Two Libraries

I looked into why Seattle and King County have separate library systems. That’s what I do when I have a question: I look it up.

What I learned is that it’s not uncommon for a major city to have a separate library from its surrounding county. Everett has a public library system, while Snohomish County has a public library system. Chicago has a public library system, while Cook County has a public library system. I had been mistaken in thinking my city was an anomaly.

Before Phillip and I got our King County Library cards, we both saw that there was an option on our Seattle Public Library accounts to link our (then non-existent) King County Library accounts. Neither one of us knew what linking our accounts would mean.

After we came home, last Sunday, with our new cards, we took turns logging on to our Seattle Public Library  accounts and clicking the Link Accounts button. We filled in our account information, and our city/county accounts were linked. But we still didn’t know what we’d done.

This morning, I went to the Seattle Public Library web page to check on a hold. I noticed a new button in the upper right. It said “Switch Library Account”. Next to it was the King County Library logo. I clicked it.

This is what linking my accounts means: I can now see what I have checked out, what’s due back soon, and what’s on hold, at one library system, and then see the same information at the other library system – without logging out or logging on, and without switching web sites.

This is awesome.

What’s even more exciting to me is that my “For Later” shelf (the list of books I’ve lined up for the Reading Challenge) stays with me across both library systems. I can check on the availability on a book in Seattle, then quickly check on the availability of the same book in King County.

This is cool.

Last night, I finished reading a library book on my phone. There was a partially completed library book on the coffee table in front of me. There was a partially completed book on the computer. And there was a partially completed book in my eReader. A book I’d placed on hold was in transit to the Capitol Hill Library.

I had an impulse to download another book to my phone, but I decided to slow down a bit.

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