eCLP: Free and Easy

icon-music

 

If I wrote a blog post about all that was amazing about the FREE “e” services Carnegie Library provides, it would be the longest one ever. I will therefore force myself to concentrate on one aspect — downloadable and streaming music. So Much! Downloadable and Streaming Music! Whatever Your Tastes!

There is so much that it can get a little overwhelming, so I urge you to start now. All you need is a library card, which is free of course. Downloadable offerings are easily accessible using apps or on a PC. No need to come to the library to take out or return stuff. Best of all it is free, free, free, free, free, free, FREE!

Here is a summary of what Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers:

Downloadable Music

Hoopla100Downloadable music, by album. Hoopla also has lots of movies, TV shows and audiobooks. I personally use this service a lot! I have the app on my smartphone, and plug it in to my car speakers or listen in my kitchen while I’m cooking. I have yet not to find what I’m searching for, and I have very eclectic tastes. I have educated myself about new artists with this service. Everything is always available, no waiting or putting things on hold.

 

freegalmusicDownload the app, or go through your PC. Three free songs per week. Yours to keep forever. ‘Nuff said.

 

Streaming Music

Streaming music is not downloadable. You need to be connected to the internet. I use these sites to listen to music on my computer with headphones. Go through this site to access these databases.

Alexander Street Press music databases:

American Song — Songs by and about Native Americans, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others.

Contemporary World Music

Smithsonian Global Sound — world, folk (including the U. S.) and traditional music

Classical Music Library

Jazz Music Library

Opera in Video — operas, interviews & documentaries

This site also has help pages listed at the bottom, including Using Your Mobile Device with Alexander Street Press.

 

Naxos databases:

Naxos Music Library — classical, jazz and world music.

Naxos Music Library: Jazz — lots and lots of Jazz!

 

DRAM Online:

Digital Recordings of American Music — A scholarly resource of recordings, including liner notes and essays. This streaming site is only available within the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

 

All this music for free! Educate yourself. Discover a type of music you’ve never heard before. There’s no risk because there is nothing to buy. Each site has new content all the time. What are you waiting for?

-Joelle

 

P. S. Did I mention that all this content is FREE (with your free library card)?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

eCLP Saves the Day!

Start 'em young!

Start ‘em young!

So we have been talking a lot about our e-resources available here at the library and a lot of people are interested in the e-books and music available to them through CLP while others love the downloads and videos. When I first started working here I had a general knowledge of what the library had to offer but one day last year the incomparable, genius Jess from Woods Run showed me the DIY Auto Repair database available on our website. I swooned! You see my husband is an auto mechanic of the highest order. In his spare time he works on vintage cars, normal cars, off road vehicles…anything with wheels really. When not doing that his actual paying job is working on vintage World War II vehicles. This is a man who, without a tire changing machine on the side of the highway, took a tire for a 66 VW bug off the rim using the guardrail, a screw driver and just pure brute strength and replaced it with a new tire on the same rim. Okay so if you don’t know anything about cars this doesn’t sound that impressive…but it is, really, ask your mechanic.

stig

The Stig ..aka my husband

Since Jess showed me the database I have helped out countless patrons who came in with questions or requests for auto manuals by showing them this resource. But I never thought it would help me out since my husband is part human part car (yes, technically this makes him a Transformer). Earlier this summer we were making our monthly trip to visit my in-laws in Southern West Virginia. We make this trip so often that I know the terrain by the mile markers and can tell you exactly how many minutes it will take from where we are to exit 9, our destination right outside Charleston. This particular trip was cut short when our car, an Acura, suddenly lost power. Several times my husband had to gently guide us off I-79 on to the shoulder. He had a general idea of what might be happening (fuel pump failure) but the truth is that our make of car, and its sister Honda, rarely has this issue. While he knew the pump was in a completely inconvenient place (the middle of the car, under the middle seat) he wasn’t sure where the fuel pump lines were and needed a schematic of both the lines and the fuses (or something like that, listen I honestly had stopped paying attention somewhere around the 10 minute mark in to his explanation; long-winded is a trait we share).

