Online Library Card Registration and e-Card Services

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Contra Costa County Library

The Contra Costa County Library rolled out its e-Card service on July 1, 2006. The e-Card is an electronically produced and distributed library card that offers significant, but limited access to the library's resources. Valid for 3 years, the e-Card gives customers immediate access to the library's electronic resources, allows holds to be placed using the online catalog from outside the library, and preregisters people before visiting the library to obtain a full-access library card.

The e-Card is not available to check out materials, use the Books by Mail service, and/or reserve, access, or print from the Library’s Internet workstations. A full-access library card is needed for these services.

How Does the e-Card Application Work?

Contra Costa County residents, who do not already have a library card, register online by filling out the e-Card application. The registration is verified against a postal database down to the street level (i.e., valid zip code and street address). The e-Card application offers the option of signing up for the Library newsletter and requesting Friends of the Library information.

The information provided will go through a secure script to protect the customer’s personal data. This data is uploaded into the Library’s borrower files in CARL.Solutions Circulation and assigns the customer a Library e-Card number. The customer receives an email that includes their e-Card number so they can have immediate access to the electronic resources or place holds in the catalog. The customer will later receive a mailing automatically generated by the County’s General Services Department. This mailing consists of a “Welcome” brochure and an attached paper e-Card.

How Can I Find out More?

Computers in Libraries Magazine published an article about the Contra Costa County Library Card Registration and e-Card Service in the May 2007 issue. The theme of that issue is Physical Space, Digital Space.

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