I’ve recently had the most amazing epiphany… there is a place you can borrow books, for several weeks, read them and return them. At no cost. I’m serious.

Alright, probably slightly hyperbolic but I’m still amazed at the ignorance I seem to have been in about this topic. Even more exciting is going online to view the library catalog, put your name on a wait list for a title (really want to read The Martian before I see the movie) and then give comments and the like to the “community” that is growing around the library website.

Probably one of the most interesting functions is that they have integrated notifications into their service. Say you’ve put yourself on the wait list for a particular book, like The Martian (which at time of this writing I’m 27th in line for one of twelve copies. Read faster people!). When the book becomes available to you they will send an email to you letting you know that you can pick it up. Additionally, they will transport books from any site in Calgary to any other site in the city for you before you’re notified! I also have two preferred library locations: one by my house the other by my work. I can choose to have the book delivered to one or the other branch depending on if I want to pick the book up after work or if I feel like going for a walk on the weekend to my home branch.

They also have e-resources available and, if you install the Overdrive application (link to the Android version), you can listen to audio books or read digital versions of books right on your mobile device.

Such a great ideas and they really make me enjoy the process of getting a book from the library. I’ll be reading more in the near future in light of how easy the process has become.  If you’re interested in getting a library card, citizens of Calgary can register for your library card here. It’s free and is completed online; once you visit a branch for the first time they will prove your identity via a piece of government ID and issue you a hard copy card. From there you’re free and clear to borrow.

Do it; reading is good for your mind and body.