Thursday, November 7, 2019

Homeschool Progress Report: October 2019

First Grade


In our second month of homeschooling, we started to iron out our daily schedule a bit more, moving various subjects and activities around throughout the day to the time slot that suits them best. We also took a week off in the middle of the month to go visit my family in New York. Here's what we covered in October.

Math

M. continued making her way through Singapore Primary Mathematics 2B, with multiplication and division by 4s, 5s, and 10s. She has been working on the times table on and off for a while, so some of this was review and we didn't need to dwell a lot on it. At this point, we are mostly just solidifying her knowledge of multiplication facts with drill. In October, M. also continued drilling subtraction facts on Xtra Math and nearly completed the program. Additionally, we read one chapter each week from Life of Fred: Dogs, and M. read the Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander on her own.

History

We were still focusing on Ancient Egypt at the start of October, and we read a number of picture books to cover various topics, including: Pharaoh's Boat by David L. Weitzman, Hatshepsut,  His Majesty, Herself by Catherine M. Andronik, The Shipwrecked Sailor: An Egyptian Tale with Hieroglyphs by Tamara Bower  and Senefer: A Young Genius in Old Egypt by by Beatrice Lumpkin. On her own, M. also attempted to follow some of the instructions in Ralph Masiello's Ancient Egypt Drawing Book. We also read the chapter about Egypt in A Little History of the World and M. watched a number of supplemental videos, including some walking tours of Egyptian ruins from Prowalk Tours on YouTube, David Macaulay's Pyramid and the Reading Rainbow episode about Mummies Made in Egypt (which we also read in book format).   My mom also snagged a magazine about mummies from a retiring teacher friend that M. enjoyed looking at independently.

We concluded our study of Ancient Egypt by acting out an Egyptian burial ceremony using instructions found in Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide by Marian Broida. M. decorated a shoebox sarcophagus using hieroglyphics and some real Egyptian art as models, and we wrapped up a doll and buried her inside. We enlisted C. (age 4) and E. (age 2)  to carry bowls of pretend food for the mummy to eat in the afterlife, and all three girls processed through the living room to some music I found on YouTube.

After our trip, we came home and got started on three weeks about Ancient Mesopotamia. Since every book we have on this topic handles it differently, and organizes itself differently, we read bits and pieces from a whole bunch of different resources. Our main texts this time were The Golden Book of Lost Worlds and Builders of the Old World by Gertrude Hartman, but we also supplemented with information about Hammurabi from A Picturesque Tale of Progress. To get a better sense of the history of this area of the world from an archaeologist's point of view, we also started reading National Geographic Investigates Ancient Iraq: Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Iraq's Past by Beth Gruber. Supplemental materials included picture books (The City of Rainbows: A Tale from Ancient Sumer by Karen Foster, Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War: An Epic Tale From Ancient Iraq by Kathy Henderson, and the Gilgamesh trilogy by Ludmila Zeman) and videos from a YouTube channel called History Time and this cuneiform activity from the Penn Museum. Just as the month ended, we also finished Science in Ancient Mesopotamia by Carol Moss.

Science

In Science, we started the month talking about teeth (which was timely since M. had a loose tooth that fell out shortly thereafter). We read about teeth in The Human Body: What It Is and How it Works and watched a few videos on YouTube about going to the dentist and about what it's like to be an orthodontist. We also watched the Weston Woods adaptation of Open Wide: Tooth School Inside. Teeth was also our health topic for the month, but I expect to revisit it again when M. goes for her dental check-up in November.

After teeth, we learned about joints using The Human Body: What It Is and How It Works and videos from Kids Health and Operation Ouch. (Operation Ouch is a UK-based YouTube channel focused on treating injuries, preventing illnesses, and exploring cool facts about the human body. Some of it is too much for M., but the joints video was interesting to her.) She also enjoyed following up our studies with some independent reading in DK's Human Body Encyclopedia, which really does a nice job of summarizing what we learn from other sources.

Outside of our human body theme, M. also watched the video of David Macaulay's Bridges after she became interested in learning how bridges are suspended, and she revisited Walking with Monsters, a documentary about prehistoric reptiles. We also took a field trip to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch on our New York trip.

