Waiting for Holds Getting You Down? Try These!
There are tons of books, DVDs and other resources available at the Toronto Public Library - but just how many of them are you aware of? And do you know what alternatives are available when your first choice isn't?
Here at Cedarbrae, we get asked for a number of things quite regularly, and chances are, you may also be wondering how to get your hands on some of the same things. This might get long, but grab a cup of hot cocoa and settle down: here are some ideas on where to start!
The Official Drivers' Handbook aka the driver's guide, the driving handbook, the G1 book, etc.
Who hasn't asked me for this book yet? Unfortunately, despite having multiple copies of this title in nearly every branch in the city, you'd still be hard pressed to find a copy just waiting for you on the shelf right when you need it.
Try: a reference copy. Most branches (but not all!) have a copy of this sought-after title to use while you're there. You can always photocopy a few relevant parts for yourself if you'd like (it's still cheaper than buying the entire book!) You can also check out the online version which has a lot of information.
Mosby's produces a number of exam preparation guides - including ones for nurses and personal support workers. We get many requests for these titles, and it's often necessary to place yourself on hold for the title you need.
Try: electronic versions of the Mosby's series. Not every title is available, but take a look and see if you can use an ebook version instead on your home computer.
TOEFL and IELTS books aka help preparing ESL students for English proficiency exams
There are numerous ESL books available at library branches, and guides specific to preparing for both the TOEFL and the IELTS are commonly on shelf. If you're having trouble finding something at your local branch and don't have much time to wait for a hold, there are online guides to help.
Try: online databases like Learning Express Library or Study Skills Success - both are free to access anywhere with your library card. They contain helpful practice tests and much of the same material you may find in physical guidebooks. Once you've logged in with your library card to Learning Express, you will need to create a user account, but it should only take a few moments. If you're in a library branch, be sure to ask a librarian for help if you're not sure how this works.
If you haven't seen, read or at least heard about 50 Shades of Grey yet, I'm truly surprised! This book has been in demand for quite some time now, and it doesn't seem to be sizzling out just yet. There's just over 2,500 holds for this title - but don't be discouraged! Notice that there are also over 250 copies of this popular book. This doesn't include paperback versions that most branches will also have in their collections. Be sure to browse under "J" in the fiction paperbacks in any branch you step into and you just may luck out. There is also the chance to get it in e-book. There is a still holds list, but it is usually a bit shorter. Try other formats, including audiobook and Large Print. Do you read in Spanish? Why not skip the English version entirely and grab it electronically en Español? And, finally, if you're looking for a sultry read, don't forget that are many erotic fiction writers out there with some pretty steamy romances. The Queens Library Steinway in Astoria, New York has a Pinterest Board dedicated to reads similar to the best-selling 50 Shades that might give you some ideas.
If you're still in school, chances are you'll be working with a classic text of some kind, whether it's Shakespeare or something a bit more contemporary or Canadian. Along with multiple copies available of many of these titles that you can check out on the catalogue, there are also separate paperback sections for many of these. Next time you're in your local branch, check out the Canadian or Classic paperbacks to score a title you need.
If you have the book, but need help with writing an essay, for example, you may need literary criticisms and scholarly works related to the title. Many branches have student guides to classic titles (you'll recognize Coles Notes, Spark Notes or Barron's Study Guides) but did you know the library offers databases just to fill this need? Shakespeare gets his own spot on our list, while there are also several other databases to help you find literary criticisms and academic articles, including Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Centre, and LitFinder. So, yes, your research online can extend beyond Wikipedia and be very meaningful - all while you're still in your pajamas!
Hopefully, you'll be able to get what you need sooner rather than later by accessing some of the alternatives mentioned. Were any of these helpful? Something new you learned about? Are there are titles you'd like to know more about? Let us know!