Hawaii Public Libraries To Offer Free Netbooks

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Netbooks, eMagazines and a mobile app are among the new free services offered by the Hawaii State Public Library System. The HSPLS also has added services to help patrons learn how to speak the Hawaiian language.

The HSPLS Mobile Netbook Loan Program offers netbook computers for loan at 37 public libraries across the state. The netbooks will be available for a three-week loan period–free-of-charge–for those with a valid library card. Each computer features Microsoft Office 2010 programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. They are also Internet compatible.

“We are delighted to offer our HSPLS Mobile program and envision it as an exciting new way to bridge the digital divide in Hawaii,” said State Librarian Richard Burns. “It is a unique opportunity to bring technology to Hawaii’s people and share our abundant e-resources and free services through our HSPLS website.”

The cost of the computers was covered by a federal Library Services and Technology Act grant.

The HSPLS is also now offering Zinio for Libraries, the world’s largest newsstand for eMagazines. The system will feature more than 20 complete full-color digital magazines, which can be viewed on most Internet-enabled devices through the HSPLS website.

“Zinio for Libraries is the perfect way for people who love to read magazines to read on the go,” said Ann Fujioka, HSPLS Technical Services Section Manager. “Patrons with a valid HSPLS library card can choose from a wide variety of the latest magazines including Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, National Geographic and more, with no waiting, and no loan period to worry about.”

In order to read the digital magazines, patrons will need to create two accounts–a library Zinio account and a free Zinio.com account. The eMagazines also can be accessed on mobile devices through the Zinio Reader app.

Learning how to speak Hawaiian has been made easier via the new, free Mango Languages and HSPLS website. The Mango Languages system allows patrons to take lessons at their own pace. You can review and practice your language skills as you advance through each lesson. Memory building exercises are built into each lesson to help you retain what you learn.

Mango also provides an option where you can record your speech and compare it directly to audio from a native speaker to hear exactly how to adjust your accent; intuitive popups will also help you with pronunciation. Mango can quickly get you to a point where you feel comfortable speaking the language by using locally relevant conversational encounters that can be used in real-life situations.

The HSPLS has also partnered with Chilifresh to develop a new app called “Hawaii Mobile.” The mobile app–available for both iOS and Android devices–ties into the library system where you can browse the HSPLS catalog; scan a barcode from a book, DVD or CD to check availability; view checked out/reserved/hold items; renew items and check account information such as items borrowed, due dates, fines, and more.

To install HSPLS’ mobile app, scan the QR codes for iOS or Android devices, or search “chilifresh hawaii” in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store on your mobile device. Funding for these electronic services was also provided by the federal Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information on all the new services, visit the HSPLS website at librarieshawaii.org or phone your nearest public library.

Photo: SandisterTei/Wikimedia Commons

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