Benbrook Library / Books

The Library Catalog: Magic for Muggles


I’m number one, and I’m not nearly as lonely as Three Dog Night promised I would be. In fact, I feel downright triumphant. For the first time ever, I’m at the top of the hold list for a yet-to-be-released blockbuster title. How did I do it? Abuse of my library guy power? A stay at a Holiday Inn Express? Sorcery? My true method was not sinister or magical, just incredibly simple: I used the library catalog.

When I first heard about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, my first reaction was “I’ve gotta go to London!” When that proved to be unfeasible, and I found out the script for the play about an adult Harry Potter and his son, Albus Severus Potter, would be published in July, my mindset shifted to “I’ve gotta read that book!” I knew I’d eventually be able to get the book from the library, but if I waited until the release date, the hold list for it would be longer than a thousand Naginis. Placing a hold as soon as possible was the clear move, but we don’t often have records in our catalog for items that are five months away from being released, so I couldn’t stake a claim…yet.

As I’ve discussed before in this space, the library catalog has a “Save Search” feature that enables you to set up a search for a specific title to be run automatically as often as once a week and have the results e-mailed to you. All I had to do was perform a search in the catalog for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” click “Save Search,” confirm the deets, and wait for the glorious day when the search yielded results and I could place a hold. Thankfully, that day came sooner than expected, last Wednesday. When I received the notification e-mail, I rushed to a computer and placed my hold faster than a Seeker chasing a Golden Snitch, which was apparently also faster than any other Metroplex Potter fans, as I claimed the coveted number one spot in the queue.

Because of a handy library catalog feature, and because obviously none of you listened to my previous advice about that feature, I’ll be one of the first library users in North Texas to read about the newest adventures of everybody’s favorite wizard (and rapper). “Save Search” is a great tool, and I urge you all to use it going forward. I also urge you to get yourself to the library catalog and place a hold on HP and the CC posthaste, because the longer you wait, the more likely it is your life will become a sad little story entitled “Regretful Reader and the Ludicrously Long Hold List.”

One thought on “The Library Catalog: Magic for Muggles

  1. Pingback: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review: The Play’s the Thing | The Shelf Life

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