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10 Things You Should Know About Thomas Crane Public Library's New App

There are lots of digital subscription services available - Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, HuluPlus, CBS All Access, XFINITY Streampix - but how many of those are free? With Thomas Crane Public Library's new app, patrons now have 24/7 access to the library and its online collections on their mobile devices.

Although the library is open seven days a week, with extensive hours Monday through Thursday, it isn't open all the time. "With our new app people can carry the library with them everywhere they go," said Clayton Cheever, Thomas Crane Public Library's assistant director. "We have been steadily building our web collection for several years and just last spring added over 100,000 music albums, as well as thousands of movies, television shows and ebooks. The app helps us make delivery of these free resources as easy as possible."

Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Mass.

The free resources include the library's electronic collection of popular magazines, including Consumer Reports that people can search to find reviews and product recommendations for free versus paying for an individual subscription.

The app, which launched in August 2014, is available for iPhones and iPads, Android devices, Kindle and Windows phones (only Apple and Android devices can access the streaming music, movies and audiobooks provided through the library's partnership with hoopla). You can find it in app stores by searching for "Thomas Crane Public Library" or by visiting the library's "Connect" page here.

Library patrons now have mobile access to library resources, including digital book, magazine, music, TV and movie collections.

If any Thomas Crane patrons feel lucky to have access to the new library app, it's completely understandable. According to Clayton, there's only one other library in the South Shore's 29-member Old Colony Library Network that currently has an app that's as advanced as theirs. "It is not common for libraries in the area [...] some of the features we offer, no one else in the area is offering," said Cheever.

If you're curious about how it works, check out this list:

10 Things You Can Do with Thomas Crane Library's New App

  1. Easily Scan and Request Books: If you're at a friend's house enjoying a meal and they show you the cookbook they used, scan its barcode and find it in our catalog. We'll take it off our shelves and have it waiting for you to pick up at the location of your choice, anywhere in the OLCN network, as quickly as possible (of course, if all existing copies are currently checked out, you will need to wait a little longer).
  2. Skip the Check-Out Line: The camera on your phone turns into a barcode scanner to self-check library books. Enter your library card number, scan a book's library barcode to check it out, and you're ready to go!
  3. Throw Away Your Due-Date Slips: Use the app to view what you have checked out, when it is due, and even renew materials that are renewable (unless someone else is waiting for it, in which case you can always check it out again later).
  4. Find Out What's Happening: Quickly access the library's online calendar that lists all upcoming programs, films, storytimes and other events that we sponsor every week.
  5. Stay Informed About New Releases: Be the first to find out what's new with regularly published lists that describe the latest additions to our collection. The lists are broken down by subject, so you can easily find something new and interesting.
  6. Get Insider Tips: Discover what's on the experts' favorites list. The library staff frequently blogs about their favorite reads, movies and music.
  7. Search Smarter on the Go: Try out the app's new search tool, which only requires that you type a few letters to immediately get results. It's great for searching from your phone.
  8. Contact the Library: You can find the closest branch, see when it's open and get the phone numbers for different departments in the library.
  9. Reserve a Museum Pass: Did you know a library card allows you to get free or reduced price admission to many area attractions, including the aquarium, local museums, the zoo and more? The app makes it easy to see what's available so you can take advantage of these offers.
  10. Get Easy Access to Online Materials: The app gives you instant access to a great collection of ebooks, e-audiobooks, digital magazines, streaming music, movies and television shows.

When using the app for #4, one of the upcoming events you'll find out about is the Concerts @the Crane: Winter/Spring Concert Series that kicks off February 8, 2015, with an Indian Dance performance.

The Stuart Highland Pipe Band Concert at the library's 125th anniversary.

"This series is going to be a real treat," said Cheever. "We have lots of other exciting programs coming up: a concert from the top members of the Quincy High School and North Quincy High School select choirs on Monday, December 22. Some great lecture series and several other programs. I could go on and on..."

To find out more about the Winter/Spring Concert Series, be sure to click here. The library's full events calendar is also available online here.

Boston Jazz Voices Concert at the Thomas Crane Public Library (February 2009).

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