The Pima County Public Library is as close as your smartphone or tablet.
On Thursday the library released a mobile application that makes it possible to renew a book, place one on hold, or check out an eBook among other features from anywhere at anytime.
"It's amazing," said Kenya Johnson, the library's community relations manager.
The app, made by Boopsie, is used by about 250 public libraries across the country. Local library staff started using it about two months ago to prepare for the public launch.
The app is part of the library's effort to enhance service and connect with patrons, said Johnson, noting that there are still plenty of reasons to visit one of the library's 27 locations.
"From the time we open to the time we're closing we have something going on," she said. "Our doors will always be open but now you've got us in your pocket, too."
While exact numbers were unavailable Friday afternoon, Johnson said the early response, such as an emailed "Hey thanks! This looks good on my iPad and I will surely use it," were positive.
Find the free app by searching Pima County Public Library in the app store on your smart phone or tablet.
Users do need to know their library card number and their PIN number (which can be reset at library.pima.gov). Library cards must be obtained in person. The library has nearly 432,000 cardholders.
On June 17, the library plans to launch Zinio, which will offer library cardholders a database of about 200 online magazines from Consumer Reports and Rolling Stone to US Weekly, and about 50 Spanish language publications.
Some of the app's features:
• Check your account for the due dates for your checked out items. Renew and reserve materials.
• Scan the barcode on the front of the item you want to borrow to check it out.
• When you're out and about and see a book you'd like to read, scan the barcode on the back of the book to find out if the library has it.
• Find handy lists of recommended reads and blogs written by readers advisory specialists.
• Need WiFi on the go? Find a nearby library, see a map and hours.
Source: Pima County Public Library