Thursday, June 14, 2018

Connecting Alaska through the Alaska Library Consortium

Last month, Fairbanks area libraries joined the Alaska Library Consortium, meaning that 92% of Alaskans can freely and easily share 3.2 million titles through one library catalog. For us, the addition of UAF Rasmuson Library is particularly exciting, since Rasmuson has an excellent Alaska collection, especially for materials about the interior and Arctic regions.

Each library in the Alaska Library Catalog has its own configuration. Although the materials are the same, using your home library's catalog has certain benefits. One is that your library will appear at the top of the locations list.
Alaska Library catalog record for Walter Harper: Alaska Native Son by Mary Ehrlander.
Many libraries in the catalog have this book, Walter Harper: Alaska Native Son. Although there's one at the State Library, it's in Historical, so it's only available for in-library use. To check it out, you need to request it from another library.

To request this book from another library, click on "Place Hold" on the right, enter your library card number and PIN, and designate your pickup library. Then one of the libraries will find it on their shelves, package it up, and mail it to your local library for you to pick up. When it arrives, you'll get a phone call or email depending on how your account is set up. If you don't know your PIN, you can ask your favorite librarian to look it up.

If you're impatient and don't want to wait for an item to be mailed, you can limit search results to local results only. The catalog knows that there are three systems in Juneau, the State Library, Juneau Public Libraries, and UAS Egan Library (Sealaska Heritage Institute is also included, but their books cannot be checked out). The Juneau area libraries use a courier to transport items between libraries and it usually takes just one or two days for a Juneau item to be delivered.
The collections dropdown menu on the Alaska State Library's catalog page.
Selecting Juneau area libraries means you can see what's available in your area. You can also limit the results to your library, or Alaska Digital Library for e-books and audiobooks.

Want a little help navigating the Alaska library catalog? Visit your library and ask for a quick tutorial. We're happy to help you borrow more books, DVDs, audiobooks, and music than ever! The joint catalog also means that if you're traveling, you can use your local library card at any of the libraries in the consortium, and you can return your books or DVDs to any of the 87 libraries.

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