Are there secrets at the library?


Frequently people ask me “Nicole, what are the library hacks – the secrets that no one knows about to get the best ‘bang for my buck’?”

First, it is not our intention at all to hold any secrets back from our patrons and those who we serve. We want you to use our services as much as you could possibly want to.

I’d say the most involved “hack” I can help with is to get your library materials to you faster. There are several different ways to find one book, if you’re willing to give it a try or compromise a bit. The first and best place to start is on our website,

I’m going to use the new release “The Enlightenment of Bees” by Rachel Linden for my example. You’ll begin your search by typing in the title on our website search bar. You’ll see several options. The book can be checked out in a traditional format, a large print format, or an audiobook. The title is either held or on request at a variety of branches within our Central Library Consortium. You can speed up your process, if you don’t mind what format you get the book in, by placing a request on each one and seeing which comes first.

Another place to look if you’re not picky about your format is to check our audiobook or ebook listings. This requires you to click on the Hoopla or OverDrive links on our homepage. OverDrive redirects you to the Ohio Digital Library where you can place a request through your computer. A fun fact about OverDrive is that it’s powered through an app called Libby on your smart device. If I click on the eBook title on Libby or OverDrive, I can place my hold to be 1 of 15 people in the wait queue.

My favorite place to check for books is through Hoopla. Hoopla is a special service that the Delaware County District Library subscribes to that gets patrons books on demand, with no wait. There are no lines and no other people ahead of you requesting the same book. Your downloads are limited to a certain number per month, but to get it “right now” – it’s well worth it, in my opinion. If I either click over to Hoopla from the Library homepage, or I get to it from the app on my phone, I can see that this title is available in an eBook format and I’m able to borrow it right now.

Of course, if you aren’t comfortable with checking all these locations on your own, the easiest path to travel is by heading to your local library branch and talking to a librarian. They love this stuff!

This will be just step 1 in my “Library Hack” series. Feel free to share with me some of your favorite hacks at [email protected] or ask me any questions you’ve been dying to know about the Library. Stay tuned for next week, when we talk about what it means to “freeze” your holds.

This week, look into the Biography and Memoir section of the Library with a focus on space exploration, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

• “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon” by Buzz Aldrin with Ken Abraham. This is Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin’s inspiring memoir/self-help guide, peppered with the author’s humorous mottoes (“second comes right after first”) and motivational lessons. Fun fact: Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Moon.

• “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight” by Jay Barbree. Read to learn more about Neil Armstrong’s aviation career, from his service in the Korean War to the Apollo 11 mission, where he became the first person to walk on the moon. NBC News correspondent and author Jay Barbree is the only reporter to have covered all 166 American manned space missions; he was also a friend of Armstrong’s. Though it offers glimpses into its notoriously private subject’s personal life, “Neil Armstrong” is a mostly career-centric account.

• “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars” by Nathalia Holt. Meet Barby Canright, Macie Roberts, Helen Yee Chow, Barbara Lewis, Janez Lawson, Susan Finley, and others. From the 1940s to the 1960s, this talented group of women calculated rocket trajectories, designed satellites, and analyzed massive amounts of experimental data for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

• “Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances” by Leland Melvin. Discover Leland Melvin’s career as an “unexpected astronaut,” which almost ended after a training accident left him deaf in one ear. Enjoy learning Melvin’s grace and humility in the face of various professional setbacks, including a sidelined NFL career in the 1980s. NASA fans and general readers alike will be charmed by Melvin’s ability to make his larger-than-life experiences relatable.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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