Since Monday, the Salt Lake City Public Library offers several new services that should make using the library easier.

Telephone reference services and the convenience of renewing materials and placing items on hold using home computers or any city library computer are now available.Individuals may reach the library's dial-in computer at 524-8246 or access the library's home page at (

Through the home page, a patron may search the library's collection, view his or her circulation record, place an item on hold and renew materials.

Items may be renewed twice. Materials may also be renewed by phone or in person at any city library location. The only time an item may not be renewed is when it is on hold for another patron.

To place an item on hold, a library user accesses the library's online catalog and locates the item to be borrowed. If all copies of an item are checked out, a patron may place the item on hold by providing a name and library card number, then following the instructions. The patron will be notified by mail when the item is ready to be picked up.

Telephone reference services are an additional benefit. Patrons are encouraged to dial 524-8211 directly when they need answers to brief, factual questions or when they wish to renew an item by phone. Brief reference questions may also be sent to the library through the library's home page service titled "Ask a Librarian."

Patrons will be prompted to fill out a form that will include their library card number, name and question. Users may choose to have answers returned to them via e-mail, fax, phone or mail. In addition, reference questions may be e-mailed to the library at (reference

Librarians are available at all six city library locations to teach patrons how to use the new services. Free Web training is also available at all locations.

Call the library at 524-8200 for more information about these services or for the Web training schedule.