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San Antonio Public Library Website Improves Services For Readers

City of San Antonio

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.