Until recently, the only reason I went to our library was because of the kids. That’s what dads and moms do, right? We take our kids to the library for story time and all those wonderful children books waiting to be checked out by our little ones. Even though my kids love checking out books, I never bothered checking out books or movies for myself. That’s because all the ones I wanted were already checked out by evil moms and dads. I can’t believe they didn’t let me read the book first.
Last year, I discovered you could reserve library books and movies online (anyone remember the old library card catalog?). The library’s online reservation system works great for books, CDs, and DVDs that are not in big demand. But if you want to save money by reserving a new item, then good luck to you. From my experience, there’s usually a couple hundred parents that have already requested a hold on a popular book, CD, or movie.
Now take a look at the screen shot below. As you can see, I was number four on the hold list for Dan Brown’s new book (The Lost Symbol). Last Tuesday (when the book was released), there were 645 people who requested a hold on the book at our library (currently: about 800 hold requests for The Lost Symbol). Cool, huh? Read on and I’ll reveal the secret to reserving new DVDs and books at the library.
The secret to my success is this: I reserve the new DVD, CD, or book before it arrives at the library. With our online library system, you can place a hold on an item as soon as it is ordered. As you can see in the screen shot above, I put a hold for The Lost Symbol more than three months ago (6/1/2009).
Right now you’re probably thinking, how in the world is a non-psychic dad or mom suppose to know when the librarian places an order for new movies, books, and CDs? Well, if you’re got a lot of time on your hand, you can conduct a daily search for a title using your library’s online system. Yeah, I know. Moms and dads do not have time to do a search every day until the item is finally order. That’s where our library’s saved searches feature comes in handy. With our library’s saved search feature, moms and dads can easily setup a search to run automatically and have the results emailed to them. A very awesome feature.
A couple of more tips for reserving movies, books, and CDs at the library:
Run the saved search manually
Our library’s saved searches feature can only be run automatically on a weekly or monthly schedule. You can improve your chances of being at the top of the queue by running the saved search manually. Even though it’s manual, all you have to do is click on a link. You don’t have to re-enter the search parameters each time you want to run the search.
Setup your saved searches as soon as possible
The earlier you setup your saved searches, the better off you will be. You should create a saved search when you first see a trailer or an ad for a book, movie, or CD you like. You can also consult Amazon for titles of CDs, movies, and books that will be released in the near future.
Note: The saved searches feature is probably not available with all library systems. Our library uses the Polaris Library Systems.