House of Cards Trilogy

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:59am


(click on each image above to download)

"The Netflix series "House of Cards" has won four Emmy Awards and was nominated for twenty-two. writes that " Even if it never wins another award, 'House of Cards' already ranks among the most influential shows in television history." As an entire season of the program is released on a single day, it is becoming increasingly popular to binge-watch it over short periods of time. If fans have already seen the most recent series that was released this past Friday and are looking for more, or if someone is curious about the program but is not sure they want to subscribe to Netflix just yet, we have a suggestion. The three books that inspired the sought-after American and BBC television shows of the same name are on your library website through Freading. The books never have to be put on hold since they are digital, and they can be downloaded even when the library is closed." 

  • "Francis Urquhart is one of the great characters of modern fiction."  -York Evening Press  
  • House of Cards is a work of genius." --Sunday Post

What are you waiting for? Download the trilogy today! 

HeritageQuest got a makeover too!

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:53am

If you've used Ancestry in the past, HeritageQuest Online's new interface will have a similar look and feel! From the user-friendly home page to cool and helpful features such as new Research Aids and interactive Census Maps, it’s a whole new, refreshing experience. Expand your family tree search using HeritageQuestIf outside of the library, use this link. 

Hoopla's Makeover

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:19am

If you have a library card, having the Hoopla app and its access to your local library’s breadth of content is a bit of a no-brainer. But like all new apps, the first iteration has been a learning experience. Now it’s taking the feedback it received from users and libraries to update its app. Hoopla will be updating its app for iOS and Android on March 4 with what it calls its “LightSpeed” interface and architecture.

  • Brand new Home Screen that surfaces quicker access to your browser history and a new recommendation engine based on your recent activity.
  • Deeper search with less tapping around and a higher resolution, brighter interface.


  • Users will need to log in using their password (which they may or may not remember). hoopla will be glad to help in response to patron password inquiries.
  • Users (iOS users only) with active downloaded content will notice that updating to LightSpeed will delete their previous download (s). These are, however, still accessible, and only need to be re-downloaded – not re-borrowed - to enjoy offline.

Owner and CEO Jeff Jankowski says we should expect more features in the future that will build upon the Lightspeed architecture.

Happy Read Across America Day!

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:54am

Today is March 2nd and we’re delighted to say
Happy Read Across America Day!

We’re hoping you’ll celebrate
and perhaps just let loose
As we celebrate the birthday
Of the great Dr. Seuss!

As we’ve mentioned before
we have Seuss eBooks of all kinds
To add to your collection
and help sharpen some minds!

We hope that this message
is putting you in the spirit
But if you need more encouragement
Read on and you’ll hear it!

Each year on this day
It’s a tradition to read
One of the good doctor’s stories
And did we? Yes, Indeed!

Now, we think you’ll enjoy
The video we’ve been creating
And we promise it’s short
We know your mountain is waiting!

So gather up your youngsters
with their striped hats in tow
As Team OverDrive reads you
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 

Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist at OverDrive and still the resident Seussian expert.

"Gang Leader for a Day"

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 9:26am

We are now in the third installment in the Mark Zuckerberg list of Zuckerbooks, and the overall theme of getting the world to read books that will open their eyes to new ideas and ways that the world works persists. The book Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh fits into this theme perfectly, and while it shares some themes with the last book, as a reader, it was nice to have something a bit (ok, a lot) shorter with a narrative feel.  I read the first 100 pages of this book in one, quick sitting, completely engrossed.  This book proves old adage of the truth being stranger than fiction.

Venkatesh tells his own story as a brand new Sociology grad student at the University of Chicago in the mid to late 1990s. His field is one that requires in-depth studies of human existence, and he chooses to study the African American populations in the housing projects just outside the realm of the university, though they might as well be on a different planet for how similar they are to each other. He begins his study by awkwardly stumbling into the Robert Taylor Homes with an ill-conceived survey for the residents, and is held there by local Black Kings (BKs) gang members as they try to figure out which rival gang he might be from and what his motives are in visiting them (mostly because they cannot conceive that he would be so naïve as to wander into unfamiliar gang territories). It is during this time that he is introduced to JT, the leader of the local branch of the BKs, and the man who would be his guide into how not only how gang members live, but also those in the Robert Taylor Homes whose lives are intertwined with the BKs.

By getting to know the leader of a gang, Venkatesh hopes that he will be able to learn more about the economic structure which gangs use to operate, viewing them as a business model.  It is this desire to know the structure and inner workings of the BKs that leads him to eventually be “gang leader” for a day (hence the title), and spend the day with JT and his associates as they go about a normal workday.  It is this research that made Venkatesh stand out among his peers, and get him a featured spot in the book Freakonomics later in his career.  It is a hidden side of gang life, and fans of shows like The Wire will appreciate the many different layers of the BKs that we are shown.

We are presented a world of drugs, violence, and desperation, as Venkatesh writes that all are “hustlers”, himself included. I appreciated Venkatesh’s battle with himself to remain an impartial observer of their actions. The language is rough and uncensored, and anyone who is sensitive to such things would be advised to avoid reading. Regardless, we are given a glimpse into the end of the Robert Taylor Homes and into the lives of the residents in a way that few have been before, all because Venkatesh won the trust of those around him by genuinely caring about them and being interested in their lives. This is an important, empathetic read for all. 

