I’m starting a new blog post series today. I hope to help people navigate the local library’s online catalog and successfully find the items they want to read, listen or watch. For purposes of this blog, I define “Local Library” as the Lansing Community Library, one of the many regional libraries participating in the NExpress regional shared catalog of the Northeast Kansas Library System.
I’m calling this series “In Search Of: ” as a practical guide to finding materials I want to check out. This series will contain real world examples taken directly from my everyday routine life. If you have a question, situation or scenario that you struggled with, please post a comment or email me the particulars and I’ll be glad to assist or connect you with the correct library resource personnel.
What I’m Searching For and Why
Today’s conundrum brings us to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Next month, my Local Library’s adult book group will be reading and discussing this classic. My preferred format for reading these days is to listen to audiobooks from my smartphone through my Bluetooth headset while commuting to work. My two hour daily commute would otherwise be wasted time when I could have been reading!
The challenge with a book like Sense and Sensibility comes from its classic status. All libraries will have multiple editions, in print, ebook and audiobook formats. In this case, there are also videos thrown into the mix because Sense and Sensibility has been adapted for television and film many times. So, when I first search at the NExpress online catalog, I know my results are going to be many and I will need to filter them down to get to the format I prefer.
NOTE: You should already have a NExpress library card and PIN (issued by your Local Library) and have successfully logged into your NExpress account. This allows you to place a hold on any item you find in your catalog search results and have it delivered to your Local Library and held at the front desk for your pickup.
Initial Search Criteria and Filtering
On the NExpress online catalog web page, I entered “sense and sensibility austen” in the Search Library Catalog text box and pressed the “Go” button.
My initial results returned 54 items (here’s a link to the results for that search). Most of these are print editions. I want to eliminate those and other non-audiobook items so I scroll down a bit until the “Item Types” heading appears in the left-hand “Refine Your Search” pane. I click on the link for “AUDIOBOOK” and immediately winnow my results down to just five (5) items (second link to reduced results). Oddly, I’m only seeing four (4) items listed.
At least one of the audiobooks listed is not relevant to my search (the one with sea monsters), but the other three are Audio CDs from 1986 (9 discs), 2002 (10 discs) and 2006 (6 discs). I can’t really listen to CDs during my commute (I despise changing them while driving anyway) so if I requested one of those, I’d have to burn the CDs temporarily to a format that my smartphone app could playback for me. That’s a time consuming endeavor, but if no other digital resources are available, I will return to these results as a last resort.
Digital Content Options
In addition to the normal physical resources available through my Local Library and other regional libraries in the Northeast Kansas Library System, I have access to digital content from several other sources. By clicking on the Catalog Home tab or the NExpress logo, you can quickly navigate to various different digital content sources, including Hoopla, 3M ebooks, eAudiobooks via OneClickDigital and various public domain sites like Project Gutenberg. For a comprehensive explanation of your digital reading options, please click on the “Digital Books Start” listed second under “Digital Sources” on the NExpress catalog home page. For first time users, please visit this helpful page with even more helpful information.
OneClickDigital from the Kansas State Library
From the Kansas State Library OneClickDigital web page, I do the exact same search I did above in the search box at the top under the logo: “sense and sensibility austen”
Two (2) results are returned. One from 2010 by Recorded Books and the other from 2012 by Trantor Media. The Recorded Books one is available for checkout now, while I’d have to place a hold for the Trantor Media edition if I preferred that narrator (Wanda McCaddon instead of Flo Gibson).
NOTE: You will need to sign up for a Kansas State Library card at your Local Library to create an account and access the digital content available through OneClickDigital.
Either one of these eAudiobooks would require me to install the OneClickDigital app on my smartphone and use the same credentials to access my borrowed titles.
Hoopla (the “Netflix” for Libraries)
My other resource for digital selections is Hoopla, often referred to as the Netflix for libraries. But it’s so much more than just video! Hoopla provides audiobooks, ebooks, music, movies, television and comics!
NOTE: Creating your Hoopla account is very easy. Register using whatever email address you prefer and then find your Local Library in the list of libraries on your profile page and provide your NExpress library card number.
When I search in Hoopla on “sense and sensibility austen” my initial results return 18 ebooks and two audiobooks. I filter on the audiobooks and find that only one of them is actually Sense and Sensibility, produced by Harper Collins in 2013 and read by Kate Reading.
I’ve listened to other audiobooks read by her and enjoyed her narration. Of all the editions I’ve found so far, this is probably the one I’d borrow. Again, I would need to install the Hoopla app to my smartphone (no surprise but I’ve already got it installed) so I could listen to this classic during my commute and while I drift off to sleep at night thanks to the app’s sleep timer feature.
In conclusion, I found the treasure I sought, with a minimal amount of effort and not too many hoops or much Hoopla.
I made a suggestion recently to my Local Library director that the NExpress online catalog be expanded to include both the Hoopla inventory (which it does to some extent) and the Kansas State Library collection. Only time will tell if that suggestion bears fruit.
Remember, if you have trouble with your treasure hunt at the NExpresss online catalog, don’t hesitate to contact your Local Library for help. Or drop me a comment or email and I’ll also be glad to assist.