Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Oldsmar Centennial Programs

2016 brings us a celebration of Oldsmar's Centennial, and the Library has several programs planned to help kick off the yearlong celebration!  All programs will be in TECO Hall, no registration required.

  • Thursday, January 21, 6:00 pm,  Chris Kahl - “A Musical Journey Through Florida”
    Join us for an evening of original folk songs about Florida & its history.  Read more about Chris & his work at www.chriskahl.com

  • Thursday, February 11, 6:30 pm,  James A. Schnur, Special Collections Librarian, USF-St. Petersburg -  Pinellas County History. Learn more about local history from a native & lifelong Pinellas County resident and Past President of the Pinellas Historical Society.

  • Thursday, February 18, 6:30 pm Lou Lawrence, retired auto executive - Automobile History. The history of the American automobile has always been intertwined with Oldsmar's history

  • Thursday, February 25, 6:30 pm Jeff Klinkenberg, author and retired reporter for the Tampa Bay Times - Florida Culture  Come learn more about Florida culture from someone who has written about it for four decades!
    Our Books & Brews book club will be doing a tie-in book discussion of his recent work Alligators in B Flat on Feb. 2 at 6 pm at the Oldsmar Tap House.  Read more about Jeff and sample some of his essays on his website.

  • Thursday, March 3, 6:30 pm Rick Smith  - "Patrick Smith’s Florida Is A Land Remembered” Join the son of Patrick Smith, author of A Land Remembered, for a multi-media celebration of Florida history and his father's beloved book.
    A Land Remembered will be the book discussed at the March 1 Books & Brews book club, and you can read more about the presentation on Rick's website.

Monday, December 14, 2015

New Monthly Programs


We have two new monthly programs beginning in January!

The first new offering is a Wii Gaming Program for teens & adults (13+ please).  We'll be setting up our new Wii in TECO Hall after the library closes on the first Friday of the month and playing multi-player games on the big screen.  Come join us for Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart (and more) and snacks! 

The premier program will actually be a second Friday due to New Year's, so mark your calendar for Friday, January 8 from 5-8 pm. No registration needed, and you'll be able to enter from the outside door of TECO Hall if you arrive after the library closes at 5 pm.


We're also starting a monthly Fiber Arts Program! The plan is to focus on quilting, cross stitch, knitting and crocheting, but if you're interested in any fiber arts feel free to come to our first meeting on Saturday, January 23 at 1:00 pm in the Rotary Literacy/Conference Room.

Bring a project to work on and/or to show the group, and we'll discuss what we'd like to explore at future meetings.  No registration needed, but please call 813-749-1185 with any questions.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Small Business Counseling with SCORE

Whether you're looking to fine-tune an existing business or achieve that new business start-up you've been dreaming about - SCORE is willing to help! SCORE business counselors provide experienced, unbiased, face to face business mentoring to small business owners & new entrepreneurs.

A business counselor from the Pinellas county chapter of SCORE is at the Oldsmar Library on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 10am to Noon & 1:00-3:00pm. To schedule a free 1 hour appointment call the Library's Reference desk at (813) 749-1181 or sign-up in person

Pinellas County SCORE is a non-profit association & resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

For more information about SCORE see http://www.pinellascounty.score.org

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Online Resources

In conjunction with the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, we're happy to share our newest online resources with you!

Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an easy-to-use, interactive online kindergarten readiness solution, offering hundreds of lessons spanning all major academic subjects, providing weekly progress reports and assessments to measure proficiency and learning. Accessible via smart phones and tablets, Miss Humblebee’s Academy offers a safe and secure learning environment, with no pop-ups, ads, or links to other websites.

Developed by the makers of  World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Online allows users to tap into a wealth of reliable information. This resource offers information for all K-12 students and includes databases in Spanish and French. The online content is constantly updated and can provide multimedia resources to further enrich learning

Complete digital copies of your favorite magazines are now available to download for free with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download!

The service is provided by Zinio, the world’s largest online magazine subscription service. Using your library card and smartphone, tablet or personal computer, you can gain access to popular magazines like Cosmopolitan, HGTV Magazine, Men's Health, Taste of Home and many more. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, unlike print magazines, digital magazines don't need to be returned.

Give them a try & let us know what you think!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pinellas County Extension Programs

We are hosting two exciting programs from the UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County this fall. Online registration is preferred, but both programs are free!

