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eReaders vs. Tablets

by Shannon C - 1 Comment(s)

Thinking of buying an eReader or tablet? You’re in good company. More and more stalwart print book fans are purchasing eReaders and tablets this holiday season. And with your Calgary Public Library card you can download “all sorts of awesomeness” like free eBooks and eMagazines from our website.

What do you need to know when buying an eReader or tablet? Read on!

Can I borrow eBooks from the Library?

With your library card you can download free eBooks from our OverDrive and Freading collections and eMagazines through Zinio like US Weekly, The Economist, Martha Stewart Living, Rolling Stone and over 350 others.

Which devices can I use to borrow Library ebooks and eMagazines?

Many of today’s popular devices work with OverDrive, Freading:

Kobo Arc 7HDKobo Arc 7HDeReaders

  • Kobo Aura, Glo, Mini, Touch
  • Sony Reader WiFi, Touch
  • Barnes and Noble Nook

Tablets

  • Kobo Vox and Arc
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Barnes and Noble Nook
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Google Nexus
  • Sony WiFi-PRS-T1
  • Kindle Fire

Zinio eMagazines can be viewed on any computer, tablet or smartphone through a two-step process.

Want to download Library eBooks? Search OverDrive’s list of compatible and incompatible devices to make sure your chosen device is compatible. Note that some of the newer devices won’t yet be included on the list. 

Considering a Kindle? You can use the Kindle Fire tablet with OverDrive in Canada by downloading the OverDrive Media Console app to your device. The Kindle Fire works with Freading also, with a few extra steps.

Which eReader or tablet should I buy?

Do your research before buying a new device. We have Consumer Reports in print at all our locations and you can access it online in our E-Library (have your library card ready)!

Here are a few things to consider when making a purchase:

  • Cost: Prices are generally lower for eReaders than for tablets. Expect to pay between $80 to $400 for an eReader. Tablets cost from $200 to $850 depending on storage size and connectivity.
  • Weight: eReaders are lighter than tablets — the Kobo Mini weighs in at 134 grams, while the Apple iPad2 weighs 1.33 pounds. Try a friend’s if you can or try a few out at the store to see what feels most comfortable to you.
  • Screen Size: The Kobo Mini measures only 4 inches by 5 inches while tablets like the Apple’s iPad are double that at 7 by 10 inches, closer to the size of a magazine, or hard cover book.
  • Screen type: In general, tablets have LCD screens and are back-lit, emitting their own light, but the print can be less sharp. EReaders have e-ink (electronic ink) screens that reduce glare and reflections in bright-light conditions, but rely on reflected ambient light to light up the screen.
  • Functionality: What do you want to do with your device? Do you just want to read, read and read some more? If that’s the case you might want to choose an eReader, specifically designed to create a great reading experience. If you want to do more with your device, like search the Internet, download apps, take photos and watch video, choose a tablet.
  • Battery Life: Tablets use a lot more energy than eReaders do, due to their screen type and processing power, and need frequent charging with high-use. EReaders on the other hand can go for weeks without charging.

iPad AiriPad AirFor more information visit:

How can I learn about borrowing eBooks from the Library?

We offer great programs on getting started with eBooks at the Library:

  • eBooks: A Library on the Go
    Library staff demonstrate how to download an eBook using OverDrive, and answer your questions.
  • The eBook Doctor
    Drop in for one-on-one help with your eBook and E-Reader questions and learn how to use OverDrive and Freading.

Check back December 16 for our 2014 programs — they fill up fast!

What if I need more help?

Check out our Getting Started information for OverDrive, Freading and Zinio online.

Still not finding what you need? Feel free to call us at 403-260-2782 and our staff will be happy to help!

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Berg Fashion Library

by Dieu

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Barbie doll?

Or where the phrase “blondes have more fun” came from?

Are you curious about the history of Soviet Russian clothing or want to read about Japanese street and youth fashion?

Any of these questions and more can be explored in the Berg Fashion Library, a new award-winning online resource now available in the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library. Access is available with your Calgary Public Library card in the Arts & Music, Encyclopedias and History & Geneology pages of the E-library.

The Berg Fashion Library contains in-depth content spanning several disciplines from anthropology, art history, fashion, cultural criticism, history and sociology.

