Guest Post: Ask a Librarian Statewide Online Reference

October 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

The following is a guest post from Traci Avet, the Virtual Reference Coordinator of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium:

So you’ve just finished watching your favorite TV or news program, or listening to your favorite radio show.  For the last hour, they touted the brilliance of someone’s latest novel or nonfiction read.  The damage is done – your interest is piqued.  All you’re thinking now is, “I’ve got to read this book.”

You… and maybe just a few other people.  (Anyone remember Tickle-Me Elmo?)  Well, the first step is to head straight to your library’s catalog – either in-person or online – and see if you’ve beaten the rest of those viewers or listeners to the punch.  Your library may have anticipated the wave of heightened interest and ordered extra copies, so you may be able to stake your claim then and there.  But if not – if your library’s copies are already checked out – make sure you place a hold on that title.  Your library will put you on a waiting list just for that title.  As the items are returned, they are set aside for those next on the waiting list.  Your library will notify you as soon as your book is ready.  And if for some reason your library doesn’t own a copy of the book, don’t despair – your library’s Interlibrary Loan service may be able to borrow the book from another library system.

Your library’s catalog lets you place holds – and sometimes even Interlibrary Loan requests – online from the convenience of your computer.  If you need help finding a book, placing a hold, or just getting more information on how to place an Interlibrary Loan request through your library, visit Ask a Librarian today and get live help from a real Florida librarian.  No matter what you’re looking for, we’ll help you find it.

What can we help you with today?

Ask a Librarian provides Florida residents with live chat services with a real Florida librarian from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday (ET), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (ET).  You can also send an e-mail your local library’s staff.


To access Ask a Librarian, visit our website at and click the link on the green toolbar that says “Ask a Librarian.”

Soon, we’ll be offering Ask a Librarian assistance through text messaging!

Please be aware that you may not always be speaking to a librarian at the West Palm Beach Public Library (Ask a Librarian uses librarians from all over the state of Florida), but whomever you speak with will be happy to help you!

** Britta **


Entry filed under: Interlibrary Loan. Tags: , , , , , , .

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