So while we were stranded my husband began searching on-line forums for a schematic to point him to the right lines. At this point I was a little nervous about offering up my beloved database. What if it didn’t help? What if it didn’t show him what he needed? Would he mock its very existence? I hesitated but due to the fact that I was really hungry, needed to use the bathroom and wanted to get the trip over with, I brought up it up on my phone using my library card and showed it to my husband. He was doubtful at first (what could the library offer him that 20 years of real world experience couldn’t?) but within 5 minutes he had the needed schematic in hand  AND it eventually helped him when we got in to Charleston and had to find parts for the car. It totally saved us from being stuck in the dark on the road in WV (there was no banjo music playing…yet) or from having to get a tow truck!

So as far as e-resources go feel free to fight over your e-books and music downloads; I will happily stick to the DIY databases, history databases and genealogy websites!

-Natalie

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Moving, with a little help from eCLP

I’m in the process of packing up my apartment in preparation of a move into a new house. It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate when you live in a place for almost 9 years! This process of packing and cleaning and getting everything ready to move from one place to another place 5 minutes away is just miserable. Never will I be one of those super-organized people for whom packing is a breeze (do those people even exist?). As I’m writing this, I’ve reached the point in my packing where I’m kind of ready to just chuck everything and start from scratch. And while I’m normally a library “super user,” the thought of accumulating anything else, even a library book or DVD that I can return, makes me feel a little ill. Because of this, I’ve been relying more heavily on our e-resources than ever. Here are a few things that are making my life easier these days:

Overdrive: I could write a love letter to Overdrive. I use it when I want to take some books on vacation, can’t decide what I’ll feel like reading, and don’t want to weigh down my already too-heavy suitcase. I use it when I want to read a book that is a bazillion pages long while commuting by bus to work. And this week it’s helping me read as much as I want without adding more bulk to the piles of things I still have to pack.

Zinio: This has been one of my favorite resources since CLP started subscribing. Like Overdrive, it lets me feed my magazine habit without checking out a physical object. Since we decided to move, my focus has shifted slightly from Star and In Touch to Dwell, Do It Yourself, and Elle Decor.

Hoopla: This resource is actually one I hadn’t used before, but in the week or so since I discovered it, it’s been kind of life changing. The thing is, I have two kids under the age of 5 who are eager to “help” pack. Not much distracts them from their (admittedly sweet) urges to do what I do, but watching Caillou videos on my iPad does the trick.

What resources from eCLP do you love?

-Irene

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Who Needs Reality Shows When You Have eCLP?

So there we were, enjoying a glorious vacation week at my aunt and uncle’s beach house, and my 12 year old twins were watching the latest episode of America’s Singing Horribly with People Who Don’t Have Any Talent.

(True parenting confession time: my kids are really into reality shows. If you know me and my husband, there’s no rational explanation for how this happened.)

Less than five minutes of this cacophony and I’d had more than enough. Unfortunately, my options were somewhat limited.

Now, my aunt and uncle have a nice beach house — but it’s a tad on the smaller side. Whatever goes on in the living room of the beach house is heard everywhere throughout the beach house. Reading was impossible because I couldn’t concentrate. Going outside for a walk was out of the question: It was thunderstorming. And I am among that pitiful percentage of the population who lacks an iPod or iPad or iAnything that would allow me to listen to music iAnytime.

But what I do own is a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library card.

And a smartphone.*

And the OverDrive app conveniently located on that smartphone.

And a pair of headphones.

As the banal banter from the TV continued incessantly, I snuck into the bedroom, fluffed up the pillows on the bed and pressed that OverDrive app button on my phone. Clicked Get Books. Clicked Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Signed in. There, as if by magic (but because I’d told my phone I wanted it to remember it) was my library card number, right there from the last time I used it. I clicked on the nebulous person icon (who I could relate to pretty well at the moment) and brought up my Wish List.

Overdrive - My Account Overdrive - Wish List Available Now

My friends. These are the times that OverDrive Wish Lists are made for, and you’d better believe I was ever so grateful for having created it. This was no time for browsing as a bubble-headed bleached blonde was on the TV yammering about how the only way this incredible talent was going to get his Number One Wish and advance to the finals was if you, America, gotoyourphonesandmakeatollfreecallortweetusingthishashtag….

