Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday December 19th, 2010 The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah

I began writing this column over a year ago, it’s my final one. After 33 years with Thunder Bay Public Library I will be retiring shortly. Things have changed so much. When I started we had a card catalogue and telex machine. There are a lot of things I'm going to miss about the Library.


I will miss spending my days surrounded by my favourite authors – Lorna Landvik, Clive Cussler, Billie Letts, Fannie Flagg and others. Now I will depend on the library to email me when something new comes out. I just have to login to My Library Card, Search the Catalog for an author, then Save As A Preferred Search. Go to Patron Record, then Preferred Searches, Mark it for Email and Update the List. It’s that easy.


It might be a poinsettia for Christmas, crocus bulbs in the spring, hot chocolate mix in the winter, a brick of ice cream in the summer. You have no idea how much these little treats mean to us. I’ll say a big thank you to Tom and Tauno, you’ll be missed.

Local History Collection

You’ve probably noticed I can’t say enough about our Local History Collection. Being a Reference chick at heart it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. That group of filing cabinets was here when I came and will be here long after I’m gone. Please remember us and take advantage of our files.

Writing This Column

It was a joy to write a column and then have someone call and ask for books you’ve suggested. When you tell them you wrote it and they say “Are you Karen?” you feel like this is your 15 minutes of fame.

It felt wonderful to write columns that may have made you smile, brought back a memory or helped you with a problem.

My Working Family

We may be a little dysfunctional but many people here are like family. I’d also like to thank the Reference Student Helpers. It’s been a pleasure supervising you and I wish you well. Over the years I’ve watched former ones have families of their own and it’s always a treat to see them years later, Vicki and Deborah come to mind. Our students have gone on to become nurses, doctors and surprise, librarians.

ESL Students

I’ll miss providing tours for the English As A Second Language students .It was so nice to introduce our library to these students who are so appreciative. I hope they enjoy the library for years to come.

Dedicated Customers

We have customers that have used the library year after year to work on special projects such as genealogy. It’s a pleasure to see you and on a bad day, a friendly conversation can keep us going.

Coffee Breaks

I’ve always joked that you could pop in for a coffee break and probably find us having the same conversation year after year. It’s like an ongoing soap opera. Our chats could bring us to tears of laughter or tears of sorrow. I guess I’ll be spending my coffee breaks alone. But…you know where to find me.


I appreciate the time to express my feelings and hope I haven’t offended anyone. Remember, the next time you visit your public library be kind to the staff, they’re doing the best that they can and they’re doing it all for you. The library is here for your enjoyment. Please take advantage of all that we have to offer. Bye now…

Karen Craib is a Library Technician

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sunday December 5th, 2010 eBooks

eBook readers are poised to be one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. For avid readers this new technology is miraculous. You can now carry hundreds of books, magazines and newspapers in your purse or pocket!

Your Library has a new collection of eBooks, free for you to download. To access them, go to our Web site at, and click on “OverDrive” in the Quick Links. OverDrive is the platform that houses both our eBook and eAudiobook collections. The selection includes mostly fiction, and a bit of non-fiction (including cookbooks). There really is something for everyone, from children and teens to fiction-loving adults. You don’t have to log-in to browse around OverDrive. When you’re ready to sign out a book, you’ll be prompted to log-in with your Library Card number and PIN. Because this is a collection we share with other libraries, fist you have to select “Thunder Bay Public Library”.

To download an eBook you need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer. This software is available for free on the Web. Adobe Digital Editions works with compatible eBook readers. For example if you have a Kobo, connect it to your computer, and it will appear in Adobe Digitial Editions. Then simply drag and drop the downloaded book from the “library” to your Kobo, and it will transfer to the Kobo when it’s disconnected.

If you’re interested in eAudiobooks, OverDrive has a “Media Console” which you must download first (you only have to do it once). The Media Console is needed in order to unwrap the digital rights management (DRM) included in eAudiobook downloads. The Media Console also helps you transfer the eAudiobook on to a portable device – like your iPod or MP3 player.
OverDrive provides a brief description of each book, an excerpt from the text, and also suggestions of similar books you might like. The Quick Start Guide, found in the Getting Started section near the top right of every page in OverDrive, is very useful for new users.

You may sign out up to five books from OverDrive at any one time. They are due back in seven days by default, but you can change the loan period to 14 days. You do not have to do anything to “return” OverDrive books – they simply disappear from your OverDrive account after the lending period. At the end of the lending period your license to the content terminates, and you are required to delete all copies of the content. For full copyright information, please follow the “Important notice about copyrighted materials” link at the bottom of every page in OverDrive.
If a book you’re interested in is checked out by someone else, you’ll see a “Place a hold” link. When you place a hold on an OverDrive book, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address. You’ll receive an email when it’s available, and will have 3 days to check out the selected title.

Also in the Getting Started section are lists of eBook readers and portable audio players which are compatible with OverDrive’s eBooks and eAudiobooks. If you’re planning on buying one as a gift this holiday season, it would be thoughtful to consult the list before you go shopping, and then tell the lucky recipient they can borrow eBooks for free from the Library! The December 2010 edition of Consumer Reports, available online through My Giant Search in the “Research” section of our Web site, includes an informative article on eBook readers.

As a “digital immigrant” (someone born before computers were ubiquitous) I was personally sceptical of eBook readers. I love books for more than just the stories they contain. I like the weight of them, their texture and smell. Books as physical objects have a lot of memories for me. I grew up in a house full of them, I had my own books as a child, I’ve worked in a Library for many years, and I love reading books to my son. So all that book love added to my scepticism! However, after using an eBook reader for a few weeks, I’m starting to love it too. The convenience of its compact design really can’t be beat. I carry my eBook reader in my purse, and pull it out whenever I have some spare time.

Your Library is has planned two hands-on programs in early January for people who would like some help downloading books. Look for details in the Winter edition of our newsletter, which will be delivered to all homes in Thunder Bay next week.

Joanna Aegard, Head of Virtual Services