Reading

Collectively, my husband and I read aloud seven different books in October. I read Wedding Flowers by Cynthia Rylant, King Oberon's Forest by Hilda van Stockum, What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew, and started No Flying in the House by Betty Brock. He read Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne, Arabian Nights: Three Tales by Deborah Nourse Lattimore, and the beginning of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. On our trip to New York, we listened to the audiobooks of On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

On her own, Miss Muffet read Uncle Wiggily and his Friends by Howard R. Garis, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Daughter of America by Jeanne Marie Grunwell, Stella Batts: Superstar and Stella Batts: Scaredy Cat by Courtney Sheinmel, a short story in My Bookhouse ("The Secret Door" by Susan Coolidge) and Something Queer at the Haunted School, among other picture books. Mid-month, she started The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, and she's still working on it.

We also started reading poetry aloud at the breakfast table some days to afford more opportunities for recognizing similes. Leading up to Halloween, we read Monster Soup and Other Spooky Poems by Dilys Evans and Ghosts and Goosebumps by Bobbi Katz, both found on Open Library.

Memory Work

We are still putting the finishing touches on M.'s recitation of "The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee." She has also been working on reciting the planets, bodies of water, rivers, and countries of Europe, and I've started drilling these after breakfast in addition to my husband quizzing her whenever we're in the car.

Music

M. practiced her instruments most days of the month that we were home, and she continued to work on identifying notes using MusicTheory.net. We also learned a new hymn, "Dear Angel Ever At My Side" and learned about the music of Charles Ives, as well as classical music appropriate for Halloween from the Classics for Kids podcast. Additionally, M. watched the Marine Band's live-streamed performance of Beethoven's variations on The Magic Flute, which she became interested in after listening to the Mozart episodes of Classics for Kids. For Halloween, we also learned to sing Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate.

Art

In October, we finished The Story of Paintings: A History of Art for Children, and did a few how to draw lessons in Ralph Masiello's Ancient Egypt Drawing Book and on Catholic Icing's YouTube channel. M. also did her own experiments with creating different textures using crayons.

Physical Education

M. was still able to sneak in a few bike rides in October since it was still so warm out. She also went to the playground and climbed ropes and ladders with friends and continued using the kids' videos from the Ten Thousand Method on YouTube at least twice a week.

Catechism

In addition to listening to my homemade audio recording of the first ten lessons of the St. Joseph Catechism, this month we celebrated the feast of the Guardian Angels and the feast day of John Paul II. We also discussed the Catholic connection to Halloween. M. has also started reading the Bible aloud to her two-year-old sister in the evenings, and she often recognizes the stories she has read in the readings at Mass.

Pre-K


C. became a bit more resistant to school during October, so she didn't do quite as much as she did in September. Still she is making good progress.

Counting

C. has started to practice identifying the numbers up to 50 using flashcards, which she puts in order on the floor. She has also begun learning the numbers that add up to 5 and 10 using marbles as manipulatives.

Reading

C. mastered a few more Hooked on Phonics readers in October, but she has now hit a wall where she needs more direct instruction before she can read any harder books. We did lots of practice with stories from The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading focused on words with various short vowel sounds, and next we're moving on to consonant blends. I believe she could do one lesson per day,  but she usually doesn't tolerate more than a few sentences at a time, so it's very slow-going.

Memory Work

C. memorized "Elizabeth Cried" by Eleanor Farjeon during October.   She's finding it easier to memorize longer poems these days. She's also started memorizing the planets.

Art

C. has been working on coloring nicely instead of just scribbling on every page of every coloring book. On Halloween, she also made a variety of festive sticker scenes about witches, owls, and ghosts.

Music

C. started piano lessons with my husband. Her current exercise is "Two Black Keys." She also joined M. for Classics for Kids and liturgical singing throughout the month.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fumbling Through Fantasy: What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew (1973)

In the chest of drawers in Katy Turner's bedroom, there is a locked drawer in which her granny's friend, Aunt Martha, has left some of her things. One day, Katy and her friend Louise decide to peek in the drawer. What they find on this and subsequent looks into the secret hiding place is a collection of magical items: gloves that make it effortless to work with one's hands, a bathrobe that makes the wearer invisible, a pair of boots to shorten travel distances, and a tin box and a hand mirror with less obvious magical properties. As Katy and Louise learn the powers of these magical objects, they also encounter a number of unexpected difficulties caused by meddling with magic.

