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Library eliminates paper notices, lets you find books with smartphone app

The Seattle Public Library is getting on the technological bandwagon in a big way. They’re now completely eliminating paper notices to patrons in favor of email alerts. The library says 24,000 patrons still receive paper notices of books to pick up or fines, at an annual cost of about $60,000. The paper notices will end on July 1.

To sign up for e-mail notices, go to the Library Web site at www.spl.org, log into your account and add your e-mail address to your profile. You can also talk to a Library staff member in person to have your notices switched to e-mail, or call Borrower Services at (206) 386-4190.
Library account information may also be delivered to patrons through TeleCirc, an automated telephone system. Call (206) 386-4190 to sign up for TeleCirc.

The library has also introduced a new smartphone app to let you reserve books, text a librarian and get information about library programs.

The app, called SPL Mobile, was developed in partnership with and is powered by Boopsie.
SPL Mobile is compatible with all major smart phone software, including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian and J2ME. To download SPL Mobile, visit spl.boopsie.com on your mobile device. iPhone users can find the app by searching for “SPL Mobile” in the iTunes App Store, and Android users can find it by searching for “SPL Mobile” in the Android Market. The app is free from any source.
Enhanced features of the mobile app include smart prefix searching to obtain search results faster than ever with just the first few letters of a word or phrase. For example, entering “ha pot g” into the search box finds “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Looking for the closest Library branch? All location listings include links to an interactive map. Looking for book recommendations or want to connect with other readers? Visit one of the Library’s blogs or the Facebook page, all included in the mobile app, as well. You can reserve and renew books and DVDs, as well as receive online assistance from Library staff.