Library Elf

Library Elf

Carrie McBride
Aug 24, 2007

Being nickel and dimed by the library? Those 5 and 10 cent fines for children's books don't seem like much until you have 20 books overdue for a few weeks. What if a kindly elf whispered a reminder in you ear a few days before they were due? Library Elf, a free internet service, attempts to do just that.

It's a service we wish our own library offered, but until they do we're happy to take advantage of Library Elf. You choose how far in advance you want a reminder that your books are coming due and Library Elf will send an email or notification by RSS. You do have to provide your library card number and PIN (if your library uses them) when you register in order for the service to work.

In addition to due date reminders, you can also log in to see your library account - what you have out, what holds might have arrived, etc. (the same way you would by logging into your own library's site). But the advantage of using Library Elf is that you can enter multiple cards into one account and see the big picture of your family's library situation. And you get due date reminders for books taken out by any family member that you register (your teens might want to opt out so you can't see their reading list!).

The service works with hundreds of library systems around the country and more are being added everyday. See if yours is on the list here.

We've been using it for a few weeks with no snags and no fines!

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