My Favourite App: State Library of South Australia

If you spend lots of time walking around in the Adelaide city centre, or are generally interested in the city’s history, you might enjoy a walking tour!

lostbuildings_resizedSteph from the Programs team recommends the State Library of South Australia app. The app gives you a selection of self-guided walking tours that allow you to discover Adelaide’s historic buildings, art and stories. You can explore them at your own pace and start wherever you like – the tours range from 1-2 hours and have numbered ‘stops’ where you can get information about a landmark, but you don’t have to see all of them.

So how do you go on a tour? Just open the app, choose from the list of currently offered tours, then download your chosen tour. It will then work even if your device is not connected to the Internet – but depending on your device it may be best to leave it on so you can use your device’s GPS navigation.

We hope you’re enjoying our My Favourite App posts. Everything we highlight in these blog posts is free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices.

Want to find out more about apps? Try the links below, search the library catalogue or book online for an informative group session at the Modbury Digital Hub this month.

Apple Store – for iPads, iPhones or Mac computers

Google Play Store – for Android tablets and smart phones

Do you have a favourite app? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Getting to know iOS 7

If you have a newer iPhone or iPad then it may be compatible with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 7. This means a better interface and lots of new features – even a new version of Siri!

Our Digital Hub staff have some tips for making the transition as smooth as possible.

The iOS 7 update is being progressively rolled out to compatible devices over the next few months – and contrary to some rumours it does NOT make your device waterproof!

You can check for the iOS 7 update by going to your device’s Settings > General > Software Update.

With technology moving at such a fast pace, you may find that just as you get used to an operating system it all changes. So here at the Modbury Digital Hub we thought we would give you a few quick tips to help you with some of the new features.

The biggest change is what is best ipad5described as the ‘swipe in’ feature.  This is where you put your finger on the edge of the screen and swipe onto the centre of the screen in a single motion.

Doing this will bring up a menu that allows you to perform some actions quickly without having to dive into your iPhone settings. From here you can adjust airplane mode,WiFi, bluetooth and volume. You can also use this screen to quickly access your camera, clock or music.


Once you are done to make this screen disappear you can press your Home button, or swipe down from the arrow above the bluetooth icon.

ipad6If you want to close all the apps that you have running you can still do this in iOS 7 but it is a little different. You still ‘double-click’ the home button to bring up all the apps that are running – but to close each app you use your finger to ‘push’ the selected app up off the screen in one motion.

We hope that this has helped make the transition a bit easier. What are your thoughts on iOS 7 and do you have  any tips for the new operating system?

If you need some help using your iPad, check out our Digital Hub group sessions. You can book online or call us on 8397 7333.

More Banned Books

ThirteenReasonsWhyBooks are banned, challenged and complained about for various reasons. Some language, themes or storylines in books can prompt calls for the book to be censored or taken off the shelf.

Each year the American Library Assiciation (ALA) recognises Banned Books Week, raising awareness of censorship and celebrating the freedom to read whatever one chooses. At the end of September a list of the most frequently challenged books for the previous year is released for discussion (and so you can read them and make your own judgement).

Here’s the list for 2012:

1. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

tango5. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

7. Looking for Alaska by John Green

8. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz

9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

Want to know more? Read up on why these books were banned, find out more about Banned Books Week in general, or see our previous posts on the topic.

How do you feel about the books on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

We’re closed tomorrow

Copy of ali edit 3…but will be open again at 10am on Thursday with our new self checkout system!

We will be installing five new self checkout kiosks over the next two days. There’s a lot of work to be done but we’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. In the meantime why not read up on the self checkout project to see what else we’ve been doing to prepare?

Remember that the 24-hour returns chute will remain open for you to return items, and The Topiary Pantry cafe will also be open so you can grab a coffee or meal.

My Favourite App: Dream Talk Recorder

Do you talk in your sleep, or suspect that you do? There’s an app for that!

mzl_dhnvxuvzBenjamin’s favourite app is Dream Talk Recorder:

This app allows you to record what you say in your sleep (as well as the whisperings of any passing house spirits!). It’s awesome fun.

Just open Dream Talk Recorder before you go to sleep, and let the app do the rest. It starts recording when noise is detected, so you can play it back in the morning. It even has its own Twitter following where people upload their sleep recordings for all to hear.

sleeptalkThis particular app is for iOS devices only, but if you want to try it on an Android device a similar app called Sleep Talk Recorder is available. Try it and let us know if you record anything interesting!

We hope you’re enjoying our My Favourite App posts. Everything we highlight in these blog posts is free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices.

Want to find out more about apps? Try the links below, search the library catalogue or book online for an informative group session at the Modbury Digital Hub this month.

Apple Store – for iPads, iPhones or Mac computers

Google Play Store – for Android tablets and smart phones

Do you have a favourite app? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

2 weeks until self checkout


Anstey the echidna shows us how easy self checkout is.

With less than 2 weeks until we get our brand new self checkout kiosks, our resident RFID expert Benjamin took some time to chat about this exciting project…

Why has the Library chosen to use RFID and self checkout machines?

Libraries are modern institutions and deserve to have state-of-the-art technology. In recent years RFID has started to become a standard for libraries – it saves time, improves our stock management, and will relieve staff of the strain of handling many thousands of items every year.

Where is the RFID technology coming from?

Our supplier is an Australian company called FE Technologies. They supply RFID to many other libraries, including City of Onkaparinga’s six library branches south of the city.

What are the benefits of RFID for the public?

The 5 new self checkout kiosks will eliminate queues when we’re busy. They will also free up staff from checking items in and out all day, giving us more time to help customers with other enquiries. We will be able to spend more time helping people find things or showing them how to use technology such as eBooks.

What are the benefits of RFID for library staff?

RFID will not only save us time, but it will also reduce the strain that Library work has on our bodies! Currently we check out over 950,000 items every year – then check them all back in again, one by one. With RFID that strain will be greatly reduced. Customers will check out their own items, and we’ll be able to check in several items at a time.

What do you think of the new self checkout machines?

The new machines are quick, easy and fun!

The Library will be closed on September 17 and 18 while our self checkout machines are being installed. For more information on our RFID project, see our previous blog posts.

Self checkout kiosks

Here’s a sneak peek at what our new RFID self checkout kiosks will look like:


We will have 5 of these kiosks in the Library, to replace our current checkout counter. Now that we have this one to practise on, we can use it to train our staff in preparation for our go live day on Thursday 19 September. We’ll hopefully also get to put it near the Customer Service Desk leading up to the day so you can see how it works.

 Using these kiosks is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3:

1. Scan your library card
2. Place your items on the kiosk
3. Collect your receipt.

The kiosks are powered by RFID technology, meaning multiple items can be checked out in a matter of seconds. No more barcode scanning!

Don’t forget that the Library will be closed on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 September while our new equipment is installed – see here for more details. You can also read more about our self checkout project here.

If you have any questions, you’re welcome to post a comment below or ask a staff member on your next Library visit.

My Favourite App: Shazam

Have you used Shazam? This amazing app helps you to identify music that you can hear but don’t know the name of. All you need to do is open the app while a song is playing and hold your phone or tablet near the source of the music. A few seconds later it tells you the track’s title, artist and even the lyrics!

shazam-soundhound-thumb31Library staff member Wendy tells us about her experience with Shazam…

I love Shazam. I’m not as young as I used to be and the old memory is shot… Therefore, it is great to place my phone or iPad against the song I can’t remember and ‘Shazam’! The title, artist and heaps of info is there instantly!

Another similar app is SoundHound, which is similar but has the extra novelty of being able to sing or hum part of a song. SoundHound will also identify these songs (but only if you sing in tune).

We hope you’re enjoying our My Favourite App posts. Everything we highlight in these blog posts is free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices.

Want to find out more about apps? Try the links below, search the library catalogue or book online for an informative group session at the Modbury Digital Hub this month.

Apple Store – for iPads, iPhones or Mac computers

Google Play Store – for Android tablets and smart phones

Do you have a favourite app? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Tagging, tagging and more tagging

Our self checkout project is well underway and we’re in the middle of preparing the collection for our go-live date in September. You might have been to our book sale earlier this year, or maybe you’ve seen staff and volunteers weeding old items out of the collection. Now we’re up to the tagging stage.

When we launch self checkout in September, the equipment we use to scan items will change. Instead of using scanners to read the barcode on the back of a book or DVD, special pads on our new self checkout kiosks will detect the information on an RFID tag that will be attached to each item. This equipment can scan multiple items at a time, so checking your books out will be much quicker!

Here’s what we’ve been doing with each item that needs an RFID tag:


1. We scan the item at one of our Tagging Stations
2. The printer creates a unique RFID tag for the item
3. The label is attached inside the cover
4. Only 119,999 to go!

We’re hoping to get everything in the collection tagged over the next 7 weeks. We’ve just started on the magazine section – if you need anything from an area we’re working in, just ask and we’ll help you find what you need.

Self checkout is coming

This year we started work on our latest major project – self checkout!

There’s a lot to tell you about it, so we’ll post regular updates to let you know what we’re up to. Here are the basics for now…

Why self checkout?

The aim of this project is to embrace the latest in library technology – Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – to improve the speed and accuracy of our everyday work. Every library item will have an RFID  tag, enabling them to be scanned via radio waves instead of the old barcode scanners. It’s faster than our current process and will be accurate, private and convenient for you.

What will be different for me?

When you want to borrow something, you will be able to bring it up to one of our brand new self checkout machines. You just place your card on the desigated spot on the machine, put up to 5 items at a time on top, and collect your receipt at the end.

Anstey borrowing books

What about the current self checkout machine in the Library?

You may have noticed that our current self checkout machine is looking a bit outdated, and doesn’t always work as well as it should. The new machines replacing this will be much better – and they can check out DVDs too!

What is the Library doing now to prepare?

We’ve been ‘weeding’ the collection to clear up anything that’s old, unused or easily replaced. We are holding regular book sales to sell everything that we take off the shelves – keep an eye out for the next one.

We are also in the process of putting an RFID tag in each of our items. We’ll tell you more about this soon.

When is self checkout coming to the Library?

 We’re hoping to launch in mid September. Stay tuned for more information.

Won’t self checkout mean that library staff will lose their jobs?

No! There won’t be any fewer staff around, but our role out in the Library will change. As well as helping you use the self checkout units we’ll also have more time to show you around, help you place items on hold, locate a hard-to-find book or help set up your smart device for eBooks.