Do You Use This Resource?

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I've rediscovered a resource lately that I've forgotten about. From the looks of things, a lot of people have forgotten.

That's the library.

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I mean, I've used it before, gone to the central library and checked out armloads of resources after scouring the shelves for an hour. NOT that there's anything wrong with that, but this past year I've learned that the library will scour the shelves FOR me. Our library has a pretty easily navigable home page, and you can search the catalogue from home, by keyword, author, title, whatever. THEN you can place those items on hold, which means that wherever they are in the city, they will SEND THEM to the library of your choice, and you will receive an email informing you when they are ready to pick up. Then you just have to trot on over there, show your card and voila!

Yesterday my brother had to help me because I had ten books on art and shipwrecks ;) I've also done it with books for school, audio books, DVDs and CDs. It's like having your own personal shopper! And I can renew online as long as there's no hold. Plus, you can see where you are on the waiting list - I'm number 6 for Linda Howard's latest!

I think my librarians hate to see me coming, though ;)

Do you use your library? Is it as helpful as mine? Are there other features I haven't mentioned?

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8 comments:

Michele said...

I live right across the street from a branch library but I didn't know they had all those available services. Now I'll have to check them out.

Anonymous said...

What a great reminder! This is the first summer I HAVEN'T been to the library in a long time. I'm going togo check out its homepage too.

StacyB said...

I love all the online services the library offers. My branch even has a self-check kiosk. Books on hold are kept on an open shelf near the front door, and the kiosk is three steps away. We make a point of browsing every now and then, though.

Sarah L. Catherine said...

Hey Mary! Long time, no see! :)
I've started using my library in our new little town to pick up writing craft books. So far just picking them from the shelf, myself.

They didn't have a book I wanted though... and I had to fill out a "request to buy" form, they couldn't get it from anywhere and would have to decide if they want to purchase it! lol

Lee McKenzie said...

Great post, Mary. I LOVE libraries! In addition to being great for research, they have an excellent selection of magazines, CDs and DVDs, all free to borrow. Gotta love that! And they have some of the more off-beat and obscure films that video stores don't stock.

The library also offers interesting workshops and seminars. In February '09 I'll be on a panel of romance writers at the Vancouver Public Library. We'll discuss how authors come up with ideas for their books and carry them through to completion.

MaryF said...

Michele, I'm essentially across the street, too, and my school is right next door to another branch. Yet I still don't always to remember to go.

Mary Beth, I think you kinda have an excuse this summer! I wonder...our library USED to mail books to homebound folks. Check that out, too.

Stacy, our library has the self-check kiosks, but they're not ready to go yet. We do have the hold books on an open shelf, though. And if I go with someone else, I end up browsing ;)

SARAH!!!!! SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!! Small town libraries would be an interesting topic, too. What's their selection like? Are you excited about San Fran? I can't wait to hear all the deets!

Lee, I watched Brothers and Sisters and 2 seasons of Veronica Mars that I got from the library. Plus they have older movies, too. I know our library system has talks now and then. I went to one years ago with Pam Morsi, and I think some of our SARAs talked at one last summer. Good luck with yours!

Natalie Damschroder said...

OMG!

I use the online ordering system all the time, but more for fiction than for research. My kids use it, too. I would LOVE for them to put the holds on an open shelf so I can use the self-checkout kiosk, which I adore.

But sheesh. I ran all over the Internet today looking for Buffy DVDs, and to Blockbuster down the street, and never even thought of the library! I'll have to go check it out now!

No good. They just have three VHS tapes of two single episodes and the movie, for hearing impaired people.

Phoo.

MaryF said...

It's surprising, I guess, that it's taken the library so long to have the self-check. At my branch, the computers have been up about 6 months and aren't operating yet.

I love being able to get my own books from the hold shelf, though they still keep DVDs and CDs behind the counter.

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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