Friday, August 2, 2013


                                                                                                                                               Special to the Commercial/William Harvey   Sylvia Moore, an assistant manager for the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library, shows off the new service that allows those with a library card to get up to three free music downloads a week. 

Music downloads among library's new offerings
By Rick Joslin

Patrons of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System are benefiting from three recently implemented services.

Director Michael Sawyer said the library now has a web-based automation system through TLC (The Library Corporation) of Inwood, W.VA. The online card catalog system will help in the library's efforts to become a "state-of-the-art" facility. Sawyer had said earlier this year before the new system's arrival that the library was operating 20 years or more behind current capabilities.

Library board members and Sawyer are determined to not only bring the agency up-to-date, but also get an "early start" on the future.

Meanwhile, the library has launched foreign language and downloadable music programs, too.

Sawyer said award-winning Mango Languages was designed by a team that included "linguists teachers, software developers, human interface specialists writers and voice talents" and has received international acclaim.

"Mango Languages contains various courses with an appreciation for cultural nuances and real-world applications that go beyond teaching vocabulary to integrate components of grammar and culture," Sawyer said. "The Mango learning methodology teaches actual conversation, breaking down complex linguistic elements within an audio-visual framework that draws important connections and builds on information the user has already learned.

"Mango continues to expand its language learning offerings, adding more languages and more platforms -- including iPhone and Android apps -- so that more library patrons can benefit," Sawyer said.

The local library has joined the national Library Ideas network of public library web sites offering access to over 7 million songs including Sony Music's catalog of "legendary artists," Sawyer announced.

"The Freegal Music service will allow the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library to increase the size and diversity of its collection by offering access to over 28,000 music labels from 85 different countries," said Sawyer.

Registered card holders of the local library can download up to three Freegal Music tracks per week in the MP3 format at no direct charge via the web site The Freegal Music Service has free music apps for registered cardholders of subscribing libraries. The apps are available in Apple App Stores and Google Play.

"The library will underwrite the purchase of the music," Sawyer said. "We are very excited to offer a service like this. We think this will be incredibly popular with our patrons and help the library in marketing all its services to the community.