Did you know that public libraries in the Chicago area are the envy of people all over the country? It's true. Whenever I'm fortunate enough to attend a conference or workshop with librarians from other parts of the United States, when I mention that I work in Des Plaines, "a suburb of Chicago," you can practically hear the oohs and aahs. Public libraries in Illinois are well-supported, well-managed and should be a source of pride for all of us - after all, it's our tax dollars that keep our libraries strong and vibrant.
So now you know - and here's another thing you may not know: your DPPL card isn't just your passport to great books, videos, music, programming and fun at this library. You have some of the best libraries in the nation at your fingertips as well, and many of them will deliver their materials to DPPL for you to borrow. No charge, no fuss. How does this work?
The easiest way to borrow items from our neighboring libraries is to use our Library Catalog - it's right there on every page of our Web site, in bold, blue letters: CATALOG
By now, you probably know how to search in their for items at our library, but if you change the "Library" option, you can search one of 25 area libraries, or choose ALL and search them all at the same time. When you find an item of interest, notice the "Holdings" information: the item might be here in Des Plaines, but it might be in Lake Villa or Algonquin. No problem. Get out your DPPL card and click the blue "Place Hold" button. That's right - you can place a hold on an item even when it's from another library. Fill in your library card number and password (your password will be the word "patron," unless you've changed it), click the "Place Hold" button again and your request will move through the system. The first library who has the item available will pack it up and send it here to DPPL, and you will be notified when it's ready for you to pick up.
In a hurry? Leaving on a 7 AM flight out of O'Hare tomorrow morning and just have to read that book that only Niles or Park Ridge has available? Give that library a call and if the item is available, you can go there and check it out with your DPPL card. But do call first - someone else might be just as eager and will grab the book while you're still on the road.
Those options work well for libraries in the immediate area that belong to our borrowing consortium or the North Suburban Library System - but what about libraries across the state, across the country, around the world? We also offer access to an amazing service called WorldCat. In the same way that our Catalog allows you to search 25 local libraries, WorldCat allows you to search the world - and request items you find online through Interlibrary Loan. In the next few months, we will offer you the opportunity to test drive a new system from WorldCat, called WorldCat Local, which will simplify the ordering process and, we hope, enhance your search process, giving you options like home delivery and the ability to review items within the Catalog. More about WorldCat Local soon, but WorldCat is available to you right now - check it out.
So hold your head up high and give yourself a pat on the back for supporting some of the best libraries in the country. Get full use of your investment by borrowing items and attending programs at many different libraries - although we hope you'll always have a soft spot for DPPL, the library right here in your neighborhood.