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Omaha Public Library's interactive tech for kids

A wealth of everyday tech is available at the Omaha Public Library.

Technology librarian John Carlotto previews the tools and resources accessible to Douglas County residents with a valid library card. (Guest passes to use computers — but not to use databases or check out materials — are available for people who don’t qualify for a regular resident card.)

Library resources

Computer access

All locations have open access computers with Microsoft Office and printing capabilities. There are computers available in the adult, teen and children’s areas.

Wi-Fi access

All locations have free public Wi-Fi access available, making it convenient to come in with your own device and connect online.

eBooks

Patrons have access to an extensive eBook collection through the downloadable Overdrive/Libby apps. The collection includes downloadable audio books and movies. The best thing about downloadable content? No fines or fees! They simply disappear from your device when the loan period has expired.

Chromebook laptops

Available to check out for in-house or take-home use. The loaners have built-in wireless Internet data connections.

Database access

Ninety-plus databases are available in the Resource Center at omahalibrary.org. Popular databases include Omaha World-Herald Historical Archives, past census information, and resources for self-instruction and/or consumer information such as Lynda.com or Consumer Reports. The majority of the databases can be accessed from home.

Self-check

Self-service checkout machines allow for simultaneous checkout of multiple items. Patrons can also check their account status and renew items on loan.

MyOPL

The app, downloadable to a mobile device from the App Store or Google Play, allows patrons to place holds, check due dates, renew items and check their account status from a smartphone.

Freegal

Patrons can download four free songs a week using their library card number and PIN. Select from thousands of artists, tens of thousands of albums and millions of songs. The Freegal Music website has hundreds of genres of music. The content is based upon agreements with more than 28,000 music labels, including Sony Music Entertainment. The songs are yours to keep, there is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.

RBDigital

Patrons can download the RBDigital app and use their library card for access to more than 250 digital magazines for browsing and checkout.

Fax, scanner and copier

All are available for public use.

Accessories

Headphones, flash drives and phone charging cables are available for in-house borrowing.

Meeting rooms

Nonprofit community groups can reserve online at omahalibrary.org. The rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, and LCD projectors are available upon special request.

For kids & youths

ABCmouse.com

This online resource can be used at any Omaha Public Library location and features interactive books, educational games, puzzles and other learning activities for ages 2 to 7.

TumbleBookLibrary

This curated database of children’s eBooks is available to patrons from anywhere with Internet access. There are no check-out times or wait lists: the books are always available! Great for tech-savvy kids.

Playaways

These pre-loaded audiobooks give patrons the portability and freedom to listen to audiobooks anytime, anywhere. It’s the easiest way to circulate everything from bestsellers to new releases, promote literacy and help patrons introduce more books into their lives every year. Available for use in the library or to check out and take home.

Playaway Launchpad

These tablets are pre-loaded with content for kids and are available for use at any library location or to check out at use at home. Simple, easy-to-use interface and 100% secure. Made to be passed from one set of hands to the next; no download time, nor a need for Wi-Fi.

Playaway View

This pre-loaded video player is available for use in the library or available for check out. Content is accessible in a simple, portable and durable format. Each player comes with multiple videos making it simple to access digital movies, shows, educational programming and more without the need for DVDs, downloads or an additional player.

VOX Books

The world’s first audio books that live in print books. Children simply push a button to listen and read. Available for use at any library location or for check out and use at home.

AWE Stations

All-in-one touchscreen workstations designed specifically for learners ages 2 to 8. These stations feature more than 4,000 localized learning activities. The fun, interactive and engaging content spans all seven curricular areas: math, science & nature, social studies & geography, reading, art & music, writing & computer skills, and reference. Available at Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, Saddlebrook Branch, South Omaha Library, W. Clarke Swanson Branch, W. Dale Clark Main Library only.

Emily Getzschman of the Omaha Public Library contributed to this report.

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