New library online resources: Films and magazines for those on the go
This summer marks the beginning of Wilton Library’s online initiative to make library resources more user friendly and accessible to local patrons. To expand services offered for adults, Melissa Baker, resident media librarian, orchestrated subscriptions to the commercial sites IndieFlix and Zinio that allow library members to access these services for free.
“IndieFlix is a streaming video service with over 3,000 films currently on it,” Ms. Baker said. “There’s everything from foreign language films to documentaries to animated shorts,” she added, “so there really is something for everyone.” In terms of streaming, IndieFlix is similar to Netflix. It may be accessed through mobile devices, computers, the Roku, and Apple TV as long as there is wi-fi as well as the TV and Xbox. However, it caters to a slightly different audience, giving subscribers access to more artsy, “indie” films, including Cannes, Tribeca, and Sundance film festival favorites.
Library cardholders may access this service for free by creating an account on the library website, an account that may be used to access Zinio as well.
Similarly to IndieFlix, Zinio, the “Online Newsstand” can be accessed at home or on the go as long as users are in a wi-fi area. Wilton Library has subscribed to 21 downloadable magazines for patrons to enjoy including National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Kiplinger’s, Consumer Reports and Rolling Stone. “They [patrons] can read magazines cover to cover like they’re flipping through the pages of an actual magazine,” Ms. Baker said, also emphasizing the additional interactive audio and visual components of the service.
Ms. Baker hopes these new resources will allow the library to reach out to a wider adult audience in particular. “We hope that people who leave early and come home late, especially commuters, can access these services,” she said. “We really wanted to offer these services to people couldn’t necessarily come to the library.”
The library has not only been expanding its resources for adults but for children and teens as well, introducing the Evanced summer reading program. Through Evanced, students may easily log their summer reading wherever they are, simplifying and streamlining the pen and paper process used by the library in the past and making it easier to use for kids with busy summer schedules. Those who participate are eligible for weekly raffle prizes and can potentially be featured on the library website.
Andrea Faulkner, the head of the children’s library, explained that through Evanced, “Kids have the option to write reviews of their books. Once it’s approved, it gets put on the front page of the reading program link on the children’s page of the website.”
Students do not need a card to join on the library’s website, giving all local kids access to the resource that serves not only K-5 and pre-K readers through the children’s department, but also sixth through 12th graders through the teen department. As part of the growing relationship between the library and local schools, Ms. Faulkner also said, “The kids can print their logs from us and bring them to school in the fall.”
While IndieFlix and Zinio subscriptions are funded by general library donations, Evanced is currently a free, government-sponsored program.
“Just last year at a conference, we found out that the state was funding reading programs like Evanced as part of a government summer reading program,” Ms. Faulkner said. “The state has a three-year agreement with Evanced and funds it, which is great because we were looking at online programs already,” she added.
With these new online services, the library is now accessible at home, on the train, out of state, and on vacation, making these services useful, free links to connect to the ever-expanding resources offered by Wilton Library.
Information: wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950.