Friday, September 23, 2011

What's up with my holds?

SemaphoreA question we hear often when you're placing a hold is, "How will you let me know when it's here?" You're able to choose how you want to be contacted by the library when you apply for a library card, and you're able to change your mind by logging in to your account on the catalog. The library uses an automated service to send out the message that you have a hold to pick up or an overdue item to return.

Right now the three options are to be notified by email, by telephone, or by the US Postal Service, aka snail mail. In our humble opinion, email is the far superior option. It's nearly instant, much more detailed, and doesn't depend on the post office's backlog or your voicemail settings. Just make sure to add to your address book so your email account doesn't think it's spam.

Update Account buttonWhen you login to your account, you can click "Update Account" if you'd like to change how we notify you, update your email address, or change your pickup location for holds. You can change your mailing address or phone number at any checkout desk, and you'll need proof of address to change your mailing address. If you want more information about this, we have a Library Notices section on our News page.

If you need to contact the library and prefer email, you can use our general email address, Also, this year we have two new email addresses. One is for circulation at Please use this email address instead of for questions about overdue or returned books, holds, and for all questions regarding your account. There's also one for interlibrary loan questions: When you fill out an interlibrary loan form, you can also choose how you want to be contacted, by email, phone, or snail mail.

Of course, we're always thrilled when you pay us a visit at any of the 3 branches, and you can give us a call to inquire about your holds or ask us any other questions. Just don't flag us down with semaphore, or expect hold delivery by carrier pigeon, because that might result in a really, really long delay.

Semaphore image from the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

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