The first program is coming up on Thursday, October 8th from 6 to 7:30 pm. Sustainable Living - Minor Changes, Major Impact will teach you about energy and water conservation, consumerism, and sustainable living behaviors that will provide a comfortable lifestyle and leave a healthy planet for future generations.  Each registered participant will receive an insulated shopping bag with sustainability resources. Please register online at: sustainablelivingoldsmar.eventbrite.com

Next will be Food for Thought on Thursday, November 5th from 6 to 7 pm.  This program will explore  the many paths that our food takes to the trash can. What goes to waste in our food system? When, why, and what can we do about it?  Participants will learn about strategies and resources to reduce food waste. Each registered participant will receive an insulated shopping bag with sustainability resources. Please register online at foodforthoughtoldsmar.eventbrite.com

For more information, call the Library at 813-749-1181 or contact Heather Landis with the Pinellas Extension Office at 727-582-2517.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Free Financial Seminars

We are hosting three free financial seminars beginning in a few weeks.  They will all be presented by Susan Luca of Regions Bank as part of the Regions Bank Financial Fundamentals Series. All programs will be at TECO Hall in the Library, and no registration is required for any program.

Tuesday, October 6 6 pm - Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Learn about common forms of identity theft, how you can protect yourself, what to do if you suspect you are a victim, what to do if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen and how you can prepare in advance for identity theft emergencies. 

Tuesday, October 27 - 6pm - Your Credit Report
Learn about your credit report and FICO score, how each affects your finances and how you can maintain or improve your credit score 

Tuesday, November 17 - 6 pm - What Every Woman Should Know About Money

Learn about -being confident in your financial decision making, goal setting, the importance of saving, and should savings plans differ depending upon your age 

Call the library for more info or call Regions' Eastlake Woodlands Branch at 727-786-0707 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Remembering Florida's Fallen Photo Exhibit

We will be hosting the Remembering Florida's Fallen Photo Exhibit in our Library Arcade from Monday, September 21 - Friday, September 25. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 am on Monday, the 21st.  The ribbon cutting will be open to the public, and the display will be available for viewing during regular hours for the rest of the week.

The exhibit  honors Florida servicemen & women who have lost their lives through service to their country since 2001. You can read more about the national mission here: Remembering Our Fallen Project

Friday, August 28, 2015

Resources Review - E-Books

Over the past few weeks we've been reviewing our online resources.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.

In this final installment, we'll be taking a look at our many e-book resources for kids and adults.  One great thing about our e-books is you don't have to remember to return them (they expire on their own) and there are never any fines!

For kids, we have:
Sesame Street E-books, picture books with animation & audio

StarWalk Kids Media, featuring picture books by award-winning authors and illustrators. Please note: The login/password for the available apps is opl/opl (that is OPL lowercase).

Tumblebooks, animated, talking picture books and chapter books. Includes books in French & Spanish for language learning!

Most kids ebook services are interactive and allow you to customize your reading experience, such as turning narrative audio on and off. Several also have apps available so you can use them on the go.  More details & links to help and FAQs are included on our Resources Page.

For adults/teens, we have two resources, both of which are now fully integrated into our catalog, allowing you to find titles as well as get on holds lists without using a separate app or going to another website.
3M offers e-books for all ages, you can browse our collection here, and checkout their online support resources here.  They offer apps for many smartphones, e-readers (except traditional Kindles) and computers. Please remember your default account password is the last 4 digits of the primary phone number we have on file for you!

OverDrive has e-books, e-audiobooks and a limited number of downloadable videos for teens and adults. They offer apps for most platforms as well as Kindle support.  They also have extensive online help, including videos and step-by-step guides for most devices.

We hope you've enjoyed this blog series and found a new resource (or two) to enhance your library experience!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Resources Review - AtoZDatabases

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of our online resources, including our ebooks and various online learning programs.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.

As you can see from the above graphic, AtoZDatabases is an extensive directory database. What sets it apart are its flexibility and the online help and training that it offers.  For home access, you need to sign into your account on our catalog and select Reference from the E-sources tab.  The default password is the last 4 digits of your phone number.

In addition to business & residential databases, they offer directories containing only new homeowners and new businesses. You can customize your search by including only the fields you want and also customize your results by limiting them by things like geographic area, income, industry, company size, etc.  You can download up to 1,000 records at a time - a great deal more than most competitors. 

Newer features include a Spanish language interface,a background search feature and the ability to create free bulk e-mails.

You can learn more about the AtoZ via introductory videos  or by signing up for one of their webinars. They also offer direct support via phone and e-mail.