This is not a Halloween book per se, since it is set closer to Thanksgiving, but I read it aloud to my older two daughters in October to satisfy their desire for non-spooky witch books, and it hit just the right note with both of them. Ruth Chew writes fantasy in a style similar to the realistic fiction of Carolyn Haywood. The characters are believable little girls with cozy home lives, and though they go on adventures, they are never in any real danger, nor do they get into any kind of trouble that can't be resolved inside of a chapter or two. There is some suspense, which caused my girls to frequently beg for just one more chapter, but not enough that anyone would lose sleep worrying about the fate of the characters.

Though I read this book aloud, it's really ideal as an independent read for a child around the third grade level. I will probably continue to read Chew's books aloud for a little while since my girls have latched onto them so readily, but I'm also keeping them in mind for my current four-year-old beginning reader to enjoy on her own in a few years.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Review: Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo (2019)

Beverly, Right Here concludes Kate DiCamillo's Three Rancheros trilogy, which also includes Raymie Nightingale (2016) and Louisiana's Way Home (2018). Beverly is now fourteen, and her dog, Buddy, has recently died. Unable to stand her mother's neglect any longer, Beverly hitches a ride out of town and finds herself in a totally new community. There she befriends Iola, an older woman who is clearly lonely and eagerly takes Beverly into her home. She also gets a job bussing tables at a seafood restaurant and begins to form a friendship with Elmer, the college-bound clerk at the local convenience store. Here among these erstwhile strangers, Beverly comes into her own for the first time.

This trilogy had a weak start for me, and my Goodreads review of Raymie Nightingale was not very positive. I found the story boring and the writing highly pretentious. Louisiana's Way Home, by contrast, was a really engaging read from beginning to end, and I think I read the entire thing in one sitting. Beverly, Right Here is decidedly not the disaster that Raymie was, but neither did it put me under a spell as Louisiana did.

I like the writing style in this novel from an adult standpoint. It's very quiet and literary, and there were many turns of phrase that made me nod my head approvingly. There is no question of Kate DiCamillo's talent as a writer. This book also shares some similar themes and even a somewhat similar structure to one of my favorite DiCamillo novels, Because of Winn Dixie, though I think Beverly skews more toward the middle school level than Winn Dixie does.  Reading this book just for my own entertainment, I enjoyed it.

Putting on my parenting and librarian hats, however, my view becomes a bit more critical. This is a very atmospheric book where not much happens. I liked books devoid of conflict when I was a kid, but this one moves really slowly and the ending doesn't even really take us anywhere. I also had to fight the nagging thought in the back of my mind that it's really unlikely for both Louisiana and Beverly to have such utterly unreliable adults in their lives. I appreciate that each story is about each of these girls learning to be herself despite hardships, but it's hard for me to just ignore the lack of good parenting. Countless girls have grown up with parents and have still learned to be independent and self-reliant. I might have liked to see a few more responsible adults, rather than these clueless strangers who take in Beverly without ever thinking to even call her mother.

I don't have a sense of the overall popularity of this trilogy, other than the fact that there are no holds on them on Overdrive in my local libraries. I suspect that DiCamillo's name sells the books, but they are really tailored toward a very specific, language-oriented and character-focused reader. I am that reader as a 36-year-old mom, but I'm not sure even my book-devouring five-year-old is going to be the kind of 12-year-old that will be drawn to this series. I like DiCamillo a lot better in this lane than in, say, the one where she has a little girl perform mouth-to-mouth on a squirrel, but I don't think this is her best work even if it is her best genre.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fumbling Through Fantasy: King Oberon's Forest by Hilda van Stockum (1957)

In King Oberon's Forest, the three dwarf brothers, Alban, Botolph, Ubald are known for being unfriendly and antisocial. On Halloween night, as a trick on this trio of curmudgeons, the other residents of the forest leave a fairy baby on their doorstep. When the brothers find the baby, named Felix, they are completely unsure how to care for him, but over the coming months, they slowly develop the skills of fatherhood, cooking for their unusual child, bathing him, curing his strange illnesses and even teaching him to read. When it becomes clear, however, that Felix longs for companionship beyond the tree in which the brothers live,  the three dwarfs find themselves torn between their love for their son and their desire for peace and privacy.

