Monday, May 25, 2009

Small Town Library, Big Town Options

One of the downsides of living in a small, quaint town is that we have a correspondingly small, quaint library.

Don't get me wrong. Our little library at 1302 Heights Boulevard is darling. I find the architecture both welcoming and calming. However, it is a little on the small side, which means it can be difficult to walk in and expect to find THE book I'm looking for.

The good news is that I have a little secret for maintaining the convenience of living less than a mile from a library AND increasing my selection:

That's right. From the convenience and coziness of my own couch, I go online, search the entire Houston Public Library system (which has a lot of books, since we are the fourth largest city in the U.S.!), find the book I'm looking for, place a hold on it, select "Heights Branch" as my pick up location, sit back and wait a few days, and then scoot on over to the library to pick up my hold (which is conveniently located right by the checkout counter with my name clearly displayed on the book).

Since I set my computer to save my library card number and last name, I don't even have to pull out my library card when I log in. It's automatic. Plus, I get automated e-mails reminding me that my books are due in a few days. And, when I managed to ignore those e-mails, I can go online and pay my fines with a credit card.

Hooray for technology!

I really haven't had a single problem (except when three expensive library books were in my car when it got stolen from my driveway). I've checked out books on landscaping, gardening, disciplining children (I just accepted a teaching position for the fall), studying for the GMAT, improving oneself--the list goes on and on.

And, if I need to return a book after hours, I can just slide it into the drop box. Voila!


Monday = 10-8
Tuesday = 10-6
Wednesday = 10-6
Thursday = 12-8
Friday = 12-6
Saturday = 10-6
  • This branch offers free wireless access to customers.
  • Laptop checkout is available for in-house use.


  1. I love this as well. All the books I could ever want or need waiting for me in a cozy library that I can bike to. Don't you just love seeing your name on the side of the book and unwrapping each one like a present? Ok, now you know that I am a complete book dork.

  2. You can also get books that HPL doesn't own through their inter-library loan service which also delivers the books to your our sweet little Heights branch.