Posted on July 16, 2015 at 6:00 am
Libraries offer so much more than books. Our blog team is here to help you discover the many resources available to library members. We recently asked them the following question: What library resource do you wish more members knew about or took advantage of?
Here’s what each of our bloggers had to say:
The digital resources found on our website provide a wealth of information. It’s not just all about the eBooks, which are great too. We also have an awesome app, Spokane County Libraries (Android & iOS), which allow you to use your phone to quickly search for books, put yourself on a waiting list, and renew items you have checked out.
Hoopla has a lot of brand new music that’s available the same day it goes on sale in stores. It’s a great way to see if you like something well enough to buy it, or to just keep a list of favorites to check out when the mood strikes (which is what I’ve been doing). Another great thing about Hoopla is that if offers simultaneous checkouts so you don’t have to wait your turn on the holds queue.
I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the many online research tools we have in our Digital Library. I’m constantly telling friends that they have access to Consumer Reports with their library card and they are always shocked. We also have online tutoring, online classes, home and auto repair resources, language learning…the list goes on!
I wish more members followed us on social media to help facilitate more engagement. On Facebook and Twitter we promote and share important information about library resources and programs, as well as other local, community organizations and events. We’re also very active on Pinterest and even have a YouTube channel with some great videos for members to view.
Our book bags—for all ages. For families with young children, we offer Preschool and Toddler Book Bags as well as Family Math and Science Kits. These bags check out as one item, but are loaded with stories and activities to share with your child. You’ll be having so much fun, your kids won’t notice how much they’re learning. For grown-ups, we’ve taken the stress out of planning your next book club meeting with our Book Discussion to Go Bags. Each bag contains 10 copies of a book, discussion questions, author information, and tips on leading and participating in book discussions.
I wish more people took advantage of our Book a Librarian appointments. They’re great opportunities for members to get one-on-one help with anything from computer skills or research help to setting up Overdrive or having a library tour.
Right now I’m telling everyone looking for a job or thinking about changing careers to check out our online resource JobNow. It has live job coaches for interview practice and other support available every day from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m. A person can upload a copy of their resume and in 24 hours it will be returned with suggestions and corrections. There are other resource guides and wonderful assessment tools. There is a lot of power stuff that you can access from the library or from home—and it’s all free!
As part of our “support small business” team here at the District, I’d love to see small-business owners make more use of the resources on the Spokane Business Library. The site has some great tools, like DemographicsNow or ReferenceUSA, for doing market research, competitive analysis, and sales lead list generation, as well as access, through ProQuest and Business Source Complete, to journals and magazines that would be cost prohibitive for most individuals to procure otherwise.