Calgary's New Library

Calgary Public Library App Replaces Library Card And Speeds Up Checkout

December 19, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

There is an App for everything else, why not your library card? As more and more items become electronic, the need to carry your wallet around becomes unnecessary – there was a time I always grabbed my back pocket to make sure my wallet was there. It became such a fixture there I wouldn’t even feel it there anymore…like I had a permanent dip in my behind. The same is now true about my smartphone – I always touch my front shirt pocket to make sure I have it with me at all costs. My Starbuck’s ‘card’ is in there, all of my bank, PayPal and credit cards are there just in case I need to transfer money. There are states that are now allowing you to have a digital driver’s license, so why would I want to carry around my wallet just to have my library card with me.

That is exactly the Calgary Public Library was thinking, besides, it may bring in some new members, especially since they are eliminating the $12 fee in 2015 for a library card. Paul McIntyre Royston, president and CEO of the Calgary Public Library Foundation said, “Everyone’s getting rid of their wallets and we want to also be a part of that trend. It’s about accessibility and freedom and openness”. Along with the App, on December 28 they will be launching a new website in BETA testing mode that will update the site to a more electronic friendly mode – new catalog and for the first time an online registration where no driver’s license is needed. Royston said in the past that you needed some form of Government ID to get your library card.

A young, 16 year-old girl, has been using the library since she was a child and now that she is in high school, she really appreciates the new App. It alerts you to when your book is due or when the books she requested are ready for pickup…all straight from her cellphone. She said, “It makes the library more accessible to people who don’t necessarily want to carry their wallet around all the time.  Convenience is the currency of our age”. Both the new website and the App are available via the old website, calgarypubliclibrary.com, for those that want a sneak peek at what is coming.