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Guest Blogger

Andrew Halberstadt, Community Librarian with Edmonton Public Library

Andrew is a Community Librarian out of the Strathcona Branch of EPL, located at 83 Avenue and 104 Street near Whyte Avenue.


8331-104 ST NW
T: 780.944.5390  
C: 780.819.3984                        

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Smarten up and stop missing out! Learn how to take full advantage of what your Edmonton Public Library has to offer today.

Thursday September 26 , 2013

As a gift to the citizens of Edmonton—to celebrate our 100-year anniversary—EPL is giving away free library cards until March 13th, 2014.  If you don’t have one yet, GET ONE!


If you do already have a library card with us and have been a regular customer of EPL for many years, I would bet that you are still in the dark over a great deal of incredible things that we have to offer.  Most of our users only scratch the surface of all the wonderful things that they are entitled to with EPL.  The goal of this article is to convey the depth of EPL’s offerings and encourage you to explore it for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.

On the shelf
I will start by highlighting some of the great stuff in our physical (on-the-shelf) collection that you might be missing out on.  Many people still think of the library as stacks and stacks, and rows and rows, of books books books.  Not true anymore. 

You really need to check out our other physical formats, as EPL boasts a literally incredible selection of movies (DVD & Blu-ray), music, video games (Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii/Wii U), comic books/graphic novels, magazines/newspapers, and audiobooks. 

Do you like watching award-winning movies?  We pretty much have them all!  Whether English or foreign language.  But most importantly, you can literally get any of them with little or no wait time at all.  Even better than that, the lending period for DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games has just recently been extended to 3 weeks!

Naturally, what EPL offers in the physical space in terms of collections, services, programs, free WiFi and other resources, however, is far better known by our current customer base and potential customer population than what we also have available for them online.  Here’s a quick rundown of only some of our amazing digital resources that will be sure to blow your mind:

A magazine database which gives EPL customers free access to over 270 popular magazines, including Newsweek, Consumer Reports, O Magazine, Us Weekly, Rolling Stone, and Maxim—all on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and home computers.  Sick of having to settle for reading boring and outdated magazines in hotel lobbies and medical offices while you are forced to wait for service?  Sign up for EPL, download the Zinio app, and you will never be troubled by this unfortunate dilemma again.     

Press Display
A newspaper database where EPL customers can fully access 2,200 of today’s newspapers from around the world in brilliant colour.  Press Display boasts papers from 97 countries in 54 languages, with 50 Canadian newspapers, included the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun.

EPL’s largest selection of eBooks is available through our subscription to Overdrive.  Borrow popular titles remotely and electronically to read on your eReaders, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and home computers. 

Checkout and stream more than 5,100 movies and TV shows.  Every title is available immediately, no holds, no waiting!  Limit of 10 Hoopla checkouts per month.  There’s even an app for it too!

Watch award-winning independent films, shorts, documentaries and web series’ from all the major film festivals around the world.  Free, unlimited access to thousands of films available wherever and whenever you have time to watch.

Learn4Life Online Courses
Learn4Life offers more than 270 interactive online courses, all led by expert instructors.  The online courses are free, fun, fast, convenient, and geared just for you.  Courses are designed for learners over the age of 13, start on the third Wednesday of every month and run for six week.  Each EPL customer is entitled to five courses per year!

Programs and events
Finally, and you may already know this, EPL rocks at running children’s programs that are super fun for families and promote Early Literacy.  Did you also know though that EPL offers a great variety of programs and hosts special events for all ages, including creative writing workshops that are run by our writers-in-residence, employment and financial seminars, English language learning, book clubs, movie nights, and gaming and technology programs for youth and adults?  We really do offer and host a great number of top-notch programs and events that are suitable for a whole spectrum of ages and interests.   

Need to learn how to do something on the Internet or are trying to figure out a new computer or device?  Are you having trouble figuring out how to download eBooks or eMagazines from EPL?  Give us a call and book a one-on-one tutorial with one of our expert staff members and we will work through it together.  Did I mention that this is all free?  It’s free!

A really exciting event that will be taking place at EPL’s branch in Old Strathcona on Saturday, September 28th and Saturday, October 19th at 2 p.m. is a special Music in the Library performance by the Vaughan String Quartet.  If you are planning to visit the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market on either of these Saturday afternoons, please take the time to swing by the branch to catch this amazing free performance by the Vaughan String Quartet in our beautiful 100-year-old building!

One last thing: if you like playing with state-of-the-art technologies and creating stuff, please check out this short article in the Metro about our exciting new, soon-to-be-opened Makerspace at the Stanley A. Milner Library downtown.  It’s just one more of the many things from EPL that is absolutely going to blow your mind.

See you at the library!