If you're a fan of digital books and simplicity, you'll enjoy improvements in both on the Columbus Metropolitan Library's website, the system says.
Beginning on Monday, the library rolls out an updated online catalog system that is intended to improve the way customers manage their accounts and check out materials.
The changes will allow customers to reserve an item with just a mouse click and make it simpler to check out digital books, movies and music.
It also has a social-media component for those who would like to share their reading histories and recommendations with others. That feature is optional.
Currently, those checking out digital books are directed to Overdrive, a somewhat-complicated, separate site where users must log in and coordinate their accounts with Columbus.
The contract with Canada-based BiblioCommons, which is providing the upgrades, will cost the library about $86,000 annually and a one-time startup fee of about $34,000. The service does not extend to other libraries in the Central Library Consortium, a network of Columbus and 13 other library systems that share materials.
A one-time username and signup will be needed, after which normal logins with a library card and PIN will be used. The library also plans in coming weeks to overhaul its mobile app with similar functions, said Ben Zenitsky, library spokesman.
“It will feel very similar, but hopefully with some changes that our customers will notice and really enjoy,” he said.
Things also are about to become a little more convenient for Canal Winchester patrons, too. The library plans to open its 23rd location there on Jan. 25.
The branch, in the former gymnasium of the Canal Winchester Education Center, 115 Franklin St., is leasing the roughly 5,400 square feet from Canal Winchester schools at $1 a year for five years.
The branch will have books, magazines and newspapers and include a homework help center for after-school assistance Monday through Friday. It also will offer school-readiness programs for preschoolers and free wireless and computer access.
The small “express” branch is similar to the Marion-Franklin one in the former Beery Middle School that opened on Sept. 15, 2014.