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April 16, 2008 > Readers' corner at the library

Readers' corner at the library

By Lili Khalili

You may already be familiar with our catalog at It is the yellow box on the top right side of our Web page. You may know how to search by title, author or subject to find the book you like. You probably also know if you find something that your neighbor is also interested in, you must request it (we had 200 requests for Da Vinci Code when it was published and the number kept growing even after we had 50 copies available system-wide). In that case, you need to click on the request box and enter your name, card # and the branch where you want to pick up the book. Another option is to call us or visit the library for help in ordering any book.

If the book is not in our system, it may be available through the LINK + System. Link + is a consortium of 43 libraries that allow cardholders belonging to one of those systems to borrow circulating books from another. Loan rules depend on the home library of each title. It's is a great resource for finding any desirable title that your home library may not carry. The search is very easy from Simply click on the box on the top or bottom of the catalog page labeled Link +. One click expands the search automatically over all the existing libraries in the consortium. For example, it may list 10 libraries that have that title. All you need to do just click on "request this item" First it will ask you, which library you are affiliated with. After choosing Alameda County Library, you will need to enter your account information, and then you will be notified that your request has been processed successfully!

However, the more important question is what should I read next? First of all, under most titles on the Web catalog, there is a box "Reviews and more" that links to short reviews from well known publications like Library journal and Publishers Weekly. These include brief summaries of the story and a short review.

Helpful databases are also only a click away with your Alameda County Library card. The Novelist database or the "What Do I Read Next" database can be found by clicking on the blue research tab on the top of the Web page. Novelist offers a variety of categories like romance, fantasy, etc under Recommended Reads or the Award Winners list. To start looking for a good book, the easiest way is to type in the genre you like in the search window. For example, if one is looking for an award winner's romance book, type the key words award winners and romance. The search results may include not only an award winner, but also a romance book with an award in the story line.

If you have read a title and you enjoyed it, type in the title and the catalog will allow you to see the categories that it is listed under. Then you can pull out a list of books in that same category or categories.

When you find a title, read the description and decide to read that book, you can click on the availability of the title in the library catalog. You can then request it online or call the location you prefer to order the book.

Readers' Corner is another entertaining option for finding a good book. Follow the link from our Web page to an ocean of information compiled by librarians to introduce you to many different ways that you can find books. It offers an online newsletter sent to your inbox daily, as well as sample chapters from popular books in business, nonfiction and fiction. In Readers' Corner you also find the list of national and local bestsellers. Book discussion groups are another way to enjoy reading and in Readers' Corner you will find several links to different book discussion groups and how to find them in your local community. The library staff at the Newark branch offers two different book clubs. Check it out under the branch calendar events.

One final note- play around with our catalog online or come to the library of your choice to browse the rich collection of fiction including romance, mystery, science fiction/fantasy, short stories, or classics.

Don't forget to play our summer reading game for adults. The theme this year is Timeless Reads .The game starts June 16 with weekly prizes of chocolates or coffee. What better companions for a good summer of reading pleasure?

Lili Khalili is a member of the reference staff at Union City Library.

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