Get it at your Library!

posted by Adam Sockel, Collection Development for Overdrive

Get help with the Digital Library Collection (Overdrive)

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:23am

Need assistance with downloading eBooks? Are you getting an error message when downloading eAudiobooks? Help is just a click away. Try these options.

Click the “?” button on the digital library collection website and select “OverDrive Help.” Find the info you need by typing in a question or selecting information from menus to drill down to specific answers.

Watch how-to videos, learn about how many items you can check out and for how long. Learn how to recommend titles to the Library and contact support.

If you can’t get what you need from the help pages, feel free to contact your library for supportcontact your library for support.

If you are using the OverDrive app, get help using the Home menu > Help > Having trouble? From there, select the “contact your library” link to bring up the form. The options provided include the tech support form, email address, or a website link.

Not sure library to contact? Use the newest way to find support. From here, users can search for their local library and get support.

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy When It Comes to Identity Theft?

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 2:56pm

The other day a reporter asked me who's to blame for the growing epidemic of identity-related tax fraud. I almost replied, "the government and the bad guys," but I caught myself before committing to that inaccuracy. "We're all to blame," I said.

We live in a very connected world where convenience continues to trump security -- often in the name of innovation. We've also learned the hard way that no system is more secure than its weakest link and that humans are the weakest link. Bad practices and lousy data-hygiene is the enemy.

Everyday Security Failures

But while we're pointing fingers, I would be remiss were I not to suggest that each of us stand in front of a mirror. No one is blameless here. We expose our most sensitive personal information any time we:

  • pick up a phone, respond to a text, click on a link or carelessly provide personal information to someone we don't know;
  • fail to properly secure our computer or mobile device (smartphone, tablet or laptop);
  • discard, not shred, a document that contains PII;
  • respond to an email that requests we call a number we can't independently confirm, or complete an attachment that asks for our PII in an insecure environment;
  • save our User ID or password on an app as a shortcut for future logins;
  • use the same User ID or password throughout our financial, social networking and email universes;
  • answer quizzes that subtly ask for information we've provided as the answers to security questions on various websites;
  • take pictures with our smartphone or digital camera without disabling the geo-tagging function;
  • fail to replace a manufacturer's default password with a long and strong one of our own on any "connected" appliance or electronic device that we put in our homes;
  • permit our email address to be our User ID, if we have the option to change it;
  • use easily decipherable PINs or passwords;
  • fail to annually obtain, review and correct our credit reports;
  • choose not to do a daily review of our bank and credit card accounts to make absolutely sure that every transaction we see is familiar;
  • put off enrolling in free transactional monitoring programs offered by banks, credit unions and credit card providers that notify us every time there is any activity in our accounts;
  • use a free WiFi network, without confirming it is correctly identified and secure, to check email, or financial services websites that contain our sensitive data.

In each of these instances, we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who consider the theft of our identity as their day job. We are also contributing our personal data to folks who are hoping to someday launch the equivalent of a denial of service attack on our economy to take us down.

The bottom line is that we're all in this together. In the ever-evolving connected world, it's impossible to duck, bob or weave your way past the bad guys. Even a proactive measure to protect your identity like monitoring your credit regularly is no guarantee your identity won't be stolen or used in a way that won't show up on your credit report, like medical identity theft. (You can get your credit reports for free once a year under federal law and you can see your credit scores for free once a month on to spot any identity theft red flags.)

It should go without saying that government and businesses should have to protect our PII by law, and if they fail to do their duty, they should be held accountable. That said, each of us has a responsibility to minimize our risk of exposure, to be as alert as possible to signs of an identity-related problem and to have a damage control program to put ourselves back together in the event we are compromised.

Read the article in its entirety

---written for the Huffington Post by Adam Levin, former Director New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs; Chairman of and Identity Theft 911

There's an advantage to logging in!

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 1:44pm

When browsing our OverDrive-powered site, you'll see a prompt 15 seconds into your visit that encourages you to sign in to view ALL of the titles available to you. You may either click to sign in or dismiss the prompt to continue browsing and never see the message again.

Did you know that as a Calcasieu Parish Library cardholder and Overdrive user, you have access to an exclusive collection that can be viewed only after you log in? 

What are you waiting for? Access our "virtual" collection, login and begin browsing.

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is on the lookout

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:18pm

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldburg

Book 1 of the Fox and O-Hare series.

Library Copies

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: He convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first. – From book cover.

Janet Evanovich is the author of the Stephanie Plum series.

  • Notorious Nineteen (2012), Explosive Eighteen (2011) and Smokin’ Seventeen (2011) 

Lee Goldburg is the author of the Mr. Monk series.

  • Mr. Monk Gets Even (2012), Mr. Monk Is A Mess (2012) and Mr. Monk On Patron (2012)

information provided by C. Ford, Collection and Computing Services (Calcasieu Parish Public Library)

You can’t spell Chromebook without eBook

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 9:50am

You can’t spell Chromebook without eBook: OverDrive and Chromebook

With the increasing popularity of Chromebooks, especially in schools, we have seen a bump in interest from Chromebook owners about the best way to enjoy OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks on their device – and we’re here to help!

If you are just getting started or need assistance with OverDrive on your Chromebook, there are OverDrive Help articles that walk you through the process of setting up the OverDrive app on your device to read eBooks and listen to audiobooks and how to enjoy streaming video titles and more in your Chrome web browser.

article by Melissa Marin, Marketing Specialist at OverDrive

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