The Cabarrus County Public Library has implemented some computer system upgrades to improve the library experience for residents while making more library resources available online.
Improvements include an enhanced online library catalog, a new online continuing education system and a online foreign-language learning system.
"These online learning and search tools are helping to provide library resources 24-7 and make the library accessible even when the physical locations are closed," said Dana Eure, director of the Cabarrus County Public Library System, in a press release.
All four branches of the public library can access the new online catalog. Features such as browsing by genre and predictive results are among the enhancements.
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These search tools allow patrons to search for a book on a particular topic and receive suggestions on other library materials on the same topic. Other features include user reviews and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to selected media for people looking for a current event item on a related topic.
The new online catalog can also be accessed from any computer via the Cabarrus County Public Library homepage.
An online learning experience called Universal Class allows library card holders access to free continuing education classes.
Patrons can choose from a growing catalog of nearly 550 professional development, recreational or academic courses.
Users can register for up to five courses at a time and have six months to complete the coursework, graded by certified instructors. Feedback and discussions with other students and instructors are conducted via email or online chat.
Continuing education units also are available for selected courses. For details or to register, visit www.cabarrusnc.universalclass.com/register.htm or visit the library's website.
A new language-learning system called Byki Online Library Edition is designed specifically for use by patrons of public libraries.
Byki, short for "Before You Know It," is a rapid learning method to memorize words and phrases in a new language, including meanings and pronunciation.
Available for learning more than 70 languages, library patrons are able to access the online system from computers inside or outside of the library via the web.