Snow day? Visit the virtual library | Librarian's Desk

By Richard Suico | Feb 15, 2019

All this snow reminded me of the importance of the library’s online presence. It’s available practically all the time, even if the facility isn’t.

Naturally, the Sno-Isle Libraries website (www.sno-isle.org) contains the catalog that indicates what material is available to check out or put a hold on. The catalog system has been updated to meet the technological expectations of our modern world.

Library users can create book lists where they can build and curate a collection of titles based on a theme, titles, similar authors or genres they’ve already borrowed.

Or, if you’re like me, a way to remember titles I’ll access in future because of a bad memory and not enough time to read everything I want to read.

In this era of online connectedness, the catalog gives you a comparable way to share your thoughts or rate the titles you’ve borrowed from the collection. At their best, these social features help fellow library users discover titles, authors and themes of potential interest.

When you give your voice, it is not only a way to share your opinion, but also a way library users can share their expertise and give feedback on the specific titles, authors or subjects in the collection.

It can assist professional librarian staff in evaluating what we have or what we should be getting. I want to emphasize these are optional, and catalog users need to proactively “opt in” to participate in sharing via the catalog system.

Protecting your privacy and keeping your confidentiality is foundational to how we operate, so anything you want to share is always at your discretion and comfort level.

I did want to highlight a couple of features to some of our casual users who may be unaware of these useful tools.

Have you ever put a title on hold and were unable to get it in time before it expired? Well, you do have the ability to pause holds so you can time your item arriving for the seven-day window when it is actually convenient for you to get it.

A common example: If you go out of town for an extended period, like a vacation, pausing a hold would allow you to keep your place in the hold queue until you return.

Also, did you know about our RINC system (Request Items Not in the Catalog) available at the bottom of the catalog page? RINCs allow you to make specific title or material suggestions with the option to order as an ILL (Interlibrary Loans) from any library in North America.

We will often try to purchase the item that we don’t have in the collection rather than just ILL it. It is typically cheaper to purchase material than the one-time cost, and one-time use involved with interlibrary loans through bibliographic cooperatives like the Online Computer Library Center.

Libraries get substantial discounts from vendors, so it will be cheaper. Moreover, it is a good rule of thumb that if one person requests a title, there is a high likelihood that more than that one customer would want the same title, so it stretches your tax dollar further than the one-time cost/use incurred with ILL.

Lastly, I am really excited to share our newest streaming service analogous to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

The key difference is that besides being FREE with your library card, Kanopy is an award winning video streaming service offering more than 30,000 independent and documentary titles of unique social and cultural value, including Great Courses and the Criterion Collection.

Criterion alone has some of the greatest critically acclaimed current and classic films every made. Find it at the library’s website: www.sno-isle.org/digitalmedia#video.

As always, if you need help or questions, reach out to me or a staff member or phone me at 425-77-1933.

Have a great February!

 

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