Library Extension for Google Chrome makes finding library books even easier!

We’ve just discovered something new – an extension for the Google Chrome browser that allows you to find books, music, and more at your local library as you browse the internet. That’s right, you don’t even have to be on our library website to see if we have a book you want! It’s called Library Extension, and it currently works only with the Google Chrome browser, but will soon be available for Firefox, as well.

four-browser-iconsIf you’re thinking “what’s a browser?”, it’s the program you use to enter (and browse) the internet.  Windows computers usually come with Internet Explorer as their default browser, and Macs come with Safari as their default browser. Firefox and Google Chrome are two other browsers that can be installed on your computer, as well. “Extensions” are  small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the browser.

The “Library Extension” extension is kind of cool. Say you are looking up a book on Amazon:img_9326

Library Extension appears on the right side of the screen and tells you if your local library owns the book. You can even place a hold on the library book right from Amazon!

Similarly, the extension works with GoodReads:img_9327

In this case, the library holdings show up below the book description. Library Extension currently works on Barnes and Noble and Google Books sites, as well.

Try it out, it could make it easier to save some money on books this year. Borrow before you buy!

The Oscars of Audiobooks – the Audie Awards

I am a big audiobook fan, and I’m not the only one! Audiobooks sales are booming. In fact, audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing . Much of this surge in popularity can be related to the increasing popularity of the digital download,  though most audiobooks are available in both cd and digital formats. The production quality of audiobooks has also increased dramatically in recent years, with accomplished performers bringing their talents to the audiobook realm. Not surprisingly, publishers are producing more and more audiobooks – look how the publication of audiobooks has grown:

Capture1Recently, the Audio Publishers Association released their finalists for the 2016 Audie Awards. Once a smallish gathering of industry insiders, the Audies have taken on a lot more prestige these days. You might call them the Oscars of the audiobook world! There are a total of 135 audiobooks in 25 categories competing for awards this year, and the winners will be announced at the annual Audies Gala on May 11. We own many of the nominated titles, here are some in the most popular categories:

imageBest Female Narrator:

imageBest Male Narrator:

imageNarration by Author:

Mystery:

imageFiction:

imageNon-Fiction:

You can see the list of finalists in all categories, and even hear short sound clips, here.

 

Our Year in eBooks

We had a lot of eBook readers at Cheshire Library in 2015! Over 1000 unique users  checked out close to 8000 eBooks from our main digital catalog, OverDrive.

Here’s a breakdown our year in eBooks:

eBook Infographic-2015

Kindle was the preferred download format by a wide margin, and Go Set a Watchman was far and away the most downloaded eBook in our OverDrive collection in 2015.

Although OverDrive has our largest collection of eBooks, don’t forget that we also have ebooks available for download (with your Cheshire Library card) from our OneClick Digital and hoopla catalogs. Our “eLibraries” are open 24/7, you can check out books, movies, music, and magazines right from home whenever the mood strikes,  and the items return themselves, so there’s never a late fee! Head to the “Download It!” link on our website to learn more about our digital collections.

 

Behind the Scenes at CPL – Circulation

In previous behind-the-scenes posts, we’ve talked about collection development (acquiring materials), and cataloging (preparing acquired materials for the shelf). You might think that the librarian’s job ends once an item is safely on the shelf. Nope, once we own an item, our next task is to get it into your hands! This is the main objective of the Circulation Department, but really everyone on staff, no matter what department, takes part in promoting and maintaining our collection.  Let’s take a look at some of the ways we do this:

Shelving.  Having a library full of great materials won’t do us any good if people can’t fintumblr_inline_nruastxzs41sbaj14_500d them. To that end, shelving is critical. Getting items back to the shelf as quickly as possible after they are returned is the main job responsibility of our Pages. They know our shelves inside and out, and keep them in good order. When they are not shelving, you will often find them shelf-reading, going through the shelves to make sure that books are where they should be and in the proper order. With over 100,000 items in our collection, this is no small task!

Highlighting Materials. With so many items on our shelves, browsing through them can be a bit overwhelming! We often highlight smaller sectPhoto Sep 16ions, whether it be small displays at the ends of the shelves, or larger separations by genre. For example, you probably know that we keep our newer materials separate from the rest of the collection, but did you also know that we separate Mystery and Science Fiction from the rest of Fiction? Or that Romance Paperbacks have their own section? Classics and Comedies are highlighted within the Feature Films DVD section. And don’t forget to check our Staff Picks section for book recommendations from our staff!

