Making the most of our digital collections

It’s clear that one of the things that keeps us connected in this time of quarantine and distancing is our love of, and reliance on, stories. It’s often books, but it’s also TV and movies, podcasts and comics, and those funny short videos that pop up on social media about the excuses you can make to get out of virtual meetings when you have nowhere else to go.

At the Princeton Public Library, we want to keep you connected through our digital library offerings. And we get it: it’s great that there is so much available, but it can sometimes be tough to decide what would be the best use of your time. When you browse our physical shelves, you can take what you want, try it out, and return it without limitation. Due to licensing restrictions, we’re not always able to offer unlimited checkouts on all of our e-library platforms, and you may prefer not to use up some of your limited monthly borrows to try something you’re not sure you’ll like. We can help you with that.

All e-library materials are free, but some e-library materials are more free than others.

This modified (and hopefully less sinister) version of the classic quote from Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was the first thing that came to mind in trying to explain what we mean. With your library card, you can normally borrow five items from Hoopla each month, but did you know that you have access to hundreds of “Bonus Borrows” through April 30? Any and all of these can be borrowed in addition to your regular five titles, and you’ll get the full borrowing time (7 days for music, 21 days for books and audiobooks), so you don’t have to read everything by April 30th. No charge. Find the lists of Bonus Borrows here:


Do you still have some or all of your five allotted titles available on Hoopla or room in Libby for another title? Not sure what to pick? Let us help you navigate the available items by using one of our e-library-specific booklists. We also still have our PPL BookMatch service available for personalized recommendations for all ages.

Maybe you’re looking for more visual content? You know that you can already stream five titles through Kanopy each month, but you currently have access to a rotating list of “Credit-Free Viewing” titles that can be streamed in addition to your regular five titles. With its strong documentary and independent film collections, Kanopy is a great resource for finding something unexpected to enjoy.

There’s more for you researchers out there who might be ready to follow some of those family history leads you’ve been putting off. Our staff worked to make, usually only available to you while inside the library building, accessible from home through your library account. Plus, you still have your regular home access to HeritageQuest and Fold3. Visit our Family History & Genealogy research guide for more details on accessing these resources.

Remember, we’re still here for you, even though you can’t stop by. We’re staffing the virtual desk weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (until 7 p.m. on Thursdays) by phone, chat, and email. We’d love to hear from you.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

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