We’ve upgraded our Catalog to include your OverDrive checkouts and holds. Read our blog for more details.

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Database Blog

Managing your checkouts and holds from the Library just got easier! We've integrated many of the functions from our regular Catalog with our OverDrive catalog so you can see your checkouts and holds in one place, regardless of format. You can also checkout, download, and place holds on OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks directly from the Catalog.


If you're searching for titles in the Catalog, you'll see the following changes for OverDrive items. You can check if it's available for checkout, place a hold on it, or download it directly, right from the search results display:

Bibliocommons OverDrive Integration


You can also check out or place a hold from the item display by clicking "Request this Download":

Request this Download from Item Display


Best of all, you can now see your OverDrive checkouts and holds in My APL, alongside physical books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs. See all of them listed together, or select between the Physical and Digital tabs for those checkouts/holds only:

My APL with Physical and Digital tabs


Your checkout and hold limits for your Virtual Library and physical items won't be affected by this change. Unfortunately, we don't have this functionality for items checked out from OneClickdigital and Comics Plus, so you may still need to check other accounts. However, by combining the functions of our two largest catalogs, we're moving closer to making your Library checkout experience seamless and stress-free.

If you have any questions about the display and function of our updated Catalog, be sure to Ask a Librarian!

Page through the Austin Business Journal’s Book of Lists and you’re treated to a smorgasbord of data-driven lists ranking the top companies, events, and organizations in the Austin area. From finance to health care, technology to travel and hospitality, this annual publication is often lauded as the top source of business intelligence in Central Texas. It’s a nifty tool for understanding competitors and finding leads and opportunities.

Take the list of yearly festivals and events in the book’s 2014 edition. Ranked by attendance, the Trail of Lights is #1 with 400,000 attendees, followed by the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo (300,000), Formula One (265,499), and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (225,000). Each entry in this list includes representative sponsors and vendor contact information, useful for those all-important leads.

Pictured is Chris Martin of Coldplay singing at the City Limits Festival (click image for photo credit). Suffice it to say, once you use the Austin Book of Lists, you’ll be singing its praises. The book is available in hard copy at several locations throughout APL, but click here to access a digital copy at any time through our Virtual Library. All you need is an active APL card.

Virtual LibraryIt's no secret that tablets, smartphones, and all sorts of mobile devices are exploding in popularity. To maximize that powerful computer in your hand, check out the apps and mobile sites available through the Austin Public Library. If you need to learn Portuguese in a snap before a trip, get the Mango Languages app. Do you want an app that downloads and streams music? Freegal Music can help you out with that. Need eBooks and audiobooks for afternoons at Barton Springs? OneClickdigital and OverDrive have thousands of books for every age and taste. Do you just want to while away the summer paging through magazines, but don't want to cart them around? Head to Zinio and download unlimited mags to your device.

All of these apps are free for you to use with an Austin Public Library card. If you get stuck with the setup or confused by the different login processes, Ask a Librarian! We're happy to get you set up and on your way.

A few months ago, The New Yorker featured a piece on pictures of libraries for Robert Dawson’s book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. The Austin Public Library was proud to find that the George Washington Carver Branch was part of the slide show. With a fantastic mural, by the Austin artist John Fisher, adorning an outside wall and a rich history as the first branch to serve Austin’s Black community the Carver Branch has established itself locally and nationally.

Now, to better serve the rich and diverse citizenship of Austin, the Carver Branch has been awarded an enhancement grant from The Texas Book Festival. This will benefit the already existing collection of materials focused on African American history and culture. The Carver Museum, which sits next door to the Carver Branch, and the African American Cultural & Heritage Facility take on the task of creating exhibits and programming dedicated to African American scientists, artists, activists and the like. Meanwhile, the library looks to extend those learning opportunities through its available modern and updated texts.

As a nation, we recognize Black History in the month of February. As an evolving human society, we ought to do more. Having resources like the Carver Museum, African American Cultural & Heritage Facility and Carver library branch can bring a view into recent history unlike what is glossed over in school books and tourist destinations.

Here are some ways for you to do more:

  1. Visit Austin’s African American Cultural Heritage District and local landmarks
  2. Explore what the Austin History Center has to offer which includes an interesting series of vignettes titled Black in the Past
  3. Using your Austin Public Library Card delve into databases
  4. Tap into a variety of other resources
  5. Attend the eighth annual Austin African American Book Festival where the Carver Branch is holding a book sale this Saturday, June 28, 2014
  6. Be sure to check out the lobby displays and an unveiling of the newly purchased materials in the fall of 2014 at The Carver Branch.