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Putting a book on hold at the Multnomah County Library

Checking books out from the library has long gone high-tech. Here in Portland, the Multnomah County Library offers the convenient feature of placing holds on library books one wants to check out by way of the web. 

To begin, enter http://multcolib.org/


Your browser then communicates with your internet service provider to find the library's web site. The screen above is returned.

Next: Imagine you're a member of the Multnomah County Library. You'd enter your library card number and a previoulsy created PIN to login to your account. Think of a book you want to read (Or DVD you'd like to watch, etc.) and enter it in the search box. For this project I'll use Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything is Illuminated." It gets entered in the search box. Then you press enter or click's "search."

The library uses the search to query its database of titles. The results include everything with "Everything is Illuminated," including movies, audiobooks, and many discussions from library users that include one or more of the words from the search in their content.

I want to read the book, so I select the third item down on the left column. My browser recognizes that my mouse was clicked on the portion of the screen region with the hyperlink to the book. That action triggers the library's server to look for specific page identified by that address, which has all the details about the book, how many copies the library has, ratings, category listings, etc.

Next: This is the book I want, so I decide I want to put it on hold. I select a library branch at  which I want to pick the book up when it's available (for this exercise I'll keep it on Belmont), then click "place a hold."

I am asked to confirm that I'd like to put a hold on the book. The library server then adds my account information to the book's hold history.

The book is now on hold. After the book is next returned and any other requestors have returned the book it will be delivered to the Belmont library from wherever the book was returned and placed by a librarian on a hold shelf.

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