by LCVB staff member Elizabeth Connor

Mentor Public Library makes mobile apps first in Lake County

Main Branch of the Mentor Public Library

The Mentor Public Library already offers ebook downloads, movies, magazines, reference books, free music, and a variety of book clubs.  On Monday nights, you can talk about the month’s best sellers, there is a monthly Senior Center Book Discussion, the Book and Brush club for artists, a Book Club exclusively for men, or for the younger adults, join the 20/30s Club!   Furthermore, the Mentor Public Library also supports apps such as NoveList Plus, Nook, and Kindle.  Now, they are announcing two new mobile apps to add to their list!

The Mentor Public Library is excited to launch two new mobile apps: CardStar and Boopsie®, a free new service to patrons. With the use of these smartphone apps, patrons not only will be able to have 24/7 access to the library’s catalog and services, but also have an on-hand digital Mentor Public Library card. Patrons can search in the smartphone app store under “Mentor Public Library” to find these free apps.

The MPL Mobile app, developed by Boopsie® for Libraries, offers patrons anytime, anywhere access to the library’s catalog content, reading lists, event calendar and social media networks.

“Patrons are able to have real-time access to materials and have the ability to manage their accounts, including placing holds and renewals,” MPL Executive Director Lynn Hawkins said.

The Boopsie® app provides catalog search and account management, a GPS-powered library locator, Ask a Librarian, integration of social-network tools and other resources.

“This is a hard-working library app,” she said. “With one click, patrons can also access eBooks. Our eBook patrons can think of Boopsie as a very streamlined way to get to eBook content. There is a separate and simple channel for Overdrive in the app. That’s just one of the things they do.”

Patrons can now also use the library’s CardStar iPhone app as their library card. The CardStar app generates a barcode, which patrons can use in place of their card. The barcode on the iPhone screen can be scanned with special scanners at the Mentor Public Library. If patrons forget their card, they can use their CardStar app to check out library materials.

“We want to make Mentor Public Library as easy to use and as accessible as possible,” said MPL IT Manager Andy Gunsch.

With the CardStar app, Gunch said patrons will have no worries about being able to check out an item if they left their library card at home.

“The CardStar app will keep your most important card on you at all times,” he said. “You can have your library card on your smartphone, in your pocket, wherever you go. Our patrons will never have to worry about forgetting their library cards again.”

Hawkins said Mentor Public Library is the first to offer mobile-library apps in Lake County. “This is a very fluid environment and we try to anticipate our community’s needs; to be nimble enough to implement the services and programs that they want, even before they know they want them,” she said. “These new mobile apps are in response to that goal.”

Make sure to go to the library to see how Lake County continues to lead the state in mobile technology and nonprofit initiatives!  Congratulations to Mentor Public Library for such a remarkable endeavor!

About Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor is our Social Media Specialist. She has been with the Bureau since 2012 and manages our e-newsletters, blog, and social networking.

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