What’s New?: Digital Edition

Kerry O'Donnell | July 14, 2016

I think it can be safely said that being a commuter can be both a blessing and a curse. Even on a good day, getting to work can regularly take over an hour. I try to pass the time as best I can. But sometimes when it comes to entertaining myself for lengthy periods, a book doesn’t always cut it.

(I know… Gasp! But you’re a librarian. How can you say that?)

Well, it’s true. Even librarians don’t always feel like reading a book. And if you’re like me, and take the train often, you see most people plugged in to something electronic; a phone, music, the occasional laptop or (my preference) their tablet. But with a tablet, I can’t check Facebook, or read that interesting article I found on Twitter, or watch silly YouTube videos on my way home. I can’t explore book lists on Goodreads.com or check my favorite authors’ websites, or even check the library’s catalog to see if any of my requested books or movies are in!

Well, I couldn’t, until now…

My commuter woes are about to be a thing of the past, because here in Brookline, the library is adding a new collection that will make my life, and hopefully yours, a little easier.

Hotspot 1Starting this July, we begin circulating Wi-Fi Hotspots.

Yup, that’s right. You can check out a Hotspot for 2 weeks (for the Quick Pick units, no holds allowed) or 3 weeks for the ones in regular circulation. Take them home, to the park, the beach, on vacation; wherever you need! Going camping but still want to be able to check your fantasy sports scores? Just make sure there’s Sprint network coverage in the area you’re visiting, and check out a Hotspot. It’s really simple to use. Just turn it on, find the signal on your digital device, and pop in the password!

These are just one of the many non-book items we offer here in Brookline. If you’re interested in more, check out the section of our site: Library of Things.

So now that I’m set up digitally, for my train-rides, I need things to do. One other new offering this month that I’m looking forward to using on my trek to and from work, is our new online magazine service, Flipster.

Flipster PromoDigital magazines are now easier to use than ever before!

Flipster works very similarly to OverDrive; you have to access it through a browser, and then issues of magazines can be downloaded directly on to an app which I can read offline.

Not in the library when you want to get the latest issue of Cosmo or Food Network Magazine? No problem! All you need is your library card and password to log in. I recently checked out issues of Entertainment Weekly and Conde Nast Traveler. (Perhaps you’ll see future blog posts of all the cool places I plan on visiting after I put together a list of their top recommendations.) Recently, I’ve been in the mood for reading up on summer blockbusters. I enjoy getting a behind-the-scenes look at how they are made.

Part of being a good librarian, to me, means being an avid library user. I try using new collections so I can give my best recommendations when asked. And I look at what other places are doing to find out what else we could offer. I’m excited for the future of libraries as we start collections which at first might seem a little outside the norm. Cake pans? Heck yeah, we have them. Coloring books you can actually color in and then return to the library? Come and get ’em! Tools, seeds, perhaps musical instruments?? You never know what you might find on our shelves next!