Bellingham, Whatcom libraries launch mobile information app

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 8, 2014 

It's a new year, a time for looking at things in a new light. In that spirit, your local public libraries are giving you a new way to take advantage of all the free library services available to you online - with an app that's designed for optimal use on your smart phone or tablet.

Want to renew a book or place one on hold? We have an app for that. Library hours or locations? We have an app for that. Download an eBook or eMagazine? Find information fast? We have an app for those things, too.

The Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Library System have recently launched Library Now, a mobile app to put your local public libraries at your fingertips. From any mobile phone or tablet connected to the internet, you can instantly tap into library resources, anytime, anywhere. You can search the library catalog, check your account, ask a question, find events and more.

To access the library's mobile app, point your device to http://wa.boopsie.com or search for Library Now in your mobile device's app store and download the app today. It's free! We know that many people in Whatcom County live on their mobile phones these days, so it's important for the library to be easily accessible whenever and wherever people need access to our staff and rich resources. Our mobile app puts library information just one click away with much faster access than going through a browser. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this new way to use the library by downloading our app today.

Searching the catalog of library materials with the mobile app is especially easy. Just type the first few letters of two or three words and search results will begin to appear. For example, if you're looking up Mark Twain in the catalog, just type "ma twa." Once you find the title you're looking for, you can place it on hold right from your phone.

The app offers additional features, such as BookLook, which lets you scan an ISBN barcode to see if the library owns the title. This is an amazing feature! If you see a book that you're interested in, you can just scan the ISBN, see if the library owns it and-if we do-place a hold on it right from your phone.

The development of the Library Now app was coordinated by the Washington State Library, and uses funding from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, as well as grants from the federal Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

We hope you'll spread the word about Library Now to everyone you know with a mobile device. It's cool, it's easy, and it's free. If you're not using your libraries, you're missing out!

For more information on Library Now, visit http://sos.wa.gov/q/LibraryNow or contact either the Bellingham Public Library at 360-778-7323 or the Whatcom County Library System at 360-305-3600.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Pamela Kiesner is director of the Bellingham Public Library. Christine Perkins is executive director of the Whatcom County Library System, which has branches in Whatcom County communities outside Bellingham.

LIBRARY ACCESS

Residents of all ages are eligible for library cards that provide free access to books, eBooks, audiobooks, music and DVDs.

Bellingham and Whatcom County library cards work at all locations, but online resources differ slightly depending which library you hold the card for.

Apply for a library card in person at your local library or online at http://YourLibraries.org.

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