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Today Cobourg Library released an app for Android and Apple. It allows anyone to see what’s available and, for holders of library cards, you can manage your loans, make reservations or even download an ebook.  Library CEO Tammy Robinson told Council in a presentation that one of its benefits is that it's easier than their new web site to find what you want. The cost of the software was covered by a grant so there is no cosat to the Town.  There is no charge to download the App and I can report that my signing up experience was painless.  To get full value from the app you really need to have a library card and that means first of all that you need to be a Cobourg resident.

You can get a free library card at the Library by showing proof of residence (e.g. a Driver’s Licence) although if you previously had a card but it expired, it will cost you $3 to get a replacement.  (Mine had expired 12 years ago).cobourgpl You can download the app at (e.g.) the Google PlayStore – search for CobourgPL, download and install. It asks you to approve access to: Identity, Location, Photos/Media/Files and Camera.  Once installed, it shows up as “Cobourg Portal” (at right). You can then search the Library’s catalogue – it not only has titles but other info like a cover image and a short description.

But to get the full value, you need to access your account. If you don’t have an account, the login screen does not appear. If you do, you will be faced with “enter Barcode” and “enter Pin”. The Barcode is the long string of numbers on your library card – under the bar code of course. Someone has to tell you what your pin is – but it’s no secret that it’s the last four digits on your phone number – that’s the phone number you used when you opened your account.

Once logged in, your phone should remember the info so you don’t need your barcode again!  If you access “My Account”, you can see what you have checked out, any items you have requested and any dollar balance owing. 

Cobourg LibraryYou can also access your Overdrive account using the same barcode and pin but with the addition of a notification email address. This account is used to access ebooks.  It’s not self-evident how to order an ebook although regular books are easily put on hold.

There’s no shipping service(!) so you still have to visit the Library but at least you know what your chances are of finding that special book.  You also know if you are running late.

Since the app is free, everyone with a library card and a phone should install the app. Why not?  If you have a problem, the “Awesome Outreach Assistants” at the Library will be happy to help.  Tuesday June 27 is Download Day from 10:00am to 8:00pm when Library staff will assist with setting up your the app on your phone.


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