Borrowing Digital Titles 101

Although JMRL is currently offering curbside pickup for physical items (see more details in this blog post), now is still a great time to consider borrowing a downloadable ebook or audiobook. Take advantage of JMRL’s digital collections and explore thousands of titles all from the comfort of your own home. Don’t know where to start? No problem! The following is an overview of JMRL’s digital collections and links for getting started. 

JMRL’s eLibrary consists of several digital collections that are available anywhere, anytime with a JMRL library card. The three most popular collections are Overdrive/Libby, RBdigital, and Freading.

Overdrive/Libby 

overdrivelibbyiconOverdrive contains both ebooks and audiobooks that are compatible with many different devices. Libby is the updated and user-friendly version of the Overdrive app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet from your device’s app store. Whether you are browsing for titles from the Libby app or Overdrive.com, you will sign in using your library card number. Note that Overdrive/Libby recently introduced an “Instant Digital Card” feature, but we encourage you to use your existing JMRL card number to sign in and borrow titles.

For step-by-step instructions on getting started, visit Overdrive’s Getting Started page. You will also find detailed instructions for specific devices, including Androids, Kindles, Kobos, Macs, and Windows devices. Detailed instructions on borrowing, downloading, returning, and other actions in the Libby app are available here.

RBdigital

logo_RBdigital_verticalLike Overdrive/Libby, RBdigital contains downloadable books and audiobooks, but also houses magazines and comic books. There is an app version of RBdigital that is compatible with different devices so you can listen or read on your phone or tablet. Unlike Overdrive/Libby that only requires a JMRL card to sign-in, new RBdigital users will need to register and create an account with a username and password. Although the app is not quite as user-friendly as Libby, RBdigital is used less frequently so there may be shorter waiting periods for titles.

For help on getting started or troubleshooting, visit RBdigital’s Help page for step-by-step instructions and video tutorials. 

Freading

dl-freadingLast but not least, Freading contains a selection of ebooks that, unlike Overdrive/Libby or RBdigtial, are available at all times with no wait lists and can be accessed through the Freading app or on a computer. Like RBdigital, new Freading users will need to register to create an account. Freading is also unique in that their ebooks are wrapped in Adobe software so users will need to take the additional step of downloading Adobe Digital Editions on their device and creating an Adobe ID. For more information on using Freading, visit their FAQ page.

While JMRL branches are currently closed to the public, Reference staff are working remotely and are available to answer any questions you may have about borrowing digital titles. Visit the eLibrary page on the JMRL website and look under the Need Assistance? section for ways to reach out to staff via chat, email, or text. 

Happy Reading!

Job Seeking & Unemployment Resources

If you or someone you know is currently out of work, we’ve conducted a Q&A with Virginia Career Works and compiled a list of resources to help you prepare for and navigate the job search process.

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Q&A with Virginia Career Works

Thomas Gillette with Virginia Career Works answers some questions concerning unemployment and job seeking while in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Q: Who is eligible for your services/help? 

A:  We don’t turn people away. We may have to refer them to other people/agencies, but we try to answer people wherever they’re from.  

Q :How do we access your services while your doors are closed? 

A:  The state website offers a lot:   www.VAWC.virginia.gov

Here you can build a resume and access information on employers, look for job openings, etc.  

Another site that’s helpful is www.goodwillvalleys.com

There are on-line classes and a lot of other resources listed that should be helpful. 

The local Virginia Employment Commission is currently slammed with calls and emails from folks trying to access the Unemployment system, make changes in their claims, and a lot of other things.   

Folks can email me at tgillette@goodwillvalleys.com.   If there’s something I can help with, I will.   If I end up with too many requests, it might take a while to respond.  A lot of us who are still working are working harder (and trying to work smarter). Appreciate patience.    

Q: What makes you eligible for unemployment? 

A:  Did you work in the last 18 months? Very flexible.   If in doubt, apply. You have nothing to lose but the time it takes you to apply.  

Q: How do you apply for unemployment in Virginia? 

A:  The best way if you have a computer and internet access is at the website: www.vec.virginia.gov. The instructions are pretty clear on the first page.  

Or folks can call:

For initial claims, call between 8:15am and 4:30pm, Monday – Friday, and between 9am and 1pm on Saturday (closed state holidays): 1-866-832-2363.    This system has a considerable wait involved,  but still the only choice for some people. Recommend they call at 8:15am.  

There is a good video at www.Goodwillvalleys.com  that describes the process.  This can be very helpful to review for those who are anxious about applying.  

A couple of things to know:   

  • During this crisis, you don’t have to have your PIN number before making your weekly calls.   Since there is a delay in getting the PIN number mailed to an applicant, an applicant can start making their weekly calls starting the Sunday after their last day of work.  
  • You will get unemployment compensation for the week immediately following your last day of work (or reduction in hours.).  In the past, there has been a “dead week” that you didn’t get compensation for that first week of unemployment.  
  • Once you make your weekly call, you should receive payment in about three business days.  
  • When applying, you can provide your checking account routing numbers, or you can request the state to provide you a debit card.  Either works.  

Q: Can you explain the automated reminder system?

A:  That’s new.  The VEC is now issuing automated reminders to claimants through text message and automated voice calling in regards to their claims and weekly filing. Very helpful.   If you don’t make the weekly call to let them know you are “ready and available for work”, and have “no work available” for you, you receive no money for that week. If you are working part-time,  you just report what you worked that week. That’s a partial unemployment claim. In either case, make the calls.  

Q: Are any businesses hiring right now? 

A:  Actually, there are a lot of employers hiring right now.  I have a list I can share that a team is working on.  

Q: What are some other resources you’d recommend to job seekers?

A:  There are a lot of resources out there.  I recommend that job-seekers do some research.   Think about what kind of training they might need to enhance their own career—or start a new one.  Resources are available. For example, I understand that PVCC and other community colleges will be offering a 40-hour healthcare course (mostly online) that will prepare them to work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and some homecare agencies.   There is great need for new people in these career positions.    


Additional Resources

JMRL resources

State and Local Resources (assistance may be temporarily limited due to the COVID-19 crisis)

Celebrate Black History Month at JMRL

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

Throughout the month of February, there are a number of book clubs and events being held at the JMRL branches to help celebrate.

For a list of what’s happening, visit JMRL’s Black History Month 2020 webpage.

There are other resources on this webpage, such as lists of African American authors and books, eBooks/Audiobooks, and resources for historical research.

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The poster above is an example of one of JMRL’s Black History Month events. This event will be at the Northside Library and more information can be found by visiting JMRL’s Facebook page.