If you know your library card number by heart like I do, you’re either a book nerd or you frequent your library’s online resources often. And what online services can your library possibly offer you? If you’re a knitter like me, the answer is a lot!
1. Online Catalog – Why drive to the library with your two toddlers to peruse the shelves for a specific book on borders and edging when you can just check to see if it is available? This is also helpful if you have a library system where books float around to different branches so you’ll know which one to drive to.
2. Place a Hold Request – That book you’ve been wanting to read about craftivism keeps being checked out. Placing a hold request saves you from the headache of repeatedly driving to the library only to be disappointed that your book of choice is not available yet.
3. Renew / Pay Fees Online – Again, why should you haul your two kiddos to the library for a one-minute transaction. Of course, you wouldn’t have to pay such fees if only your library offered alternatives to physical books.
4. Audio Books and e-Books – If your library uses a service like Overdrive, you can check out a book virtually. Depending on the book’s popularity, you may have to wait in line as the library may have only licensed a handful of copies. This option, I’ve found, has been good for traditional fiction and non-fiction books but not reference books.
5. Magazines – Fortunately for me, a lowly knitting enthusiast, my library has begun offering magazines through Zinio. Magazines are good for hobbyists who can’t afford a subscription or want to just peruse a single issue of Interweave Knitting to see what all the fuss is about.
What other services does your public library offer?