All Blogs by Mana Tominaga

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TumbleBooks – Audio Books and Games for Kids

TumbleBooks logoTumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books that teach kids how reading can be fun and engaging. TumbleBooks take existing picture books and add animation, sound, music, and narration that can be read to you, or you can read along. There’s also a collection of memory games, spelling games, puzzles, and more.

If you are looking for titles for younger children, the category “Story Books” are geared towards children in kindergarten through second grade. The category “EBooks & Audio Books” includes a number of classics, such as “Wind In The Willows”, and you can read them online or download these to your computer, Android phone, and/or tablet.

You do need Flash 6 or higher to enjoy all the features of TumbleBooks. A great resource to let kids have fun at the computer while reading and learning!

New Languages Added to Mango

mango languages logoMango Languages, SJPL’s online language learning database, now includes the following new languages: Cantonese Chinese, Croatian, Danish, ESL for Mandarin Chinese speakers, Finnish, Haitian Creole, Irish, Levantine Arabic, Norwegian, and Urdu.

Mango uses repetition and step-by-step lesson plans that work through common conversational elements, so you can quickly pick up basic conversation skills for travel or business.

LearningExpress Library - Online Practice Tests and More

LearningExpress Library logoEven if the library’s closed, you can get practice tests, exercises, and skill-building courses with LearningExpress Library, an online collection of tests and ebooks to help you prepare for tests, in work, school, or life. Some topics include: GED, citizenship, cosmetology, real estate, electrical, plumbing, and more. You do have to create an account the first time you use it. You can also take courses on resume writing and interview skills.

ReferenceUSA: Search with an Interactive Map!

ReferenceUSA is a business contact database covering 14 million US businesses. Now, you can search using an interactive map. First, click ‘Custom Search’ to get started. Then click ‘Geography’ to see ‘Map Based Search’ as an option. Then, click on ‘Open Map’ to start searching. There’s a quick tutorial to help you get started.


The mapping feature lets you narrow down on businesses within a geographical area, such as a business park (using the ‘draw shape’ option) or using a radius (using the ‘define radius option) from a specific location. Once you have a result set, you can then continue to narrow down your search results by various criteria. You can use more than one shape or circle within a search, also. So you can look for all businesses with a specific NAICS that’s within a ten mile radius of a specific address, for example.  


The ‘boundary select’ option lets you easily set up boundaries by zip code, neighborhood, and more.


The ‘drive route’ option lets you set up a driving route from an address to another, and then select businesses that are within that route, give or take a buffer distance. So, you can search for all dry cleaners that are in your daily commute, for example.


You can of course also search first, and then map your search results to the interactive map.

Get Library eBooks on Your iPhone, iPod touch, or Android!

You can now download library eBooks from OverDrive directly on your iPhone, iPod touch, or Android using the just-released OverDrive Media Console 2.0 app. The first version of the app supported the MP3 format. So now, you can also read EPUB eBooks; you can also create bookmarks, and also adjust brightness and font sizes. Using the "Get Books" feature, you can browse the 'Virtual Branch' website, check out titles, and wirelessly download directly to your device. (In upcoming versions of the app, OverDrive promises additional features such as highlighting, annotation, and in-app text-to-speech.) 


How to get the apps: If you have the older version of the app, you'll be prompted to download the new app. Or, search for "OverDrive Media Console" in the Apple App Store and Android Market.


To search for library ebooks in MP3 or EPUB formats, first visit the OverDrive Digital Library and in the center search area, click on the drop-down menu for "Format" to get started.


OverDrive also promises that apps for iPad, BlackBerry, and other devices are coming soon.


What do you think? Let us know in the comments!


Posted by Mana Tominaga on Dec 17, 2010 | Comments: 0 |

Read the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Online

San Jose Business Journal logoSJPL now has a digital subscription to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and the Book of Lists, plus 39 other business journals, including the San Francisco Business Times and Sacramento Business Journal. The Book of Lists includes contact information and data on the top local businesses.