We hope you'll give AtoZDatabases a try & let us know what you think!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Resources Review - One Click Digital

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of our online resources, including our ebooks and various online learning programs.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.
One Click Digital from Recorded Books offers a wide variety of downloadable audiobooks for adults, including best-sellers, Recorded Books exclusives, classics and much more. As with most digital audiobooks services, they offer apps for several platforms, so it couldn't be easier to select and download audiobooks directly to your smartphone! They also offer media manager software you can use to download and transfer audiobooks to your computer or other device.

They offer step by step instructions for their smartphone apps and their media manager software as well as live, toll-free technical support at 1-877-77AUDIO

A few notes:
  • You must first create an account on the system to use this service
  • You may do this from home with an access code, please call the Oldsmar Library at 813-749-1181 for the code.
  • Please have your Pinellas County PPLC library card ready when you call! This service is available to PPLC card holders only. More info on obtaining a library card can be found on our website.
  • All items in the collection are available all the time, no waiting, no holds queue!
  • Items check out for 21 days, and may be renewed once for another 21 days
This is a great service and complements our other downloadable audio service, OverDrive, which will be covered in another blog post!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Resources Review - Pronunciator

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of our online resources, including our ebooks and various online learning programs.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.

Up next is Pronunciator, our language-learning service. With Pronunciator, you have access to courses for over 80 languages and can approach your learning in a structured or informal manner, whatever works best for you!  You learn through activities, drills and quizzes that have been developed by language educators. You can also choose from other available learning aids, such as films, music and audio files.  Content is available for learners of all ages.
Pronunciator is also great for those whose native language isn't English, as you can choose any one of 50 languages in which to take your courses!

Pronunciator has mobile apps designed for a variety of devices, even Kindle Fire!  The apps have the same functionality as the browser-based program and your progress is synced across devices

You can view an introductory video here, and even read the entire user's manual.

Try out this great resource and let us know what you think!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Resources Review - Career Cruising

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of our online resources, including our ebooks and various online learning programs.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.

Next we'll look at Career Cruising, a database for job seekers as well as students doing career research.

This great resource is accessible from anywhere with your Pinellas library card.  You can create an account (called My Plan) to save your research, create a portfolio and build a resume.

One of the highlights of Career Cruising is its career assessment tool. You can identify career matches based on interests and skills and then continue on to explore in-depth information on hundreds of occupations, including multimedia interviews, workplace photos, sample career paths, and more.

Career Cruising also includes a national database of higher education options, including details on admissions, expenses, enrollment, athletics, and programs of study.

With built in resume & portfolio builders as well as direct links to job listings from Indeed.com, Career Cruising can be a great first stop for career explorers of all ages!  Give it a try & let us know what you think.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Resources Review - Novelist

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of our online resources, including our ebooks and various online learning programs.  You can visit our Resources page at any time for a list of our more popular programs, or the databases by subject page to view a comprehensive list which includes our academic research offerings.

First we'll take a look at NoveList, a comprehensive readers' advisory solution for fiction lovers. It helps you find your "next read" with a variety of easy-to-use tools.

You can access Novelist from this link in the library, and use your Oldsmar library card # to access it from outside the library.

Novelist has book discussion guides, read-alike lists and reading suggestions for all ages.  You can tell it what type of books you're looking for or browse by genre and age group. You can even search by Lexile or limit your searches to only award winners with the Advanced Search options.

Right on the landing page, you'll find suggested read-alikes for recent bestsellers as well as the Keeping Up lists, which let you know what's been released recently in your favorite genre.

We hope you'll give Novelist a try when trying to find your next read and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Universal Class - new resource for online learning

Have you wanted to try an online course but were turned off by the price? Well, we have a great new product that you can use for FREE to polish up your skills or learn some new ones. Instructions for creating an account are below.

Universal Class offers over 500 online non-college credit continuing education courses on a wide variety of topics:
Accounting -  Alternative Medicine -  Arts and Photography -  Business - Career Training -  Computer Training - Cooking - Crafts & Hobbies -  Finance -  General Education -  Health & Medicine -  History -  Home and Garden -  Homeschooling -  How To / Do It Yourself - Law/Legal/Criminal -  Mathematics -  Medical Billing -  New Age - Office Skills -  Parenting and Family -   Performing Arts -  Personal Care -  Pet and Animal Care -  Psychology -  Real Estate -  Reference -  Religious Studies - Science -  Self-Help -  Social Work -  Special Education -  Spiritual Studies -  Teacher Resources - Terminology -  Test Preparation -  Web Development - Writing Skills

