Your family's use of the library not only supports an important community resource, but it saves you money and is a good green gesture. Jon Udell's LibraryLookup is a tool to make using the library even easier. Say you're browsing Amazon or Barnes and Noble online and find a book you're interested in - instead of launching your public library's website, opening up the online catalog and searching for your book, LibraryLookup lets you click just one button to see if your library has the book in its collection.
It won't work with every library - only those that use certain catalog software - but the list is long (find it here). Once you determine if your library is on the list, click and hold the link to your library and simply drag it onto your Firefox toolbar (if you use Internet Explorer, find instructions here) where it leaves a little "bookmarklet." From then on, when you're on a website that uses books' ISBN numbers (as most online booksellers do), you can just click the bookmarklet to launch a lookup of the book at your local library. Read more about Jon Udell's LibraryLookup at his website.
Our own library doesn't happen to be on the list that this tool works with, but nevertheless we think this is a very cool idea for encouraging your family to use your library more, spend less money and reduce fossil fuel emissions from book shipping.
Has anyone tried this out yet?