Images from the Berg Fashion Library image bank:

Traditional Japanese bridal clothingTraditional Japanese bridal clothing Japanese street fashionJapanese street fashion

Content includes:

  • Lesson plans for teachers and lecturers free of charge
  • Full text collection of Berg Fashion E-books
  • Links to E-journals
  • Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress & Fashion which includes articles and over 2000 searchable images
  • Extensive colour image bank
  • Classic and modern writings on fashion
  • Browse feature to search by themes, period, place, textiles and materials and much more.

What you can do:

  • Save articles, images and searches
  • Print and email content
  • Share via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

You can also view selections of vintage clothing patterns taken from the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). The Commercial Pattern Archive database contains patterns from 1868 to 2000, and although the Berg Fashion Library only highlights a small selection of images from this database, it is a good place to start for those of you who want to recreate that 1960s Mad Men inspired outfit you've always dreamed of.

MissesMissesMisses' and Women's One Yard Aprons

More National Geographic Online!

by AnneMarie - 0 Comment(s)
National Geographic traveller magazine National Geographic magazine cover

Find even more National Geographic in our E-Library! The National Geographic Virtual Library features all the issues of the National Geographic Magazine Archive, from 1888 to1994, the current issues of National Geographic Magazine from 1995 to the present, issues of National Geographic Traveller magazine from 2010 to the present and full-text books to read online and available 24/7 with your library card. More downloadable images and full-colour maps have also been added. Travel and explore the culture and geography of the world without ever leaving your armchair, with streaming book titles like the National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada or The Golden King: The World of Tutankhamun or Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Spectacular Trips.

An added bonus in the Kids section of the Calgary Public Library E-Library is the e-resource called NGKids with its own magazines, e-books and images, all aimed at kids. So, there is even more to explore with National Geographic!

Fresh! E-book Options

by Stephen - 0 Comment(s)

By now you are probably aware that the Calgary Public Library loans many eBooks through the OverDrive interface located on our Website. OverDrive provides an easy and accessible way to get your favourite book anytime and from any place (with an internet connection!). Like our physical collection, our eBooks come in many genres and formats and appeal to readers of all ages.

Here are a few options you might not be aware of:

Marvel Comics


Comics and Graphic Novels

X-men, Spider-Man, Iron-man, we’ve got a selection of Marvel titles which you can download and read on your device. If superheroes aren’t your cup of tea, we’ve also got manga, graphic adaptations of literature, and even some history for your enjoyment!


Cat in the Hat

Children’s Materials

Ebooks aren’t just for grown-ups! We provide both fiction and non-fiction material for children. From early readers, to popular children’ novels, we have a wide arrangement of children’s eBooks available for download.

If you don’t want to download a book, you can stream a story online through our Storytime Anytime service, or BookFlix!

Excel 2013 for dummies

Non-fiction

The Calgary Public Library’s non-fiction eBook collection is as varied and diverse as the community who uses it. We’ve got cookbooks, self-help, travel and even eBooks on how to use that new device.

Have a suggestion? You can suggest an eBook the same way you can suggest a physical one. Just follow this link and let us know what you would like to see.

Fresh! New Look for OverDrive

by AnneMarie - 1 Comment(s)

OverDriveOverDrive now has a fresh new face for e-books and e-audiobooks. The upgrade, which OverDrive is calling Next Generation, includes a cosmetic redesign of the interface as well as search and navigation improvements such as “One-Step Checkout” and ”OverDrive Read” (for browser-based eBooks).

OverDrive's new features and layout reduce the number of steps to find, borrow and enjoy an e-book or e-audiobook on most major devices including Android, iPad and Nook. New “responsive design” allows the mobile and desktop experience to be the same—optimized for any screen size regardless of the user’s device.

Interestingly, the re-design also includes a format choice called “OverDrive Read” which is their new browser-based eBook reading option. This option does not change the way the existing services work but provides additional functionality. You will see ‘READ’ as another choice for format (such as epub or pdf) when available on a title. Using the Read format requires a device or computer with a modern web browser (like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari).

So far, I'm enjoying the clean layout and attractive visuals. I like the banner at the top that lists the various categories so I can easily navigate to my favourite genres (biography) or find titles I can share with my kids. And, once I've selected a category, I like the highly visible " Available Now" button so I can filter my results to items I can check out immediately.