I found this playful fantasy to be a delightful and charming story. The scenes of the dwarfs' early days of parenthood felt very true to what real-life new parents go through with their new babies, and their slow realization that their lives can be enriched by the companionship of their neighbors is a touching lesson about the value of community. The setting, too, is a wonderful playground for the imagination, as magical creatures and talking animals live side-by-side and embody many of the quirks and foibles of humanity. 

One odd storyline stood out to me as unnecessary and borderline inappropriate for the intended audience. This was the behavior of Mr. Red Squirrel who is a bit of a ladies' man and frequently leaves his wife at home with many children in order to wander about imagining himself as a brave knight. I thought he was a very real character in some ways from an adult's point of view, but in a book with so many other wholesome lessons about family life, his wayward behavior felt a bit more mature than I would have liked, even for the middle grade level at which the book is written.

Also worth noting is the fact that Van Stockum's daughter illustrated this book when she was just 21 years old. The drawings of Felix, in particular, have a sweetness and impishness to them that reveals Brigid Marlin's talent for art as well as the playfulness and innocence of her youth. Indeed, Brigid Marlin (now 83) continued to work as an artist in her adult life, and you can see her work on her website.

My oldest daughters were just turning 4 and 6 at the time we read this novel aloud, and they both loved it. They really enjoyed seeing baby Felix grow up, and they loved all the magical elements the story introduced. It also made a nice non-spooky read for us in the weeks before Halloween, which I think is the ideal time to read this story. I gave the book four stars, and will gladly read it again when my little kids are bigger.

Monday, October 28, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Half-Blood Prince, Chapters 28-30

Last week I read Chapter 28 ("Flight of the Prince"), Chapter 29 ("The Phoenix Lament"), and Chapter 30 ("The White Tomb"), which brings me to the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This post contains many spoilers.

Though I have generally thought of this book as more of a stepping stone between books 5 and 7 than a story in its own right, it really does have one of the strongest endings of any book in the series. It doesn't bring things full circle in the way that the previous books' endings always see Harry going reluctantly back to the Dursleys, but it brings such emotion to the reader as we mourn with Harry, but also enjoy the brief respite he gets to experience before taking on the task he has been destined for since the start of the series.

What I found especially touching in these final chapters is Hagrid's reaction to Dumbledore's death. He is so comforted by the fact that, when Snape sets fire to his house, the damage won't be more than Dumbledore can handle. The brief moment between when he says that he's sure it's nothing Dumbledore can't fix and when Harry tells him of Dumbledore's death is one of the saddest moments of anticipation. It becomes more heartbreaking when, at first, Hagrid doesn't believe Snape has killed him, and then comes upon the body and sees the truth for himself.

Another interesting moment for me on this reading was when Snape became so angry at Harry for calling him a coward. Reading this book for the first time, I took this as a sign that Snape was just proud and arrogant, pleased to have put one over on the Order of the Phoenix and filled with Voldemort's own hatred for Harry. But knowing how things turn out in the very end, this time I completely understood how Snape, who has had to act as a double agent, lying to the face of the most evil wizard there is, killing Hogwarts's beloved headmaster, and looking after the child of his own childhood bully, could be just completely unable to stand being called a coward by that very child. It's definitely interesting reading Snape's actions knowing for sure which side he is truly on.

Finally, I had totally forgotten how the Weasleys came to be reconciled to Fleur and Bill's relationship, but I really liked the way it came about. When Fleur states that she will love Bill even after his looks have been altered by a werewolf bite, the Weasleys realize that she isn't the superficial person they believed her to be. I also love the pairing of Tonks and Lupin, but seeing them together is bittersweet knowing their fate as well.

Next week, I'll be jumping into book 7. It's hard to believe there are only two months - and 37 chapters - left in my year of Harry Potter, but I'm excited to see it through to the end!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Guide to Digital Media Apps at Your Public Library: Part Four - RB Digital

This is part four of my four-part guide to digital media apps available through public libraries. For an explanation of this series and an index to all four parts that will be published this week, read A Guide to Digital Media Apps at Your Public Library: Introduction. This guide will also be available as a .PDF booklet in the near future.

In This Post:



What is RB Digital?

RB Digital is an app for accessing e-books and audiobooks, as well as materials like magazines, concerts, Acorn TV, Great Courses, and lessons in the arts. Each library determines for itself what is available to its specific patrons. For the purposes of this guide, I will be focusing only on e-books and audiobooks and not on any of the other formats.

