I read very few books last year. Since I rely on the nagging return date of library books to push my reading, I partly blame last year on the piddly book collection at my neighborhood library.
2019 began with two great discoveries. The first was that I found out that I could place a hold for free online on any of the books available at the Central Park Library of Santa Clara. This library has a bigger collection and they can deliver the book (after its former borrower returns it) to my small neighborhood library in a few days.
The second more awesome discovery was LINK+. This is a free inter-library loan service that links the Santa Clara libraries with 69 other city and university libraries in California and Nevada! Imagine my joy when I used its online catalog search and found that I could now get my hold on pretty much any book imaginable. I started using this from the new year and it has been just great. Having access to the books I want makes me read more.
Using the service is quite easy. Search the LINK+ catalog online for the book you want. Request for it to be delivered to your neighborhood library. I can borrow a maximum of 10 items through LINK+ at any given time. If the book is checked out, you will get it only after its borrower has returned it back. If it is available, it typically takes a week or two for the book to travel from faraway California cities and Nevada to my local library.
My local library website login informs me when the LINK+ book has arrived. These books are kept behind their counter and can only be checked out and returned at the counter by asking a librarian. The books that arrive through LINK+ have a huge sticker on the front indicating the originating library and the borrower. The librarian takes out an old-world date stamp and stamps the return date on this sticker. When I am done with the book, I return it back at the counter.
That is pretty much it. If you live in California or Nevada, please check if your city or university is a part of the LINK+ network. If so, a ginormous collection of books awaits your discovery.