Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Receive new book alerts of your choosing

How would you like to be notified whenever the library receives books by your favorite authors? Or when we get new items on your favorite topics? Well now you can, by subscribing to an RSS feed from within the library's online catalog. You may have heard of RSS feeds before and thought that they weren't for you, or you may never have heard of them before. Either way, now might be the time for you to learn more because they make this new service possible.

Imagine how nice it would be to find out right away whenever your favorite authors' books come into the library? You would then be able to go online to our catalog and place a hold on the item and be one of the first to read it when it comes available. Many of the new books, especially the more popular ones, are added to our catalog before we even receive them, so you would be able to place holds on books before they arrive at the library. In order to place holds from our catalog yourself you will need a PIN number. You'll need to come to the library in person in order to set this up the first time. Just ask how this is done at the main desk.

To take advantage of this new service you will first need to learn how to create an RSS feed and find a way to read it. There are many places on the web that will tell you how to do this, and we also have some basic information on the library's website as well.

Once you know how to set up an RSS feed, here's how you set up an alert of your choosing:

Simply do a "Basic" search of the library's catalog and click on the orange RSS feed button at the bottom of the list of results that comes up.

For example, if you want to know when the library receives a new title by John Grisham, go to the "Basic search" page of our catalog and peform a search for Author - Begins With - Grisham, John. A page of results will appear listing all of our titles by Grisham. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the orange link. If your browser's software knows what to do with it you will be prompted to add a new feed. If this brings up a page of complex code you should copy the web page address (URL) and paste it into the appropriate form on your RSS feeder's web page.

For subject searches, you should make sure first that you are doing the exact search you need to give you the items you want. Try a few different searches to make sure you get what you need. As an example, if you want to receive notice of all new titles having to do with the Iraq War, search for Subject -- Begins With - Iraq War. The same orange link will appear at the bottom of the screen.

If you need help getting this all set up be sure to come in and ask for help. It can take a little bit of work to set yourself up for an RSS feed the first time, but once you've gotten it started I think you'll find that it was well worth the effort.


Post a Comment

<< Home