Although the COVID pandemic is not exactly over, lockdown seems unlikely to recur and so it is now practical to visit again those places which had been inaccessible for much of the last two years, including public libraries.
As I have mentioned before, the ceremonial county of East Riding of Yorkshire is divided into two unitary authorities – one for Kingston-upon-Hull and one for everything else. This includes public library systems. I have therefore gone about acquiring a card for each. Applications online were a reasonably simple process of filling in a form on the councils’ websites, though actually visiting a library in person to collect the physical card was rather as neither institution’s opening hours were exactly convenient. Oddly, both sets of online login details suddenly stopped working once I’d taken possession of the cards and I had then to go back to ask for help.
Now that they are working I can search both libraries’ online catalogue before going to pick anything up. There is a delight in finding here the tomes (particularly on heraldry) that had long eluded me on Google Books or the Internet Archive, or even the library at the university. The downside is that these are not all kept at the same location (East Riding’s in particular are scattered across a large area.) and that the reference section of Hull Central Library has been closed for more than a year.
In case one cannot attend the physical libraries at all, both online accounts include the BorrowBox service allowing patrons to take out virtual resources, though the inventory on there is quite small.