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Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

February 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM

From your feedback: A missing piece in today’s column

A couple readers have pointed out a missing piece in today’s column about libraries reaching into the digital age. In my anecdote about my husband not wanting to drive to the Central Library to pick up books that aren’t available closer to home, I didn’t mention that the Seattle library can deliver books from the Central Library to your neighborhood branch.

The reason I didn’t mention it? I didn’t know about it.

Readers set me straight.

From one reader:

A more old-school feature that I make use of all the time is the free and fast delivery of physical books to one’s choice of local branch for pickup and checkout. It seems from your article that your husband might not have been aware of that very useful option, which in my experience adds only a day or two of transit time.

And another:

Maybe you are not aware of this, but you can go online at spl.org  and place books on hold, and they will be sent your neighborhood library (or any library you choose.) There is no need to drive to the Central library — or any out of the way library — to check out a book. (The exceptions are rare books and special collections which don’t leave the Central library.) 

The service is simple, and fast. Just as an example: on Friday, I placed 4 books on hold via the library’s website- and received an email the next day informing me they were ready for pickup at my branch library. It’s a great service. I think you actually did a disservice in your article by not mentioning this.
 
So I asked my husband: Did he know about this service? Why wouldn’t he take advantage of it? It turns out, he did, but the uncertainty of how long it would take for his book to be delivered, plus the smaller inconvenience of going to pick it up made getting it used on Amazon for a couple bucks still the better option. So he didn’t bring it up in the conversation that led to the anecdote.
 
I’m not sure I would say the same, if it’s just a short trip to a neighborhood branch and the book is free. But the math works out differently for all of us.
 
Thanks for pointing this out, guys.

Seen a story that caught your eye re: digital life? Email me at mguzman@seattletimes.com or reach me on Twitter or Facebook.

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