Libby vs. Overdrive: Which App To Use?

For months, we’ve been urging our patrons to download and read books using Libby and Overdrive while the doors of our library are closed. While many users are familiar with using the apps, many of you may not know WHY there are two separate apps for the same reading purposes. Today we are here to explain the basics!

What is the difference between Libby and the OverDrive app?

Libby is a new app released by OverDrive. It has the same collection of titles as the OverDrive app – it’s just a different way to access the same digital library collection. Libby is a fast and attractive digital browsing experience. Here are some features unique to Libby:

  • Simple, step-by-step on-boarding the first time you open the app
  • Loans and holds are automatically added to your Shelf (from all your libraries), so you can easily find all your books in one place
  • Start reading immediately after you borrow; no need to choose a file format
  • See your at-a-glance progress through each book on your Shelf
  • Navigate easily between your Shelf and your library’s catalog
  • Add, remove, and rename cards from all your libraries in one place
  • Use tags to categorize books however you’d like
  • Set browsing and list preferences to show only the content you’re interested in

OverDrive is the “classic” app, and is compatible with more devices, including Kindle Fire, Macs, PCs, and Windows mobile devices. It also allows for transfer to MP3 players from computers. 

Which app should I use? 

If you use one iOS or Android device to browse, download, and read or listen to digital books, we recommend trying Libby. It’s a great one-device experience.

If you like to read books on many devices, or prefer to browse for new titles on your computer, stick with the OverDrive app for now. Also, if you make use of accessibility features in the OverDrive app, you’ll need to stick with that until more accessibility features get added to Libby.

Make Your Own Music: The Library of Congress’s “Citizen DJ” Project

Have you ever harbored daydreams of becoming a DJ? Or perhaps you’d love to create your own music album? We’re not talking 80s mixtapes here–we’re talking about actually remixing your own songs! Thanks to the “Citizen DJ” lab project at the Library of Congress, you can now do just that, with or without music-composition software. The project is in the beta stage, meaning that your testing and feedback is essential to making this communal effort towards socio-cultural, musical engagement a success!

The Library of Congress has curated many free audio/visual clips in various collections for everyone to use, from “The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies,” to its “Free Music Archive,” to “American English Dialect Recordings” (all can be found at the Citizen DJ link above). You can browse and remix sounds like a pro hip-hop DJ right in your browser, or you can choose to download clips to your own music composition software and play with them there. Have a look at this helpful how-to video by Brian Foo from the Innovator-in-Residence Program at the Library of Congress:

Foo explains that hip-hop, the genre of music that creatively remixed diverse sound clips and was popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, has become largely restricted by copyright issues–but here all sound samples are free and waiting for you to take part in historically-informed, communal hip-hop-style fun! You may want to read more about the aims and scope of the project here.

Need some inspiration for your music-making venture? Our digital library is here for you! hoopla offers nearly 6000 hip-hop albums for you to listen to and learn from. A sample family-friendly search can be found here (not all albums are necessarily appropriate for kids, but Parental Advisory-labeled albums are filtered out). Your concert ticket? Your Marblehead library card! If you don’t yet have one, you can fill out this online form, and the library staff will be happy to get you started!

So, get your groove on!

Intro to Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel was one of our technology workshops we were excited to teach before the physical closing of the library due to COVID-19. While we hope to gather in the near future to continue sharing our knowledge of technology, we would like to give you a head start on learning Excel! 

Below is a PowerPoint presentation of the basics of the program, and we welcome you to download it to use at your convenience. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at mar@noblenet.org, and a librarian will be in touch as soon as possible. Click the image to get started!

If you’re interested in learning similar computer programs, take a look at Microsoft Word, which was introduced last week. 

Introducing: Microsoft Word!

Being home more often may mean you have more time to learn a new computer skill! Whether you are brand new to using Microsoft Word, or if you would like a refresher, we have something that can help! One of the Abbot library staff has provided a step-by-step Introduction to Microsoft Word presentation that you are welcome to download and use at your convenience. Just click the image below to view the PDF!

Questions about what you have learned, or confused about anything in the presentation? No need to worry! By emailing mar@noblenet.org, a staff member will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

There’s A Podcast For That

There’s no doubt about it: podcasts have taken the listening world by storm. From true crime to politics to self-help, you can find a podcast for every interest and topic. Even some of our favorite museums are getting in on the action and producing their own podcasts in-house! While we can’t enjoy these institutions in person, listening to their podcasts is a unique way to connect with museum collections, stories, and staff.

PEMcast from the Peabody Essex Museum launched in 2014 and is hosted by Chip Van Dyke and Dinah Cardin. They aim to connect the museum and its collections to broader cultural issues through conversations and storytelling. Their dedication to high-quality and engaging content has even earned a Silver Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums. Episodes cover everything from music to historic homes to the maker movement and public art. 

The Museum of Science’s Pulsar: A Podcast, described as a “playground for the mind” is another great museum-created podcast. Produced by the Gordon Current Science and Technology Center of the Museum of Science, Pulsar tackles your biggest science questions, including what it’s like to live in space, how to use technology to preserve our cultural heritage sites, and how Cliff, a 65 million-year-old Triceratops fossil, arrived at the Museum.

