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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Why I Love The Chicago Public Library: Does It Get Any Better Than This?


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Suppose you live in Chicago and you want something interesting to read, and you have not the ready cash as Damon Runyon might put it.

So you go to the Chicago Tribune website, or for the sake of those who think it is THE reference source, the New York Times Website, and you check the fiction Bestseller lists.


Top 5 at a Glance

1. HONEYMOON, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
2. THE BROKER, by John Grisham
3. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown

By the way, J.D. Robb, is is a fun read.

Ah, The Da Vinci Code, I meant to read that.

(Actually, I did read it and enjoyed it a lot, then went back and read Angels and Demons which I liked even better. Then went ahead and bought The Da Vinci Code. This is why libraries are a good thing for publishers in the long run. They let bookworms like me give books a test drive.)

I wonder if The Da Vinci Code in the library.

This is why I love the Chicago Public Library. Rather than trudging to one of several nearby branches, a convenience in itself, I can go online and check to see where it is and and this is the good part, whether it is ON THE SHELVES at the time I am looking for it.

Yes, it is always possible that someone will get there *just* before me, but that is really rare.

So I go to the Chicago Public Library website and search for the book.


Database: Chicago Public Library Search type: Title Browse
Search was: da Vinci Code

(Notice that I forget to capitalize da, Doh!, it doesn't care. I learn that there are also audio books and tapes to choose from and also several different language editions, etc scattered around the city. I choose the english version because I took Latin in high school and my Spanish is mui pequino or very small. I hope that's what I said. If you speak Spanish and are laughing, my job for the day is done.

Title The Da Vinci code : a novel / Dan Brown.
Author Brown, Dan, 1964-
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher New York : Doubleday, 2003.
Description 454 p. ; 25 cm.
Subject(s) Leonardo, da Vinci, Fiction. 1452-1519 Manuscripts
Cryptographers Fiction.
Mystery fiction. gsafd
Format English qEnglish
qFiction Fiction

As you see, I get the normal index card information but what I get next is the gold.

For some html code reason I cannot fathom, if I try to paste in the full output of the search, it winds up getting placed waaaaaay down the page. So I've solved that problem by editing the results to 3 libraries. But in reality, there was a really impressive supply of the book available. You will still have to scroll down the page a little to see the output.

Where to find it

Skip past the blank green space to see results:

BranchLocationCopies in LibraryCopies Owned
Back Of The Yards FIC 1 1
Beverly FIC 0 7
Chinatown FIC 2 5

One nice feature of the listing is that if you click on the library name, you get routed to the branch information, hours, address, phone, even a picture of it. Very nice.

Since the list of branches that have copies is pretty good, I have a lot of options. I love this about the library. Since there are this many copies I can also go into my branch and order a hold on the book and they will send a copy from another branch, usually within a week! If they have one. Now I deliberately picked one that has been out awhile, I may not have had as much luck with one out this week, but who cares, it's still a great book.

If you love books, here is one great reason to move INTO the City of Chicago. Between this and the services of the Chicago Park District, Parks, Pools, and Streets and Sanitation, I feel like I get my tax dollars back and then some, of course, I read. And the library people are wonderful. Hard working and harried, they love the people who are regulars. People who check out a lot of books, help justify their salaries.

Well, that's my post for today,



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