All things LEGO!

The photograph depicts a jumbled, colorful pile of Lego blocks and figurines.
Image by Iris Hamelmann from Pixabay.

Did you know that there are more than 100 LEGO pieces per person on the planet? The word Lego comes from an abbreviation of the Danish words leg and godt, which mean play well. Lego was founded in 1932, and since then their “play well” philosophy continues to inspire citizens the world over. This universal building block connects generations and bridges language barriers – anyone can build Lego. Here are just a few resources from HCLS to inspire Lego fans of all ages – whether you’re an AFOL (adult fan of Lego), TFOL (teen fan of Lego), or KFOL (kid fan of Lego), here are some finds to get you in the mood to build!

A Lego Brickumentary is a fun and fact-filled foray into the fandom that is Lego. In a documentary that the whole family can watch together, animated Lego scenes are interspersed with interviews and awe-inspiring Lego builds. It explores the history and evolution of the world’s second biggest toy company and how it has become a catalyst for innovation. I was inspired through the artists, master builders, designers, architects, and therapists that have utilized this simple building brick to transform ideas and imagination into reality. This film runs 1 hour and 35 minutes, is rated G, and is available on DVD from HCLS.

Beautiful Lego is a full color portfolio of Lego artworks from 77 different contributors and a compendium of so many fantastical designs – from minimalism to monsters. This gorgeous book boasts more than 200 pages of inspiration. I loved the incredibly detailed model of an imaginary extraterrestrial city – the same one featured on the cover art. The book features unusual usage of different types of bricks in creating textures, expressions, and models of everyday objects. For fans of art, fans of Lego, and fans of both.

100 Ways to Rebuild the World is a children’s book full of ideas of how to encourage kindness, positivity, community, and responsibility. It features fun bright Lego illustrations and issues challenges to inspire kids to care about themselves, others, and the planet. My favorite challenges were “Start a chain of creativity” and “Step into their shoes.” It is a great resource for parents who are looking for ways to help their children connect with the community and the world around them.

The collage includes the Lego creations participants in the Lego Engineering Challenge class, including elephants, a dump truck, an arrow, windmills, and other vehicles.
A collage of the creative work of participants in the Lego Engineering Challenge class.

Lego Engineering Challenge is a biweekly prerecorded class produced by Ms. Julie. She issues four unique challenges in every class – encouraging children in grades K-8 to use their imagination and problem solving skills to complete fun tasks. After each session, Ms Julie compiles participants’ submissions and shares them to encourage budding engineers and artists. Pictured are just a few submissions from past classes. It is always fun to see so many creative solutions to the same challenge. Find the next class by clicking here, then register to receive a link to the next session.

Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry is an eAudiobook available on Cloud Library. It explores the business management and innovation practices of the Lego Group through anecdotes and case studies. This book was written to be an inspiration for business owners as a model of how innovation practices evolved at the Lego Group, and how the company used their 2003 brush with bankruptcy to realign, reconnect, and reemerge as a leader in the toy industry.

Inspired to create your own Lego masterpieces? Share them with the world through the Lego Ideas website. This is one of the Lego Group’s most successful innovations. A crowd-sourced idea generator, it began in 2008 as Lego Cuusoo (Cuusoo means “imagination” or “wish” in Japanese, and it still available as an archive here). On the Lego Ideas website, you can submit your own proposals for new Lego sets, vote on global submissions, and participate in activities and contests with other Lego lovers.

Kimberly J is a DIY Instructor and Research Specialist at the HCLS Elkridge Branch. She enjoys reading, photography, creating, crafting, and baking.

Libby Lends to Listeners! More eAudiobooks available via RBdigital

Deep red background sets off text in white for an ad for Libby app by OverDrive, which features a tablet and a phone displaying various book covers.

by Kim M.

Do you listen to eAudiobooks via RBdigital? Do you know Libby? If not, it’s definitely time to download the app to your phone and/or eReader! It’s the easy access point for eBooks and eAudiobooks, and it just got better.

