Dawson column: Special catalog purchases support library

Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Herald Times Reporter

Do you shop online?

Many folks do and their favorite online shopping place is Amazon.com. If you shop online and use Amazon.com, you can now help out the libraries of the Manitowoc Calumet Library System, including Lester Public Library. The “Buy it Now” feature on our online catalog went live in November and it is easy to use.

Many of you already use our online catalog to search for books, place holds and manage your library account. Some have discovered that placing a hold on a very popular book, such as Donna Tartt’s, “The Goldfinch,” results in being No. 30 on the wait list. If you just don’t want to wait, you now have the option to “Buy it Now” through our catalog and you can support the library while doing it.

Clicking on the “Buy it Now” button will bring up an Amazon shopping page, where you can create a cart of items you wish to purchase through the Amazon site. Once you’ve added books, movies or music to your cart and are ready to checkout, you’ll be taken to Amazon’s site where the purchase process will work just like normal.

Let’s go one step further. Are you thinking about purchasing a Kindle Fire or an IPad Air from Amazon.com? Or any other big ticket items? If you access Amazon.com via our catalog link to purchase these items, MCLS gets a percentage of those purchases as well.

To do this, simply click on the “Buy it Now” link next to any item in the catalog. If you don’t want to buy books, music or movies, there’s a link at the bottom of the right hand search box that says “Shop on Amazon.” Use that link to get to the Amazon site and anything you put in your shopping cart and purchase within the next hour, will give a percentage back to the library. Easy, huh?

The money can come back to the library system in two different ways. First, themoney can be used as credit toward SirsiDynix software enhancements. SirsiDynix is the technology company that created and develops our online catalog software. SirsiDynix continuously updates their products and services that make your online catalog experience easy and convenient to use. Some of these updates are free, but many of the “extras” we’d like to add, cost money as well. We can use this credit to pay for these design enhancements.

Second, we can select the cash-out option. The cash-out option is just that, cash back to the member libraries, but this option is at 50 percent less than the SirsiDynix enhancement option. As the account grows, the member libraries of MCLS will determine the best course of action for these funds.

So the more you spend at Amazon.com (via the link in our catalog) the more money trickles back to our system. In fact, Lester Public Library staff makes many materials purchases via Amazon.com and we take advantage of this plan on a regular basis. We hope you consider this supporting the library this way as well.

Have questions or want us to walk you through a visual demonstration? Give us a call at (920) 793-7114 or stop in and visit the help desk and we’ll be happy to show you how it works.

Jeff Dawson is director of Lester Public Library.