When Glencoe Public Library’s website first launched the library billed itself as being open 24 hours a day. Now the library hopes to be open wherever patrons are with a new application for smartphones.
“One of the things the [app] is designed for is so that you don’t have to be at the library,” said Mike Gershbein, virtual services librarian, at Glencoe Public Library.
Launched in late October the app allows people to search the library’s catalog, renew and hold books, follow library news and events, as well as check out electronic books and audio.
A Bookworm's Dream
One of Gershbein’s favorite features of the new app is BookLook, which allows people to scan the ISBN code of books they find elsewhere with the phone’s camera and see if it’s available at Glencoe Public Library.
“It’ll even let you put a hold on the book,” Gershbein said.
Part of the reason the library decided to offer a mobile feature is because about 20 percent of the library’s website users already access the site using mobile devices, Gershbein said.
“What we wanted to do is to come up with a way to offer the most useful parts of the website so that it would be maximized for mobile use,” he said.
Friends of Glencoe Public Library funded the cost of developing the app, which has been downloaded about 200 times since it was launched a little over two weeks ago, Gershbein said.
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the library will be offering two hour-long sessions at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to help patrons learn how to use the new mobile app. For more information, visit: www.GlencoePublicLibrary.org.
The library hopes the app will offer people more access to library information and in turn, drive circulation of physical materials.
“Everything we try to do with technology in the library is an enhancement to service,” Gershbein said. “We are never taking services away as we add technology features.”