Almost every week we publish a list of new titles available to City residents who have Baldwin Library Cards. If you don't have a card you can get one at the Birmingham Baldwin Library which takes less than two minutes. Regardless of whether you use the library you pay for it. So you might as well use it to see of you like it.
In Today's world there are fewer book stores, video stores, and movie theater's than there used to be. Thus the Baldwin Library may be our closest source of entertainment, education, and enlightenment. If our residents are using the library and recent numbers indicate they are, it call also be very prudent economical alternative known as cost sharing which will also reduce household clutter, and time wasted.
This week the new titles at the Baldwin Library include a novel Guilt by John Kellerman. Many of you want to read this novel. We r know that because of an ad in the Target Sunday supplement which offers the Book for a $19 (or so) special price. Best Buy does the same for the James Bond movie Skyfall advertising a Blue Ray version at $19.95 and a the DVD for slightly less. Skyfall is not available at Red Box the coin operated ( $1,27 )movie renting machine at the two krogers on Maple Road (at Lahser or Woodward) stores. Neither is Sessions which is nominated in the category of best/or supporting Actor/Actress category for this year's Oscars. If you follow the awards you a probably looking this film which left the theaters long ago, Some of the pay per view services have Sessions and the more advertised coming of age flick, The Perks of Being a Wall Flower at prices around $3.95 or $5. Less if you have a coupon. The latter film is also available at Red Box.
Red Box used to be the best deal in town at $1.27 for 24 hours but now the Baldwin Library is offering Free rentals for all DVDs for a minimum of 48 hour. Some less current DVDs are availble for a week.
All of the above titles are available now (depending on your definition of available now) for free at the Baldwin Library. To get one or more of the above titles you will have to lift a finger. Literally. Click on the words "Check Availability" which appear in red beside the title's description. A screen will display. Unless today is your lucky day it will say the title is unavailable for now. You can however put the item for hold for yourself. Just enter the number beneath the bar-code on your library card and a four digit pin number.
Don't have a pin ?1066 is always a good one (Norman invasion of England which gave English literature Robin Hood , Ivanhoe and a zillion French words).If entering the multi digit number beneath the bar code is a pain you can in conjunction with the librarian at the main desk give yourself a pet or secret name to use in it's place. Big Max 77 is but one workable example. Unless of course it is already taken.
Once you enter your particulars and click on "place Hold" your work is done . The Library does the rest and will notify you when the title you selected is available.. The number of estimated days appears on the page where you place your hold.
Then you have to retrieve your book or DVD. Perhaps the most arduous aspect of the whole transaction.
Unless you like the touch and feel of a book, the convenience of a disc or the possibility of running into friends at the library.
Some day soon the Library will be able beam books and DVDs to your television , computer, cell phone, or wrist watch. That technology is all already in place for audio and e-book loans available from the library on line . The same technology takes the book automatically away on the due date.
For City residents returning the book is as easy as putting in the drop box at City Hall. How will the library know when you did that ? It doesn't and therein lies two schools of thought.
In today's cynical age some companies and institution assume the worst and charge for it. Whatever the contents of the return box may be, they are not "returned" to the library's "possession" until Thursday and therefore any due date prior to Thursday should be fined accordingly. Besides the Patron could have avoided those charges by returning the book directly to the library. The cold, calculating, logic is hard to fault.
The Baldwin Library doesn't think that way however .The drop box was intended to be a convenience for City Residents and to function as an extension of the Library. Therefore every item returned before the Thursday pick up is assumed to have been returned on the dates due from the Thursday prior to the current Thursday. Any fines charged in this time period is are reversed
Last but not least,... City residents who do not have a Baldwin Library Card may still borrow the DVDs and books via the honors system at the City Hall Baldwin Satellite Library. At last glance popular DVD titles s included Moneyball, (Brad Pitt) Bridesmaids (An ensemble cast hoot), and Last Chance Harvey (Dustin Hoffman).