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Find books, music, movies, and more
You Asked... We Answered
Your Opinion Matters to Us
We've received hundreds of responses to our Library Survey in the past year. This column will provide answers to some of the many interesting questions asked by you in the Survey results.
And we are happy to answer other questions as well. Simply send an email to email@example.com note: rest assured, if you ask us a question and we use it here, no personal information will be posted.
August 3, 2012
“The catalogue terminals are very slow.”
“The software on the catalogue terminals is becoming dated.”
“Catalogue terminals? What catalogue terminals? Are they actually working?”
Good news: those 7 catalogue computer workstations had a complete
hardware/software makeover earlier this year! A typical search question should now be answered within a couple of seconds. The complete list, or “catalogue” of Stratford Public Library’s 150,000 books, movies, music, magazines (and more) can be found on 1 of 7 dedicated onsite computer stations *.
The catalogue also contains items owned by the West Perth (Mitchell), Perth
East (Milverton) and St Marys Public Library.
These terminals allow users to do many things, including:
- Search, to see if the Library owns a particular item;
- Find the location(s) of any desired item(s) within the system;
- See what’s new, popular or recently returned;
- View best seller and award winner lists.
There’s a long list of fancier, personalized stuff that can also be done while at the catalogue. Here’s just a taste:
Using the SPL card “Bibliocommons” account, a member can
- Place requests/holds;
- Create unique book reviews and ratings;
- View lists of things you’ve borrowed and
- Make and / view titles grouped by theme, format, or favorite topics.
You can always ask nearby staff for help, or make an appointment with a Librarian
“expert” to learn more.
*The library catalogue can also be searched from your home computer or mobile device at www.stratford.library.on.ca -- but that’s a whole other question!
June 20, 2012
“Why can’t I find a copy of Nora Robert’s Naked in Death eBook in your catalogue, or in your downloadLibrary.ca selection? I know I found it there last week, and now I can’t find it.”
“Why do you have such long waiting lists for Audiobooks & eBooks on downloadLibrary?”
Library customers have taken to Electronic (or “e-“) content like ducks to water. Hundreds of you have borrowed thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and videos (travel, kids documentaries and more) since January 2011!
SPL staff work hard to keep up with skyrocketing demand:
- New titles are added weekly
- Electronic budgets have been doubled for 2012
- Nearly 13,000 eBooks, Audiobooks and Videos can be borrowed from www.downloadLibrary.ca.
Challenges for libraries purchasing and loaning e-content:
- Libraries cannot buy the same digital books as individuals.
- A few key publishers don’t make their catalogue available to the Library market. Simon & Schuster (new Steve Jobs biography) is a good example.
- Other publishers sell library editions for a time, and then withdraw particular titles. Nora Robert’s Naked in Death (eBook) was recently made unavailable. We know you want to read them, we just can’t buy them.
- Libraries also agree to different contractual conditions than a person who has purchased eBook content directly from the Internet.
Electronic publishing is in its infancy and is still evolving. Canadian libraries – including Stratford – continue to work with eBook vendors to make more books available to our library customers. Stay tuned…. and do check out www.downloadLibrary. As always, call, e-mail or come on in if you need a hand with any of it.
March 16, 2012
“Why won’t you let me put my music CD returns in the book drop? I’m trying to get stuff back on time, but it’s tough to remember that music has to be brought in during open hours."
Your wish is our command! Staff listened carefully – and responded: in December 2011 at SPL, 4000 music CDs were moved into more flexible plastic cases. These new cases are not only more attractive, but are also more durable and can be returned through the external book drop, just like all your other Library materials
February 14, 2012
“I forgot to pick up my hold for Stephen King’s latest. Why was I assessed a $0.50 service charge?”
Stratford Public Library patrons are busy, smart people: most know how to find the newest bestsellers in the catalogue & how to place a request (or, ask a willing staff member to help) for it. Over 5,000 holds are placed here every month! If everyone plays their part and picks up their requested items within the 4 day “on hold” period, waiting lists go down more quickly, and the items get to eager customers asap. The service fee is a small reflection of the 4-5 minutes time taken to set aside each and every requested item.
To recap: When an item has come in for you, you have 4 days to pick it up or to call the Library & let staff know you no longer want it.
If you do not pick the item up or notify staff that the item is no longer required, the fifty cent service fee is applied to your card.