- Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 19:59
- Written by Gwendolyn Gall
"Instant Access to 2200+ Newspapers from 97 countries in 54 languages". Free. Where? Online, courtesy of your public library. Old Ottawa South has one of the best public library branches in the country, just a short walk from anywhere in the neighbourhood. But the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) has some incredible resources online too, free with your membership, and access to thousands of newspapers from around the world is just one of them. We're going to tell you here how to find them, and access them easily from your desktop every day.
While you can get news from Google and other sources, the OPL provides access to the actual newspapers, not just some re-hashed combination of top news stories. At the OPL website, you can read a newspaper just as it appears in hard copy—as if you held it in your hands. But it's not always easy to find, so Between the Bridges is going to show you how to access it, and how to create a shortcut to it on your desktop to read any time.
It's called Library Press Display. First we'll show you how to access it from the top down, from the library main page. But this can be cumbersome and tedious, so we'll also provide you with a simple shortcut for your computer's desktop. Are you from Cape Breton originally and you want to keep up on all the local news without having to call Aunt Bertha and be stuck on the phone for an hour? (I know, you love Aunt Bertha, and you should give 'er a ring, but right now you just want to know why Mayor Morgan is stepping down.)
Note: We are going to show you how to do this in Windows XP, but MAC and other Windows operating system versions will be similar.
Accessing Library Press Display from the OPL Home Page
The easiest way to get to the OPL main page is to use a search engine like Google and type in "Ottawa Public Library". Click the top listing and you are there. (You may encounter a splash page that asks you for your language preference, or to log in with your library card number and password.)
- From the Collections list, select Magazines & Online Resources.
- In the Search For pulldown menu, select Digital Media.
- In the left column under E-Books and Audio Books, select Newspapers.
- Under Newspapers, select Library Press Display.
At this point you can select any number of options—choose a language, a country, a specific newspaper, or read current news articles from a variety of sources that have been pulled for you onto the main page. You may also be presented with the last page you visited, which in your case just might be the Cape Breton Post.
Setting Up a Shortcut to Library Press Display In Windows XP
Now that was easy—if you can remember each time where to look; personally, I'm not very good at that. And while sometimes I may want to go specifically to the Cape Breton Post, other times I want to know what's happening in Moscow, or browse papers from many places. The way to solve this is to set up a shortcut to the main page and go from there.
If you already know how to create a desktop shortcut, here's the URL. Simply copy it and pop it into the shortcut Location field:
To start from the beginning:
- Click your right mouse button anywhere in an empty area of your desktop screen.
- Select New ->Shortcut.
- In the Type the location of the item field, copy and paste the URL above.
- Click Next.
- Type in a name for your shortcut and click Finish.
That's it! You can do a lot of things from the main page, such as set up an RSS feed from your favourite newspaper and read it in your RSS reader. Or just go ahead and start reading a newspaper: after all, you still want to know why Mayor Morgan is stepping down.
- At some point in the process you may be asked for your Library Card Number and password. If you are at your home computer, you can click Remember Me on this computer to avoid having to type it in again.
- You can also register a Username at the library website, which will allow you to log in without having to remember your lengthy library card number each time, just your Username and password. Once you are a website member, you can access many additional features, such as adding comments, reviewing books, or joining an online book club. It's well worth it!
- Your password: unless you have changed it, your default password is the last four digits of your home phone number.