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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Library On the Go with Bookmyne

Looking for an easy way to connect to the library while on the go? Fairfax County Public Library has two options for customers who wish to check accounts, search for books and place holds on their mobile devices—Bookmyne and FinditVA.  These apps offer access to your account after a quick set up and are available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can also find links to both from the Library’s webpage.
After experimenting with them, I’m a fan of Bookmyne and have been happy to use it in place of the retired Fairfax County Public Library iOS app. Bookmyne offers mobile access to view your checkouts, renew books, search the catalog for new books and place holds. You will even find directions to libraries near you, including their phone numbers and branch hours.
As an added bonus, there is a Suggested Reading tab that allows you to link to Goodreads recommendations. Spin the Awards wheel to generate a variety of award winners: from “2014 National Book Awards Longlist” to “Pulitzer Winners: Biographies and Autobiographies” to “Florida Teen Reads” or pull up the Popular tab to see a list of New York Times bestseller lists by category.

 The only downside I’ve found to Bookmyne is that it doesn’t offer a virtual library card or Visual ID. However, your favorite barcode app can serve that purpose. What also works for many customers? Take a picture of your barcode with your smartphone and save it to your camera roll or on your home screen.
With the help of apps like Bookmyne and Overdrive, which gives you access to thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks on the go, Fairfax County Public Library is everywhere you are. 

-Ginger Hawkins, Patrick Henry Library

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