You screech into the library parking lot, race up to the doors and … they’re locked! Nooooo! Your books are due today – what are you going to do? Never fear, book drop is here!
To the right of the main library entrance is a small silver door. If your library checkouts are all books, open the door, slide a book in, and shut the door. You’ll hear a blissful thud as it drops gently into our special spring-loaded, carpet-lined bin. Another silver, “books only”, bin sits at curbside in case you’re in a hurry.
“But I have movies and audiobooks! I’m not supposed to put them in the book drop … right? The sticker on the box says not to put it in the book return.”
That sticker is quite literal! It really means no items with discs or cassettes in the return box for books. But we wouldn’t leave you out in the cold with nary a place for audiovisual goodies. The solution is our blue audiovisual drop at the curb! “But what about a book with a disc inside? What then?” If a book has a cd inside the cover please return it in the silver book returns. A word to the wise: Always return books to their designated silver drops and CDs/movies to the blue audiovisual drop. This prevents damage to disks and a $1.00 fine (per item in the wrong drop box) on your library account!
“My items are due today – if I return them in the book drop after closing won’t they be late?”
We empty the drops once in the morning and once in the afternoon, Monday through Saturday. If you return your item after the library closes, we’ll check it in the next morning using the previous day’s date. For example, if you return a book to the drop after closing on Tuesday, we’ll check it in Wednesday morning using Tuesday’s date. Since the Palmer Library is closed on Sunday, all items in the drops are checked in Monday morning as though they were returned the previous Saturday. If the library is closed for a holiday, items are checked in using the last date we were open. "Is there a charge for this amazing time traveling service?", you ask? Why, no! It’s all part of our outstanding, free customer service.
“Can I return books from other libraries to the Palmer return boxes?”
Yes, IF they’re from libraries within our network. Those include, but aren’t limited to: Anchorage, UAA/MatSu, MatSu Borough, and Wasilla libraries. You’ll find a complete list of network libraries here. Not included in this super-duper list of returnable awesomeness: school, church, and bible college library materials, Redbox or Netflix movies, or Aunt Gertrude’s odd collection of savory gelatin recipes.
“The library is open, but I’ll put these books in the curb drop on my way in to check out some more.”
Please bring returns inside during library business hours, if possible, especially if you plan to check out more items. If all 20 items, of the 20-item limit, are sitting in the outside book drop you won’t be able to check out any more! The inside book return is located under the front counter on your left as you enter the main library room. We check it constantly throughout the day. You’re welcome to return both books and audiovisual materials there. Returning your items inside allows us to get them checked in immediately, keeping your account clear and ready for another round of rip roaring reading, listening, and watching adventures. It'll also give you the added satisfaction of saving a librarian’s back!
A library is not just a building where groups of people come find a book. A library is where individuals socialize, attend free interactive programs, check out materials for relaxation or learning, work on resumes, homework, or recreational projects. In many instances, a visit to the library requires more individual assistance from staff than a simple welcome. Comparing a library to any other business is not a true reflection of a library's function in the community.
Comparisons of similar size Alaska libraries, including the Mat Su Borough Libraries, shows Palmer Library is very competitive when considering our smaller numbers for budget, library size and full-time employees (FTEs). Although Palmer’s customer service resources are smaller than similar libraries, it’s very competitive in circulation, programs and patron visits. One could say doing more with less applies to the Palmer Library!
Did you know?...you can now pay library fines online with a credit or debit card through the card catalog. Not sure how? Find a tutorial HERE.
Did you know?...Palmer Library staff undergoes regular customer service training. We can't top other libraries for budget, space, or staff, but we strive to provide the best customer service in the state!
Did you know?...A library card gives you free access to all the materials in the Palmer Library, plus online books and audiobooks, as well as most other library collections in the state, and special requests out of state!
Stop in the Palmer Library today, with your photo ID,
to sign up.
Shelves and shelves of books, movies, and audiobooks each wearing a red and white sticker that proudly proclaims “NEW.” What counts as a new item? When does a library book or movie stop being new? Follow us on this behind-the-scenes peek at the workings of the Palmer Public Library, as we go on the hunt for NEW!
New items come to the Palmer Library several different ways. The staff are constantly checking the New York Times Bestseller list, choosing the most popular current titles to purchase for the library. Patrons are welcome to suggest movies, books, or audiobooks via our “Suggested Purchase Form” at pplak.org/suggest-a-purchase and we’ll consider adding it to our collection. Other items that will find their way to our “New” sections include popular classics that aren’t in the collection, older titles that being made into movies, movies & TV series, donations of recently published titles, and any items uniquely relevant to Palmer Library patrons, such as Alaskana and books by local authors.
Each new book, movie, or audiobook is marked with a NEW sticker and the month/year the title was added to the library collection. The item is shelved in one of the New sections until the same month the following year. For example, if we added the item in September 2016, we will move it to the regular collection in September 2017.
Why doesn’t an item coming in to the library make it to the New shelf? If we receive a replacement for a lost or damaged item that is not currently popular or recently published, it will either go straight to our regular collection, or Friends of the Library book sale. If we already own the title and are simply adding another copy to the system, it may bypass the New section as well.
New books will have a shorter checkout period, (2 weeks,) than older books (4 weeks), since the new items will be in higher demand. Movies are always a 1 week checkout, regardless of their New status. While an item is listed as New in the system, Alaska Library Catalog network libraries outside the Mat-Su Borough won’t be able to place a hold on it, giving Palmer patrons increased access to the new material.
If you’ve never noticed the New sections at the Palmer Public Library, check it out next time you come in! Our staff are happy to direct you to one of several places New items are kept, including Adult Fiction/Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, Manga, Anime, & Graphic Novels, Large Print, Audiobooks, Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Nonfiction, Easy Readers, and Movies. Stop in and see what’s NEW today!
HOLD THAT BOOK! (OR DVD, OR BOOK ON CD)
Oh the beauty of placing a hold on an item you can’t wait to read, watch, or listen to! You may have placed the hold at home, or called and asked one of our fine staff, or maybe even come in and placed it in person.
Now the wait begins. Where is my item coming from? Do you know how long it will take to get here? Or ‘IT’S BEEN 3 WEEKS! WHERE IS IT?!?!"
Take a deep breath…ahh! Perhaps the item is checked out to somebody else, or maybe there are 35 people ahead of you! (After all, if you can’t wait to read it maybe there are others that can’t wait either)
Sometimes, if the item is only available at say, Haines Public Library, and it’s checked out to another person, it can take time! Sometimes, as you know, shipping even in-state can take a precious amount of time.
So that being said, please bear with us. We'll let you know AS SOON AS YOUR ITEM IS AVAILABLE!
If we have your email address you'll be notified instantly when your coveted item arrives!!
**You can talk to any of our amazing staff members to add email to your account.
Submitted by Jessie
It's summer in Alaska and many of us are out planting and weeding our gardens. Just as those of us who garden, staff at the Palmer Public Library have been "weeding" the nonfiction collection making room for new books.
Each book is looked at, examined, and researched before removing it from the collection. Is the book old? Does it have yellowed pages, stains, a broken binding and is falling apart? Has it not been checked out in five or more years? Certainly those are big factors to look at but not the only reason to consider removing a book from the collection.
Medical books, law books, and technology books, for example, become dated very quickly. Replacing those with newer, up-to-date volumes that contain valid and helpful information seems a good solution rather than keeping those books on the shelves for 30 years. Our hope is that you will be able to browse these collections more easily without having to sift through old/outdated materials to find what you want.
What happens to a book that is not repairable and is in really poor condition, but gets checked out frequently many times a year and is relevant to the needs and interests of our community? Replacement becomes a priority at that time. For example, a small section on gold panning/mining had several books in extremely poor condition and many were checked out and never returned. High interest dictates that we try and replace those discarded and lost volumes.
Most of the books removed from the collection were given to The Friends for the annual book sale. Proceeds from that sale are turned right back to the Palmer Public Library - a "win-win" for those that frequent the library!
During this process (as we do at any time) we welcome book suggestions. If you have any questions, or would like to make a book suggestion please speak to any one of us at the desk, or use our online Suggest A Purchase form HERE.
Submitted by Teri