Library ‘Systems’

I’ve added yet another library system to my standard search and hold strategy. I now have 2 library cards and access to three library systems. I have had a Minuteman Library Network card for several years now. I first got it at the Newton Free Library, and then used it at Waltham. Oddly enough, and I’ve never looked this particular gift horse in the mouth, it can also be used to check books out of the Boston Public Library and its vast network. When I moved out where I am now, I got a card (or should I say key chain card) which gives me access to the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.

I usually check my local library (and the Merrimack system) first. If it’s a book that I’m not in any rush for and the hold line is not too long, I’ll order it for pick-up there. If I’m in a hurry, and am really anxious to get my hands on it, then I’ll check all three and pick what looks like the best bet. All of this is done on-line olf course, so when books come in, I’m notified, and I scoot down and pick it up at the front desk. I try to manage the flow by placing books on hold and placing my hold on  suspension if necessary – like if I might have three books at position #1, for instance. It’s all kind of fun..

This all is a recent occurrence in my life. I used to have shelves and shelves of books, but I’ve since scaled down to one six-foot tall bookshelf with five shelves. If I do happen to buy any I’ll try to give away some to free up space. I have a kindle as well, so that I do sometimes download books that way, but of course, there’s no space problem there. And instead of having shelf after shelf of books, which I can pull down, now I keep my ‘list’ on-line here, with my notes and such.

Libraries are one of the best bargains that “government” offers. They are really a splendid gift, when you think about it.

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