Friday, May 31, 2013

The 10 "Power Library User" tips that will save you time

We all probably know someone that has the library all figured out, the "Power Library Users". They get the most out of their public library service and save a lot of time while they're at it.

The following is a short list of tips that will get you on the way to becoming a "Power Library User" at Eastern Regional Libraries. Is it any wonder that all relate to the virtual library. You may have some of your own you'd like to share, so feel free to do so in the comments... so notepads ready? Here goes....

10. Troubleshooting via social media
Power Library Users don't wait for a library visit to sort out issues with downloading eBooks or trouble with their account. They head straight to our Facebook or Twitter pages and connect with library staff there. In addition, we frequently answer questions coming in from members via the Contact form on the website.

9. Suspending your holds while you're on holiday
Have you ever been frustrated to discover one of your holds has arrived while you're on holiday and are unable to pick it up? A great feature of the Enterprise catalogue is the ability to suspend/unsuspend your own holds. Click on the Holds tab in My Account, select the holds and click on the Suspend Holds button. You may reverse it via Cancel Hold Suspension once you're back home.

8. Can't find it at ERL? Switch your search to All Libraries
Eastern Regional Libraries is a member of the Swift Consortium including 19 Victorian libraries. If ERL doesn't have a copy of the item you're looking for, change the target of your search from Eastern Regional Libraries to All Libraries. You may place holds on titles at other libraries.

7. Long waiting list for a physical copy? Check our digital collection
Some titles may experience lengthy waiting lists if they receive some buzz in mainstream media. Power Library Users know to check our Overdrive eBook collection in case we have a digital copy of the title.

6. Get the App
With the exponential increase in the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it's worth downloading the apps we make available via the library website. BookMyne allows you to search the catalogue and renew & place holds without having to scroll, pinch etc. The OverDrive Media Console app manages the search and download of digital content such as eBooks and eAudiobooks from our OverDrive collection. Downloading the Zinio app and registering will give you access to our digital magazine collection. We're adding more content all the time.

BookMyne - iTunes Free
BookMyne - Android Free
ERL Libraries Free
Overdrive Media Console Free
Zinio Magazines Free

If iPads and eBooks are still new to you check out our free talks in our libraries.

5. Favourites
Over the past few years many members have enjoyed receiving email alerts when titles by their favourite author have been added to the collection. While Favourites is not available with the new Enterprise catalogue, they may be maintained via the previous eLibrary catalogue and the report will still be sent via email. You will need to be logged into the eLibrary catalogue using your userID and PIN to add, modify and view Favourites. Discover how to add authors to your Favourites through the catalogue guide.

4. Research 24/7
Just because the physical library may be closed doesn't mean that you can't access our resources. Eastern Regional Libraries subscribes to a vast range of online resources, most of which are available remotely from home 24/7. Click on Online Resources on our library website and you'll find encyclopedias, newspapers, online study materials, language courses and more.

3. Placing multiple holds at once
The new Enterprise catalogue allows members to place multiple holds at once, for a series or books by the same author or on the same subject. Just click the checkbox beside the desired titles in the brief results and select Place hold(s) from the action menu at the top.

2. Signing up for date due reminders
This one saves money too. Notify library staff of your email address and we'll add it to your membership record. You'll receive an email 4 days before the item is due so you can renew or return the item on time. Notify the library of any change to your email address and make sure your Inbox isn't full.

1. RSS feeds
There are two places I use RSS feeds regularly. Firstly on the catalogue, to stay updated with the latest titles on a subject. I construct a search and click on the orange RSS feed icon at the top of the brief results. I add the feed to my preferred feed reader, in my case Firefox's Live Bookmarks. I don't need to perform the search over and over, I simply go to the feed.

The other area is the Events Calendar. By clicking on the Upcoming Events link in the calendar and selecting my favourite branch then clicking Go I can view the events in my branch for the next 30 days. By clicking on the orange RSS feed icon on the results page I can add this feed to my preferred reader. If I want to know what's on this month all I need to do is go the the reader. Similarly, on a smartphone I can add an event to my calendar by touching the "9 icon". Voila!

Do you have any favourite tips to share? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Cheers, webgurl

1 comment:

Funsky said...

Great tips. Would be good to update the apps link that you provided for ios devices as the one provided and accessed on 9/01/14 isn't the latest.

The latest one is: