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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Library book late again? Read this now

Do you always have overdue library books.

You have to check this out.

Join for free Avoid overdues with email alerts
Check multiple library cards
Track books, DVDs, CDs, videos, etc.
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What does Elf do? [ Top ]
Elf is an Internet-based tool for keeping track of what's due, overdue and ready for pickup. Users can keep track of one or more library accounts in one place and receive reminders (sometimes called pre-overdue or early notification). Reminders are sent when the user wants it -- before items are due (up to seven days advance notice, weekly notice or everyday reminders). For families or anyone who'd like reminders before an item is due (user-selectable number of days notice). If Elf is for you, sign up for an account.
Would I be able to check my cards as well as my kids? [ Top ]
Multiple card checking is one of the main features of Elf. Just enter all the library cards under a single Elf account. This feature is handy in a busy household where everyone in the family takes out many and all types of library material, then relies on mom or dad to return them on time.
What is a PIN? [ Top ]
An acronym for Personal Identification Number, PINs are used to authenticate you when you sign into your library account. All libraries have their own PIN requirements. Many use the last four digits of the cardholder's phone number and/or cardholder name. Other libraries give cardholder the option of specifying and changing PINs. While some libraries, do not use or require PINs.
Elf does not have an automatic Change My Library PIN feature. If your library permits user-specifiable PINs, change the PIN from within your library account. Keep in mind, if you change the PIN in your library account, you will need to update your library PIN setting in your Elf account. If you do not, Elf cannot check your card.
For info on what your library's PIN requirements are, contact your library (or use list - URLs to get to your library).
Is Elf affiliated with any library? [ Top ]
Elf is independently-run and not affiliated or associated with any schools or libraries.
Can I add my library? [ Top ]
If your library is a Polaris PowerPac (v3.2 or later) or a Dynix library system (Classic or Horizon; excluding Java-based Dynix WebPAC), send the name of the library and its URL to requestlib @ Also if you would, please tell us how you found our site in your note, thanks!
Libraries added to the system may be seen here (check back in a few days).
Other library systems are still in beta for various reasons.
Why are some libraries designated as beta? [ Top ]
These libraries are designated beta because the communication protocol between these libraries and Elf requires more monitoring.
If your reminder notices are not arriving as it should, send us a note. Be sure to say what reminder notice was missed and the name of the library you are using.
Can I use Elf to renew my library items? [ Top ]
Elf does not have a renew feature. However, to bring up your library's login page in your browser, click on the due date of your reminder notice.
I returned my book but it's showing up as not returned, why? [ Top ]
Returns usually must be processed; in other words, items must be checked in before 'actually' being checked into the library. Processing and check-in depends on the library (check with your library to learn more about their check-in procedures). This aside, some things (volume, holidays, interlibrary returns, outdoor bins, etc.) could be factors.
Also, keep in mind that the information in your notices reflects the status of your library account at a particular point in time. Given this, notices are current for a limited time and will expire as soon as you have changes in your library account.
Manually checking your library account is one way to check whether the items has been checked in or not. (Logging into your library account itself 'manual login' or check via Elf for real-time checking.) If an item has been checked in then the item will no longer be listed.
The information in the reminder notices is basically the same information that's in one's library account. Most importantly, the information is what was available at the time the account was checked. Items may be checked in or checked out since notice was generated. For the latest, manually login (or check your account via Elf).
How do I know if my card is valid or working? [ Top ]
If your card is not working, it is probably because the card was not activated*, is no longer valid or it may be a blocked card.
To verify that your card is active and works, go to your library's login page and try logging into your library account. (Links to library home pages may be found here, List of Libraries page - click on the library name.)
If the login doesn't work and you get an error message (i.e. login failed, invalid card or PIN, etc.), you will need to get the card checked out by the library.
When your card is working, update the card Check status to Yes (info on updating card Check status may be found here ) -- at the same time, please verify that your card information is up-to-date.
* Some libraries require new card holders to 'activate' the card before it can be used. Activation may also be needed if the library upgrades to a new system.
What is a block? [ Top ]
Blocks are put in place by the library. Aside from the obvious (too many overdues or too much fines), your card may have been blocked because it needed to be renewed. To remove the block, check with the library. (Depends on the library, some libraries permit cards to be renewed by phone while others may want you to go into the library.)
When you have removed the block, you will need to update the Check setting to Yes to resume checking for the card.
1. Select My Account.
2. Click the Library Cards tab.
3. Click the Edit icon (on right side) of the library card you want to edit.
4. Set Card checking to Valid. - Valid: indicates card is 'active' and working. Must be valid to resume checking. - Invalid: cards that cannot be checked - users with more than one Elf account will just need to update one account (other accounts will be updated automatically) Note cards must be valid and your card settings must be reflect current card info otherwise checking will not work.
5. Press Save to save the changes.
6. Verify you've made your changes, click Check My Cards. Why does Elf turn off checking? Checking cards that don't work on a daily basis takes up computer resources (the library's and Elf's).
Privacy-related Questions

Will you sell or share my email address? [ Top ]
The answer is no. Like you, we don't want spam and do not sell, share or distribute email addresses. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.

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