This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Easy Baldwin Library New Titles, Full of Grace Returns, and the Baldwin at City Hall Satellite Library.

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).

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