It’s true! Well, not exactly the same, but pretty darn close.
There’s this thing called “interlibrary loan” and it’s about to become your new best friend. If you want a book (for fun or for school) but cannot find it in our collection at Whittemore, you can order it from any library in the entire Minuteman Library network. Not only that, but you can also order movies and video games as well. All you need is a library card. They’ll ship it straight here.
And yes, it’s free!
You can either go online or come into the library itself to request a book (or game or movie). The process itself is painless either way, only requiring a few clicks and the creation of a PIN.
Interlibrary loan is a great, if imperfect service. Firstly, while the selection of books is huge, it can take a while to receive the items you request. It generally takes about a week, but if the book is in high demand, or hard to find, it can take much longer. I’ve personally never had to wait more than a few weeks for a book to come in, but that can be a problem if you need it for a class. Order early, just to be on the safe side.
The selection for DVDs is also quite good, with a number of both new releases and old classics available. My taste in films is varying to say the least, but I’ve always been able to find the film I’m looking for. I’ve rented things like The Hangover, Paranormal Activity, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and have always been able to find a copy. You can even order complete seasons of many TV shows. You get all the disks in the boxed set at once too, unlike Netflix where you get one disk at a time. However, the quality of the DVDs themselves is a little suspect. They tend to take a lot of punishment, and I have received a few DVDs that were unplayable. It’s easy enough to order another DVD if the one you receive is defective, but it is something you should take into account.
I actually had no idea that you could order video games through this service as well, and judging by the amount of games that actually are ordered, not many students know either. I found out by chance, but have since used it numerous times. The selection is, in a word, surprising, as the mix of choices contains some new releases and some older ones as well. The selection is not huge, so finding a game is somewhat unlikely, but it’s always worth a quick search. I myself just realized that a library has a copy of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, a game that was just released on the 15th of November! However, the games are not as readily available as DVDs or movies, so expect to wait a longer time for them to arrive. Also, they can take a beating the same way DVDs can.
Overall, interlibrary loan would a decent service if you had to pay for it. The fact that it’s free just makes the deal all the sweeter. Give it a try sometime!