Library Services You Might Not Know About – Part 1

Life sure has changed from this time a year ago, hasn’t it? It’s still hard to wrap my head around how differently we are living our lives since the Covid-19 pandemic made its presence known. Schools and businesses have had to restructure just about everything they do. Libraries, too, have had to change the way they work, depending so much more on the Internet to connect with their patrons.
Cheshire Library is constantly reviewing and adjusting our online services to bring  patrons what they need. You’re probably familiar with our online programs by this time (had most of us even heard of Zoom before the pandemic?), and you may have become a pro at downloading library ebooks,  but there are so many other services and resources you can avail yourself of any time, right from our website. The library is still here for you, even though how you use it these days might look a little different.

Getting books to readers: Matchbook and Grab ‘n Go services.

Remember the days when you could come into the library and leisurely browse the shelves, find a comfy place to sit and look through books or magazines before checking out your selections?  While the library is now open limited hours to the public, it’s not a place to kick back and hang out these days, due to social distancing and safety precautions we’ve put into place. To help you find your next good read, we began offering a service called Matchbook.  It’s a service we had tried a few years ago with limited success, but it has been booming since we brought it back in July of 2020. Fill out a quick form on our website letting us know your reading preferences, and a library staff member will hand-select several titles we think you will like, and put them aside for you, “matching” you up with some books! One Matchbook user told us it was like her birthday or Christmas every time a new selection of books was ready for her, and she discovered several new authors she loved! Books can be picked up inside the library at the Checkout Desk when they’re ready, or you can arrange a contactless pickup with our Grab ‘n Go program.

Stream away with Acorn TV and The Great Courses.

One of the first things we did when the library was shut down in the spring was figure out how to increase out digital offerings on a budget. We crunched some numbers and came up with two streaming services (available through the RBdigital app) that have proved to be  user favorites. Acorn TV is a very popular streaming video platform that many people pay for, but CPL cardholders have free access to. Acorn TV brings world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond to your Internet-ready TV or mobile device. The Great Courses is another for-pay service that CPL cardholders can use for free.  The Great Courses is the leading global media brand for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, with hundreds of courses spanning thousands of in-depth video lectures on subjects like Science, Health & Wellness, History, and even Travel. Learn at your own pace, in your own time!

Dig up your ancestors.

Well, not literally. We’re talking genealogically, here. Ancestry® Library helps you research and understand your family tree with access to billions of names in thousands of genealogical databases including Census and Vital Records, birth, marriage and death notices, the Social Security Death Index, Passenger lists and naturalizations, Military and Holocaust Records, and more. Before the pandemic, Ancestry® Library was available for use inside the library only, but the company has generously extended our subscription to home users during this time of limited library use. All you need is your CPL card and a computer, and you’re ready to climb your family tree!

Keep up with the latest newspapers and magazines, digitally.

We’ve has to suspend our subscriptions to local newspapers during this time, but you’ll be happy to know that you can still access the news online though Newsbank, a news database that provides archives of media publications, and includes access to the Cheshire Herald, Meridan Record-Journal, and New Haven Register. While we still have many magazines available for checkout at the library, there are many more (over 3000 titles and up to three years of back issues!) that are available digitally through the Libby app. The great thing about digital magazines is there’s no waiting list, and back issues are available on most titles!




What the Heck is eLearning?

QuestionmarkWhat the heck is eLearning?

The mundane definition is “an online collection of educational resources”. But it’s much more than that!

eLearning is learning at your own pace. It is suited to your specific needs. You choose the time, the place, the subject.

Where do you find it? At

What can you find? Job resources, including resume prep and career counseling. Language lessons. Book reviews. School help for Kindergarten through oh-my-God-I’m-going-back-to-school-after-twenty-years!

learningexpressLearning Express, an educational and career resources for all ages,  headlines the Cheshire Library’s eLearning page on our website. Here you will find seven learning centers:

School Center – Resources for elementary, middle school, and high school studentsboard-784347_640
High School Equivalency Center – Resources for the GED, HiSET and TASC
College Prep Center – Prep for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, admissions essays and more!
College Center – Strengthen academic skills, prepare for Grad entrance exams
Career Center – Learn more about a career, prepare for career exams, improve workplace skills
Adult Learning Center  – Improve skills in math, reading, writing; prepare to become a U.S. citizen and more
Recursos en Espanol – Resources for Spanish speaking residents including reading, writing and math, GED prep and American Citizenship prep

Our eLearning page also includes:
JobNow – Resume resources, job interview skills, career assessment
Transparent Language – Learn a language! Over 90 languages to choose from, including ESL.
Muzzy – The world’s #1 language course for kids!
NoveList – Book discussion guides, reviews & sample chapters.  Recommendations & read-alikes for all ages.

The best part? It’s all FREE with your Cheshire Library Card.

Foreign Language Books for the Younger Set

Did you know that there is a small collection of nonfiction books, picturebooks, and chapter books in the children’s section in languages other than English? From dictionaries to long time children’s favorites, we have something to interest most readers that either speak two or more languages or want to learn. We also have some DVD’s to teach foreign languages to children, or adults like myself that have trouble learning new language. Here is a small selection of the books from some of the languages we have on the shelf.

ABC x 3 : English, Español, Français by Marthe Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter.
French Phrase Book by Jane Wightwick and Wina Gunn with illustrations by Leila Gaafar and Robert Bowers.
Bonsoir Lune by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations de Clement Hurd.
Babar a New York by Laurent de Brunhoff.
Le Hibou et la Poussiquette (freely translated into French from the English of Edward Lear’s “The owl and the pussy-cat.”) with illustrations by Barbara Cooney.
Le Bon Lion by Louise Fatio with images by Roger Duvoisin.

Nancy la Elegante by Jane O’Connor with illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser, translation by Liliana Valenzuela.
De Colores (Bright with colors) pictures by David Diaz.
Me llamo Gabito: la Vida de Gabriel García Márquez (My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez) by Monica Brown and illustrated by Raúl Colón.
El Ratoncito de la Moto by Beverly Cleary with translation by Lydia Permanyer Netto
La Ardilla Listada by Patricia Whitehouse with translation by Patricia Abello
Te Amo, Bebé, Little One by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Maribel Suárez.
La Araña muy Ocupada by Eric Carle.
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J.K. Rowling and translation by Alicia Dellepiane

Milet Picture Dictionary, English-Chinese text by Sedat Turhan and illustrations by Sally Hagin.
To Grandmother’s House: A Visit to Old-Town Beijing with text and photographs by Douglas Keister.

The Jewish kids’ Hebrew-English Wordbook by Chaya M. Burstein.
Count Your Way Through Israel by James Haskins,

My First Book of Italian Words by Katy R. Kudela with translation by
Count Your Way Through Italy by Jim Haskins with illustrations by Beth Wright
Italian Bilingual Dictionary: A Beginner’s Guide in Words and Pictures by Gladys C. Lipton and John Colaneri.

My First Book of Japanese Words by Katy R. Kudela with translations by
Where Are You Going? To See My Friend!: A Story of Friendship in Two Languages by Eric Carle
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow (Sabaku ni Saita Himawari) by Amy Lee-Tai
Count Your Way Through Japan by James Haskins

For even further language resources come check out our foreign language shelf in the children’s room, the instructional DVD’s, or either of the two electronic resources our library offers access to; Muzzy Online and Transparent Language Online.