This tip comes from a reader, beth, on the library isn’t free post. Since most libraries are free to use if the books and other materials are returned on time, the way to save money is to make sure the books are returned on time. A lot of libraries have online access now to renew and view your account, but often like my system they don’t remind you of checked out books until a week or two after they were do. I suspect this may be because a portion of their income is from late fees, but I can be responsible for myself if it helps them keep the service free.
Now this is were Library Elf comes in handy. As described on the site :
Elf is a web-based and email tool for library users to keep track of their library borrowings. Elf is like a personal assistant, whose task is to help with keeping track of what one has on loan from the library.
Library Elf is able to hook into most library systems to access you account in realtime.
This account is checked everyday and email notices are sent when items are coming due, overdue or when holds are ready for pickup. As well, get up-to-date realtime information by browser.
You can also ‘merge’ multiple library accounts into one Library Elf account so that you can track the whole family or multiple library systems in one spot. Obviously, the biggest benefit is the configurable email options regarding books that are about to be due. I currently have it setup to remind me three days before the books are due and everyday after they are late. You still need to go to your libraries site or location to return or renew, but this is a huge help.
Here is the list of library systems that are supported. Check to see if your library is supported and never pay a late fee again.
*Source – Library elf About Page