Monday, June 30, 2008

BPL Mobile Web

In the past few years there has been a rapid expansion in the number of internet enabled "smart phones." Like all libraries, Bangor Public does its best to keep up with the technology being used by its patrons. To that end, we have created a mobile version of our website designed to be viewed on devices like iphones or blackberries. Its called BPL Mobile and can be found at this link or on our home page.

What's Different?

Almost all of the content available on our main web site is also available on the mobile web site. You can order a library card, find out when we are open, access the Ask a Librarian page, and much more all on the go. The biggest difference is that it has been scaled down for viewing on a smaller screen. We've done our best to keep our web sites original look. You will see a smaller version of the Bangor Public Library banner as well as the green and blue color scheme. At the same time we have tried minimizing things that will slow download times. A lot of the images have been eliminated and the content from several pages has been incorporated together. Because there is no standard screen size for mobile devices we have also set the text to automatically collapse or expand to fit whatever screen it is being viewed on. That's why if you look at the site in a regular web browser the text streams off to the edge of the screen. Several web pages, like the blog and the events calender, could not be reformatted for mobile use since we do not have the authority to change their coding.

Talk to us .... please

A small confession: I don't own an iphone, blackberry or any other mobile device. Since I completed the prototype of the mobile web, I have been going around hitting up people I know who own these things so I could look at it. (I think some of them were a little annoyed when they found out I didn't want to talk to them I just wanted to play with their toy) As a result, I have not spent a lot of time testing the site on mobile devices. So I would really like to hear what everyone thinks of it and what needs to be changed. I'd especially like to hear from those of you with iphones. All of my friends seem to be crackberry addicts. You can post your comments to the blog or email me at Thanks.

Jim Riordan

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

JSTOR Access & New Playaways

JSTOR Access

After previously only be available to library card holders from within the Bangor Public Library, access to JSTOR is now available to card holders off-site. You can gain access by following a link on the library's Online Databases page at By clicking on the bluish-green JSTOR link, you'll be prompted to enter in your last name & your library barcode number.

According to its website, JSTOR offers "a high-quality, interdisciplinary archive to support scholarship and teaching. It includes archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references."

One of the unique features of the JSTOR database is that all of its journal holdings begin with volume 1, issue 1 for every journal it owns. So, if you have a compelling interest in reading Economic Geography from cover to cover since it began in 1925, JSTOR would be able to accommodate you in that pursuit.

The database, however, does not have the most up-to-date issues of the journals it documents; most journals have a three to five year embargo. [Embargoes on electronic access are a publisher's way of maintaining demand for print versions of journals]. For Economic Geography, this embargo would keep reaching your goal of reading the entirety of the journal as 2002 is the current embargoed year for this journal.

JSTOR is relatively scholarly in nature, but that does not mean that its 1,115 current journal holdings are not in demand. In the past year, I have been able to find approximately thirty articles for our patrons on JSTOR that were not available elsewhere. I know that other staff members have used this database quite regularly as well.

We are excited to open up access to this database for our card holders. Let me know if you have questions about JSTOR or have trouble opening it from your home or office computer.


The library has added ten more Playaways. Here are a few of the new titles:

Protect and defend by Vince Flynn
Ten days in the hills by Jane Smiley
Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
The house of the scorpion by Nancy Farmer

This audio format for books has been very popular with our library users since we first put these on the shelf last November. Many times that I've checked the shelf, all but one or two of these have been checked out. Right now, there are several available -- maybe because our Playaway fans didn't know we have added a few new ones!

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
Bangor Public Library,
145 Harlow Street,
Bangor ME 04401