Library offers freedom to travel the Internet

For more than three-quarters of a century, the Zion-Benton Public Library has been an institution of the people, by the people and for the people of the Zion and Benton township communites, offering equal access to resources and services and equal opportunities for achievement and enhancement of people’s lives.

Internet use is now so ubiquitous in the U.S. that not having access or online literacy can create major obstacles. For some people, the only place offering free use of digital technologies and access to the Internet is the public library.The ZB Library has evolved into an entity that does much more than just circulate books and media. It bridges “digital divide,” the gap between people who have and those who don’t have access to digital technology, with public desktop computers, hard-wire and wi-fi Internet access, laptops, a full suite of document software, e-books collections and assistance in navigating the digital world.

Yet even for residents who do not depend on Internet access, the ZB Library offers vital digital resources and services, including databases, archives, educational opportunities, digital media, virtual reference libraries and many other online technologies, as well as traditional print and AV collections. Online resources ranging from reference sources; digital books, music and videos; career training and certification; literacy and academic skill building; adult learning; genealogy; and health – to name a few – are accessible at no charge to cardholders through the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Free use of digital technology makes the ZB Library a government of the people; this equal opportunity is made possible with support by the people, and all this free access to collections and e-resources makes the ZB Library a vital hub of information for the people of this community.

Because it is of, by and for the people, the ZB Library’s digital resources offer something for all the people.

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Cold records might change In Cold Blood narrative

Is In Cold Blood more fiction than truth? That has been the controversy ever since the “true”-crime classic was first published in 1965.

The book describes the brutal murder of a Kansas family in 1959, and, according to its subtitle, A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. While it’s artfully written, Capote took liberal literary license in describing many of the book’s dramatic and detailed passages. Nevertheless, In Cold Blood has stood as one of the great American crime stories.

A recent court decision allowing the findings of an investigator in the case to be published might shed different light on the “true account” of the story. The son of that investigator, Ronald Nye, says these case records contradict Capote’s account.

How do they contradict the story? We’ll have to wait until the book comes out, of course. Nye is reportedly writing the book with author Gary McAvoy, who says the information “supports a pretty compelling new theory” on the story, which in addition to the murders describes the massive manhunt for the killers, detailed backstories on both, their trial and executions.

This is merely speculation, but the narrative describing the motive and/or the manner of the murders might be the part of the “true”-crime story that could change.

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Call in professionals for your information expeditions

Traditionally reference librarians were scouts in guiding and locating information from a seemingly barren desert landscape. The rise of the digital medium turned the librarian’s mission on its head. In today’s world, reference librarians help wade through an information ocean to retrieve what’s credible, accurate and useful for library users.

So when you feel overwhelmed in trying to find useful information among the tsunami of noise, opinion, deception and propaganda of the Internet, call in the professionals. The ZB Library’s staff of reference professionals can guide you in that exploration. Whatever the scope of the request, reference librarians can assist in retrieving the information, data or item you seek.

The sherpas on the Adult and Youth reference desks are every cardholder’s best information resource. Skilled and experienced in the craft of finding sources of information, they cut right to the chase to guide you to information that’s credible and verified.

Asking a question to a reference librarian is not a bother. It’s what they do. They provide assistance and instruction in exploring the library’s collections and using its services, including assistance in identifying library materials and services needed to answer a reference question, the location of materials and use of the digital catalog, and instructions on how to use all components of the public computer system.

More than just producers of information, ZB Library reference librarians are your personal information literacy consultants who specialize in retrieving information from the digital ocean. The basic technique they use is a reference interview, in which they’ll ask probing questions to determine your specific need and the scope of your inquiry. Information from the interview will give them an idea of where to explore to retrieve good information that will meet your reference request.

Reference librarians will also teach you how to use the library’s extensive array of electronic resources, to help guide your information expedition and others you might have in the future.

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Enterprise offers personal connection to library collections

Access to the ZB Library’s extensive collections and resources is open using Enterprise, a digital catalog offering a full inventory of what the library has available and connects you to the collections of more than two dozen public libraries in northern Illinois.

Creating a personal account powers up the Enterprise experience. With an account, you can make holds, request interlibrary loans and compile personal lists to organize items of interest. It also provides:

  • links to the ZB Library’s online resources, including its online academic tutoring service; ebook, videorecording and audiobook collections; program and event schedule; and other resources;
  • links to your personal account at the library, including information on your checkouts, renewals, holds and reading lists;
  • listings of recent activities and lists posted, recently rated books, new additions to the collections, award-winners and bestsellers.

For most of these tasks, you register a personal account in Enterprise through the ZB Library. Here is a pathfinder to access your account:

  • Go to
  • Select “My ZB Library” brings you to the Enterprise home page
  • Select “My Account” to log in. If you are a first-time user, enter your library card number and default password, which is patron
  • First-time users will verify some personal information and create a username
  • Enter your email address, which is used to recover your password and receive notifications about due dates, overdue notices and to notify you when reserved items are ready to be checked out
  • Accept the posted terms and conditions

To start the optional notification service, access your “My ZB Library” account, select “email notification.”

While Enterprise is the direct online portal to the ZB Library’s collections, cardholders have access to a collection of additional library apps at the website. Enterprise delivers power with simple searches and makes you master of a universe of information and knowledge.

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Check it out: New high-rated e-books and e-audiobooks

The ZB Library’s online resources collection is always open and includes sites to check out and download e-books and e-audiobooks to a computer, tablet or mobile device. Here are a few newly-added items available in the e-resources collection:

From MyMediaMall

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)wonder

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

 Sharp Obsharpjects (Gillian Flynn)

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims–a bit too strongly.


 From Recorded Books OneClickDigital

e-audiobook: The Children Act (Ian McEwan)

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She ischildren fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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