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About libAlerts

What is libAlerts?

libAlerts is a service that enables you to subscribe to your favorite authors, and receive notifications to your email or cell phone when we order new titles. When you receive these notifications, you can place a hold on the title. It does not automatically place a hold on the title.

We listened...

libAlerts began with requests from you, our patrons, who wanted a way to receive notifications when new books by favorite authors are released.

We did one better: these alerts are sent when we order the items, so you can get an alert far in advance of the title's actual release.

We didn't buy it, we built it!

libAlerts belongs to the library, and therefore, to the community. Because we built it, and used open source software, there are no subscription/services fees for access to the information. We gleaned the book release data from our everyday job functions.

We use Drupal, a powerful open-source system for building the library's websites: the power of the Drupal community enables one web developer to build a service like this. Other components of the system were coded in-house.

And we plan to make it bigger.

How it works

First, create an account. Enter a valid email address to create the account and a cell phone number if you wish to receive text message notifications. A confirmation email will be sent to that address which you will need to see in order to complete registration. If you enter a cell phone number, a confirmation code will be sent to that phone.

Under "my account" you can set the default sending method for messages, text or email (but not both).

To subscribe, either search for an author in the search box, or browse by clicking on "Browse authors." Click on "Subscribe to posts tagged with..." for the author you want to follow.

If you receive libALERTS as text messages:

IMPORTANT: Message and data rates for your cellular carrier apply! Do not choose to receive text messages if you are concerned about the impact to your phone bill!

When you receive a text message from libAlerts, you will see a text message from the number "76000". This number is from the Ohio Public Library Information Network, which transmits these text messages.

Due to restrictions at our carrier for text messages, at this time you can receive a maximum of 5 alerts per month via text message. So if you are a super voracious reader, please choose to receive notifications via email, where there are no such restrictions.

If you want to add more authors, come back to this site, log in and choose a new author to follow.

What doesn't work

Right now, this service is limited to books.

This service does not notify you when a hold is in, etc, and is not related to the text alert service connected to your library card. This is a separate service.

Since we order far in advance of release, often the data that we are using for this site is sparse. Usually there is a cover, but probably not a summary of the book.

libAlerts will not work for Overdrive ebooks. We get the books in the Overdrive site before we get catalog information.

Some non-fiction standing order materials, like travel books, may not work; but standing-order fiction will.

We cannot refine by format, or account for series, but we do include links to two great websites with series info, above.

Mobile interface There is a mobile interface. iPad users will be directed to the mobile version. At this time, you cannot switch between interfaces. We're working on it, though. You do not need to use the mobile interface to receive text messages.

Privacy

We won't give anyone access to your personal info. Period.

Catalog tutorials

If you have never placed a hold via our catalog before, here are some video tutorials. With these skills under your belt, you will be able to take full advantage of this service.

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