How The LA Public Library Is Like Netflix

los_angeles_-_schild.jpgBooks are my drug of choice. But as there has been quite a bit of belt-tightening in our household this year, I’ve spent more time at the library than at the bookstore and have given up Netflix. The coolest part is that I’ve spent most of my library time online, reserving books and having them delivered to my neighborhood branch. A la Netflix!

Okay okay, it’s not quite the same as there is sometimes a wait if the book is new and popular, and you do have to pick up and drop off the books. But it is free. And if you live close enough to your local branch, you don’t even have to drive.

For those of you who are already versed in the Library’s online services, you rock. For my fellow library n00bs, join me after the jump to learn more about this Netflix-like service.

First, get yourself a library card. Then sign up online. You can search for books, then put them in the queue to be delivered to your local library branch. Depending on how popular the book is, it could be waiting for you within a day or two. If you have to wait for the book, I find it exciting to watch my wait number get lower and lower until the fateful day when I receive a phone call or email (your choice) to tell me my book has arrived! Currently my list has four books on it though with all the “Best Summer Reading Lists” coming out, I’ll be sure to load it up.

If you know even more cool things you can do with your library card an online access, please tell us all in the comments.

(Image by Wolfgang Sauber used with permission via Creative Commons license.)

6 Replies to “How The LA Public Library Is Like Netflix”

  1. The thing that I would like would be to be able to have a proper queue so that I don’t run the risk of suddenly getting half a dozen books all at once with three weeks before they have to be returned. Until something like that works out, I’m going to stick with maintaining my “queue” offline (although I do let myself add more if there’s going to be a long wait for the next one).

  2. I have a Library right across the street from where I live, the movies
    they have though, are too old, and the supply is small. But it’s an option, hopefully, they’ll get more movies in the future.

  3. Another fun trick (Windows only now though…grr): downloadable audiobooks!

    http://audiobooks.lapl.org/

    Granted the selection is a little thin but there are some good titles in there. I downloaded Kavalier and Klay but was unable to play on my Mac. Use in good health, Windows users.

  4. One little known option at the library is to have DVDs delivered; if you see it listed as available on shelf at a branch, call the librarian of said branch and tell them to send it to your preferred library. You can’t do it thru the website but telephone requests are easy enough to do.

  5. Dont forget about the LA County libraries too, they have a lot of new movies, music and books that can be ordered online, you can even seen what number you are on the list for things.

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