All posts by Administrator

Get REAL Magnification Equipment Available At Blasco

The Blasco Library was the recipient of a “Get REAL-Regional Education Assisting Life Long Learning” grant. A collaborative effort supported by the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS), the Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT), a program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, the “Get REAL” grant project provided a magnification units and a computer to make reading easier. This exciting program for individuals with disabilities is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The library received a video magnifier (also known as closed circuit TVs) . When you use this CCTV “Topaz” device you can magnify documents, books, magazines, newspapers,
letters and more so that you can read them more easily.  This vision aid lets you adjust the brightness and select different colors. 

Blasco and the bookmobile also received portable hand-held magnification devices called Rubies that perform many of the same functions as the larger “Topaz” unit. The portal units will be available for use in the Blasco Library Reference and the Heritage rooms as well as on the Bookmobile.

Topaz Magnifier in use at Blasco
Topaz Magnifier in use at Blasco

Who Do You Think You Are?

Do you watch the popular TV show Who Do You Think You Are? The NBC show is a documentary about American genealogy.  Each week, a different celebrity traces his or her family tree. 

We have two online resources which make it easier for people to trace their roots.  Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest Online are databases that help with genealogy searches. 

HeritageQuest Online is available on the library’s website 24/7.  It has coverage back to the 1700s of U.S. Federal Census records, Revolutionary War pension files, and Freedman bank records, just to name a few.  It also has a catalog of over 28,000 eBooks on genealogy and local history.

Ancestry Library Edition is available online in the Heritage Room only.  It includes:  census records;  birth, marriage, and death records;  military records;  immigration and naturalization records;  court, land, and tax records;  and more.

Practice Makes Perfect With Learning Express

Enjoy free, unlimited access to a broad range of over 770 practice tests based on official exams such as the ACT, SAT, GED, ASVAB Core, and EMT Basic. The list of practice exams on Learning Express includes firefighter, police officer, paramedic, U.S. Citizenship, postal worker, cosmetology, real estate exams, commercial driver’s license, medical assistant, and dental assistant, just to name a few.

Learning Express has interactive skill-building courses in math, reading, and writing for elementary, middle, and high school students.

You also have the option of selecting from more than 130 ebook titles to help learners of all ages prepare for success in such areas as workplace skills and career tools, civil service, math skills, writing skills, and academic test prep.

Check out Learning Express today!

Erie Rock Bands

Remember the Erie rock bands Arkay IV, the Pulse, Dirty Looks or Brother’s Keeper?

Be sure to check out the display at the Blasco Library, which features a picture of Train’s Pat Monahan, who had long, flowing hair when he sang for X-it. There are also pictures of Pistol Whip performing in the Children’s Room at the old Perry Square library. The display, which runs thru May 7th, also includes photos, CDs and press clippings of Clockwise, the Stabilizers and other local bands.

Playaway Audiobooks

Playaway display at the Blasco Library.

We have Playaway audiobooks at the Blasco Library.

Playaways are like an mp3 player that is loaded with just one title.

Just turn on the Playaway, add headphones, press play, and enjoy a full-length book.

Playaways check out for three weeks, just like books.

New titles added recently include The Confession by John Grisham and The Autobiography of Mark Twain, volume 1, edited by Harriet Elinor Smith.

Search for Playaway audiobooks

[swf src=”” width=600 height=270]

Friends of the Library

Are you interested in becoming a Friend of the Library?

Support from friends like you helps provide our library with funding for:

  • The Summer Reading Program – a library reading adventure, attended by more than 5,000 children each summer.
  • Year round special programs featuring best selling authors.
  • Additions to computer software and terminals to increase customer access to library collections.
  • Advocacy for Pennsylvania libraries.
  • Library staff education and development to better serve customers.

Your Friend’s Membership contribution entitles you to:

  • A newsletter and notices of upcoming special library events.
  • An invitation to an annual meeting with a program of special interest.
  • An opportunity to enrich the library system and your community.

Lend a hand… volunteer at the library. We need you to:

  • Help in the gift shop.
  • Help with fundraising and other projects.
  • Help in the Heritage Room.
  • Sort books and help with the book sales.
  • Have fun and help your community.

Your tax deductible membership contribution will be used to buy library materials and support programs that help meet our community’s needs. Join the Friends of the Library. They really do make a difference.

Friends of the Library Membership Form

Please mail your complete Membership Form and Membership Contribution to:

Friends of the Erie County Public Library
160 East Front St
Erie, PA 16507

For upcoming Friends of the Library events, check their Facebook page.