Library Connection: take advantage of the interlibrary loan system | Organizations / Clubs
I recently went to the Conway Public Library to get an Instant Pot cookbook. During our recent Yankee Swap, I was unfortunate enough to receive a brand new Instant Pot that I offered on a trade two years ago. It is still brand new. What’s that old saying? What goes around comes around?
Instant pots were all the rage before COVID. My Californian sister sent it in, thinking it would finally make me a cook. I say, what’s wrong with a good old-fashioned recipe of throwing everything in a slow cooker and savoring the incredible flavors that fill the room for hours before dinner? The boom in this craft in my life made me think, “Why do we have to do so many things instantly? “
OK, I admit I don’t regret the days when you anxiously waited for Bob Duncan to let you know your film roll was developed and ready to be picked up. Trying to capture the essence of your golden children for greeting cards was expensive. You probably threw away half the photos and spent a pretty dime on reprints of the one that captured the essence of the moment, because so many on your list haven’t seen your little angels in a while.
Today, thanks to social media, photos of all aspects of your friends and family’s lives are ubiquitous and instantaneous. We’ve seen your kids grow up with monthly, if not daily, updates. From engagement to graduation, we hear about your special moments seconds after they happen. At once. We can even find out what you ate last night as it seems like a Facebook favorite, or should I say Meta.
Well I have some good news. Your local library can get you the book or DVD you want about as quickly as the Postal Service or Jeff Bezos can these days. Did you know that a Conway Public Library cardholder can walk into Jackson Public, Madison Public, or Cook Memorial Libraries and use your Conway card? We also invite users of the above-mentioned libraries to borrow from us on site.
Libraries in the region are not in competition; we’re actually cooperative. Literally. We are part of a consortium that allows sharing between four libraries, and you don’t have to travel to these cities to take advantage of this opportunity. Pooling our resources just makes sense for a library.
For that to happen all you need to do is request an item and local staff go from library to library, dropping off any bags of books, magazines or movies you requested, to make sure you can get the items on the right. as quickly as possible. . It is our own “main” delivery system.
Another benefit of the library amazed me during my employment. Before working in the library, I was not aware of the interlibrary loan system used across our state. If the item you need is not available in our library or through the Northern New Hampshire Library Consortium, our own Annie Wehrli will do her best to find this item somewhere in New Hampshire. If that fails, she will search top to bottom, Dartmouth, Bates, or the University of New Hampshire libraries, or maybe even request that book or microfilm from the Library of Congress. Be careful, Mr. Bezos. We don’t need you anymore.
The ILL process may require a little more patience, and the system is somewhat reminiscent of the days of the express pony. Once an eligible library receives a request from Annie, they place that item in a bucket with your name on it. A van driver travels the length of the state, like Santa Claus in his sleigh, picking up and handing over requests to the eagerly awaiting reception library staff. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness of the night stop these couriers from the rapid completion of their rounds.
Receiving library staff process the items by entering essential information into our computer system, tracking the item, and notifying the lender that it has been received and when it will be returned. A reverse system follows its return, piloted, once again, by your loyal local ILL employee.
Does the above seem cumbersome? Are you still impatient? Do you need a book, audiobook or magazine right now? At once? Try the Libby app. Yes Libby, as “library”. Another free “instant gratification” tool that we offer is the Libby or Overdrive app. It is an award winning and popular library application; another tool in your library card basket. All you need is your library card number, a smartphone, Kindle, or a computer.
From the luxury of your own home, you can have a book to read, or an audio version, instantly. Read the latest issue of Oprah or HGTV magazine with a single click and send it back 30 minutes later.
Unfortunately, those who like this option don’t come to the library as often, and we miss you, so keep in touch. If the step-by-step instructions are confusing, head into our library to see Jeff, our assistant manager, or any available staff, to walk you through the easy Libby process. Once you try the app, you won’t be able to go back.
But, let’s say you’re old-fashioned and, well, patient. Try an old-fashioned book. It might be time to try some suggested books outside of your usual genre. We now have two book clubs at the Conway Public Library. Our long-standing Monday morning group meets at 10 am once a month; we try to meet on the third Monday of the month. The exception happens on Holiday Mondays, so check the calendar, through our website, or give us a call to make sure you don’t miss out on this month’s engaging conversation about reading.
The January 24 pick is “Tell the Wolves I’m Home,” by Carol Rifka Brunt. We meet via Zoom and in person (masked) and the breadth and depth of the conversation will have you re-reading the book to capture the moments you missed while reading solo. We’ll always have plenty of copies, thanks to Annie and our ILL system, including the large print and audio versions. Let us know your needs and we’ll get back to you.
Starting in January, a new group will meet every third Tuesday evening of the month, also via Zoom and in person (hidden). This is our first foray into an evening reading group. The trial begins on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 6:15 p.m., hoping you can settle in after a long day of work and dinner, and will last just over an hour.
Our first choice of evening book is “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics”, by Daniel James Brown. This is a five star book by 83% of the nearly 29,000 readers of a popular website. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you’ve read it, you’ll be happy to reread it, and probably appreciate being able to finally discuss it with others.
Again, we welcome you in person, but a Zoom link may be sent to you a few days before the meeting if you are ready to share your email with us. Relax and observe, even if you haven’t read the book, or kick off with some engaging commentary. Everyone is welcome.
So, I now have the Instant Pot book in hand and I wonder what magic it will perform. I think it’s a good transition towards the end of this article.
Whether you want things to be instant or you prefer to simmer your rest, the staff at Conway Public Library are here to help you at your own pace; you decide. If you also receive an Instant Pot, the gift that continues to be given, email me and we can exchange recipes.