New library app makes everything easy right from your phone

Updated: Aug 25




Here is something you really want to do. Go to the library’s homepage (wicksonlibrary.org) and scroll past the middle of the page. You’ll see on the left “Download our VLC Library App.” The icon for this app is a picture of a multicolored open book. The app is downloaded in the usual way you download any app.

What can you do once you have this app? Lots.

Search for books, DVD’s, digital material and more. The search bar isn’t fussy. I typed in “Guido Brunetti books on audio.” And up popped books in Donna Leon’s Brunetti series set in Venice that were in audio. When we place a hold on a book, we can see what the status is of each copy owned by the libraries in our group.

View your checkouts and holds. Never lose track of what you’ve got checked out or have holds on again. With the tap of a finger, you can see what you have, when it’s due and renew a book you have if that book is eligible to be renewed. (Or start looking for it if you forgot you had it.) You can also see your checkout history which can remind you of what books you’ve read.

Link family member cards to easily manage multiple accounts. It’s great to have your kids, for example, get their own library cards, but it’s also handy to be able to see how many books they have checked out and when each is due. I think this can also work fine for the whole family, not just kids.

View the library’s events calendar. I love the library’s website which has, of course, its calendar. But nothing is as fast and convenient as seeing what’s going on by tapping the calendar choice on this new app.

Scan the ISBN of any book to see if the library owns it. Let’s say you find yourself at Barnes and Noble looking at an interesting book. You could buy it. Or you could save twenty bucks by checking quickly to see if the library owns it just by scanning the ISBN barcode. Then you could also put it on hold with a tap. Also, if you’re shopping on Amazon, you can see a book’s ISBN barcode on your computer and scan if with your phone – a quick way to tell what formats of the book might be available to you for free.

Get social by staying up to date with the library’s social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Frankly, I forgot the library had a YouTube presence. For instance, you can view a Constitutional Series that you might have wanted to see but missed.

See if you owe any fines. Did you really get that book into the drop box before accruing a fine? It’s easy to see right on the app.

Use your phone to show your library card when checking out materials at the library. Let’s face it. We might not always have our library card handy, but we always have our phones handy. Right at the bottom of the app page, there’s a place to tap to show your library card barcode and speed up your checkout.

I love all these uses of the Library app.

If you find you aren’t comfortable downloading the app, bring in your phone and a librarian can help you. Or find the nearest kid around your house and let her help.

Once you have the app on your phone, here’s a helpful hint. Do not attempt to proceed to set up the app for the first time without your new library card (the one with 14 numbers) or at least have the numbers, plus your four-digit passcode. You’ll need that to set up the app for the first time only.

Between the new Library app and the Libby app (I placed those side by side on my phone), there’s a lot we can accomplish quickly and easily from anywhere at any time.

See you at the Library!


(By Roz Weedman for publication in the Frankenmuth News on August 18, 2021.)

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