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My Library Wants to be Friends

May 27, 2008

The view from the wall of windows along the 'quiet' section of the East Library.  Taken from its webcam-I told you it was hip!As I briefly mentioned before, I finally got off of my lazy bum and got a library card for my city’s public library system. Before this, I’ve been using the library on base, but due to complicated circumstances I stopped being able to do that a couple months ago. The closest library branch is a good fifteen-twenty minutes away, and I was afraid that they wouldn’t give me a library card anyway (since I have a TX driver’s license-but it turned out all I needed to do was bring in some mail proving my CO address), so I’d been putting it off. On Sunday, I bit the bullet and not only got my library card (yay!), but learned that the public library system has definitely embraced the twenty-first century! Not only can I get text reminders sent to my phone, download audiobooks and e-books from the comfort of home, and place all the holds I want online (I suddenly understand Danielle’s library dilemmas! I already have 12 holds, and I’ve been trying really hard *not* to click the ‘hold’ button), BUT I got the following e-mail later that night:

Welcome to the Pikes Peak Library District!

Today’s public library offers a wealth of educational and recreational
opportunities for people of all ages. In addition to book collections,
the library offers a wide variety of videos, CDs, audios, and magazines.

A library card entitles you to borrow anything from the circulating
collection, plus gives you access to credible, current databases on
the library’s web site at http://ppld.org. The library offers free
computer classes that teach how to use the library’s online catalog
and databases, the Internet, and word processing. Call ###-####
to schedule your class.

We look forward to a long and memorable relationship between you and
your public library, and hope your library card offers you many rewarding
hours of pleasure and enrichment.
Sincerely,
Pikes Peak Library District

I mean, isn’t that friendly? I look forward to a long and memorable relationship as well, library.

Tell me, is your library up with the twenty-first century? Is it so outoing it has its own facebook group? Is your library, in fact, cooler than you?

And in case you’re looking for a book review, several of mine have been posted at CurledUp: Looking for Alaska, The Looming Tower, Unhooked, and God’s Spy.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2008 9:52 am

    Wow…your library is cool! And I thought mine was great because I could place holds and renew on-line. Yours has mine beat by a long shot!

  2. May 27, 2008 10:06 am

    How fun! I love libraries. I wish I could go to my home town one but it’s over the ocean :)

  3. May 27, 2008 12:10 pm

    How nice! My library’s never sent me a welcome letter! they do have all the online resources, ability to search & place holds online (I do that all the time!) but I have no idea if they’re on FaceBook. Never even thought to look.

  4. May 27, 2008 1:08 pm

    My library has a feature that you need called the Bookbag. It’s like an online TBR list. When you look at a book online there are two buttons: Request Item and Add to My List. They also have a page of reading suggestions: award lists, Oprah books, newspaper bestsellers. I really like my library.

  5. May 27, 2008 1:27 pm

    I suddenly realized in Novemner that I could ‘request’ books sent to my crappy little branch from other, less-crappy branches, and that I could do so ONLINE! Now, every week I’ll get 2 or 3 emails saying ‘such and such book is in for you.’ I’m totally in over my head, but what a way to go!

  6. May 27, 2008 4:04 pm

    Oh, well, the Pikes Peak Library, lucky you! We read about that one in library school fifteen years ago. I must say, though, libraries really lead the way when it comes to 21st-century cool and the best uses of electronic resources.

  7. May 27, 2008 4:26 pm

    Debi, I know-I’m so impressed!

    Nik, lol-that is frustrating. Do you have a base library?

    Jeane, I find it so amusing that it’s on facebook!

    Petunia, ohhh-that Bookbag feature sounds really cool. I can add to the list, but I think it only lasts as long as that one session. Mine has reading lists too, which is so neat; it’s impressive how interactive libraries are nowadays!

    Raych, I know-it’s so easy to just click that button…I have 13 holds already, of which most of them just need to be sent to my cloest branch. I have a feeling the stacks are going to be glaring balefully before too long!

    Emily, really? That’s so interesting!

  8. toujoursjacques permalink
    May 27, 2008 4:35 pm

    My little small town library is no match for Pike’s Peak Library… alas no facebook. But it’s very well connected to a larger system that includes large metro area and university libraries. Well enough connected so I have as hard a time not hitting “request” as you do . TJ

  9. May 27, 2008 7:55 pm

    TJ, that’s great that you have access to a larger variety of books. Mine has free ILL, but I think I’m inundated as it is!

