Sunday, October 9, 2011

A World of Books

“He had his long hair pulled back in a ….” We wanted to replace ponytail but couldn’t think of the word queue. For a moment I wished I had kept a book naming that particular hairstyle. But my shelves had been bowed with too many books, and “in case needed for reference” was no longer an excuse to keep the clutter.

You too, can cull with confidence. Search Today, the catalog once reserved for the exclusive use of librarians is public. If your dust-gathering book is listed, let go of it. If needed again—and that’s unlikely, isn’t it? –you can borrow it through an interlibrary loan. Simply visit your local library, and someone will walk you through the process. Thanks to the Internet, you can probably arrange for the loan from your computer.

For example, if you have an Amarillo Public Library card, try these six steps:
  1. Type in your library card number to access their pages.
  2. Click on the red, white and blue icon: "TexShare Databases."
  3. From the links list, choose "the Online Computer Library Center" (OCLC).
  4. Type the book's title (or, if you've forgotten it, use a keyword) in the search box.
  5. Fill out the form and order the book online.
Regardless of which library you use, a librarian can arrange to borrow it by mail, and will notify you when it arrives. Typically, the facility will absorb mailing costs and loan it to you, just like anything else loaned to the public.

Typically. There could be restrictions or exceptions. For example, if you want to borrow a book from a library in Scotland, expect to pay something--maybe insurance costs, and even a postage surcharge. Sometimes the borrowing library must keep custody of the book, and you are permitted access to it only at their facility. Also a lending source may have a no-renewal policy, an inconvenience compounded by a shorter loan time than you expected.

Regardless, “The beauty of the Interlibrary Loan System,” said Nan Kemp, interlibrary loan specialist at Amarillo College, “is that the collections of thousands of libraries are available to area library patrons.”

For more information visit the nearest library to you. Amarillo’s central library’s address is 413 E. 4th, Amarillo, TX 79101. You may also phone: 806/378-3053, fax: 806/378-9326, or email:

(c) 2011, Bernice W. Simpson

No comments:

Post a Comment