Apps @ MCLS
The staff of Mercer County Library System recently started using iPad minis to work on tasks such as shelf reading, inventorying books and pulling holds to ship to other branches. Each branch received an iPad and when we thought of ways to maximize their use, we realized they are the perfect way to teach you, our patrons, how to use our online services via the various apps that our database providers make available to us. Some branches are even offering classes on how to use the apps, in addition to one-on-one instruction, so do check with your local branch to see if they can do a demo of an app for you or have a class you can attend. If you prefer to explore on your own, here is a review of the apps that you can use to access our databases and electronic media services (movies, music, audiobooks and eBooks). Note that even though the library staff is learning how to use these apps on an iPad, most are also available for Android devices and some are available for Windows Phones, as an app for Windows 8/10 or for Kindle Fire.
All are free and can be found in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Store or Kindle App Store.
AML - Access My Library (Gale) – This app lets users search our Gale databases. The Gale databases are an extensive collection of digitized reference books in the Gale Virtual Reference Library, as well as topical article databases. The subject matter ranges from travel to biography to almost any topic a student would need to research for a school paper. Gale also includes business directories and scholarship guides. The first time you use it, you will be asked to select a local library. Note that MCLS receives our Gale databases through the New Jersey State Library, so you want to select NJ State Library as your home library. There is no need to enter any barcode or set-up a username/password to access the database.
BookMyne – This is the app to use if you want to search the library catalog or check your account on the go. To get started, select your preferred branch and then enter your library card barcode number and PIN (this should be the last four digits of your home phone number). And do not forget if you have it installed on your phone, you can use the library’s WiFi and look up items while you are searching in our stacks.
EbscoMobile – All of our Ebsco databases, such as MasterFile Premier, Business Source and a variety of health databases, can be searched using this app. It is perhaps the trickiest app to use since you need to request a key through the app and contact the library for the username and password, since we are not permitted to post that information online.
Encyclopædia Britannica – Search the Encyclopædia Britannica, including versions for children and young adults.
website (you will need your library card barcode number) and select a magazine. Tap download and the title will appear for offline reading in the Flipster app.
Freegal Movies – After installing the app, select Mercer County Library as your library and enter the library card barcode number from the back of your library card. You may now stream movies to your device. Limit of three movie titles per week, but they will only stay in your queue for 48 hours.
hoopla – This service offers streaming music, video, audiobooks and now graphic novels and select eBooks. To use the app, you first need to sign up for an account by selecting your library and entering in your library card barcode number. You may now borrow up to ten titles per month. Movies and TV shows can be borrowed for 72 hours, music for 7 days and audiobooks, comics and eBooks for 21 days.
Mango – One of our two online language learning services, Mango lets you sign up for an account using your email address and library card barcode number so you can track your progress through the lessons offered in one of five languages – Spanish, French, English, Chinese (Mandarin), and Italian.
OverDrive Media Console – This is the app to use with our eLibraryNJ eBook and downloadable audiobook service. Once you download the app, you can either set-up an OverDrive account or tap the I am under 13 link to pick any of the branches of MCLS and enter your library card barcode number. Either way, once you sign in, you get access to all of our etitles and can download them directly to the device.
Pronunciator – This is our other language learning app and will also allow you to create an account to measure your progress through the lessons offered in a wide variety of languages. You just need your library card barcode number to get started.