I was more interested in using my phone to download one of my Wish Listed audio books, and — holy cow! — I had plenty to choose from. As it turned out, of the numerous eBooks and audio books on my wish List, 131 of them were available right at that moment! Right there in the beach house! One hundred and thirty-one books!

(What can I say? I have a pretty extensive Wish List.)

I scrolled through the offerings. I was being pickier than I should have been, given my quasi-desperate circumstances and plethora of e-choices from the Library. I selected Jess Walter‘s short story collection We Live In Water (an appropriate if not ironic title, since we’d just spent the day by the ocean) and by the time I finished the heart-crushing first story “Anything Helps” (so incredibly good!) my kids were finished with their show and ready for bed.

Everybody in this family wins. Everybody gets a trophy. Especially when one can be 500 miles away from Pittsburgh on a barrier island located in a town too small to be listed on most maps and still be able to access the Library’s collection of books within seconds via one’s phone.

Now that’s my kind of reality show.

* Yes, I know I could very well listen to music on my phone (via the Library, too!) but that’s an Eleventh Stack post for another day. 

~Melissa F.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

eCLP for Laughs

Hoopla has nothing to do with the album Knee Deep in the Hoopla by Starship (a.k.a., Jefferson Starship) which contains the song “We Built This City” which I think might be the worst song to emerge out of the 1980s.  No, this hoopla (yes, the company branders always write it without capitalizing) is a newer eCLP library service that is marketed as a provider of movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and music albums.  It indeed has those things.  But you know what I use it for?  Comedy albums.  There are about 250 of them in there to stream or download with classics like Steve Martin and Richard Pryor plus newer sensations like Jim Gaffigan.  TIP: find them in the music category or just search for “comedy.”

Here are some I’ve checked out lately:

wea_824363019666_detail You might know Marc Maron from his WTF podcast/radio show.  For his stand-up comedy, he claims he doesn’t prepare: “In my mind, if I don’t prepare and I pull this off, I’m a !@#$ing genius…and if I don’t pull it off, eh, I didn’t prepare.”  His style is rambling, self-deprecating, and confessional, and I think he indeed does pull it off.

wea_824363010366_detail Pittsburgh’s own Anthony Jeselnik is the opposite of Maron.  He has a measured, deliberate delivery and his comic persona is ridiculously narcissistic.  As for his material, be warned, it is some of the most un-PC, offensive, and if you like that sort of thing, hilarious, comedy out there.

wea_824363011868_detail Also offensive and funny is Amy Schumer (who as it happens, used to date Jeselnik) who smartly takes on and plays with the identity of a promiscuous party girl.

wea_656605023465_detail I knew about Tig Notaro’s candid, stunning album that she made after being diagnosed with cancer, but until hoopla, I hadn’t heard her earlier album, Good One.  She is a master of deadpan delivery.

wea_824363016467_detail Those of you who have seen Demetri Martin on TV might think of him as a prop or a visual comic.  But he fares very well is purely audio form.  Here is a joke of his, for example, “Separate but equal is terrible for education but perfect for eyebrows.”

wea_824363017068_detail While I’m quoting jokes, I have to share the lesser known Kyle Kinane’s absurd description of pho soup: “If you don’t know what pho is, it’s a Vietnamese soup that answers the question: what happens when a former child soldier pours hot rainwater over fish nightmares?”

Get absurd.  Get offended.  Get happy.  Get some comedy albums from hoopla.

– Tim

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Untraditional Summer Reading List

Recently I’ve seen a lot of blogs about cheery/easy/uplifting summer reads. I get it, I understand why so many people like those types of books for over the summer. They are traveling and going to beaches and want a book that goes along with the freedom and joy of summer. However, occasionally I find that this is exactly the time to read sad/serious/scary books, because when you are done with the story you are able to look up and see a beautiful view and remind yourself that it’s just a book. Hopefully.