What is Available on RB Digital?

The titles available to you in RB Digital are selected by the librarians at your specific local library. If you have cards at multiple libraries, you may have access to different items depending on which one you use to log in. All of the audiobooks available through RB Digital are produced by Recorded Books.

Accessing RB Digital

RB Digital can be accessed on the web at your library’s own unique URL or through the RB Digital app. For e-books, the app is compatible with Apple iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. For audiobooks, it works with those three as well as the Nook. When you first register to use RB Digital, you will input an email address and password, which is what you will use to log in each time you open the app. Once you are logged into the app, it is possible to add accounts at other libraries under the same email address. These are called profiles, and they can be added by clicking on “Account.” Switching back and forth between profiles allows you to view the collections at multiple libraries without having to type in new log-in information every time.

It is also possible to download RB Digital e-books on your computer with Adobe Digital Editions and to download audiobooks using the RB Digital Media Manager.

Note: If you previously used the magazine app Zinio, you already have an RB Digital account (provided your library currently subscribes to RB Digital.) Zinio merged with RB Digital in 2017.

Browsing and Searching on RB Digital

You can browse on RB Digital only by format or by genre. The app’s default view also shows you recently added and popular titles. Keyword and advanced searches are available, and you can usually tell as you are typing in a desired title whether it’s available or not, as the search bar will bring up potential matches for your text as you type. The user interface feels a little less streamlined than some of the other digital media apps out there, but it is fairly straightforward to figure out.

Borrowing Items from RB Digital

It can be difficult to tell within the app what the borrowing limits are for your RB Digital account. Your local library determines how many items you can borrow, so this information is likely listed on the library website, but there is nothing within the app that displays the number of borrows you have used or the number you have remaining. Loan periods are easier to discern, as you are able to select the number of days for which you want to borrow each item, and once you have checked out an e-book or audiobook, the date on which it expires is displayed on its cover image.

When you check out a book, it downloads to your device automatically. (If you are concerned about using too much data, there is a setting to ensure that downloads will only occur over wi-fi.) If the book you want to borrow is already checked out, you can place a hold. As you search and browse the catalog, you can also add items to your wishlist to remind you to check them out in the future. Your items will expire automatically at the end of the loan period, but they will not automatically be deleted from your device. Using a file explorer or cleaner program is the best way to find and delete the files associated with expired RB Digital borrows. You can also return items manually before their loan periods end. Even after you return an item, RB Digital will remember the title in your History, so you can look back and see what you have checked out in the past.

The RB Digital Reading Experience

You can read and listen to RB Digital materials right in the app without the need for any additional devices. As you listen to audiobooks, you can see only how much time is left in the current chapter. There is no display showing you how far you have come in the book as a whole. There is a table of contents listing how long each chapter is, so you can do some mental math to figure it out, but mostly you have to guess roughly how far into the book you are. The table of contents does make it very easy to jump to a specific section of the book.

For e-books, the features are also pretty basic. You can change the text layout, font size, line spacing and background color in settings. You can also lock or unlock the screen rotation, search and highlight within the text, and add bookmarks to pages you want to remember. The bottom of the screen shows the current page and the total number of pages left to be read, but it does not calculate your progress as a percentage.

More Help with RB Digital

For further assistance with RB Digital, visit these links:

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Guide to Digital Media Apps at Your Public Library: Part Three - Cloud Library

This is part three of my four-part guide to digital media apps available through public libraries. For an explanation of this series and an index to all four parts that will be published this week, read A Guide to Digital Media Apps at Your Public Library: Introduction. This guide will also be available as a .PDF booklet after the entire series has been published to this blog.

In This Post:


What is Cloud Library?

Cloud Library is bibliotheca's digital content lending platform. It was previously owned by the 3M company.

What is Available on Cloud Library?

Cloud Library can provide public libraries with access to e-books and/or audiobooks. The materials provided are selected by the staff at each individual library. Individual libraries decide whether to provide e-books, audiobooks, or both.

How to Access Cloud Library

Cloud Library can be accessed on the web at https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/ or through the Cloud Library mobile app. The app is currently available for Mac, Android, and Apple iOS, PC and Nook tablets, Nook, Kobo, and Kindle Fire. It is not compatible with the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle app. Accessibility features are available only for iOS.

