Kicking the tires of your digital-world ride

Are you ready to kick the tires of the Power of One device or shiny new computer you found under your tree? The former, i.e. tablets and smartphones, are also referred to as consumption devices since you consume, or more appropriately “stream,” various content such as entertainment and knowledge from the internet, aka the cloud. Computers can also consume but additionally can be used to create documents and many others for self or to share with others.

If you are ready to find out what your gift is capable of, just whip out your … library card! Being a card-carrying digital-world citizen has its privileges as libraries have adjusted nicely to the world after the internet. They continue to embrace digital-world-based services as society changes the way they do things and all the while continuing to service the people who walk into the libraries in the real world.

You’ve probably heard of Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, right? They are some of the current leaders in providing movies, TV shows, and other entertainment content to be consumed at a cost to subscribers.

But have you heard of Hoopla, Kanopy or Stingray Quello (latter for music buffs which we probably all are except different music genre preferences). If not, just visit the Westlake Porter Public Library (WPPL) website using your browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or EDGE, from your new gift. Hint: these are services offering movies, TV shows, niche documentaries, and performances without paying subscription fees – i.e. free with your library patronship!

As you start kicking the tires of your new gift using the libraries’ digital services, you’ll find that each library has the same or similar offerings administered through a third party. For example Hoopla and Kanopy are offered at both WPPL and Bay Village Public Library (BVPL), which is a branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) system.

A couple of my favorite services at BVPL, which also means they are accessible by Cuyahoga County residents as CCPL has many branches, fall under the “similar” category: the Naxos music/video collection and the Flipster service for electronic magazine. As a WBVO reader and a music buff, you can imagine how dual patronship at WPPL and BVPL can uncover many performances that you didn’t know existed of your favorite bands or performers!

An internet connection, especially private Wi-Fi for the Power of One devices, is required to enjoy all of the above and other library digital services. The cloud, aka the internet, also has tons more of both fee-based subscription services and free (usually supported by ads) content providers for you to discover.

The year 2020 starts the fourth year of our nonprofit offering the 16-week “Discover Digital Literacy!” program to seniors for free. The class on learning to use area libraries’ digital service offerings has consistently been the most popular class out of the 16 classes that make up the program. We are working out the details on the next session, so stay tuned to this column for an announcement on how to sign up.

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with almost 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.07.2020