Making an online reservation of books from the National Library

As I’ve written before once or twice, I’ve been meaning to write here about how much I love and appreciate being able to reserve online the books I want to borrow from the National Library. I’m finally sitting down and doing this with my latest reservation, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, a title reviewed and highly recommended by Buffy of Storytime With Buffy, a blog I follow.

I thought I would show my appreciation of this wonderful service I’m fond of using by going through it step-by-step à la a tutorial of some sort.

Before I go any further, I should mention it costs $1.55, and that it’s not payable by cash. Transactions at the library are only by CashCard, ezlink card or NETS.

Making the reservation online.

Step1_www.nlb.gov

  • ^ 1. First, go to www.nlb.gov.sg. Click NLB Search Plus‘ on the Quick Links menu on the left.

Step2_fill in title and author

  • ^ 2. Fill in the name of the title or author, or both, and click ‘Search‘.

Step3_click find in library tab

  • ^ 3. If the book you want turns up, great! It may even be available in different languages or formats, for example as an audiobook. Click ‘Find in Library‘ to locate which branches it is available at. But first, be sure you are checking out the book in the format you want. I once reserved and borrowed a Large Print book by mistake!

Step4_check branch or click reserve this item

  • 4. Check whether the branch nearest to you stocks it and whether it’s still available to loan.

At this point, if you see it’s available, you might decide to just pop in the branch as soon as possible to pick up the book. Bear in mind someone may have already borrowed it by the time you get there. (Especially if it’s a recent and popular bestseller!) Also, if it is not available at the library nearest to you and you decide to travel to a farther one to borrow it, remember you have to return the book at the same branch you borrowed it from.

  • ^ If you decide to reserve the book instead, click ‘Reserve this item‘.

Step5_to reserve_fill in login details required

  • ^ 5. Fill in the details requested to log in.

Step6_choose branch to pick up book from

  • ^ 6. Select the branch you want to pick it up from, and click ‘Submit‘. This is my favourite part, getting to have it delivered to a branch most convenient to me.

Picking up the reserved book.

Pickup1_notification

  • ^ 1. Okay, now about a week later, the notification that the book is ready for collection arrives. This may be the not-so-great part for some people, having to wait a week or so to read the book. But I find it’s not a big deal to me. You do not have to bring this notification to collect your book, by the way.

Pickup2_eKiosk Machine

  • ^ 2. At the library, look out for the e-kiosk machine to pay your reservation fee. You need to settle that first before you can pick up the book.

Pickup3_Scan card

Pickup4_Click payment

  • ^ 4. Click ‘Payment’.

Pickup5_Pay with card

  • ^ 5. Make payment. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, they don’t take cash, which I found annoying at first as it’s just $1.55. Transactions at the library are only by CashCard, ezlink card or NETS.

Pickup6_concierge

  • ^ 6. Lastly, waltz over to the reception counter (I noticed the sign said ‘concierge‘. Ooh la la!) to collect your reserved book. Show them your membership or identification card as they need that to check which book to hand over to you. The borrowing is recorded at the counter itself. You don’t need to bring it to a self-service machine where one scans the barcode of a book to borrow it.

Bbook received

Mmmm… can’t wait to be spellbound.

***

Day 23 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: ready and excited for the freefall down the rabbit hole.

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House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. Published by WestBow Press in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

I think this is the first time I’ve read a novel written by two authors. I wonder how that works, and how different that is than for a non-fiction collaboration. How two voices merge into one, how two trains of thought meet to run at the same wavelength. Must be very interesting. I imagine the extra head provides some relief during the editing parts of the writing process.

I was intrigued by the compelling review by Greg of the blog A Life in the Day. I was delighted when a quick check online with the National Library shows that they have the novel, but not at the branch closest to home, so I had it put under reservation for a token fee, simultaneously selecting the option to have it delivered to the branch of my choice. Less than a week later I received a note in the mail notifying me that the book had been delivered and was ready to be picked up. Isn’t that amazing? I really should write a post about how much I love our public libraries, something I imagine many of us take for granted until we travel and realize people in some other countries out there are just not as fortunate. Our National Library Board, the good work they have quietly done for the people of Singapore; it’s really one of the things I love most about my country.

A haunted house tale, the novel tells the story of a couple, Jack and Stephanie, who gets stranded on a deserted back road after a peculiar accident. They are forced to continue on foot and so they are relieved to come across The Wayside Inn which looks inviting and welcoming, but things quickly start to take a strange turn after they meet another couple inside, Randy and Leslie, who tells them that they too were led to the inn after experiencing the same kind of accident.

The premise feels very familiar, feels like I’ve read or seen it on screen many times. Stranded people desperate for shelter. Conveniently finds it. Hosts are creepy. Strange things happen. Villain in a mask. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, and I’m glad it’s a supernatural horror story, not a slasher one. I’d take ghosts over killers on a murderous rampage anyday. Because tales of violent human serial killers committing explicitly gruesome murders on teenagers or whoever are just sick.

House is a joy to read because it’s rivetting and fast-paced, and the scenes play out so vividly that it was easy to visualize a movie behind the words. In fact I soon put faces of actors to voice the dialogue of most of the characters, including the four leading ones of those two couples.

James McAvoy as writer Jack

Leslie Mann as fragile Stephanie

Josh Brolin as pompous executive-type Randy

Aisha Tyler as sexy Leslie.

Greg wrote that House is hard to put down and I agree with him. I can’t remember when was the last time I took just two sittings to read a book, and this one is over 350 pages long. I could have devoured it in just one session, but it was already quite late at night when I started and I had to (reluctantly) stop halfway because I needed to sleep as I was working the following day.