The local system recently became the first library in the state and the third in the nation to make its card catalog available on the Library Corporation’s LS2 Mobile.
The new app was released Nov. 4 and local readers have been able to access it for approximately two weeks.
CERL director Sandra Underwood said she is excited that the library could offer the service before the Birmingham Public Library System, which is scheduled to begin using a similar product in early 2011.
Underwood learned about LS2 Mobile at the Library Corporation’s conference in October and registered to begin receiving it as part of the CERL’s software package.
Underwood said that although staff members will still be available for patrons who prefer personal service, smart phones and other new electronic devices are too popular for libraries to ignore.
“The library has to move forward technologically,” Underwood said.
Getting its own app is the latest in a series of updates that have brought the CERL system into the Digital Age.
Three years ago, the libraries in Walker and Winston counties were still using an antiquated paper card catalog.
“We did not even know what our inventory was because of the tornado 35 years ago,” Underwood said.
The library now has a website, www.youseemore.com/cerl, and uses a software program called LS2 PAC that allows online users to see cover art for titles, browse bestsellers and write reviews, among other things.
Thanks to LS2 Mobile, patrons can also access their account anywhere they have their smart-phone.
The app is free and available on the library’s website, the App Store and iTunes.
Installation can take several minutes. After it is completed, users should select Carl Elliott Regional Library from a drop-down menu.