To use Cloud Library, you will need to log in using your library card number on either the website or the app. Some libraries may also require a PIN or password.  If you are using the app on a PC, you will also be asked for an Adobe ID. If you have an Adobe ID that you have previously used, you can enter it and have your Cloud Library account associated with it. If not, Cloud Library will randomly generate an Adobe ID for you.

If you use Cloud Library on the web, you can only log into one library account at a time. In the app, however, it is possible to input multiple card numbers from multiple libraries. To add additional cards to your account, click “Account,” then select “View Cards.” In the upper right-hand corner, there will be an option to “Add New.” You will still need to toggle back and forth between libraries in order to see the available items at each one, but you will not need to type in your library card number every single time.

Searching and Browsing on Cloud Library

Searching Cloud Library is a straightforward process. Type in a title, author, or keyword and search results will be displayed. You can also apply filters to your search: format, availability, and/or language. There is an advanced search function that allows you to limit by publication date, category, and subject. You can also perform an advanced search for a specific creator, series, or ISBN.

Browsing is possible on Cloud Library, but difficult to accomplish efficiently. When you first log in on either the app or the website, you will be shown featured categories of books selected by your library. To see more categories on the web, you need to click browse; on the app, click “All” to see the same thing: a long list of categories delineated by audience (adult, teen, or kids) and genre. From there, you can click further to view the available titles and/or the subgenres of that category.

In both the app and on the web, it can be very tedious to scroll through the available books, especially since the you need to scroll both up and down and sideways, and the scrolling tends to move very slowly. This is alleviated slightly by the “Favorites” feature. By clicking a star next to a preferred category, you can add it to your favorites list. Then by selecting the “Favorites” tab, you can view only the categories that interest you. Unfortunately, the more categories you select, the more difficult it seems to be to navigate the “Favorites” page. Therefore, the quickest way to find materials in Cloud Library is by searching rather than browsing.

Borrowing Items from Cloud Library

Borrowing books through Cloud Library is a simple process. If the item is not currently checked out, a green “borrow” button will display next to the book cover. Click this button to check out the book to your library card. Each copy of an item can only be checked out by one patron at a time, so there is also an option to place a hold. Cloud Library will send you an email when the book is available for you.

The Cloud Library Reading Experience

You can read e-books and listen to audiobooks either on Cloud Library’s website, or within the app, but these items cannot be transferred to other devices. When you open an item in the Cloud Library app, it downloads to your device automatically, so that you can access it offline. (Audiobooks will only play offline if the entire book is downloaded.) There is a setting to prevent items from downloading over a data connection when wi-fi is not available.

Within e-books, you are able to change the text size, background lighting, layout, and font. There is also a table of contents in each book so that you can move easily between chapters, and a “go to” function that allows you to move directly to a specific page within the book. Within the e-book, you can also see the number of the current page as well as how many pages remain in the current chapter. Click the bookmark icon on any page to mark a place you wish to remember. In the app, there are additional settings, allowing you to choose whether volume buttons can be used to turn the pages, whether to prevent the display from rotating when the screen does, and whether to allow page animation. In the app, you can also search the text of the e-book.

A word of warning: the reading experience of e-books in Cloud Library can sometimes be frustrating. In general, Cloud Library doesn’t handle graphics as well as other e-readers. This can make it difficult to enjoy graphic novels and picture books, as the images can sometimes take a long time to load. Occasionally, both image-heavy and text-only e-books will not open at all on the web, or will show a series of blank pages where words and/or pictures ought to be. It is also the case that sometimes changes made to e-book settings in the app do not “take” the first time.

Audiobooks are designated within Cloud Library with a blue headphones icon, which appears in the lower right-hand corner of the cover image of each audiobook. Within each audiobook, you can access a table of contents which shows each chapter and its duration. Using different arrows, it is possible to move back and forth between the book, either a few seconds at a time, or chapters at a time if necessary. You can also add bookmarks and notes within the audiobook, which will sync across all the devices you use to access Cloud Library. As with other apps, it is possible to change the narration speed in iOS and devices using Android 6.0 or higher (but not on the web, and not on any device not running iOS or Android.) There is also a basic sleep timer.

More Help with Cloud Library

For further assistance with Cloud Library, visit these links: