Librarians are wonderful resources, especially for finding information, offering book recommendations, and assisting with important services. But, what about when you have a more basic question about the library like, “When are you open?” or “How do I register for that class?” For help with those questions – and so much more – you can contact the Answer Center!
In November 2011, the Poudre River Public Library District created the Answer Center to help our customers with questions or issues related to their library experience and to be a resource for you when you’re not physically in one of the library locations. The team manages calls on behalf of all three libraries and the administration center and can help with a variety of questions and concerns. They can be reached at (970) 221-6740.
On average, the Answer Center receives 100 calls each day with the majority focused on general library questions like renewals, placing holds, getting a library card, attending a program, and more.
Here are a few of the specific questions they often receive.
Q: Can I return items I’ve checked out from Council Tree Library to the Harmony Library?
A: Yes! Our collection is a “floating collection” which means that items can be checked out and returned at any library location or through any book drop. A floating collection means that our various items not housed permanently at one specific library, but instead are shelved in the library where they were most recently returned.
Q: I’ve heard I can renew my books online, but I don’t know where to begin.
A: The Answer Center team can help you renew materials online when you have your library card number available. They can help you via the phone or email, and they can take you through the process so you can do it on your own.
If you’d like to renew your own materials online, start by going to the website (www.PoudreLibraries.org) and logging into “My Account” (you will need your library card number). Once logged in, you’ll be taken to your account’s dashboard. Items that are currently checked out to you will be listed. Click on the boxes of the items you wish to renew. Then click on “Renew Marked” button. You’ll see a message that asks if you want to proceed; choose “Yes.” The Status for all items will be updated to reflect the new due date. Some items are not eligible for renewal. To learn more, visit our Renewals webpage.
Q: Do you have books I can download to my iPad (or other devices)?
A: Yes! The Library has a variety of options for downloading digital books (eBooks and audiobooks) to your iPad. The team at the Answer Center can walk you through the basic process and also let you know about upcoming classes that teach you all about downloading library materials to your smartphone or tablet. They can also help point you to the various step-by-step tutorials. They’ll begin with the Library’s website: www.PoudreLibraries.org. From here, you click on the red “Download” tab and choose one of the free apps available for downloading and streaming. The team at the Answer Center can take you through getting the app on your device, creating an account using your library card number, and accessing eBooks and audiobooks. It’s a step-by-step process that is best done by calling: 970-221-6740.
Q: That class is just what I need, but how do I register?
A: There are two ways to register for a class. The first is to call the Answer Center and they can take down all of the required information to get you signed up (i.e., name, phone, email address). The second option is to register online and the Answer Center can help walk you through that process. After visiting the Library’s online events calendar, click on the program title (an underlined title means it requires registration) and scroll to the registration section. Fill out the required information and hit “Complete Registration.” If the registration is full, you may be placed on a Wait List.
Q: Does the Library District take book donations? What do you do with them?
A: Yes, sort of. It’s actually the Poudre River Friends of the Library who accepts book donations on behalf of the Library District. Items donated are used to stock the Friends’ quarterly used book sales. Proceeds from these sales support Library programs and events such as the Summer Reading Challenge, Fort Collins Book Fest, and many others.
Donations for the Friends can be left outside the glass doors under the overhang on the east side of the Webster House Administration Center at 301 E. Olive St. Access is from the driveway entrance on Olive St. or via the alley to the south. More information about donations to the Library can be found on our Donations webpage including the list of items that the Friends do not accept like magazines, encyclopedias, and textbooks.
If you have a question about the library and its services and programs — and you’re not at one of the three libraries to talk with a librarian — be sure to give the Answer Center a call. If the knowledgeable team at the Answer Center can’t answer your question, they’ll make sure to connect you with someone on staff who can or take some time to research the answer for you.
In a future post, we’ll share more of the FAQs that come in to the Answer Center including paying extended-use fees and using Prospector. Stay tuned for Part 2.
(Featured blog image is of the Fort Collins Telephone Exchange circa 1938. Find great historical photos and more through the Fort Collins History Connection, an online collaboration between the Library District and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.)