August 09, 2014

Library Now!

Neill Public Library is excited to unveil a mobile library app for our patrons!  Library Now consolidates library services into a single point of access ready for downloading onto your favorite mobile device.   This is another innovative way to bring library resources to you when you want, where you want, and how you want!

Development of this app began last year when the Washington State Library received a $200,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.  Neill Public Library had the distinction of being one of several libraries involved in establishing a list of desired specifications and features for the new app.  Boopsie was the vendor selected by the Washington State Library to incorporate our wish list and make our app a reality.

Why a mobile app?  Advances in technology continue to play a major role in shaping how patrons access library services.  Circulation of downloadable books continues to rise and use of online research databases remains high.  The Pew Internet Project survey found that 25% of all Americans ages 16 and older visited a library website in the past year.  Of those Americans, 82% searched the library’s catalog, 72% got basic library information (hours of operation, location of branches, or directions), 62% reserved books, and 51% used an online database. To facilitate patron usage online access should be quick and easy.  Libraries need to continue to adapt their services to remain relevant.

Library Now is easy to set up.  It comes in two versions, depending on whether the library is public or academic.  Both versions run on all standard mobile device platforms.  Users can download the app from their respective app stores and use the keywords “library now” to search for the full name of the app: “Washington State Library Now”.  Select, open, and download the app to your smart phone or tablet device.  Once downloaded to your device, find your library’s name from the drop down list of participating locations and enter your library card number to sign in.   It’s. That. Easy.  Neill Public Library, Whitman County Library District, and Asotin County Library are local participants.

Library Now offers the same level of access available through our standard website but with the added ease of single point access.  In the palm of their hands, patrons can now check their accounts, place holds on items, find library hours, see special event calendars, and access online resources such as downloadable eBooks and audio books, research databases, and the Microsoft IT Academy digital literacy curriculum.

Library Now also offers additional features to enhance your online library experience.  Travelling?  Use the GPS function to find the closest library to you and map directions to get there. See a book that catches your interest?  Use the BookLook feature to scan the book’s ISBN number (or enter it manually) to see if your local library has it in their holdings for you to borrow!

Can it get any better?  You bet!  We offer personalized training sessions to help you download this app to your mobile device.  Contact Neill Public Library at 509-334-3595 or email us at library@neill-lib.org to schedule your Book-a-Librarian session today.  H-APP-Y library surfing!

Joanna Bailey
Library Director

No comments: