Suggest books for the library

Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Sounder News

Monday, July 29 2013

Your local public library branch has more to offer than what’s on its shelves.

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) has several options to help library users find the item they are looking for.

Most materials can be transferred between branches so people can still read a book that’s on the shelves in Bella Coola or listen to a CD housed in Port Alberni. 

If VIRL doesn’t have any copies of an item in their collection, library users have the option of suggesting an item by using the Suggest An Item form on VIRL’s website,, or by calling, emailing or stopping in to their local branch. 

Books, CDs and DVDs can be requested.

Jason Kuffler, the librarian at the Gabriola branch, said there are few restrictions on what can be requested, but the library isn’t necessarily able to bring in every item that is requested.

In the last three months there have been 60 requests on Gabriola. He said a larger branch like the Harbourfront library in Nanaimo might get double or triple that.

“The requests that I get here on Gabriola are as diverse and varied as the people who live here – everything from mystery to movies to books on art and gardening,” he said.

Not every item requested will make it into the library’s collection. Jason said librarians need to consider if there will be significant demand for that item as well as the “unique attributes, interests and current events of the community their library serves. The suggested items do not need to be considered popular, but we do have to determine if the requested item will appeal to others.”

If a suggested item is purchased, the library user who suggested it will have a hold placed on his or her account.

Many items are also available through interlibrary loans. By going to VIRL’s website and using the Outlook catalogue, library users can search for books, copies of articles from magazines and newspapers, microfilm and audiobooks in libraries across B.C. and Canada. Some items are not available through interlibrary loan, including CDs and DVDs, books published in the current or previous year, computer games or electronic resources.

VIRL has nearly one million items in its collection.