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

Love indie films? IndieFlix has films for you

IndieFlix allows you to view thousands of independent films online in your browser.  They vary in length from a few minutes to full length (2+ hours).  Films are unlimited access, so there is no waiting and no holds.

IndieFlix choice

You need an internet-enabled computer, tablet or smart phone that allows streaming video.  If you have data limits on your phone or device, please consider whether there is a cost before downloading a free movie from Indieflix.  You can also use your Roku or Xbox to stream video—just look for the app in your app store and type in the code provided with your IndieFlix account. 

For free access from Appleton Public Library you will need to enter through the Recorded Books Gateway, which is on the Appleton Public Library website, below the picture of the InfoSoup library card.  The Gateway also provides access to Zinio, where you can get subscriptions to 100 popular magazines and download digital copies.  If you currently have a Zinio account you can use the account information to sign into the Gateway (2).  If not, you should create an account (1).  You can find out more by exploring the gateway (3).

RB gateway

Once you have logged into the gateway, click the orange IndieFlix bar, and create an IndieFlix account.

create IndieFlix account


You can search for films by title, actor, director and other parameters.  You can narrow the search using filters like length of film, genre, intended audience, film festival, country, and web series.  Channels provide a good way to browse films by genre or film festival.  There are a variety of films to fit your taste.




Quality independent films are now available to you almost anywhere.  Don't forget the popcorn!



Funding for this service is provided by the Friends of Appleton Public Library.

Friends of Appleton Public Library



Traveling? Enjoy an audiobook

Seems like everyone is driving or traveling in the summer—check out a book on cd or Playaway or download a digital audio book to make those endless miles more enjoyable! 


Audio books are titles read or acted by voice actors—either an individual or a group.  The full cast audio books are like a play, with different actors playing the parts, sometimes with music and sound effects.  Listening to a book can give you a whole new experience compared to reading it.  Some staff favorites are listed on our Better As Audio booklist.


If you are traveling as a couple and want an audio book that both of you can enjoy, try one of the titles on our Road Trip for Two list. 


Summer is prime time for travel as a group.  Some favorite listens for the whole family appear on the Family Road Trip booklist.


The Appleton Public Library has audio books in several formats:


  • Books on CD are discs that can be used in car cd players, personal players and home entertainment systems. 

 Playaway coverPlayaway controls

  • Playaways are self-contained books on a small cartridge—no need to change discs.  They are light and easy to use when walking, running or traveling.  An adapter may be used to allow listening in your car.  You provide the AAA battery and use your own headphones or earbuds to listen.  The library also sells batteries (50 cents) and earbuds ($1.00) at the Information Desk if you are eager to get started.



  • Digital audiobooks are available for download via OverDrive or OneClickdigital.  They check out, using your library card number and PIN/password log in to set up your account.  Depending on the format, they can be downloaded on or transferred to mp3 players, mobile devices such as tablet computers and smart phones, as well as your desktop computer.  Thousands of titles are available to you for free.

 SYNC YA poster

A special free program for those who listen to YA books allows you to download and keep two free audio books each week.  There are two titles per week during the summer, a YA title and a classic--see the titles here.  Publishers have donated use of these titles, and the site is hosted by Audiofile.  Check it out at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­www.audiobooksync.com.


There are also free audio sites online, but titles are generally not read by voice actors, so the voice quality may vary.  However the price is right!  Check out Librivox, Librophile, and Books Should Be Free.


Enjoy a great listen this summer!

Finding Foreign Films

Do you speak a language other than English or want to practice the language you are learning in school?  Are you visiting the US and are homesick for entertainment in your native language?  Perhaps you are a film buff who loves foreign films?

We have films from many countries at the Appleton Public Library.  This month the film display highlights foreign films so it’s extra easy to find one.  The display is behind the Information Desk.

We also have an updatedForeign Films list which lists many of our newer foreign films plus some “classic” foreign films.  Films are arranged by language and/or country. 

If you wish to search for a certain film, or category of film, there are various ways to search in InfoSoup:


1.        Exact title. If you don’t see it in English, try looking for the name  in the original language.

Title search

2.       Director.  Use the author field and type in the director’s name.  If they have also written books, you can narrow the search by choosing DVD & VHS & Blu-ray as the format.

Format search

3.       Actor.  Use the author category. Narrow by format.

4.       Choose the subject search; then enter one of these subject headings:

  1. a.       Feature Films—­­­­­­­­___________ (fill in the blank with the name of the language you’re looking for)
  2. b.      Moving Pictures--_____________
  3. c.       Foreign Films--­_____________

Subject search

5.       Once you find a film in a language you like, you can link to others by clicking the subject headings at the bottom of the entry.

Cross reference

Enjoy watching films from all over the world!

Attention fans of comics & graphic novels!

Free Comic Book Day logo

Saturday, May 4, is Free Comic Book Day!  Every year on the first Saturday of May participating comic book shops give away comic books free to people who visit their stores.  Learn more at http://www.freecomicbookday.com .


This year, the Appleton Public Library will be partnering with Chimera Hobby to be a give-away site.*

 Free Comic Book Day flyer 

Appleton Public Library lends graphic novels—stories told in words and pictures, like a traditional comic book—for children, teens and adults.   A display of teen and adult graphic novels from our collection will be available for check out, along with a guide to some interesting and important adult graphic novels. The library also has a large collection of manga.



We will also be promoting a program this summer for teens (grades 7-12) called Secret Identity Workshop.  Teens will create their own superhero identity cards!

Secret Identity Workshop

*One comic per person while supplies last.  Titles will vary.

New features on OverDrive!

Cover, Grid or List—these are new ways to browse for titles. 


For a quick look at the collection, try the cover view.  You will see more books at once.

Cover view of Overdrive


The Grid view shows more information about each title, including full title and author name as well as the name of the series, if appropriate.

Grid view


The List view shows fewer books but also more information about the book.  You can see the full description by clicking on the book cover.

List view

Another way to narrow your search is to choose a collection.

 Collection choices

“My library’s collection” means everything currently in the Wisconsin Digital Library collection for use, whether you need to put a hold on it or it is available for checkout right now.

 “Only titles with copies available” will take away the titles which are all checked out, and you will see just items which can currently be checked out.

 “Additional titles to recommend” searches through all titles which OverDrive currently has access to, whether already added or not.  This is similar to a request for purchase, where you suggest that the library buy a title to be added to the collection.


Your search may also be narrowed by

  • Ebook vs. audio book
  • Format (Epub, Kindle, OverDrive Read, etc)
  • Subject
  • Publisher
  • Language
  • Grade Level
  • * rating which other readers have given to the title

  • ·         Device that may be used to read or listen to the book (brand of ereader, audio device, tablet, etc.)


    There is a new “basic” version of OverDrive Read that allows you to use OverDrive Read in Internet Explorer without installing a plugin.  If you are already using Internet Explorer with the Google Chrome Frame Plugin or using a different browser you will see no difference. However, Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, and 9 will give you the option to use the basic version instead.

    The basic version of OverDrive Read supports many of the features of OverDrive Read. However, because some of the features of OverDrive Read depend on the advanced features of HTML5 and CSS3 (which are not available in older browsers without the Google Chrome Frame Plugin), the basic version will provide you with a different experience. The most notable of these are the absence of pagination and customized font sizes.

Enjoy these new features which make it easier to find titles to your taste.

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