You can do so much more with your Newport Beach Public Library card than just checking out books. Your library card gives you the ability to log into the library's website from where ever you have Internet access and explore all of our amazing online content. So even though the library's buildings and its branches are closed during the holidays, from Friday through Jan. 2, with just a click of your mouse or Smartphone app, you can visit the Newport Beach Public Library.

If you don't have one yet, you can start by applying for a temporary card. Just go to the library's website, http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org, and click on "Catalog" and then "Get a Library Card." After filling out a short form, you will get a temporary number that is good for 30 days and allows you to browse for books, DVDs, video games and music CDs, as well as place holds on materials and access some of our online databases.

Newport Beach Public Library subscribes to nearly 30 online databases that you can search from home. Using these databases you can get homework help, look at newspaper articles dating back to the 1800s, learn a new language, research your family tree, get resume-writing tips, take a sample test for the SATs, find out about scholarships and tuition help, and much more. Look for "Articles and Databases" on the website for a complete listing of all of our databases.

Did you know that you don't need to come into the library to check out a book? You can download an audio or an e-book using one of our Downloadable book services, MyiLibrary or Overdrive. Click on "Downloadable Books" and then "About Downloadable Books" to find out more about what devices are compatible and how to use this great service. After installing the free software, you'll be able to read books on your computer or compatible e-book reader devices or listen to them on compatible MP3 players.

The library's website has gone mobile! Newport Beach Public Library now has its own Smartphone app. If you have an iPhone, go to the iTunes App Store and search for "NBPL." For all other phones, go to nbpl.boopsie.com in your mobile browser to download the app. You can search the catalog, log in to your account to renew items, listen to Dial-a-Story, and more, all while on the go.

Do you want to entertain your little ones? Have you had a chance to tune into our Dial-a-Story line and listen yet? Just call (949) 717-3877 to hear a delightful story and sing songs, all in the comfort of your own home. This great service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The children's librarians have also set up a page of entertaining and educational games at http://www.newportkids.org under "Games."

Want to read a story online? Why not? Children of all ages will enjoy e-books offered by Tumblebooks. You can find Tumblebooks under "Databases" on the NBPL website or NewportKids.org.

So no matter where you are or how busy you get, the Newport Beach Public Library has much to offer from the comfort of your own home or while you're on the go. Have fun exploring and discovering our online content, and we'll see you back at the library in January!

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. For more information on the Central Library or any of the other branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.