The Terrace Public Library is releasing a mobile app on Jan. 22 allowing members to manage their accounts from their smartphones.
“It’s important to keep the library up to date with how technology is going,” says David Tremblay, the library director. “I think it’s really going to help ease up the barriers.”
The CloudLibrary app, created by Bibliotecha Ltd., allows users renew, manage holds and even receive notifications when their checked-out items are soon to be due.
Tremblay says that most people nowadays prefer receiving notifications on their phone and they wanted to make having a library card easier. Signing into the app only requires the library card number and the member’s PIN.
Multiple accounts can also be viewed on the platform to help families keep track of their children’s cards.
For those trying to slim down the size of their wallets, a virtual version of the library card with a digital bar code can be used instead when signing out items now.
“You don’t need your physical card to use at the library, you can open up the app, press a button to show the card and we can scan your phone,” Tremblay says.
The app also includes a virtual book bag that the user can use to categorize their items into check-lists, mark read books and add favourites.
The library is currently beta-testing CloudLibrary. It was created by the same vendor that has provided their self-checkout machine and the security alarms at the front entrance. It has yet to be officially sold in the app market, so they’ll be receiving it free for the first year and then at a discount in the following years.
Although the app does have an ebook feature extension to it, Terrace Public Library users won’t have access to it during the beta trial.
Trembay says if users do want to view ebooks, they can use their card in another app called Libby, which provides access to thousands of titles, or audiobooks available to all libraries in B.C.