You know, I just realized that I haven't stepped foot in a public library since I graduated college.

You know what else I realized? Our local library has a great card catalog online, in which I've found everything I tried looking for. It even seems to have a queue / wishlist feature! Don't I feel behind the times? (Though, on the downside, they don't have a copy of my book. Damn, so much for egosurfing in the stacks.)

Now, if only they shipped books around like Netflix. But, I suppose it wouldn't kill me to talk to a few librarians. :)

Archived Comments

  • Our library ( does ship books around, at least to the branch of your choosing. Maybe yours too.

  • Looks like yours does too:

  • If you request it they might well get it in for you. Get a couple of friends to request it as well and they certainly will...

    That's the case at AADL, who also have an pretty good new website, complete with RSS feeds of your checkouts and requests, and librarian 'blogs' set up for news, recommendations etc:

  • I use my library just like Netflix, using the website to have all my books shipped to my nearest branch, and getting notified by email when they arrive. (that the nearest branch is only 3 blocks away helps maintain the Netflix-like feeling )

    The library bcomes a convient shipping kiosk (which given that our local branch can't have more then 500 books, is really all its opitmized for anyway)

    Be great to see a library system embrace this model, and start rolling out micro-branches.

  • I also discovered the wonders of the online library when I moved last year. They might not ship the books to your door, but as the others said, you should be able to get them transferred to a branch near you and get an email when they're ready. They'll even email you to let you know when they're due.

    You could always donate a signed copy of your book to your local library as a thank you and encourage them to get the updated Sirsi system with RSS feeds.

    Here are a few links you might find useful:

  • The SouthEast Michigan Library system has made me a believer again in the modern library. I already did manual searches now for books to be shipped to my local library instead of buying from Amazon, et al. Those greasemonkey scripts should be very nice.

    Of course, the Royal Oak library (orig link) is currently closed for renovations. :p But then again, most of the libraries in the area were recently built/upgraded and each has a unique, and interesting thing to see - so I highly suggest a sojourn to the Livonia, Redford, and Northville libraries at the least.