I think I'm starting to find my way around! If you need any help finding your way around, watch this video on OverDrive's Next Generation, or talk to staff at your local branch, use the Info Chat service on our homepage, or call us at 403-260-2600.

The Book Lover's Gadget

by Shannon C - 1 Comment(s)

The holidays must be coming, because the number of questions we're receiving about eBooks and eReaders is shooting sky-high! With new models on the market at lower-than-ever prices, eReaders and tablets are the go-to gift for book lovers on your list. If you are planning on buying an eReader or tablet for a lucky friend or family member (or for yourself!) take your time, and do some research into all your options. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about eBooks at the library.

Can I borrow eBooks from the Library? 

Yes! We have thousands of eBooks in our OverDrive and Freading collections and we’re adding more every day. You can borrow them 24/7, with a valid Calgary Public Library card. The eBooks will return themselves automatically, so you’ll never have to worry about late fees.

Which devices can I use to borrow Library ebooks? 

Our eBooks work with a variety of today’s popular devices, such as:

eReaders

Kobo GloKobo Glo

  • Kobo Glo, Mini, Touch
  • Sony Reader WiFi, Touch
  • Barnes and Noble Nook

Tablets  

  • Kobo Vox and Arc
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch
  • Microsoft Surface           
  • Barnes and Noble Nook
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Google Nexus
  • Sony WiFi-PRS-T1
  • Kindle Fire

List of devices that are compatible and incompatible with OverDrive (some of the newer devices aren’t listed here yet).

While Amazon has not made older Kindle eReaders compatible with OverDrive in Canadian libraries, you can use the Kindle Fire with OverDrive in Canada, by downloading the OverDrive Media Console app to your device. The Kindle Fire works with Freading also, with a few extra steps.

If you can cope with the teeny, tiny screen you can use your iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows smartphone to borrow eBooks. You can also use your computer or netbook.

Which eReader or tablet should I buy?

There are lots of choices this holiday season and a few things you should consider when you make your purchase:

  • Cost:  If you’re buying an eReader you can expect to pay between $80 to $300, while tablets will cost you more: from $200 to $850 depending on storage size and connectivity.
  • Weight: eReaders are lighter than tablets – the Kobo Mini weighs in at 134 grams, while the Apple iPad weighs 1.44 pounds. Try a friend’s if you can, or at the store, and see what feels most comfortable to you.
  • Screen Size: The Kobo Mini measures only 5 inches while tablets like the Apple’s iPad are double that at 10 inches – and closer to the size of a magazine, or hard cover book.
  • Screen type: Tablets have LCD screens and are back-lit, emitting their own light, but the print can be less sharp. EReaders have e-ink (electronic ink) screens that reduce glare and reflections in bright-light conditions, but rely on reflected ambient light to light up the screen. Some of the newer eReaders now offer lit screens.
  • Functionality: If you want to be able to surf the Internet in addition to reading eBooks you’ll want to buy a tablet computer. (And you’ll have to access a wi-fi connection or pay every month for access to a network). With tablets you can also take pictures and video.
  • Battery Life: Tablets use a lot more energy than eReaders do, due to their screen type and processing power, and need frequent charging with high-use. EReaders on the other hand can go for weeks without charging.

We have Consumer Reports in print at all our locations and you can access it online through the MasterFILE Premier database in our E-Library (have your library card ready)!

iPadiPad with retina display

Check out these articles online for more information:

The eBook Reader Comparison Tables
Consumer Reports eBook Readers Buying Guide article

How can I learn about borrowing eBooks from the Library?

Check out our Getting Started information for OverDrive and for Freading online.

We also offer two great programs on getting started with eBooks at the Library:

  • eBooks: A Library on the Go
    Library staff demonstrate how to download an eBook using OverDrive, and answer your questions.
  • The eBook Doctor
    Drop in for one-on-one help with your eBook and E-Reader questions and learn how to use OverDrive and Freading.

Current eBook programs (Check back on Monday, December 18th for our 2013 programs -- they will fill up fast!)

What do I do if I need more help?

Call us at 403-260-2600 and our staff will be happy to help!  Or, if you have technical questions about OverDrive you can email them using this form.