Access at home with your library card

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Grüne Blätter und leuchtender Panorama Hintergrund bilden Rahmen

Normally, is only available for in-library use only; however, access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry. This will be available until April 30th.

After clicking here to get started, users will be redirected to the below page:

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 2.12.40 PM

Users will need to type in their library card number and pin number. If you don’t have a PIN (or forgot it), get a new PIN number through the online catalog by clicking Log In or Register. Then click, I Forgot or want to change my PIN.

The library edition of Ancestry has full access. The only thing users won’t be able to do is edit Public Member Trees. (Users can still take a look at trees, but not able to add information!)

If you need help getting started with this great resource, there are great tools on Ancestry’s website.

Genealogical research can be overwhelming, but a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Start your search at home. Any exact date of births on birth certificates may help you get started!
  • Keep track of what you searched for… and keep track of your successful searches!
  • Try multiple spellings of names (both first and last).
  • Search by women’s maiden AND married names. They could be listed in different ways depending of the record.
  • Borders of countries have changed over time, so don’t just search by specific countries!
  • Military records, specifically enlistment records, are fascinating (maybe it’s just a personal favorite), but they can contain physical descriptions of individuals, beneficiaries and more!

Happy searching!

  • Pam, Bridgeville Library
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Get a library card online to access your eLibrary!

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Before applying for a new library card remember:

If you already have a library card, no need to apply for a new one.

If you have fines on an existing library card, you can still use all our eResources.

All current library cards that were set to expire this year have been renewed until the end of the year.


  • On the next screen, click I need a library card.
  • Fill out the next screen.  Note: This only is available for any user 11 years and older.
  • If it was successful, users will be emailed their card number.  They can use this card number to access eResources available at:  

Here is a PDF with the step-by-step instructions.

For any additional questions, email your local library!

Continue ReadingGet a library card online to access your eLibrary!

Resources for Young People

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With schools closed, there are now a lot of hours in the day to fill. While library doors also need to be shut right now, there are many online resources that are always available!


Library Resources


Start a family book club with Hoopla. There are plenty of e-book and audiobooks for children & families–all ALWAYS available! Check out the “Road Trip! Audiobooks for the Family” genre. You can sit as a family and listen to classics like “Anne of Green Gables” or more modern-day fare like “The Graveyard Book.” If you prefer the e-book experience, Hoopla has robust Juvenile Fiction & Nonfiction collections as well.

Hoopla, of course, also offers a great selection of movies & music, each with children’s titles!


Little Pim

Take this opportunity to begin (or continue) language learning. Little Pim is product from Mango Languages and is designed especially for children. You can use Little Pim as a guest or create an account to track your progress.


Kids Info Bits

A product from trusted-database resource Gale, Kids Info Bits is highly graphical and easy to browse. This is perfect for elementary-aged children who want to know absolutely everything about a certain topic. And, without access to the children’s stacks at your local library, is a great way to set them up with screen time for a purpose.



OverDrive for Kids

The OverDrive Kids Reading Room will have a ton to choose from, including curated lists to aid in selection.




Non-Library Resources

Audible Stories

Audible has a selection of children & teens available for free from their Audible Stories site. There are also many classics narrated by celebrity readers (Scarlett Johansen reads “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Thandie Newton reads “Jane Eyre” and more).


Junior Library Guild Digital

Junior Library Guild has offered access to their online platform for free. They have elementary, middle, and high school sections that include both e-books and audiobooks. JLG is a great resource that many libraries use in developing a strong, diverse youth collection. JLG Digital is also available as an app from the iOs store.


Draw Every Day with JJK

Author & illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Lunch Lady, Jedi Academy, Hey Kiddo) has created a great YouTube series called “Draw Every Day” where he walks kids (or anyone!) through the process of creating great illustrations. These videos average to be about 20 minutes a piece. This would be a great way to get the A in STEAM in a fun and engaging way.




TED Talks are famously much-shared among adults, but TED-Ed has many instructional videos available for a younger audience. Videos are divided by subject and average about 5 minutes each.




