Pulp-less Fiction: Digital Downloads

This blog is about new paperless reading materials like downloadable audio books, ebooks, and online magazines, made available to you through the Appleton Public Library. I plan to provide helpful tips on using these new products, along with reviews of audio books, music on cd, and movies on DVD and Blu-ray.  The library is changing as rapidly as your access to media and the Internet. We want to keep on top of the trends and bring you information and entertainment in a way that fits your life today.   -Beth

Interested in family history?

Thanks to everyone who came to Genealogy 101:  Where to Start last Saturday.  For those who weren’t able to attend, here are links to Appleton Public Library publications and websites related to genealogy.

Find Your Family:  Selected sources for genealogy work at the Appleton Public Library
Digitized Resources:  Lists of the city directories, platbooks and histories which have been digitized
Genealogy (for elementary students)
Genealogy 101:  Where to Start

Trace the History of Your House

 Fox Valley Memory logo

Fox Valley MemoryA collaborative digital library of local history information for the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin.

Historic Photos Index:  A partial index to photos from books in the Wisconsin Collection, generally scenes from Appleton history. The photos may be viewed in the library or requested as photocopies for a fee. Photos are not available online.
Obituary Index:  a partial index to obituaries and death notices from Appleton newspapers. You may search the microfilm yourself or apply (for a fee) to have copies sent to you.

Platbook Index:  This is a name index to four plat books for Outagamie County: Platbook of Outagamie County, WI (1889), Platbook of Outagamie, WI (ca. 1910) Standard Atlas of Outagamie County (1917) and Atlas of Outagamie County (1942). The originals are shelved in the Wisconsin Collection at the Appleton Public Library.

Veterans' Grave Registration:  This database contains information on over 500 Fox River area deceased veterans from the War of 1812 to World War I.


The Appleton Public Library also provides access to Ancestry Library Edition (in the library only) and Heritage Quest (in the library or at home using your library card).  They provide access to vital records, census records and images, military records and so on. 

Heritage Quest logo  Ancestry logo


For U.S. government websites which help you find family information, a list is here.  

One good place to look for sites on a topic is Cyndislist.  


There are many ways to find your ancestors, from visiting cemeteries to traveling to other countries; armchair research or calling distant cousins.  Enjoy your quest to find out more about your family's history!

Interested in learning about your family?


Did you grow up with stories about a grandfather who worked on the railroad, or a family who sailed to America?  Are you related to an important person?  Do those unlabeled photos taken a hundred years ago make you wonder who they are and how they fit with your family? 

Coming to America

Many people become interested in their family history as they grow older, or their interest is piqued when their children come home from school with a request for a family tree.  Perhaps you stumbled across the TV show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” 

Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the U.S.  It combines detective work, reading, travel (sometimes), photography, fashion, technology and the science of DNA.

Starting your family tree is easy, but when researching it can be hard to know where to begin. Here’s help:

Genealogy 101: Where to Start
October 19 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Meeting Room C

We will go over the basics of starting a search for your family history. Topics will include organizing your information, local sources, including those at Appleton Public Library, and what to look for on the Internet.  The slides and handouts will also be posted to next week’s Pulp-less Fiction blog, if you are unable to attend. 

If you are already interested in family history, did you know that the Appleton Public Library has Ancestry Library Edition available for free inside the library?  We also have HeritageQuest available to use online with your library card.

Family record

The second floor of the library has the Wisconsin Collection, which includes city directories, Appleton school yearbooks, plat maps, history books of the area and the state, and much more.  On the main floor you can access microfilm of the Appleton Post-Crescent and earlier newspapers on microfilm, or other newspapers online from the library or from home.

New features for Zinio and IndieFlix

Recently Zinio changed the method of delivering downloadable magazines to library patrons.  Previously you could choose a magazine subscription, which automatically added new issues to your account.  With the new method you log in through the APL Gateway and choose each issue of each magazine separately.  

This makes possible a great new feature--you now have access to back issues.  The number of issues available depends on the publisher, but you should be able to go back at least a year for many magazines.  Click the current cover of the magazine, which will bring up a page with that issue as well as those from the past. 

Zinio magazine 

BAck issues

Click on a cover to checkout and download that issue.

Check out back issue

Read as usual.

 If you are unfamiliar with Zinio, check out the Zinio brochure.


IndieFlix Logo

IndieFlix has an all-new interface which makes it easier to navigate.  They have also retooled the site so it will automatically adjust to the size of the device you are using.  This will make it much easier to watch films.

The toolbar along the left side links you to everything you need.  You can save a list of favorite films in MyFlixDiscover highlights films you may want to watch; in categories like Staff Picks, Trending, and Recently Added.

