Library app attracts new readers in Greater Victoria

Smartphone application offers simplified book searches and reviews

Phil Lajoie

The Greater Victoria Public Library is seeing a surge in online interest, after releasing a free app that lets users easily search for bestsellers and rare finds alike.

More than 600 people have downloaded the library’s mobile app, including 126 users in Europe, since its launch last month.

“People can be in a bookstore in Paris, and if they see a book they like and want to get it when they come back to Victoria, they can just scan it and see if it’s here,” said Alyssa Polinsky, GVPL communications manager.

Published books are equipped with unique barcodes that allow the app to easily search for titles, she said.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of the app is that it functions as a digital library card.

“You can also place a hold on books, the same as you would on the website … It shows me how many holds I have, whether I have fines, and uses GPS to find my nearest location,” said library IT manager Dan Phillips.

To make the most of the app, users will need to have a library account, he said.

For more information on the app, visit

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