National Library Week Day 7: Well, When Will YOU Visit Your Library? #nlw14

Now that I’ve spent a whole week talking about the benefits of my local public library, it is my devout wish that you will go forth and visit your local library. If you live in Juneau, that would be the Juneau Public Libraries that I’ve been writing about all week. Here are some pointers if you live elsewhere:


Ideally you would visit in person. But checking out their website or even Listen Alaska Plus would do. But visit. Then share what you find. On your blog. On Twitter. On Facebook. Whereever suits you.



National Library Week Day 6: ebooks #nlw14

As recently as two years ago, only about of a third of Americans were aware that libraries loaned ebooks. So I want to be sure to let you know that the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL)  and more than three quarters of libraries nationwide do lend ebooks. Actually, Juneau Public Libraries goes the extra mile and loans Nook readers as well.

JPL has a number of sources for ebooks. The three that I think are the most useful for the general patron are:


listen_alaska graphic ListenAlaska+ brings you digital downloads from the library, available anytime, from home or on the go!

    • eBooks (ePub, PDF, Kindle)
    • Audiobooks (MP3, WMA)
    • Music (WMA only)


Titles available in ListenAlaska can also be found in the library catalog.  If you see [electronic resource] next to a title, it is available in electronic format (ie ebook or audiobook).


Need ebook help? Check out the great resources at OverdriveHelp or contact a librarian.

Image link to Freading eBook collection

Freading Ebooks, a new look at ebook lending.

No more waiting for eBooks!

  • More than 20,000 ebooks (ePub, PDF)
  • Always available, no holds lists.
  • Cardholders receive 4 tokens per week to use for ebook downloads. Tokens refresh Monday morning and carryover for 4 weeks.
  • Mobile apps available for iOS and Android or you can use the same Overdrive Media Console Mobile app used with ListenAlaska.


Need help? Check out this list of Frequently  Asked Questions or contact a librarian.


  • Animated, talking ebooks for kids!
  • Select titles are iPad compatible.
  • Over 300 titles including 100 in French and Spanish.

I haven’t tried Tumblebooks, but I have used Listen Alaska Plus and Freading on mobile devices and desktop computers. Listen Alaska these days has gotten very easy to use. If you tried it a few years ago and didn’t like it, try it again.

As the name implies, Listen Alaska Plus includes audiobooks. These can come in very handy on the lengthy flights we Alaskans often find ourselves on. Sometimes I’ll check out an ebook or audiobook from the library just to see if I like it. If I do, often I’ll buy it. That’s how I became the proud owner of an electronic library of the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

National Library Week Day 5: Learning, Growing, Laughing #nlw14

Aside from providing meeting space for community groups to meet, the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL) offer quite a bit of specialty programming. Some of it is based around books, but not all of it is. While there may be a TV channel or website for everything, the advantage of a library event is that it gets community people talking to each other about shared interests.

Here’s a sampling of events from April 2014:

  • Cuentacuentos Infantil
  • Second Friday Author Tea (Lois McMaster Bujold)
  • Kim Heacox Author presentation
  • Fourth Thursday TEDx
  • John Straley Author presentation

For more information, visit the JPL calendar.

If you liked this post or have a library event story of your own, share on your favorite social media using #nlw14.

National Library Week Day 4: A Place to Gather #nlw14

The benefits of the Juneau Public Libraries go beyond their collections both physical and virtual. It goes beyond providing internet access. All three of their branches provide meeting rooms for community groups to meet:

The library offers the use of its meeting rooms for public meetings and programs of a non-commercial nature. Meetings must be free of charge and open to the public. Meeting rooms are available at all three facilities. All meeting rooms except the Small Meeting Room Downtown have a 60″ wall mounted video monitor to use for in-room presentations and are also video conference enabled.  Call 586-0442 or see our Technology Services page for more information about video conferencing.

Please call to reserve and to discuss guidelines for use.

These rooms are offered free of charge to the community. Who meets here? A partial list from April:

  • Alaska Virtual Academy
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Glacierview Condo Assoc.
  • Juneau Adult Hockey Association
  • Monday Night Writers Group

Want to see more, check out the library’s calendar. It includes community meetings and library events, the focus of my next post.


If you’ve liked this post or have a library story of your own, share it to your favorite social media site with #nlw14.

National Library Week Day 3: Collections in Juneau and Beyond #nlw14

For Day 3 of National Library Week, I’d like to highlight the physical collections of the Juneau Public Libraries, not only what they own, but what they can physically get their hands on for you. Let’s start off with their somewhat brief collections page:


Library Collections

The primary mission of the Juneau Public Libraries is to develop, maintain, and facilitate the use of a collection of books and other materials responsive to the diverse and constantly changing informational needs of those to whom it has a service obligation. The library strives to offer the most complete and balanced collection possible within existing fiscal and physical limitations. Providing free access to materials which satisfy educational, cultural, informational, and recreational needs of constituents of all ages, backgrounds, and occupations is a central concern, which must be met both from within and from beyond the library’s own collection.