IndieFlix toolbar

You can still search in All Films, using filters to find the perfect film for you!  Or use Channels to find films by genre, film festival or web series.  There is a regular Search feature as well.

Your settings can be changed in My Account.  You can also set up your Roku or Xbox from here.  It is also the spot to go to when you wish to log out.

If you're new to IndieFlix, check out our brochure.


These features have improved access to both magazines and films, so take advantage of these free films and magazines, available from Appleton Public Library!

Free magazines through Zinio with your Appleton Public Library Card

Zinio provides access to downloadable magazines which can be read on your favorite devices.  You can choose from 100 popular magazines and subscribe for free using your Appleton Public Library card. 

On the www.apl.org web site, click the Zinio logo on the right hand side, below the picture of the Infosoup library card.  Each time you choose free magazine subscriptions you must enter through the Recorded Books Gateway.  The Gateway also provides access to IndieFlix to stream thousands of independent films for free, if you create a free IndieFlix account. 



If you currently have an IndieFlix account you can use the account information to log into the Gateway (2).  If not, you should create an account (1).  You can find out more by exploring the Gateway (3).

create new account

You will enter your library card number with no spaces; then click "next".  Follow the instructions to create your account.  Once you have logged into your Gateway account, click Zinio and create a Zinio account.  The Zinio account allows you to open your magazines in the Zinio app.

Log in to the Gateway

Log in to the Zinio Gateway.  Here you will choose your free magazine subscriptions.

Choose magazines

Many devices will allow you to download the free Zinio app from their app store.  The app allows you to download magazines to your tablet or other device.  While you need to choose your magazines in the Appleton Public Library Gateway, once you have subscribed to a magazine you can open the Zinio app or go to the www.zinio.com site and log in to read the issues.  If you download them on your device they will be available even when you are not connected to the internet. 

There are 100 popular magazine titles available for download:

Magazine titles

Be sure to download each issue by clicking on the down arrow on the magazine cover when it becomes available.  Once the next issue comes, if you haven't downloaded the first one it will become unavailable.  After you read an issue you may choose "edit" to remove that issue.  You may still "restore" the issue if you wish to read it again later. 


You may also purchase other titles that the library does not provide.  You can do so at www.zinio.com by adding a private account to pay with a credit card.  This is separate from your library Zinio account, though you can read both of them in the Zinio app.


Now you can forget that slippery stack of expensive paper magazines and sign up for free magazine subscriptions through the Appleton Public Library!

Steampunk Saturday is September 21

Steampunk is a type of science fiction that usually features steam-powered machinery in a 19th century setting.  It has been described as “the past that never was”:  an alternative history rooted in the Victorian era’s perspective of the world, culture, fashion and manners.  In this world the internal combustion engine or electricity were never used, and fantastic machines were created to accomplish similar tasks.  Steampunk writing appears in genres such as fantasy, horror, romance and historical fiction as well as science fiction.  Examples of steampunk books are the novels of Scott Westerfeld, Gail Carriger, and Cherie Priest. 

 Leviathan     Soulless     Boneshaker

The Steampunk genre now encompasses books, comics, film, music, art, drama and even lifestyle.   It is incorporated into film in movies like Hugo, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the recent Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr., as well as appearing in a totally Steampunk animated movie, Steamboy.

Hugo     Steamboy


Steampunk remakes history in a way enjoyable to many people.


Please join us at the Appleton Public Library on Saturday, September 21, from 10:00am to 2:00pm to learn more about Steampunk.  Catherine Noble-Beyer will give two short presentations, one explaining what Steampunk is, the other about choosing a persona and creating an appropriate costume, with tips on adapting clothing and creating inexpensive accessories.  Jerry Beyer and Catherine Noble-Beyer will judge the costume contest.

You will have a chance to create a fascinator to wear in your hair or a military-style ribbon to pin to your costume.  Don't forget to make a mustache monocle! 

Wear your best Victorian or Steampunk outfit and enter the costume contest to win great prizes; or merely pose for your free Victorian souvenir photo. 


Victorian photo

Ken Vinson, gamer and co-author of Brass & Steel:  A Game of Steampunk Adventure will be demonstrating the game in Room D.  Stop by and give it a try, or enter to win a copy as a door prize.

Brass & Steel


We will be making mini-journals, and fantastic paper toys--Steampunk origami style.  Examples of the crafts are in the display case across from the elevator at the library, along with some unique items shared by local Steampunks.  There will be great door prizes including Steampunk books, Mustache Mania, Writer's set, and more.  The program was a lot of fun last year so we hope to see you here on September 21!


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