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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Get More From Your Email

If you're anything like me, email has probably gone from being a new, fun technology in your life to being a real nuisance. It's great to be able to communicate with family, friends and co-workers, even over long distances, at any time of the day or night - no complaints there. It's the junk mail I can live without! (Okay, and perhaps the well-intentioned chain letters from otherwise good friends, but enough of my pet peeves...)

So encouraging you to sign up for our automated email services is not something I would do if I didn't think you would find it convenient and useful - an antidote to life's junk mail. Before I even tell you what email services the library offers, I also want to assure you that the library protects and defends your privacy. We will not sell or give away your email address to anyone. In other words, we won't contribute to that list of "spam" you have to weed through every day.

What can the library do for you via email?
  • First of all, there's our email newsletter. Once a month, short and sweet - reminders of programs, events and services you have may have missed in our printed, quarterly newsletter. What makes our e-news extra useful is that it's packed with live links. If you see a database in it you want to try or an event to register for, click and go! Want to sign up (you can always cancel if you so desire)? Click on this link.

  • Next up, there's email hold notification. To put it more simply, if you place holds on items through our catalog system or by giving us a call, you can receive an email to notify you when the item is ready for you to pick up. This can be really convenient if you don't have an answering or voice mail system on the phone, or if you share your phone with a busy household (where people may or may not pass along messages!). It also prevents you from making a trip to the library and being disappointed because the item hasn't arrived. Want to sign up for email hold notification? Click on this link.

  • The library offers dozens of programs and events every month, and you may sign up for some of them many weeks in advance. How can you keep track of library events with all the other stuff you're juggling? Sign up for email notification of events! There are two ways to do this. First, you can sign up to receive emails telling you about future library programs. To do this, click on this link. You'll be prompted to enter your email address and also to choose the types of programs in which you're interested. Maybe you'd like programs just for children or those focusing on gardening and computer skills. Then, when new programs are added in those categories, you'll receive an email informing you and giving you a link to register online.

    Secondly, when you register online, you'll also see a button that reads, "Notify Me."
    Click on that button to receive a reminder before the event, because there's nothing more frustrating than just plain forgetting about a program you really wanted to attend.
Remember that technology is supposed to make your life easier, so use it to your advantage. Get a spam filter to block out the junk mail - but if you do that, make sure the library's messages are marked as "Not Junk" or our helpful reminders will vanish into thin air. Remember, too, that we really appreciate your emails and comments that you post here, letting us know what you think about our services. We read them all, take them seriously and respond, so keep the suggestions and questions coming.

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