Monday, September 8, 2014

Waukesha Public Library

Some of my friends know that I am an avid user of the Waukesha Public Library. Maybe I should state that another way.....I am an avid financial supporter of the library and tend to "rent" my books, CDs and DVDs instead of check them out. Aaahahahahaha!

I am guilty of not returning my books by the due date from time to time. I have gotten a lot better and I always pay my fines for the overdue materials. But fines add up quickly and the library has gotten a nice chunk of change from me this year!

I have found that the library has a great selection of DVDs to choose from. Because I am not one that sees movies often, I can wander the rows and always find something of interest to watch that is relatively new. They even have brand new releases and for a small fee you can check them out too. 

The CD collection is quite expansive as well and has a lot of newer releases so I can check out a full CD from an artist that I know I like one of the songs, and if I like the rest, I can then download it on iTunes.

The Book-on-CD section has become a new favorite area of mine. I drive to Appleton to visit my cousin every few months and I can really get a good start on a book on those longer trips. For instance, this weekend, I am heading up there and I will have almost 4 hours of listen during the drive. I chose Janet Evanovich's Four to Score in her Stephanie Plum series. This is the second book from that series that I am listening too instead of reading.

I am also a huge fan of the library's Hold system. There are high demand books out there (If I Stay and Divergent Series for example) and because all libraries that are a part of the Waukesha County Federated Library System can share books (and some libraries have multiple copies of a certain book) it makes getting a hold of a book that much easier -- and much cheaper than buying if you have a little patience. For example, if you see 20 people on hold in front of you for a book, isn't actually 20 people that each get 3 weeks of the book before you. It's sometimes as short as a week or two for the book. You can use the website to track your place in the holds list and cancel if you no longer want to be a part of it.

I have sometimes found that newer releases of books have long holds, but the book-on-CD will have no holds or a much shorter list and I will add myself to that one as well. (For example, If I Stay has 127 holds for the book and only 2 holds for the book-on-CD.)

The library will also email you when your books are due back or your holds are available. I am really good at checking these emails but apparently the due back emails are read and quickly forgotten by me. I promise to myself to get better at this!

I have also attempted to rent the Kindle books through Overdrive. These too use a hold system and an email will be sent to you when the book is available. By clicking a link, it will download to your Kindle for a few weeks. Unfortunately the only one that I successfully downloaded I wasn't able to read in time, but I feel it works similar to if you are a Prime member and you use the Amazon library. I am currently on hold for If I Stay but am user 71 of 156 - even technology has it's limits.

The library has so many offerings that I haven't utilized either. They have computers to use, copy/fax services, study rooms, free Wi-Fi, teen area, children's area that is the entire upstairs, book reading groups, movies, activities and more.

I see why the Waukesha Public Library has won so many awards in the past few years for their great service to the community. I hope you utilize this great addition to our community but remember to get those books back on time :)

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