dramatic increase in eBook requests: 66
  • Percentage of libraries that believe eBooks have brought in new customers: 76
  • Average percentage of materials budget spent on eBooks in 2011: 4
  • Predicted average percentage of materials budget spent on eBooks in 2016: 8
  • Biggest barriers for customers: lack of support for preferred device (Kindle), complexity of downloads, lack of awareness.

Conversations with TPL staff on these survey results has revealed mixed opinions. While almost every location has seen a big increase in questions and requests for support around eBooks, many feel that these are coming from regular customers, not necessarily new ones. The predicted doubling of spending on eBooks in five years to 8% seems low to some, with the publishing industry predicting a tripling in sales from $3.2 billion in 2011 to $9.7 billion in 2016. At that rate, a much larger portion of the materials budget will likely be spent on eBooks in five years - perhaps 25% or more.

The role of eBooks in public libraries has changed so much in the last two years. It will be very interesting to see the results of a survey of this size done annually.


E-readers and the library

May 23, 2011 | Susan | Comments (1)

E-readers have become increasingly popular in recent months, but not all of the mainstream devices are compatible with Overdrive and are thereore not ideal choices for customers who intend to download TPL's electronic content.  As library employees, customers may seek out our opinion on the best e-readers and how to use these devices.  There are many great reviews of the various e-readerson the internet, and the April 2010 issue of Library Technology Reports provides a useful summary of the devices from a library perspective.  Information staff should also try to attend TPL's Tech Day training when it is offered again to familiarize themselves with the various devices and see how they can be used to improve reference service to library customers.

Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library

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