These are just a sampling of the resources available, but will hopefully provide some much needed learning & entertainment during these difficult times.



South Park

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Working From Home

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Here I find myself working from home when it is working with the public that I thrive on. Don’t get me wrong…working in my jammies definitely has it’s perks but the lack of conversation is driving this peacock a bit crazy. So I did what all librarians do and began some research…

There are many benefits I’ve found to working at home:

  • working in jammies
  • no alarm clocks
  • having my dogs and son around
  • a stocked refrigerator
  • fewer interruptions (my teenager is still sleeping)
  • no rush hour commute
  • flexible hours

You get the idea.

There are also many drawbacks I have found to working from home:

  • having my son and dogs around
  • difficulty focusing
  • a stocked refrigerator
  • lack of conversation
  • email and Facebook
  • household chores

Again, you get the idea.

My research (using Gale General OneFile) showed me I am not alone. Many people who work from home regularly and temporarily share my frustrations (and perks). I found articles and some great tips to make my time “on the clock” more productive:

  • keep a schedule
  • set aside a designated work space
  • schedule breaks
  • get out of the house (but stay 6 feet from others)
  • set ground rules with others in the house
  • stay connected with coworkers (email, text, Facebook, calls)
  • get dressed

I am hoping these and the many more ideas I’ve gleaned from articles will help my productivity and I hope they help yours. Remember, we are all in this together so cut yourself some slack and support one another. Check in, say hi, and get some work done.

Now…time to take the dogs out.

Lisa Akenhead – Northland Public Library


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Entertainment Time

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Things are stressful right now and sometimes you just need a distraction – well the library can help with that! The libraries in Allegheny County have PLENTY of entertainment just waiting for you in our eLibrary. We have music, movies, books, and more!


If you are looking for movies, music, and TV shows to distract the kids for a bit while getting some work done – we recommend Hoopla! (Hoopla also has some great ebooks that you might not find in OverDrive or Libby and you will never have to wait for a Hoopla book just keep an eye on your limit for the month – a just a friendly reminder.)


Looking for a magazine to browse to keep busy while hunkered down? Flipster or OverDrive are what you are looking for!


Want the latest and greatest in ebooks and audiobooks? Look no further than OverDrive and Libby!


We know things are rough right now, but we can all get by with a little help from our friends at the library! Take a long adventure to another world in a book or a quick trip in a travel magazine – no matter what you need to escape right now the library has you covered. Stay safe friends and don’t forget to wash those hands.


Northland Public Library

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Gale General OneFile for reviews of T.V. Shows

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Recently, a high school student asked me how to find reviews written for T.V. shows that premiered in the early 2000s.  I suggested we search Gale General One File because it offers content from publications including Variety, Backstage East and West, and The Hollywood Reporter– not to mention Newsweek, Vogue, and Esquire.

We did a search for “Arrested Development” and found a review from 2003 that was published in The Hollywood reporter.

arrested development

Feeling successful in our results for reviews of  “Arrested Development,” we did a search for reviews of “Veronica Mars.”

We found a review of “Veronica Mars” from 2004 published in Daily Variety.

Veronica Mars

If you have a patron looking for reviews of T.V. shows, Gale General One File is a great resource to use.

Kate Straccia – Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


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Ken Burns in the Classroom

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PBS Learning Media has rolled out an exciting resource centered around the popular documentarian called Ken Burns in the Classroom.

The site is divided up by his documentary subjects, which range in time from the mid-1750’s through present day. You can browse by era or film.

Burns is famous for his use of primary source material  in his films and this resource provides a hub for archival video clips, images, and even lesson plans.

This would be a nice resource to highlight to supplement not only research projects, but for fans of Burns’ documentaries, or in conjunction with history-based programming.

This month, Women’s History Month is highlighted, as seen below:


Ken Burns in the Classroom


Jeff, South Park

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Art House documentaries & other collections available on hoopla.

