Tip: Yes, we do have Books in Print: it’s online.

Many readers are familiar with the Bowker company’s famous reference source Books in Print. We subscribe to an online version called Patron Books in Print.

To find it via the website, click on the “Library Databases” button. (We might rename this button, but it will still bring you to the same place.) Scroll down and click on Books in Print to begin searching – however, if you are searching from outside the library, you will need a Brooks Memorial Library card and the login information before it will display your search results.

To log in from outside the library (BML cardholders only), call the reference desk at 254-5290 x109, or email asklibrarian@brooks.lib.vt.us, and include your name and address to verify your card information. We will send you the user name and password. You only have to do that once; after that, the login will work each time you visit.

But everyone can use Patron Books in Print at the Library; you don’t need a card for that.

Once you’re in, explore. You can click on subject links or search by keyword, author, etc. You can use the advanced search to get more specific — say, to find out whether a new book has been published in large print or audio. For an overview of all the features, click on the tour link on the main screen.

Here are some specific features worth noting:

uses tag clouds to help you find fiction titles you might want to read. Sorry, we don’t subscribe to the other feature, Non-Fiction Connection, but if you think we should, let us know!

lets you personalize Patron BIP . You can save and share reading lists and subscribe to searches so that you are alerted to new publications on a particular subject or by a particular author.

And just for fun, check out the box in the lower left corner, where you can find out what everybody was reading during the year of your birth:

Pat Boone and Barry Goldwater had hot titles on the nonfiction list in my year, so what does that tell you? Maybe we’ve invented a new party game…