Most classes contain an audio-visual component as well as assignments, quizzes & exams to test your knowledge. You can print out a Certificate of Course Completion for each class you complete.  Classes take between 10-20 hours to complete
  • You can browse the catalog, but you must register & create an account with Universal Class before you can begin classes.  You can do this with this link either in the library or outside with an Oldsmar library card.  Please call us at 813-749-1181 if you need assistance.
  • You will need to have a valid e-mail address to sign up for courses
  • You are welcome to enroll in up to 5 courses at a time
  • You have up to 6 months to finish each course
  • You have access to your course 24/7 via the Internet & can cover course materials and do assignments on your schedule
  • Each course has a real instructor who you may communicate with using e-mail
  • There are online message boards which provide opportunities to connect with other students for an authentic classroom experience
  • These are non-credit courses and are provided for your personal enrichment. These courses are not intended to be a substitute for any state, government, licensing, or educational requirements.
  • Universal Class is accredited as an authorized provider by the International Association for Continuing Education Training (IACET), offering continuing education units on all qualifying courses.
You can read more in this FAQ.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ukulele available for checkout & Ukulele Program

We just wanted to pass along some pictures of a new item for checkout: a ukulele!

The Tampa Bay Ukulele Society has kindly donated ukuleles to several Pinellas County libraries. You can check ours out from the Circulation Desk for 28 days with three renewals.

The kit comes with the ukulele, a tuner, and an instructional book and DVD (as shown below).

The Tampa Bay Ukulele Society will be hosting a workshop here on Wednesday, July 8th from .6:30 - 8:00 pm, no registration needed. The presenter will introduce the instrument & teach several chords. Students will learn to play two songs & receive information on where to go for further lessons!  It is primarily for teens/adults, and they are working on creating a workshop for children that we will hopefully have at a later date.  Stayed tuned for that and in the meantime...check out our kit & learn to play!  Call us with any questions.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Writer's Critique Group Forming

We have a guided writer's critique group forming here at Oldsmar Library.  You MUST PRE-REGISTER via e-mail, the registration info is below.

The critique group will meet the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings every month, and will be led by former publisher and Time-Life editor, Molli Nickell. The first meeting will be Monday, June 15 in TECO Hall. Things will get started with a meet & greet from 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm, followed by critique activities from 6:00 - 8:00.

Sponsored by the FWA (Florida Writers' Association), the group will be open to the public. It is limited to 10 active participants, but auditors will be welcome to attend and "listen only." Focus will shift between manuscript development/refinement, agent acquisition, and/or self-publishing.  

Reserve space by emailing Molli at getpublishednow.biz@gmail.com. Write CRITIQUE in the subject line.  Feel free to email any questions to the same address.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mark your Calendar - Summer Reading Preview

We wanted to let you know just some of the special programs we're offering this summer so you can mark your calendars early!


Click the graphic for a list of what's in store so far. As always, we'd like to thank our Friends of the Library group for their support of our programming.

We'll of course have reading incentive programs for all ages as well.  Check back with us for more information.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thermal Leak Detector / April Spotlight on Sustainability and the Environment

Looking for ways to be more ‘green’?  Trying to figure out why your power bill is so high? Let the Oldsmar Library help you at no cost to you!

Another item available for check out is the thermal leak detector. We have these up at the Circulation Desk and you can take one home today. This is a tool that can really help you save money! Ever notice your AC doesn’t turn off? It seems like it’s been running all day but it's still really hot, or maybe it's freezing? I know where I was living at one point in time I could stand outside by one of my windows and feel the AC blowing. That was before we had these handy detectors!

It’s really very simple to use. It’s an infrared laser that you point along places where a leak would be:  moldings, windows, doors, and ductwork. Once you do this, the detector will change colors, giving you feedback, telling you where you should caulk or insulate.  Once you get everything all patched up you will notice a difference, and you won’t be providing AC for the entire neighborhood!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kill-A-Watt device / April Spotlight on Sustainability and the Environment

Looking for ways to be more ‘green’?  Trying to figure out why your power bill is so high? Let the Oldsmar Library help you! We have items here that can help you find and get rid of those pesky problems at no cost to you. 

One of the things available is the Kill A Watt. This device plugs measures the amount of wattage that an electronic device uses and gives you an estimate of cost! You can use this to measure all kinds of things such as an alarm clock, a refrigerator, your dryer, a toaster and the list goes on. Using this will give you a guide to let you know what is using the most power in your household and if it should be unplugged or plugged into a power strip that can be switched on and off as needed.  By doing this simple thing you can save money and the environment.

If you're interested in checking out a Kill A Watt, please ask at the Circulation Desk.