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Curate your own film festival with
the power of your library card

hoopla has a great selection of documentaries for your patrons covering all kinds of interesting and exciting subject matters. Our Art House documentaries collection has the latest selection of trending titles and is updated frequently with buzz-worthy documentaries your patrons will be looking for.


Downloadable marketing assets are available at the hoopla Resource Center for you to promote documentaries at your library. The documentaries are available instantly for patrons to tap into and discover on hoopla.


hoopla also has great Art House collections for global cinemaclassic films and modern indies.


Hoopla Blog

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Voting Season

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It’s a major election year, and while the outcomes are a mystery, we can all be informed voters.  There is still plenty of time to register for the PA primaries.


  • — Allegheny County’s site for:
    • registration,
    • absentee ballots (now able to place request online),
    • new voting machine demonstrations, and more
      allegh co
  • — Pennsylvania’s site for:
    • registration,
    • finding your polling place,
    • absentee ballots, and more
  • — by the League of Women Voters for:
    • Candidate information,
    • ballot information, and more,


Finding good information can be a challenge, but there are reliable news sources.  No, facebook is not one of these!  eLibrary’s Opposing Viewpoints in Context database is very clear about the origins of its results, and it compiles results on many current topics.

opposing viewpoints in context

Sites such as and even Snopes have never-ending streams of information to evaluate.  Another tool is ad fontes media Interactive Media Bias Chart.  It uses a methodology to rate overall reliability and political bias for many news outlets so that you can consider the source.

media bias news

A recent article in The Atlantic (The 2020 Disinformation War) is food for thought.  Based on the Media Bias chart, one would expect this article to be fairly reliable and only somewhat biased to the left.  Individual articles may vary, of course.  It would be interesting to see how the same underlying story components would be treated by sites rated as unreliable and skewing to extreme political opposites, say, NewsPunch and Wonkette.  For more reliable results, search Opposing Viewpoints in Context for terms such as ‘election 2020’.

Christy @ Carnegie Library of McKeesport



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Changes Coming to OverDrive Holds

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OverDrive hold redelivery is scheduled to go live the week of March 2, 2020. At that time, hold redelivery will replace auto-checkout for all new and existing holds.

Hold redelivery will give users more flexibility to manage their holds and allow them to suspend a hold even after it’s made available to them, while maintaining their place on the wait list. By enabling users to pass books they don’t have time to read on to the next person in line, hold redelivery will help us connect more readers to the right book, at the right time. Please review the below summary for important details about this change.

OverDrive Hold Redelivery (1)

How will it work?

Libby notifications will alert users when their holds become available. OverDrive will also add a “Notifications” section to our OverDrive website and the OverDrive app. After receiving notification that a hold is available, users can:

  1. Borrow the title within 3 days. If your library has a different hold pick-up setting, OverDrive will automatically update it to 3 days.
  2. Suspend the hold by selecting “deliver later.” This option passes the book to the next person in line while maintaining the user’s place on the wait list. After the suspension period (set by the user), the user will be able to borrow the book when the next copy is available.
  3. Cancel the hold.

If the user takes no action, their hold will automatically be suspended as a one-time courtesy for 7 days. If no action is taken a second time, the hold will be cancelled automatically.

With the removal of auto-checkout, we may see a slight decrease in circulations as users defer checkouts. OverDrive expects this to level off over time as users adjust to the new functionality.

User messaging

In the coming weeks, OverDrive will add the following message on our OverDrive website and in the OverDrive app to provide users with advanced notice of this change. It will link to a Help article with more details.
In early March, we’re releasing a new feature to give you more control over your holds.

Help & resources

As with any change, there will be an adjustment period for users, so OverDrive has compiled the following resources to help with the transition:

  • Notifications: Push and email hold notifications will be updated to reflect the new options.
  • Marketing and communication kit: At launch, OverDrive will provide updated resources to help us spread the word about this change to our readers.
  • API Integrations: OverDrive has shared their timeline for removing auto-checkout with vendors who utilize OverDrive APIs.

Please let me know if you have questions.

~ Hilary Lewis, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


Continue ReadingChanges Coming to OverDrive Holds