Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I love the library. Besides being a great place to get books for my family (I’m on a book hiatus right now – see Simplifying the Reading Backlog), I can get many other different types of media and information. (See my Lifehack article “Unexpected Ways The Library Can Save You Money”).
One of my neighbors doesn’t use the library because it is too frustrating for her. Not from the actual library, but because of the things she has to manage to make it work best. Here are my tips to simplify library trips.
One Bag For Everything
One of the best things I have done is to establish a library bag. It lives on a hook in our closet, and all things library go in there. Unread or read books, media to be returned, and expired batteries (our library collects them) all end up there.
When we are ready to go to the library, we just grab the bag and go. No searching for books that have disappeared somewhere in the house.
Most libraries have an online card catalog where you can place holds on books electronically. This can be done at any time of the day or night. Then when the book you want to read comes in, you just pop into the library and pick it up.
This saves wandering the stacks hoping that the book you want to read might be finally back in, or spending time searching for books in places they aren’t shelved.
One other feature of the online hold that I love is I can get materials from other branches or other libraries. This saves me having to run all over town, or buy the material my system may not have in-house.
Know the Layout
Knowing the layout of your local library will save you time if you don’t know specifically what books you want, but a general subject. My library shelves mysteries in a different section than fiction, and science fiction is mixed in with the general fiction. Non-fiction books are on the far side of the building.
Having a good idea where in the building the books are saves me time trying to find them.
Put Due Dates in Task List
Once you check out a book, you must return it. And you must return it on time if you want to avoid overdue fees. The best way I know to remember to return the items are to enter the due dates in my task list as I am in the library. I make a general note as to what was checked out, and then I am automatically reminded to return the items.
By using these three methods, library visits can be as short as we wish to make them. Do you have any tricks for making the library easier? Share below.
Photo by See-ming Lee