Have you ever used the Suggest a Title form on the library web site? It lets you ask the library to buy an item that is not owned. This is very useful, but how do you know if or when the library will buy it?

Maybe you have a favorite author/actor and you want to know when the library adds a new book/movie by them? Maybe you’re sick of being number 472 in line for a best-seller? Or maybe you just want to know when the new World Almanac is out? (Really?)

Preferred Searches let you see when new items you are interested have been added at the library. You can set up Email alerts to notify you when new items match your search. You can make Preferred Searches for any Title, Author, Subject, or anything else you look up in the catalog!

These instructions have been added to the suggest a title pages on the library website. Please spread the word about this service!

Here’s how to set up a Preferred Search:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Watch the slideshow.
2. Set up a Preferred Search in the catalog.

If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Extra: Do you already use Preferred Search?

November is RSS Month! To celebrate, I give you An RSS Tale:

Bob: “Hey, I just got a great deal on two Titans tickets off Craigslist!”
Jill: “Aw man, I didn’t check Craigslist today – I always forget and, frankly, I don’t have the time to check it every day.”
Bob: “I didn’t visit Craigslist today either. My RSS feed alerted me on the tickets when they were put up!”
Jill: “RSS for a Craigslist search? How???”

The end.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I know, you’re probably really sick of RSS by now. Sure, you can read news and blogs by subscribing to an RSS feed, but you don’t feel like you have the time. I hear you.

RSS is always talked about as a way to keep up with the news, or a way to keep up with what’s going on in your industry, or a way to keep up with something else – and all of that sounds like work. But there are other ways to use RSS that are very useful and require very little “keeping up” time.

RSS for searches on Craigslist

Take our example of the Titans tickets on Craigslist. If Jill had been using RSS, she might have heard about the tickets before Bob. Maybe Jill thinks checking RSS feeds is time consuming, but for just minutes a day, you can monitor several feeds. Just start with the things that matter most to you.

Like Titans tickets.

Here’s how you can subscribe to a search on Craigslist:

Don’t care about Titans tickets?

Maybe you are shopping for an electric bass, digital TV, or kayak? You can set up your search for the brand name of the item you’re looking for.

Are you looking for a new apartment in Donelson? You can set up your search for the price range you want and any keywords that narrow your search, like “Lebanon Road.”

More than just Craigslist

Lots of shopping websites have RSS, so look for it the next time you’re on your favorite site.

And if you don’t shop online? Just wait until next week – we’ll give you another tip about RSS.