POP3: Your Connected Devices


Have you noticed the excitement pouring from every wall of SJCPL?  It can only mean one thing – Science Alive is almost here!  It’s our favorite time of the year to pull out the beakers, fill up the bottles, check the microscope and view the telescope.  By definition science is the study of the physical and material world.  Science affects every aspect of our daily life and we don’t even realize it.

Try something with me.  Take out your smartphone or tablet.  Give it a good hard look.  Now think about all the hard work and experimentation that went into creating that device.

Scientists had to figure out how to wirelessly send sound through the airwaves before you could make a phone call.  Before you could touch the screen someone had to figure out how to use the human body’s own electrical conductivity to interact with the screen’s electrostatic field.

We are literally walking around with miracles of science in our back pockets.  Well I say it’s high time we start putting our devices to good use.  It’s time to:


 Did you know that your very own SJCPL offers several services to use with your smartphone, tablet, or home computer?  You’d be amazed at everything we have.  You can download eBooks; request help via a messenger client and even search the SJCPL catalog using your phone’s mobile browser.

Hmm… I think I might have confused some of you.  Let me back up a little bit for the beginners out there.  If you’re still part of the techno-terrified crowd then sign up for one of our informative computer classes.

We have several classes to choose from, including “Internet Skills for Beginners,” “Microsoft Word and Excel for Beginners;” you can even learn about “Digital Pictures with Flickr!”  We haven’t forgotten about the Facebook fans either.  Soon our popular “Introduction to Facebook” class will make its triumphant return.  You do have to register for classes in advance but if there’s an open chair we’ll gladly take anyone that sneaks in.

Speaking of internet skills, did you know that SJCPL has a mobile website?  Oh you’re going to want to bookmark this.  Grab your smartphone and gather round.  Invite your neighbors too.  They’re really nice people.

Open up the browser on your smartphone and type in m.sjcpl.org.  Now you can easily search the SJCPL catalog from anywhere.  Try checking our website first before spending $40 on that copy of Modern Family: Season One.  I’m no mathematician but at only .50¢ per day we’re definitely a better bargain!

Searching isn’t the only thing you can do at our mobile site.  You can also place items on hold, check your account status and renew materials.  Yes, you can do all that from your smartphone while pumping gas and eating a donut.  I’m not really sure if you can do all that with two hands but if you have three hands that is definitely a possibility!

Okay, online searching is cute but – we have to go deeper.

Time to kick your portable device into Overdrive!  What?  You haven’t heard of Overdrive!  Well let’s fix that!  Have you ever looked at your device and thought to yourself, “Man, it would be so cool if I could rent an eBook or audio book.”  With Overdrive, now you can!  Let’s all say this together, “Eureka!”  Step one is getting to the SJCPL Overdrive website.

Listen up, because this part is important.  On the right side of the SJCPL Overdrive webpage there’s a box that says “Getting Started.”  You definitely want to download the Overdrive Media Console and Adobe Digital Editions.  You also need to create an Adobe ID.  Oh, and a valid SJCPL library card helps too !

Keep in mind that Overdrive supports a variety of devices and file formats.  It’s always best to make sure your device is listed and what file formats it can accept.  Now that the technicalities are no longer technical let’s get back to the fun stuff!

The SJCPL Overdrive catalog has a massive collection of material available for checkout with more added daily.  We have everything from cookbooks, to romance novels, sci-fi and even helpful how-to books.  Lie on the beach and relax away with a steamy audio book by Susan Mallery or read along with Emeril Lagasse as he prepares some amazing food.  The choice is yours.

Did I mention that all of this is free?  It is!  We don’t charge a dime to use Overdrive.  You can even download material at home or on the go.  It gets even better.  Your items are automatically returned so you never have to worry about a late fee.

If you have any questions you can always give us a call.  Don’t worry if calling isn’t an option because we still have a solution for you.  For the times when an instant message will suffice you can contact us on AIM, Yahoo, MSN, or iChat.  Many smartphones, feature phones and tablets offer a downloadable chat program.  You can also contact us via email.

Whew, that was definitely a lot.  I bet you didn’t know that SJCPL offered so many digital services, did ya?  To think, all this started nearly 200 years ago with the invention of the telegram.  In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone and it wasn’t until the 1970s that we had the first cell phone.  The process was very slow and required a lot of experimentation.  Now portable technology has exploded and is evolving at incredible speeds.  Our devices are science alive!

And if you haven’t seen a cell phone from the 80s, let me tell you, they were pretty stylish!

- Cori


  1. Cool post with the shout out to Ovedrive help and computer classes!

  2. That was an entertaining read, and it ended on such a high note with that stylish 80′s cell phone.

  3. Eureka!! Geat fun, and informative post!!

    • Actually, titles are added more like every week to 10 days. We do the digital content selecting in conjunction with our other Collection Development duties.

  4. I am writing this from Florida. Overdrive works great. That’s the good news. Bad news. If your not into vampires, apocalypse, teen fantasy, there is not much for adults. I would personally like more Patterson, Kellerman, Reich, Cussler and other good if not great authors. Who decides what is available for ePub on an iPad? I forgot to mention I live in Granger and frequent the St. Francis branch several times a week for good books and DVD’s. Fantastic selections. I hope your “electronic ” library follows suit and lessens the junk. Or is it a matter of youth versus mature adults?

    • Fred,

      We are thrilled that you are enjoying our OverDrive collection! We are adding more titles every week.

      The decision to make digital content available is made by the publishers. Unfortunately 3 of the major publishers (Simon & Schuster, MacMillan and Penguin) will not make e-books available to libraries, so that leaves us unable to offer many, many titles. Because of this, for example, we can only get Kathy Reichs’ books as eAudiobooks.

      We recently added more of the main-stream Fiction authors. I’m not sure how you are searching for your titles/authors? We own 12 Jonathan Kellerman titles, 25 by Clive Cussler, and nearly every James Patterson and Stephen King that has been made available in digital format.

      In no particular order, we own: Dean Koontz, Michael Palmer, Nicholas Sparks, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, James Rollins, Harlen Coben, J. D. Robb, Philip Margolin, Nevada Barr, Brad Meltzer, John Sandford, Henning Mankell, Greg Iles, Douglas Preston, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly, Iris Johansen, Carl Hiaasen, Lisa Gardner…I could go on an on, but I need to go order more titles for OverDrive!

  5. Also of note, The free public domain stuff is awesome and doesn’t count against your checkouts at SJCPL.

  6. Thanks for all the great info here, Cori!

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