In a continuing effort to expand its role beyond the traditional function of circulating books and periodicals, the Upper Arlington Public Library recently introduced two new technology-related services.

In a continuing effort to expand its role beyond the traditional function of circulating books and periodicals, the Upper Arlington Public Library recently introduced two new technology-related services.

The library has made available most Upper Arlington High School yearbooks in digital format through a partnership with the school district and the high school's alumni association.

The library has also introduced a new patron service called PC Reservation that enables patrons at all three branches (main, Lane Road and Miller Park) to sign up for computer time when all PCs are in use.

Digitizing the yearbooks and making them available online through the library's Web site (www.ualibrary.org) enables patrons to access the volumes beyond the library's regular hours, said library director Ann Moore.

Previously, the library kept the yearbooks "locked up" and patrons had to request to view them while in the library, similar to reference books that don't check out, Moore said.

"This way, it's available to anybody, whether it's here in the library or at home or the office," she said. "We're excited about that."

In making the yearbooks available online, Upper Arlington is keeping pace with the Grandview Heights Public Library, which recently did the same. UAPL has been working to compile the digital database since the fall 2007, Moore said.

"This will be a digital database of all of the Upper Arlington High School yearbooks, from the very beginning up through 10 years ago," she said. "The school asked us to put the most recent 10 years on hold because they sell the yearbooks. As the years go by, they will be adding another year to (the digital database)."

The library recently introduced its new PC reservation service in response to increasing patron use of public computers. To assist patrons with using the new service, there is a brief tutorial posted at each computer terminal. If a patron has additional questions after viewing the tutorial, library staff will be available with answers and instruction sheets. PC sessions last one hour.

If patrons need to briefly leave computer stations, they can put sessions on hold without getting timed out. If no one else is waiting for a computer, time can be extended for a total five hours per day. If a patron signs up to use a computer when all computers are in use, the patron can reserve time for later the same day. A printed receipt will provide confirmation.

The new service offers three options to pre-pay for printing documents: cash, credit card or prepaid account. Not only does the new service ensure that patrons have equal access to public computers as patron use continues to increase, library administrators say it also helps the library manage paper and printer cartridge costs.

In the first six months of 2008, the Upper Arlington Public Library exceeded the 2007 milestone of 1 million patrons visiting the library. Before the end of 2008, the library is on track for circulating 2 million items for the year -- another milestone in the library's history.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com