The collection of the Juneau Public Libraries includes approximately 124,000 items located in three facilities.

The materials collected include books, ebooks, books on tape/cd, audiobook downloads, videos and DVD’s, music on compact disc and for download, periodicals, microfiche, microfilm and online electronic databases.



The catalog of the CAPITAL CITY LIBRARIES may be reached online at: or by using the “Search Library Catalog” searchbox located at the top of the menu on the left. The catalog is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.


I’d like to elaborate on the “periodicals” above. Periodicals is slang for newspapers, magazines and journals. Each of the branches of the Juneau Public Libraries has a nice size collection of magazines and newspapers. All of the branches will have major Alaskan newspapers. Each branch has a slightly different collection of magazines and journals. Some of the titles you’ll find in paper (sometimes online too) in our system are:

Honestly, if you live in Juneau, you should just walk into a library and start browsing around the magazine and newspaper collections.

If you’re interested in new books, audio books or DVDs, JPL has these constantly updated lists to make it easy:

If you have an RSS reader like Netvibes, you can subscribe to these feeds.

But what you can get at the library isn’t limited to what is held at the three branches. Juneau Public Libraries is a member of the Joint Library Catalog, a consortium that ranges from Juneau through Anchorage, Valdez and Kodiak and includes two university collections – University of Alaska, Southeast and University of Alaska Anchorage. You can use JPL’s Catalog to get many of the system’s more than one million items delivered to your nearest library.

There’s a world of material at your feet. Why not go look at it?


Like this post or have your own library story? Go to your favorite social media and share it with #nlw14.

National Library Week Day 2 – Homework Help #nlw14

This is day 2 of National Library Week. Here in Juneau, the Juneau Public Libraries offer a number of online resources to help students with their homework, including:


Live Homework Help

Your first stop for when you get stumped.  In addition to live tutors, the Student Center, College Center, Adult Education Center and Career Center are full of reliable help resources.

  • Live Tutors available seven days a week from 12 PM (noon) to 2am Alaska Time, other resources available 24/7.
  • Covers math, science, social studies and English, all levels (K-12+ AP) and intro-level college.
  • Real time paper proof-reading/ editing. 
  • Requires Flash on your computer with pop-up blockers turned off.

BrainPop and BrainPopJr

  • The more you know, the more you know!
  • Short videos featuring animated characters help introduce new topics and illustrate complex concepts from Science and Technology to music and more!


Current Events and Special Reports

  • News articles, images, videos and other useful content grouped for convenience under specific topics and themes. From Newsbank.


In addition to these online resources, each of the branches of the Juneau Public Libraries offer study space including meeting rooms that can be reserved for study groups.

If you’ve liked this post or have a library story of your own, share it to your favorite social media site with #nlw14.

Happy National Library Week! Day 1 – Internet Access and Technology #nlw14

This week 4/13- 4/19 is National Library Week. I’m celebrating with daily blog posts about the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL), my local library system. I hope you’ll add your own library stories in comments or on your own blog.

Before I get started, here’s a message from Judy Blume, honorary chair of National Library Week:

One of things that Judy Blume mentioned was internet access. What kind of internet access does JPL have? Let’s check out their internet access page:

The Juneau Public Libraries offers dedicated Internet terminals and wireless networks at all three branches where the public may browse the Internet free of charge upon agreeing to our Internet Terms of Use.  Laptops are available for checkout for in-library use for 1 hour to adult cardholders in good standing.

In addition to the in-library internet terminals, wifi and laptops for checkout, the Juneau Public Libraries also offer these services:


The library provides a variety of audiovisual equipment and media services for library users. Some are available for checkout while others may be used only in the library.

Items available for use within the libraries include:

  • Laptop computers
  • Video conferencing equipment (see Video Conferencing Service below)
  • Document Cameras (COMING SOON)
  • Scanners (Downtown and Douglas).
  • Teleconferencer (Downtown)
  • Photo copiers
  • Typewriters

Items available for check-out to registered adult users include:

  • Photo Slide projectors (Juneau and Valley)
  • Nook (ebook readers)
  • Mp3 players (available upon request)
  • Kill-a-Watt Energy Monitors

There is a $5 per item, per day charge for the use photo slide projectors and teleconferencer. We suggest that you reserve equipment in advance. Call the library nearest you for information.

If you live in Juneau and did not know about these resources, I hope you’ll stop by a branch and check them out. If you’ve liked this post or have a library story of your own, share it to your favorite social media site with #nlw14.