Website and Catalog Tip of the Week: While You Wait

Tired of waiting for months for bestsellers? Don't want to be 300th on the hold list for that new DVD? Find readalikes to get instant gratification, and try out power user secrets for getting popular stuff faster.

While You Wait Suggestions

When you search our catalog, in your search results, right under some popular books, you'll notice a little red clock icon with the text "While You Wait." (What if you don't see it under your search result? Don't worry, I'll get to that next! Try searching for something else for now, just to get an idea of how it works.)

Click there to see suggestions for books you can read now! These suggestions only include books that are currently waiting for you to pick them up off the shelf at one of our libraries. (You might still want to place a hold on it to get it delivered to your library of choice, though.)

But wait, those readalikes sound interesting, but how about getting Cross Kill faster, too? Don't worry, I have more tips, keep reading!

And even MORE suggestions

If you click on any item in your catalog, you'll notice information on the right-hand side of the screen. Just scroll down to "Explore Further."

For example, here's a screenshot of the item details you see when you click on one of the suggestions for Cross Kill: an earlier Patterson entitled NYPD Red. You can see a few more book covers, like before.

If you keep scrolling down further, you'll find even more stuff that will help you find suggestions, including lists that include that title (like this handy list by one of our librarians of more Patterson books that are currently available), and ways to browse other items with the same tags and subjects. This is especially helpful for things like DVDs, seeds, CDs, or anything else that's not a book.

Use the holds, Luke

Have you ever noticed that some people seem ahead of the curve when it comes to getting their holds? Like, why do you always end up 90th in line for the new James Patterson, how does that lucky #1 person do it? Here are some tips from the power users who have this down to an art:

  1. Saved searches make it easy to check on your favorite authors.
  2. Subscribe to RSS feeds of your saved searches to save another step: see it in your news feed, or get emailed when something new gets added to your search. (We have instructions for the Blogtrottr service, but feel free to use a different option like Feedly or IFTTT if you want!)
  3. Use our suspend hold feature to micromanage your hold queue. If you want to keep your place in line, but aren't going to be able to pick it up, don't cancel the hold and move back to the end of the line like a sucker!
  4. Yes, there's a 15-item-at-a-time limit on holds, but consider this: that does not include holds on digital materials, such as audiobooks and ebooks available through our OverDrive service, which have their own separate hold limit. If some of the items taking up precious slots in your queue are ones you wouldn't mind getting in another format, consider going digital.
  5. Finally, power users and casual browsers alike have an equal chance of coming across a Lucky Day item! You can see if we have them in our catalog, but borrower beware, they're first come, first served! No holds or renewals allowed, which makes them easy to snag on the Express Shelf at your favorite branch.

Questions? Call Infoline at 520 791 4010, or contact Ask A Librarian!