Holds and Reserves. Holds and reserves take up a lot of staff time. We get reports twice daily that list items that patrons request – and that list is long! Any requested item that is on the shelf must be searched for, pulled, and trapped for the patron who requested it. If the patron is from Cheshire Library, we then notify them and place their hold(s) on the Hold Shelf in our Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 12.28.17 PMLobby. After 5 days, if the item has not been picked up, it gets returned to the shelf, or passed on to the next person on the waiting list. (You might be shocked to know how many people never pick up their holds – we are!)

Holds for Cheshire patrons are only half the story, though. We also receive requests for inter-library loans from other libraries in our consortium. A lot of them! We get and receive dozens of inter-library loan items every day through the state library’s C-Car delivery system.  We pull, wrap and pack boxes full of C-Car items every single day!

UNOPTIMIZEDMending. When an item gets checked out over and over again, it can get a little worn. Pages get torn or loose, discs get scratched, cases get broken. Whenever possible, we try to fix these problems and get the items back to the shelves. Several of our staff have received training on book mending, and our A/V catalogers use a disc repair machine for troublesome CDs and DVDs.

photoweedingWeeding. Nothing lasts forever. To keep adding new materials to our shelves, we must remove other materials, called “weeding”. We begin by checking the condition of older items, if they are too worn or need more repair than is practical, we weed them out. If we have multiple copies of a former bestseller, we keep the one in the best condition and weed the rest out. We run circulation reports, telling us which items have not been checked out in a long period of time (years), and weed them out. We’d love to keep every book forever, but shelf space must determine the amount of items we can offer. Many weeded items get added to our semi-annual book sale to benefit the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library, and many items get donated to charity.

Of course, we’re also here to help you to search for items in our catalog, find out the next book in your favorite series, check items out and back in again, and much more. Circulation means keeping our items moving, and it’s part of everyone’s job at Cheshire Library!

(Animated gif images from gosetawatchman.tumblr.com and the University of Mary Washington Book Repair Dept.)

Memoirs of an Underdog – 3 Dog Tales

Hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since “doggy memoir” Marley & Me came out. The runaway popularity of this dog tale spawned several spinoff books (Marley: A Dog Like No Other, Bad Dog, Marley!A Very Marley Christmas, to name a few), and a very successful movie (Marley & Me starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston). I cried like a baby, you know you did, too!

Suddenly, book deals for dogs became a regular thing. Stories of how animals make a difference in so many lives can make for some pretty compelling reading, especially if you’re an animal lover to begin with. Here are a few more dog tales that will tug at your heartstrings:

1A Dog Named Boo by Lisa J. Edwards. Boo was found by Lisa in a cardboard box outside a pet store. Lisa, a professional dog trainer, felt drawn to the runt of the litter, and decided to take him home and train him to be a companion animal for her terminally ill brother, who was becoming more physically restricted by the day. Unfortunately, Boo turned out to be the class dunce. Boo’s apparent failure to live up to Lisa’s expectations was followed shortly by the loss of the family member she loved most. It was when things were at their worst, however, that Boo’s exceptional talent for giving love and comfort showed.

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2Wallace by Jim Gorant. Today, Wallace is a champion; but in the summer of 2005, he was living in a shelter, a refugee from a suspicious pit-bull breeding operation. Then Andrew “Roo” Yori entered the picture. A scientist and shelter volunteer, Roo could immediately see that Wallace was something special. When Roo learned that Wallace was about to be put down, he and his wife frantically fought to keep Wallace alive until they could adopt him. Overcoming everything from injuries to prejudice against the breed, the unlikely pair persevered to become world champions.
                                                                 
3Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalván. Captain Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. A unique story about the love between a man and a dog, and how they healed each other’s souls.

 

 

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Some other wonderful stories about the bonds between humans and dogs include:
A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home : Lessons in the Good Life From an Unlikely Teacher by Sue Halpern
You Had Me at Woof : How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam
Oogy : The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin
Dogs Never Lie About Love : Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen
Pure Joy : The Dogs We Love by Danielle Steel