Mark's library cards

Mark’s library cards

As many readers of this blog know, I’m making more and more use of the local library.

I recently finished reading  “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.  It’s a terrific book!

Now I’m working on “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini.  I’m also fitting in “Very Good, Jeeves” (the the Jeeves short stories by P.G. Wodehouse.)

With all these library books going back and forth this summer, how in the world do you keep track of them?  If you miss your due date or simply forget to return that book for several weeks, you could be  looking at a rather hefty fine.

Well, there’s a really neat online library service that helps keep track of all your borrowed books! After doing a bit of research, I  immediately  signed up for it!

It’s called ELF.

It keeps track of all your loaned books from your local library.  It even keeps tracks of loaned books from multiple libraries if you happen have more than one library card.  (And I do.)

The best part, Elf is absolutely free! Well, it’s free when you have only one library card registered.  Multiple cards will require a yearly subscription of $20.00 per year.  Elf does give you a three week trial period to test drive all the premium features.  I’m currently doing this.  After my trial period, I’ll probably just move down to the basic free service for my one most used library card.  However, if you’re a power library user, the premium service may just be for you.  It could very well help you save $$$ in unwanted library overdue fines.

Who uses Elf?
Anyone who wants to reduce overdues
Families with children and lots of books
Individuals with several library cards
Anyone who requests a lot of holds

What’s delivered?
Email and/or RSS alerts before items are due
Email and/or RSS alerts on overdues and holds
Consolidated list of yours or your family’s library loans and holds
Cellphone text message alerts for holds (US and Canada)
Real-time checking by browser

With Elf, all you need to do is create an account.  Then enter all your library card user ID numbers (and pin numbers).  Elf then queries those libraries to see what books are loaned to you and when they  are due.  You can then set up an alarm either by email or text (or both) to our own personal parameters and Elf will send you reminders when the book is close to its due date.

I was setting up my own alarms in Google Calender to warn me of books coming due.  No more!  Now, ELF does it all!


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