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San Antonio Public Library Website Improves Services For Readers

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City of San Antonio
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Patrons of the San Antonio Library can now do their “virtual shopping” for books and other materials to check out more efficiently.

The activation of  new website modules have created a more retail-like online experience for the library, taking the website from its colder, more data-driven appearance to make it feel more like you’re really shopping.

The New Arrivals window at the bottom of the site looks a little like a tablet or Netflix browsing experience, offering photos of book covers you can scroll in either direction, or select a list that brings up all the titles.

San Antonio Library spokeswoman Beth Graham said patrons now can create wish lists for items the library doesn’t own, which trigger a purchase request; and if you need to, you can put a "hold" on your "hold."

"A lot of us have had that experience of putting a book on hold and then going on vacation, and then your hold comes in," said Graham. "If you're going on vacation and have a hold, now you can freeze that hold."

Another new feature offers a way to track your own reading or check-out history.

"I'm always reading something that I really, really like, and then I can't remember the name of the book or the author so that I could find something else by that author. If I keep a reading list, I can go back and look at it," said Graham.

Other enhancements have made it easier to find digital libraries, inter-library loan requests, and the new materials section. Patrons with wireless devices can now print directly to library printers without having to log onto a library desktop, and high-demand items are now grouped into the “Express Collections” category to create faster turnover and shorter wait times.