To commemorate National Library Week – April 3-9 – we’re deepening more than 60 online resources available free to Garfield County Library patrons, with a library card.
Carbondale branch manager Tracy Kallassy said two popular streaming services — Hoopla and Kanopy — are big hits with library patrons. Hoopla offers a wide variety of digital movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, and e-comics. Kanopy, meanwhile, features film festival favourites, cult classics and award-winning documentaries and is limited to 10 viewings per month.
“I have people telling me they don’t even watch DVDs anymore because they love streaming movies,” Kallassy explained.
Jenn Cook, Technical Services Manager for Garfield County Libraries, keeps tabs on the latest online services available for library systems. She reported that Kanopy, available to Garfield County Library patrons since January 2020, has a usage rate of about 850 videos per month, remaining relatively stable from modest increases in the early months of the pandemic. Hoopla, available since March 2020, saw an increase from 2,200 to 3,700 users, Cook cited.
Among the services available for children, Kanopy Kids offers animated TV shows, movies and books and unlimited viewing access. Scholastic BookFlix combines classic animated stories with non-fiction e-books to develop a love of reading and learning for children in kindergarten through third grade. One-on-one live homework help, one-to-one tutoring, and writing help are provided by Brainfuse HelpNow.
Kallassy said: “People who use it love it, but I wish more people knew about it. We have so many things on our website that we offer free access to.
Ancestry.com (accessible only in the library) is available for genealogy research. Another online resource is Consumer Reports for unbiased product reviews, “which is a service that a lot of people pay for but don’t realize they can get it for free at the library,” Kallassy explained.
Libby, the online library reading app from OverDrive, a digital retailer, lets you read eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines. There are newspaper archives, like NewsBank, and national newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Mango Languages offers practical conversation lessons in over 70 languages. Brainfuse provides homework help and live tutoring. LearningExpress and LearningExpress en español help you prepare for exams with practice tests, including the GED, ACT, SAT, and for careers like commercial driving, the military, and as a real estate broker. Auto Repair Source contains service and repair information for thousands of domestic and import vehicles.
About the online service catalog, Kallassy said, “I’ve worked at other libraries and I’m impressed with the robustness of our online digital collection.”
Other services include checking a laptop or Wi-Fi hotspot for up to three weeks. “People use them for all kinds of reasons. We’ve had people who only have a desktop computer at home, but they travel, so they use a laptop. Or they move and haven’t set up their internet service yet, so they get a hotspot,” Kallassy explained.
The Carbondale branch has expanded its hours over the past few months and is now open until 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. From May 1, they will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays “for the very first time,” Kallassy said.
The full menu of free online services can be found at www.gcpld.org under the “Search” tab. If you sign up for the library’s e-newsletter, Kallassy said, “you’ll get the finer details of each resource.”
To register for a library card online, go to: www.bit.ly/GCLPDlibcard
Online registration gives you instant access to online materials, followed by a visit to your local library within 90 days to complete your membership and obtain full library privileges.