New library apps offer patrons more access


JASPER — The Jasper-Dubois County Public Library has launched new services this month to reach users via their devices.

The library launched a new app and added digital services that are also accessible through an app. Both give patrons access to the library from the palm of their hands.

“We’re really excited,” said Library Director Christine Golden.

The old app had a lot of untapped features, such as links to the library’s databases, that patrons never used, Golden said. When the staff decided to look into a new app company, they wanted something that was easy to use so more people could gain access to the library’s services.

With South Bend-based Heart of Learning, the staff thinks they’ve found the perfect fit. The Heart of Learning app has a live feed of library news, a page for events, contact information and hours for each branch, and access to the library’s catalog, which are the main features patrons used on the old app.

“We’ve already had patrons coming in saying it’s so much easier to use,” Golden said.

Heart of Learning is also free for the first year and about a third of the cost of the old app in subsequent years.

As much as she likes the new app, Golden said she’s even more excited for the additional services on the library’s RB Digital service.

The library has had the service for several years to supply e-magazines. Now, however, the library will also offer more than 7,500 e-book titles through the service.

RB Digital’s e-book service includes books for all ages, and allows multiple checkouts of the same book at a time, making it work for classrooms or book clubs, Golden said.

“I love it,” Golden said. “It’s got a great kids’ selection.”

RB Digital will also provide the library’s first go at TV streaming. The subscription includes The Great Courses audio and video classes and Acorn TV, which gives access to several BBC shows.

The library signed a two-year contract for the TV streaming to give patrons ample time to test it. If it’s popular, Golden said, they’ll continue the service.

To access RB Digital, patrons use their library card to create an account through the library’s website, Once the account is created, users download the RB Digital app and access the library.

RB Digital is separate from the library’s Heart of Learning app. Both apps are available on iTunes and in the Android store.

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