  10. May 27, 2008 7:58 pm

    I’ve lived in the same township nearly all my life, and I’ve always loved our little library. But two years ago, we built a huge, modern, brand new library that is just so amazing and marvelous! I’m so proud of this…because our township is rather old and certainly not trendy, but it has the most awesome library of anywhere around.

    Best part – I can get there on my bike in 5 minutes!

  11. May 27, 2008 8:53 pm

    Now, I bet you are kicking yourself for waiting so long! ;)

    Public Libraries Rule! um, Rock!

  12. May 28, 2008 2:54 am

    Very cozy! I’ll put that on my list of places to move to in the USA when I get around to repatriation.

  13. May 28, 2008 5:40 am

    Wow, what an amazing library. Mine is getting better and better every day, but it doesn’t send me text messages. I would love that.

    My library does have a beautiful, calm setting though. It sits right in front of a big lake on a nature reserve, so you can enjoy looking at the water and watching the birds while you browse.

  14. May 28, 2008 8:24 am

    What a nice library! See why I am addicted to mine and my reading plans are constantly getting messed up!! I love being able to download free audio books–I’ve got about five or six books lined up on my MP3 player. I only wish their online catalog was easier to use. I’ll be going later today to pick up a book that’s on hold for me as a matter of fact….Do glad you’ve got your library card all sorted out now!

  15. May 28, 2008 9:34 am

    I’m afraid to go and get a library card at my library. It is a very nice place, and I go there sometimes for a quiet working environment, but I’ve already got over 103 books that I own and need to read and at least 20 more that I REALLY want to re-read. Plus, I keep getting books from Early Reviewers or other places to review on my blog. If I went to the library too there might be a book avalanche. Plus, I’m not organized enough to keep my library books from disappearing into the stacks of my personal library.

  16. May 28, 2008 12:51 pm

    I guess my library has got too big to send a personal welcome letter! But the SFPL does provide classes for new patrons to acclimatize to the system. I have to refrain myself from clicking on the “paging” button while I’m browsing through the online catalog as well. The branch closest to my home is closed for renovation, so that would deter me from holding too many books at the main library across town.

  17. May 28, 2008 1:40 pm

    No welcome letter here or facebook page, but the entire catalog is online, I can make lists, renew, get emails when a hold is ready. The are really good on new releases and have tons of movies!! The only drawback is I can only have ten holds at a time. When you watch all your movies (we finally canceled netflix because our library had everything we could ever possibly watch) and get all your books ten holds isn’t enough. I use my husband’s card and mine, so we are always maxed to twenty. My husband complains I don’t leave any spots for him. They tell me that when my little boy turns four, we can get a card in his name. I’m eagerly anticipating that day! Ha!

  18. May 28, 2008 9:24 pm

    Ravenous Reader, that’s so cool! And good for you, biking. Does that limit how many books you check out at one time?

    Maggie, lol-I’ve always been a fan of public libraries, but the base one was a lot closer! I’m kicking myself a little bit, yes.

    Bybee, how much fun to have a list!

    Susan, I don’t actual do the texting thing, which I had to tell the librarian, who looked at me like I was from the Dark Ages, and made me take the info bookmark anyway, lol. Your view sounds incredible! Outside my old library, there were always a couple foxes running around, which was neat.

    Devourer of Books, I keep all my library books in a big tote bag. Otherwise, I’d lose them all too! I’m worried about a book avalanche too…I’m hoping I’ll magically start reading twice as quickly and have twice as many hours each day. ;)

    Matthew, that’s cool that there are classes! It’s just so easy to hit that button, isn’t it? At least you have a bit of a deterence. :)

    Natasha, isn’t the internet great? But that’s so weird that you have a 10 hold limit. I mean, I can understand maybe a 25 or 30 limit, but 10 seems awfully small! And that’s awesome your library has so many movies; I haven’t even checked that yet.

  19. May 29, 2008 6:35 am

    My library is totally cooler than me. They are on facebook, they do chat reference, and even have classes–free!–on ipods (I don’t even have one!) and online gaming. Glad you finally got that library card. May it be a long and happy relationship :)

  20. May 29, 2008 1:44 pm

    Stefanie, I don’t have an ipod either! And we’ve already established that chatting scares me! lol I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s less cool than my library. :)

  21. May 29, 2008 3:58 pm

    That’s a cool photo! Do you live closer to Penrose or the East Library?

  22. May 30, 2008 12:33 am

    I actually live closest to Briargate, but the difference between the three is only a mile or two. So I’m having holds sent to Briargate, and when I want to browse I’ll go to East. Is Penrose pretty?

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