App makes catalog easily accessible

Patrons of Port Clinton’s public library can visit their library from anywhere now if they have their smartphones or tablets with them.
Tom Jackson
Jan 25, 2014
The library has launched its new Ida Rupp Public Library app, available free for Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, Kindles, Windows phones and Blackberry phones.

The app provides one-stop shopping for Rupp patrons. They can search the catalog and have a book, movie or audio CD reserved or put on hold and sent to Rupp. They can check out ebooks and audiobooks directly to their devices, look on the library calendar for programs, check library hours, and connect to sites that offer digital versions of movies, magazines and music. The app connects to Freegal, which offers three free song downloads a week.

“Everyone lives on their mobile phones these days, so it’s important for the library to be easily accessible whenever and wherever people need access to our staff and rich resources” said the library’s director, Deborah Loiacono.

“We were trying to catch a segment of the population that uses the Internet more than they would physically come into the library” she said. “We are hoping to get new customers from it, really”

The app separates out ebooks that require a hold and ebooks that can be checked out immediately, she said.

Loiacono wants Ida Rupp patrons to know they can get the same services from the library as they might get from a much larger library. The app, purchased using a donation from the Friends of the Ida Rupp Public Library, was produced by Boopsie, a company that makes apps for libraries.

Boopsie says that more than 2,500 libraries use its apps. The company also points out that smartphone penetration now exceeds 61 percent of the total population.

There are also smartphone and tablet apps available for patrons of other local libraries.

For example, Sandusky Library patrons may download the CLEVNET app, which provides access to the catalog and digital services used by all CLEVNET member libraries. Many other local libraries are part of CLEVNET, and their patrons can use the app, too.

Local CLEVNET members include Norwalk, Huron, Bellevue, Birchard (in Fremont), Clyde, Milan-Berlin Township and Ritter (in Vermilion).