January 30, 2005

Online Library Reserves

Reading Dy's comment made me realize how fortunate we are to have an online reserve system through our libraries. Our library is set up so I visit the website, type in my card number and can see all the books I have out and when they are due, I can also renew them. Very handy for avoiding late fees and finding that book that is due. I love this feature.

By far my favorite feature is the online reserve system. I search the catalog online and when I find a book I want I simply push a button to reserve it. The librarians find the book for me and place them all on a shelf near the checkout desk. I get an email notifying me that books are waiting. I zoom in pick up all the books on the shelf and zoom out.

At first I felt bad using this system as we check out a lot of books as most homeschooling families do. Then I realized this was the system they put in place and it really makes my life a lot easier. It does not replace me wandering the stacks, an important part of how we select curriculum but it does help save me time looking for just that book that I already know I want or need.

For example when Dy said she would print out my list to bring to the library I would open my list in my web browser, open a new tab (I use firefox or mozilla) and reserve the books at my library then pick them up. One of the benefits of living in a modern age.

Of course the traditional library user in me still talks to librarians for recommendations or questions about books and loves to utilize the organization of the stacks. Wandering to a section and then browsing to find what I need. But I thought I would share in case your library has a webpage and online reserve system you did not know about and can help save you time.



  1. I also love that online reserve feature! Minnesota tax dollars at work, right? Great list of favorite books, by the way. A post I read on your blog reminded me of a book I've been meaning to read a long time: Honey for a Child's Heart, by Gladys Hunt. I'm a few chapters through it and it's so good! It's nothing I hadn't thought of before, but it's very motivating. I've recommitted to reading a wealth of wonderful books to my children.

  2. Yes, you're right. We actually have that here- the library in our last town would only permit a hold on a book that wasn't physically on the shelves. If it was "in", then you had to go find it yourself. (um, thanks?) The full-service reservation system is heavenly, particularly w/ all three children in tow. Jacob is getting to the guiding/training stage, and I love knowing that even if he needs the extra guidance and I don't get any browsing done, I will leave with books.

    Unfortunately, old habits are hard to break and my knee-jerk reaction is usually, "Wow, I'll print this out and stick it in my wallet!" Which is funny... b/c I know better. *sheepish grin*

    Dy, off to dig out her card and just "reserve" the books on the list! :-)