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Newberg Public Library launches online magazines and DMV practice test via ongoing project

The Newberg Public Library has been keeping up with the times since it first opened in 1908 and now offers a myriad of online digital programs to meet just about anyone's reading and learning needs. The latest addition is an online digital magazine program that went active Dec. 19 for library card holders called RBdigital, a service that allows one to choose from magazines ranging from Forbes and U.S. Weekly to Rolling Stone and Men's Health. PMG FILE PHOTO - The Newberg Public Library's digital program expands the amount of magazines that are available with 32 new ones.

"A lot of people get tablets over the holidays and it looked like a good time to do it," said library director Leah Griffith. "There are a total of 63 magazines to choose from; 52 are general interest, one teen mag, six are for kids and four are in Spanish."

The library has 20 of the online versions in paper form; the digital program expands the amount of magazines that are available with 32 new ones.

"It is another format for people to get information to read and enjoy what is out there," Griffith said. "When you are home sick and (don't have) anything at home, you can just go on and read a magazine or check out a book online."

All these are available for the computer or if you prefer to read on the go, the RBdigital app can be downloaded from the Google Play store or iTunes. Magazines can be flipped through with an iPad or other tablet or smartphone. Readers can also ask to be notified when a new issue becomes available. There is no limit on the number of magazines one can check out and they don't expire after a certain time period in the way library e-books do.

Visit the Newberg library's website at www.newberglibrary.org with a library card number and password to get through the registration process. Then create an account with RBdigital and you are on your way to browsing and reading. When you see something that you want to read, just click on the cover and then a checkout button. Before you click the checkout button, you can click a box marked "email me when the next issue is available."

You can also apply for a temporary Newberg library card online so you can have quick access to the digital programs.

"We are more than happy to schedule a time for people to come in with their tablets and help them set things up," Griffith said. "We also have a program called Ask a Librarian, it is a 24/7 chat system (that) will help to find that answer for you. During the day the librarians everywhere from Oregon take turns to answer questions."

Another new addition to the digital programs is the Department of Motor Vehicles online practice driving test. "It is great for 15 year olds that need to take their first test, or if you are from out of town and need to take a test, or if you need to re-take a test after 35 years," Griffith said.

There are several other digital programs to choose from: Pronunciator is an interactive language learning program where you can choose up to 80 languages to learn with self-directed lessons and a live teacher. You will need headphones and earphones to use this service.

"We also have a section on citizenship to study," Griffith said. "When you go online and look to the right you will see a digital library as a heading and can browse through to see what we have. We have legal forms, online classes on how to use various computer resources."

Historians might enjoy the recent scanning of Newberg papers from 1898 through 1922 that was a collaborative project with the University of Oregon. Called the Historic Oregon Newspaper project, first the papers were scanned and now they are being digitized.

"It is not your grandfather's library anymore; we have ukuleles to check out, book clubs and team gaming," Griffith said. "We are expanding a number of our resources and we are working on a "Library of Things" right now where you can check out things that someone might need to use for a little bit, but really don't need to buy. A bubble machine, telescope, maybe even a baking dish! We are hoping to launch that in the early spring."

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