When Books Go Digital

Here’s the PowerPoint I used for a presentation at a faculty meeting at North Shore Community College earlier this week, with all the relevant links below:


  • NOBLE OverDrive — NOBLE’s collection of downloadable ebook and audiobooks
  • OverDrive’s Help Site — Here’s help for using different ebook readers, audio players and mobile devices with our OverDrive collection

Public Domain Books

  • Project Gutenberg — “Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.”
  • ManyBooks.net — A great source of public domain ebooks which can be downloaded in various formats. RTF (Rich Text File) works well with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.
  • Diary of Samuel Pepys — A seventeenth century diary is presented in blog format in this beautiful site managed by Phil Gyford

Internet Archive

  • Internet Archive — “The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.”
  • Worcester History Images from the Internet Archive — A post from my personal blog about the capturing images from books in the Internet Archive
  • Internet Archive Images — My Flickr set
  • Riverbank — Example of one of my Internet Archive images posted on Flickr. Note the link back to the original book on the Internet Archive site. (I also use these images in comments on Flickr to add historical perspective to recent photographs, as in this example: Riverbank

Google Books

  • Salem Diner — A regular Google search
  • Salem Diner — Switch from “Everything” to “Books” to get a very different set of results. (The Books option is hiding under More in the left sidebar)
  • Wenham ice — Quotation marks make this a phrase search
  • Lillian Randolph — This Google Books search was limited to magazines
  • Lillian Randolph — News note from Jet magazine
  • Embed Code — The code to embed a page is under the Link option
  • Lillian Randolph — Webpage with embedded page from Google Books
  • Google Books Advanced Search — Searching for the expression “to touch pitch and not be defiled in books by Anthony Trollope. This search worked well enough, but I had to wade through multiple editions books by this prolific author. Since I am very interested in Trollope’s work, I added on edition of each of his books to My Library, which makes this kind of searching easier for me.
  • Searching My Books — This search for Red Cloud is limited to the books I have saved to my library. I was only interested in Red Cloud as it related to Willa Cather, who grew up in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Although I have the Willa Cather books as a separate “bookshelf,” there’s no way I can limit my search to just that bookshelf, so occasionally I get irrelevant hits. If this became a problem, I could set up different Google accounts with different libraries: one for Willa Cather, one for diner books, etc.
  • Importing ISBNs into Google Books — If you have a file of ISBNs from LibraryThing, a biliographic management program, etc., you can import them into Google Books. (You can scan ISBNs into a file using a smartphone with an app like Barcode2File.)

Google Ngrams

Hiding Images on the Library Facebook Page

Here’s a simple tip for managing images on your library’s Facebook page. The most recent five images added to your Facebook account display in a row at the top of the page. It’s always the most recent five photos but they display in random order — try reloading your page to see. I mention this because I think it’s confusing, and I’m not sure what the point is of randomizing the order of these.

If you frequently add photographs to your Facebook page, this row of recent photos can help your page look current, but there are times when the most recent photos don’t work so well. If you’ve uploaded more than five photographs of a recent event, for example, these will push other recent images out of the display. Or you may have some recent images like screenshots or logos that don’t really belong in that display.

It’s easy to hide images from the display. Just hover over the image and you’ll see a small x in the upper right. Click on this to hide the image from the display. This only hides it from this row of photos, and the image will still be visible in the album and other photo displays.

Enable Media Replace

This simple WordPress plugin created by Måns Jonasson is useful for almost anyone who maintains a WordPress site of any size, but it’s especially useful if you maintain documentation of any kind and have a frequent need to update screenshots. It does exactly what the name implies — it makes it easy for you to replace one image file (or any other type of file) with another. No more uploading a new file and deleting the old one, or confusion over versions or file names.

Once you install and activate this plugin, you’ll find a new button labelled Replace Media at the bottom of the Edit Media page. Click this and browse and select a file from your computer. You then have two choices — you can either retain the original file name (renaming the file you’re uploading if necessary) or you can replace the file and use the new file name, changing all existing links to the old file to point to the new one. For the first option, you need to be uploading a file of the same type, but for the second option you can replace your original file with one of a different file type, like a gif with a jpg or a Word document with a PDF. Nothing fancy, but a great timesaver!

Enable Media Replace — Read more or download this popular plugin here

Facebook Status Tagging

Facebook’s status tagging feature is a way to include links from one Facebook page to another.

Here’s a status that has a tag in it:

Facebook Status Tagging #3

The words Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day are blue, and are a link to that project’s Facebook page.

It’s easy to add these links, once you know the trick, which is to start by clicking on the option to use Facebook as your page, which is with the other admin options in the right sidebar on your Page. You also need to make sure the page you want to link to is one of your page’s “favorite pages.” You’ll find the option to “Add to My Page’s Favorites” in the lower left sidebar of every page.

In this example, I am writing a status on the NOBLE Facebook page, and I want to refer to Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day Facebook page.

I start my post, but instead of just writing “Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day” I enter the @ sign and start typing Mass… etc. I get a dropdown menu of of my page’s favorite pages:

Facebook Status Tagging #1

I click on Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day, and continue writing my status. The page name appears with a light blue background:

Facebook Status Tagging #2

I click Share, and I’m done.

Two things happen when you use these tags: The name of the Facebook page displays in blue and is a link to that page, and my status also appears on the other page, in the case the Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day. Used appropriately, these tags can build helpful connections between pages. For example, if an author is coming to your library, you might post a status about the event linking to the author Facebook page. The tag will help your users find out more about the author, and the author’s fans will see that he or she is coming to your library.

Embed a Flickr Slideshow the Easy Way

Flickr automatically creates slideshows for your photostream, sets, groups and search results, and it’s easy to embed one of these slideshows in your WordPress post or page.

In this example, we’re using a Flickr set. First, click on the Slideshow link, shown here:


Next, copy the slideshow link to your clipboard. You can find this by clicking on Share in the upper right and using the Grab the URL option, or simply by copying the URL from the location bar.

Then go to your WordPress post or page, and just paste the URL on a new line. That’s right, it’s that simple. You don’t need any embed code or HTML, just the URL itself, and it works in either the HTML or the WYSIWYG editor.

Preview, save and you’re done!

Here’s what your slideshow will look like:

Two Sites that Turn Your Library Photos into Videos

Here are two sites that make it easy to turn a set of library photographs into a fast and fun video to post on YouTube or share on your library website. How about trying one of these for Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day?

Both of these sites have lots of options for selecting photographs, including pulling in a set from Flickr. I find that it’s easier to create a set of 12 – 18 selected photographs and put them into a set on Flickr to use for the video. Both sites are pretty simple to use, especially if you follow the instructions, and both keep adding new features, so I won’t attempt to document them here, but here’s a couple of examples using some of my library photographs.


Animoto — Animoto makes photo slideshows that somewhat resemble movie trailers. You select the images you want to use, choose a musical clip from the large assortment provided, and then let Animoto create the video. They match the music and the images to create various animated transition effects, and no two videos are alike. In fact, if you don’t like your first attempt, you can let Animoto try again and you’ll get something different. There are other options here — you can mix video clips in, add some words and upgrade to a Pro account for higher quality, longer videos, different styles and to remove the branding.

Animoto Overview — Check this page for more information on how to get started


Pummelvision was designed to do one thing only, but to do it well — it creates a rapid slideshow of a large group of photographs matched to a beat. There are few options here, although you do have two choices for the speed: fast or very fast.