December 28th, 2015

10 Free Things to Try on Our Website

Did you give or get a new device this holiday? Or maybe you’re just looking to save a little after spending a lot? With just your library card and a few quick clicks, you can access a wealth of online, streaming, or downloadable content for free through Cecil County Public Library. No fines, no fees, and often, no holds.

duckandgoose _ overdrive _ resized1. EBOOKS – We’re excited to announce that eBooks are now downloadable through our catalog, so it’s easier than ever to find and get the eBooks you want.  It’s also incredibly convenient to transport your books with you — all on your device!

2. AUDIOBOOKS – If you like listening to your books, we’ve got lots of options.  You can find and download eAudiobooks in our catalog, or you can search and access them directly via OneClickdigital or Hoopla.

3. MOVIES – Our Hoopla service offers you 8 movies or TV episodes per month, all for free. You can stream or do a temporary download (a starwars _ hoopla _ resizedgreat option for taking a movie on a plane or on a WiFi only device!)

4. MUSIC Hoopla’s digital music selection has most albums listed on Billboard magazine’s top 100 lists, often on the day the album is released.  It’s a great way to try before you buy or to broaden your musical horizons.

5. MAGAZINES – Use your library card to check out as many digital magazines as you like through Zinio, titles like Car and Driver, Discover, Glamour, OK! Magazine, National Geographic, Saveur, and more.

6. TEST PREP – need help preparing for the SAT, GED, GRE, PRAXIS, or other tests? We have lots of free online tools that can help you build up your skills and prepare for the exam.

caranddriver _ zinio _ resized7. ONLINE COURSESGale Courses are free, six-week, online courses taught by expert instructors.  Learn at your own pace, risk free.  Choose from hundreds of topics, including computers, health care, finance, business, teaching and more.  Sessions begin every month and there’s no limit to how many courses you can take.

8. PERSONALIZED READING SUGGESTIONSBookMate is a personalized service where you fill out a quick survey about your reading interests, then our skilled librarians match you with interesting reads compatible with your tastes.  Try it out!  You’ll never run out of books to read again.

9. GREAT INFORMATION – When you need top-notch information, try our Online Resources.  With your library card, you get access to biographies, demographics, business plans, encyclopedias, investment data, practice tests, Heritage Quest (great for genealogy buffs!), magazines and journals, and so much more.

10. 24/7 HELP – Use AskUsNow! to get 24-hour, live online help from skilled librarians.  They are research experts and can provide assistance with all kinds of questions, even when our branches are closed.

There’s so much to discover at Cecil County Public Library!  What new service will you be trying first?

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December 21st, 2015

My must-have books for the holidays

book-691407_640I can’t live without a good book—and that doesn’t go away during the holiday season. However, in December, there just isn’t enough time to let myself get swept away by a novel. So instead, I pick up a collection of short stories or essays. That way, I can read one or two stories and satisfy my craving. It’s a perfect compromise.

So, if you’re craving a short story, here are some suggestions! Some of my favorites are “Single, Carefree, Mellow,” by Katherine Heiny, “One More Thing: Stories and other Stories,” by BJ Novak, and “The View from Castle Rock” by Alice Munro (also available as an audiobook). If you want a laugh, try Sloane Crosley’s “I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” or “Naked,” by David Sedaris (also available as an audiobook).

If you’re in the holiday spirit and want to read something more festive, consider “My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories” (see our staff review here), “Christmas in the South: Holiday Stories from the South’s Best Writers,” or “Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season.” If you’re a fan of Inspirational Fiction, “Amish Christmas at North Star” (also available as an audiobook), “An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County,” or “Christmas Belles of Georgia,” might be good choices.

What is your favorite holiday read?

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