Trending eHelp Topics – Spring 2024

Ready to "spring forward" with some eHelp news? Here's our top 5 questions since January that are likely to cross your desk in the coming weeks, plus a few tips and tricks that were worth sharing. 

eBook Borrowing & Returns

  • Early Returns! We in fact had 3-4 people asking about this at the start of the year. Yes, it's possible to manually return eBooks before their due date to make titles available for others sooner, but the process varies by device/app (and in some cases, like Hoopla, that does not mean you get an extra borrow).
  • In some case you can do this from the accounts dashboard in BiblioCommons, but other times you might have to visit the app or website. Here's an FAQ entry with more info.

The Kindle App for Smartphones

  • Did you know it's possible to read Kindle formatted eBooks on a smartphone? This idea was mentioned by a frequent flyer, and while we generally do not recommend it because only a fraction of our total eBook collection is in this format, there are some cases where it might make reading on the go easier.
  • But how does this work? Read their help docs for more info. In the near future expect an FAQ entry on our site with more info too.  

Coursera Mondays

  • This specific site has a limited number of available "seats" which get replenished weekly. This same information is repeated when people create a new account and get denied, so it doesn't usually come up, just be aware their queue gets every Monday at noon.
  • Don't forget that our grant funded Coursera access expires this year!

IndieFlix & Direct Database Searches

  • Much like our Hoopla collection, be aware that IndieFlix's database isn't indexed—we have to search their site directly.
  • The good news: there's a new direct link to Indieflix which saves a few steps. Try it out! 

Saved Searches & Alerts

  • Did you know it's possible to save searches and set up RSS-to-email alerts in BiblioCommons? You can use an RSS reader (Feedly is a good one) but I've started to use and it works really well.
  • Creative uses for search alerts:
    • Tracking new books by a specific author.
    • Anything with an "on order" status. I like to do format specific searches for this (e.g. new Blu-Rays)
    • Following items that have been recently tagged or reviewed.
    • Specific subject headings or combinations of subjects.