All of the RBdigital eAudiobooks are available via the Libby app (as of 9/24/20) and the OverDrive website since OverDrive, North America’s largest provider of public library eBooks, has acquired RBdigital. The RBdigital mobile app will eventually be retired, but the good news is that you will continue to be able to browse, borrow, and enjoy all the same great eAudiobook titles.

For now, this change only affects RBdigital eAudiobooks and classic literature in eBook format. Digital magazines remain available via RBdigital. As OverDrive works on integrating RBdigital eMagazines, you can continue to access eMagazines in the RBdigital app. 

If you are a current RBdigital user, these frequently asked questions may help explain the move:

Why are RBdigital audiobooks moving to OverDrive?
OverDrive has acquired RBdigital, and is working to integrate the two services. You will be able to access all titles through the OverDrive website, the classic OverDrive app, and the Libby app. When this transfer is complete, audiobooks will no longer be available on the RBdigital platform and app.

What happens if I have a title(s) currently checked out on RBdigital?
Current checkouts will be available through the remainder of their lending period in the RBdigital app. Your current checkouts will not be moved to OverDrive. This will allow you to finish your title without disruption or risk of losing your place in the audiobook. 

What happens to my checkout history and wish lists from RBdigital?
Checkout history and wish lists will not be moved to OverDrive. You can export your Transaction History from the RBdigital website on a desktop computer:  

  • After logging into the RBdigital website, open the menu in the top left of the screen and select “My Account.”  
  • Then click “Profiles” and underneath your personal information, you will see the option to “Export My Transaction History.” 
  • Clicking this button will automatically download a CSV file to your computer with your information.

New to eBooks and eAudiobooks?
Howard County Library System is proud to offer a wide selection of digital titles for you to access through Libby, the one-tap reading app powered by OverDrive. For those who have not yet tried the Libby app, all you need to get started is your library card number. Download the free Libby app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The Libby app is easy to use and will guide you through the setup process and get you connected to our library in just a few minutes. You can find in-app support, or watch this brief video tutorial to get started.

Happy reading!

Kim M. works in the Materials Management Department at the Administrative Branch. When not keeping up-to-date on library technology, she is volunteering to get out the vote.

I Am An E-book Convert

The image shows a pair of hands holding an ereader with a remote sandy beach, rocky hills, and a turquoise sea and hazy blue sky in the background.

By Alan S.

I am a recent convert to the pleasures of an e-book. I appropriately played the T-Rex who needed help in a recent Facebook video. I have always preferred physical books over eBooks, enjoying the feel of holding a book in my hand more than the feel of a tablet or phone. I resisted the call of eBooks for a while. Working in a library, all of those printed books were right in front of me. Why choose to look at a screen? What would ever make me choose to read a book on a device?

The first thing that changed my feelings about the electronic version was packing for trips, especially those requiring plane travel. When taking a road trip, it is easy to fill a bag with books and throw them in the trunk. This is not so simple when you are packing for a plane ride. I started packing one or two physical books, then downloading a few e-books as a backup. I still usually take at least one physical book on a trip, but tend more toward eBooks when traveling. I’m sure my family likes the extra space to pack other things.

An increase in the number of audiobooks I listened to also led to an increased use of eBooks. My car is still equipped with a CD player, so a book on CD is an option, but there are benefits to an eAudiobook. The biggest is the lack of a need to change CDs. I hated listening to a book in the car and getting to the end of a CD with no safe way to change to continue the book. With eAudio, the book continues without your help. I have also learned the joy of increasing the speed on some books. When reading for an assignment, or if the reader reads very slowly, I can listen at a faster speed and still enjoy the book (I might also be a tad impatient).

If you are ready to join me as an eBook convert, see HCLS’ resources.

If you need help accessing your eBooks or with any of our other online resources, please join us for live Online Tech Time Wednesday, July 22 at 11:30 am. Other sessions of this useful class will be offered in the future.

Alan has worked for HCLS for just under 25 years, currently at the Savage Branch. He enjoys reading, television, and most sports.