Off the Shelf: What can I do on the NOLS website?

Off the Shelf: What can I do on the NOLS website?

What can you do on the NOLS website? The question is really, “What can’t you do?”

You may be surprised how much there is to explore at Certainly you can learn to better search the catalog to find the newest materials available and place some holds, or see when your items are due. Maybe banjo lessons with Tony Trischka or achieving Microsoft fluency are just your thing.

You can get help with your kid’s report or your own lesson plan on ladybugs through the website too.

Just click the “Services” button on the NOLS home page and follow it to “NOLS Videos” to learn how to log into your library account, change your contact info, change your username and password (initially set as the last four digits of your phone number), track your reading history and get started with the library catalog.

Now you’re set to play the banjo! Click on the “Online Resources” button, then “Online Classes,” then log into with your library card number (or username) and password. Grab your banjo, and maybe learn to keep an Excel spreadsheet of your musical progress while you’re at it. There are hundreds of classes on

Learn about the 5,000 species of ladybugs on SIRS Discoverer, a multidisciplinary database for elementary and middle school learners, researchers, and educators. Start back at the home page and click on “Kids & Teens” and then “Research Tools.” Just log on with your library card number and password, as with

OK, you’ve learned the banjo, the entire Microsoft Suite and all about ladybugs. Now you just want a good book to read. In library language, you need “Reader’s Advisory,” just a couple of spots over from “Online Classes.” Library staff can fix you up with several recommendations through Book Match. Novelist and Novelist K-8 can help readers of all ages to find books based on genre, country of origin, and even moods like these: world-building and lush, unconventional and stylistically complex, funny and engaging, just to name a few.

In the spotlight now at the Washington Anytime Library are such displays as Comics and Graphic Novels, Coping with Stress and Anxiety, and Man’s Best Friend. Everyone’s best friend plays a big role in one of my favorite reads, “The Shepherd’s Life” by James Rebanks. He’s an Oxford University graduate and shepherd in the Lake District who prizes his amazing working dogs.

How about combining “Comics” and “Anxiety” (and humor) with “You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time, Rules for Couples” by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast?

Are you still curious? Well, that’s the hope. NOLS’ mission statement reads: Nurturing imagination, connection, and understanding, to improve lives and strengthen community. Read all about NOLS with the button “About NOLS.”

Follow “Mission & Values” to read a message from the Library Director , including links to the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Library Bill of Rights, the ALA Freedom to Read Statement, and the Code of Ethics of the ALA.

There is no end to the exploration.

Mary Coté is a customer service specialist with the North Olympic Library System.

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