After the endAfter the End by Amy Plum

This is the first book in the series, and unfortunately the second one isn’t due out until spring of next year. However, it is still a book worthy of a read. Juneau, a young girl that lives in the Alaskan wilderness, is forced to go on a hunt to find her family, that she believes has been kidnapped. During her hunt, she discovers that what she believes (that the world ended in 1984) is not true, and people have been existing and creating for the past 30 years. This book is fascinating and adventuresome, and forces the reader to ask a couple of questions about survival.

we were liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Most of this book takes place at a lake house during the summer. Many people would think that would make this book a traditional summer read, but pick it up and you will discover that it is not as close to a summer read as one would hope. The story is from the point of view of a young girl whose family is owns an island that she gets to visit every summer. And then one summer she meets and falls in love with a boy. What happens afterward is capable of wrenching every reader’s heart strings.

if i stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay is the story about a young girl that has a very important and life or death decision to make. That may seem drastic, but that is what the tale is about. Although sad, this book is capable of making the reader think about what there is beyond what we see and deal with on a daily basis.

I hope that you take a chance and read at least one of these books.

Abbey

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Home Again, Home Again.

10367162_10202833812360616_8897325856592496483_n

I have lived in Pittsburgh my entire life. I didn’t go away to college, I didn’t leave after I graduated, I stayed here for graduate school and I’ve spent my whole library career (so far) at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

I have zero complaints about this.

Yet twice recently I’ve found myself defending my choice to stay in Pittsburgh. I’m sure some of you have had someone say, “Sooooo, you just never left” in a particularly arch voice, implying a provincialism and xenophobia that I’m sure to be chock full of.

Yinz can kiss my dupa ‘naht. 

Garbella

Garbella loves us!

Let me tell you some amazing things about where I live. But promise not to tell anyone because we have enough people here already. We get lots of prestigious awards here in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was listed as one of the best trips in the WORLD by National Geographic Traveler in 2012. This is a list that includes New Zealand, Croatia, Mongolia and Thailand!

We were voted the 4th Most Literate City in the US (because our public library rocks!) and voted Most Romantic by Amazon. Everyone knows that literate people are good at doing it. We are also regularly voted most affordable (6th), safest, most livable (29th world wide), and we have the NUMBER ONE ballpark (PNC Park) as voted on by Fox Sports. We have internationally known museums, theater venues and a bunch of other great art stuff.

According to to Economist Intelligence Unit “It’s official: Pittsburgh is best place live in U.S.”

Also: Cookie Tables.

In an admittedly piqued mood, I went to social media. Of course it turned into a Steel City love fest.

Here’s a snippet what other people had to say:

DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
If you were born and raised in Pittsburgh and never moved away, please explain why in the comments. Thank you!

  • I like it here. It’s the perfect balance of urban and natural landscapes. It’s inexpensive enough that I can afford to travel. The literary and arts scenes are solid. People are friendly.
  • I seriously feel like an outcast in other cities. I love cities like New Orleans, San Diego, Boston, etc… But no city but Pittsburgh understands that quirky, high strung, angry but funny, serious but carefree attitude people here have.
  • It’s home, it’s roots. I love other places too, but I fit Pittsburgh and it fits me.
  • Carton tea. Also, strangers are nice to each other, I can find at least one person that knows my gram, or uncles, or cousins pretty much anywhere I go and I want my kids to say “dahn” properly.
  • It’s home. I make sense here. Is that scientific enough?

There were another 30 comments. People love this place. (Though we nearly unanimously hate the weather.)

c3d6c6da8da0052fb44b1110.LMy favorite Pittsburgh book recommendation is Out of this Furnace by Thomas Bell

Out of this Furnace is one of my favorite books and my favorite Pittsburgh book of all time. Also, while I was working on this post, I discovered Thomas Bell and I share the same birthday! That kind of made my day. Anyways, Out of this Furnace follows three generations of an immigrant Slovak family- the Dobrejaks. Patriarch Djuro Kracha arrives in the mid-1880s and makes his way to Braddock, Pennsylvania. Working in the steel mills, Kracha’s bad decisions (money and personal) contribute to his downfall. Part two follows his daughter, Mary and her marriage to political idealist Mike. It is an amazing portrait of the immigrant experience in Pittsburgh, a fascinating look at the inhumane conditions in the steel industry, and documents the rise of unions and the people who fought and died for workers rights. I’ll say up front that it’s a heavy read, but it’s worth it. And you’ll love Pittsburgh even more for its history.

My response to why I never left? Everything and everyone I love is here. Why have you stayed? Or left?

Trzymaj się,

suzy

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized