MOUNT VERNON — The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County now provides access to many valuable free services that patrons can access from the comfort of their homes through the Internet. All of these services can be found on the library’s newly designed web site, http://www.knox.net. Below is a quick rundown.
•Freegal provides every patron with three free MP3 music downloads from the entire Sony catalog each week. These downloads become the property of the patron. Patrons need the barcode number on the back of their card and their card PIN (personal identification number) to access this service. Those who do not have a PIN for their card can get one by calling 392-BOOK.
•BYKI (Before You Know It) is an online language learning program for anyone who wants to learn a foreign language. Practically any language you can think of is available. BYKI also includes English language learning for patrons for whom English is their second language. BYKI provides online flashcards, will pronounce the foreign words and will even check pronunciation for users with computer microphones. Patrons wishing to use this free service have to sign-up on a library computer at any branch to establish a user name and password. They may then access the service from anywhere using the Internet.
•The Ohio eBook Project and Net Library allow patrons to check out and download digital eBooks and audiobooks. These items can then be enjoyed on the patron’s computer or transferred to select portable devices such as MP3 players and eBook readers. (The library recommends that anyone considering the purchase of a device for this purpose check the services’ websites or call the library to assure compatibility. At present, Amazon’s Kindle cannot be used to download e-books from the library.) Some devices, such as iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets, can be used to download titles directly through the device’s Internet access. Patrons are never charged overdue fees for these titles as they automatically expire when the checkout period is over. The Ohio eBook Project can be accessed using the barcode number on the back of a patron’s library card. Net Library requires the patron to come into the library to establish a user name and password on a library computer, and can then be accessed through the Internet from anywhere.
•Online book clubs let patrons sign up online to receive one or two chapters of the weekly selection in their e-mail over the course of five days (Monday through Friday). Each e-mail contains approximately five minutes of reading. Patrons can choose from many genre-themed clubs (such as Romance, Thrillers, and more) and join as many as they wish. This is a great way to get acquainted with new titles. A book club member who wants to continue reading the weekly book can click on a link in the e-mail to place the title on reserve at the library.
•Learning Express Library and Career Accelerator provide free test preparation for most major tests such as ACT and SAT, grade-leveled practice tests for school, job search and resume preparation, and more! Patrons need to come into any branch in order to establish a user name and password for this service and then are able to access it through the Internet.
•Tumblebooks are online interactive eBooks for children of all ages. No log-in is required for this service. Just click the link on the library’s website and go!
“Currently, libraries are expanding services in exciting ways through digital media,” said John Chidester, library director. “Our library is happy to be able to participate by bringing these services to our patrons. We would like to see patrons using the library by visiting the physical branches, but also by accessing these services without having to come into the building.”
Anyone who wants more information regarding these services or who needs help using them may call the library’s technology educator, Beth Hoeffgen, at 392-BOOK, ext. 247.