All caught up on the latest episodes of your favorite podcast? Maybe looking for a new one to dive into? Check out these awesome, popular titles inspired by your favorite pods and podcasters:

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark 

From Overdrive/Libby: “The instant #1 New York Times and USA Today best seller by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the hit podcast My Favorite Murder! Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation. In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.”

Unqualified by Anna Faris 

From Overdrive/Libby: “A hilarious, honest memoir—combined with just the right amount of relationship advice—from the popular actress and host of the hit podcast Anna Faris is Unqualified. Anna Faris has advice for you. And it’s great advice, because she’s been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she’s learned. After surviving an awkward childhood (when she bribed the fastest boy in the third grade with ice cream), navigating dating and marriage in Hollywood, and building a podcast around romantic advice, Anna has plenty of lessons to share: Advocate for yourself. Know that there are wonderful people out there and that a great relationship is possible. And, finally, don’t date magicians. Her comic memoir, Unqualified, shares Anna’s candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir—including stories about being “the short girl” in elementary school, finding and keeping female friends, and dealing with the pressures of the entertainment industry and parenthood—part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna’s unique take on how to master the bizarre, chaotic, and ultimately rewarding world of love. Hilarious, honest, and useful, Unqualified is the book Anna’s fans have been waiting for.”

Alice Isn’t Dead: A Novel by Joseph Fink

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “From the New York Times best selling coauthor of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead, performed by the voice of the Alice Isn’t Dead podcast, Jasika Nicole, with an exclusive essay written and read by Joseph Fink. “This isn’t a story. It’s a road trip.” Keisha Taylor lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country. Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job as a long-haul truck driver and begins searching for Alice. In pursuit of her missing wife, she will stumble on a forgotten American history of secret deals and buried crimes, an inhuman serial killer who has picked her as his next target, and an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.”

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.”

Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry 

From Overdrive/Libby: “Serial only told part of the story… In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence — among many other points — and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.”

Sadie by Courtney Summers

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “An innovative audiobook production featuring more than thirty voices, Sadie explores the depth of a sister’s love — poised to be the next story listeners won’t be able to pause. A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister, Mattie, in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. Courtney Summers’ Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep listeners riveted until the last chapter.”

Just Unsubscribe!

Last year, 54 billion junk emails were sent throughout the world. These emails come from advertisers, companies, and mailing lists, some with malicious intent. Oh, and by the way, that’s 54 billion each day, every day in 2019. Sometimes you might look at your inbox and think you account for half of that number. How can you make it stop?

Glancing at your email, you may see more than 1,000 messages, some with “interesting” subjects:

  • How to Lose Weight by Drinking Wine!
  • Get Medical Help for Your Child’s ADHD
  • Prosthetics…with NO interest
  • Try Vitamin-Infused Coffee FREE!!!
  • ADVANCED Guard Dogs – Collies, Shepherds, Bull Dogs

These are spam emails, or more commonly referred to simply as “junk mail.” You may have no interest in any of these things, although losing weight by drinking something so good sounds pretty nice. So why are you receiving these?

You may wonder how these intrepid companies got your email in the first place, especially if you’re generally very careful about who you give your email address to. Unfortunately, there are several ways a company can get your email address. Usually, it involves them buying your email address from a company that you thought would be trustworthy. Perhaps the reason you keep getting these emails is because a certain sports newsletter you signed up for several months ago sold your email address to a few companies. They, in turn, sold your email address to yet more companies. The cycle goes on and on. In other words, you have a problem that 51% of email owners have. You are receiving a part of the 54 billion spam emails sent worldwide each day.

This raises the question – how do you stop the flow of unnecessary emails? Simply put, you hit the unsubscribe button. Unfortunately, the simple answer doesn’t always solve a problem simply. So, here’s the in-depth way on how to unsubscribe from junk emails.

Per a law enacted in 2008, all advertisers must allow email recipients (that’s you) to prevent further emails from being sent to them. So, if a company is law-abiding, they will have something called an “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” link at the very bottom of their email. If you want to stop receiving emails from a certain company, you’d do well to find that link.

Now, all you have to do is click “unsubscribe,” and the first step to decluttering your inbox is done! Once you click that link, it will bring you to a new tab that will have one of the following:

  • A box to type your own email address into (to let the company know that your email address is off limits)
  • A list of specific types of emails you can unsubscribe from. For example, if you are unsubscribing from a health newsletter, you can unsubscribe from emails geared toward children but keep receiving email for adults. You will also be given a choice to unsubscribe from all further emails, if you so choose.
  • A simple message stating that you have been unsubscribed.

Now that you have finished these simple pieces, all that’s left to do is wait. Per the same law mentioned earlier, the sender has 10 days to remove you from their mailing lists. That means you may receive some emails for a few days after you unsubscribe.

Unsubscribing from emails can take time, particularly if you have several different companies sending you emails. Yet, if you’re sick and tired of having to delete all the junk mail that collects in your inbox, or maybe you’re just tired of being asked for money every day, than it’s worth the effort. To help pass the time as you unsubscribe, could enjoy some weight-loss wine or vitamin-infused coffee as you pet your advanced guard dog.