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Librarian working on computer while talking on the phoneAsk a Librarian

Did you know that your local reference librarian is like a human search engine? When you are doing research, contact us and we'll do our best to get you an answer! We have a number of ways for you to contact us:

Call the Reference Desk: 512-314-3582

Email the Reference Desk: refdesk@westbanklibrary.com

Text A Librarian: Text: ASKWESTBANK To: 66746 (Message and Data rates may apply).

Select the 'Ask Us' tab to the right:

Book Connections

Wondering what to read next? Let us help! There are a number of ways to find your next book:

  • Complete our Book Connection form. A librarian will get back to you with at least 5 suggestions within 48 hours.
  • From our catalog, you can see book suggestions from our fantastic database Novelist (opens new window). Select items you have enjoyed and see a list of books and authors that are similar to the book you selected.
  • Look through the lists of Book Suggestions that our librarians have compiled.
  • Take a look at our ever-changing book lists under the See What's Hot link in the catalog.
  • Connect with other book lovers though free social media sites like GoodReads (opens in new window), Shelfari (opens new window)and LibraryThing (opens new window), you can keep track of you reading history, write reviews, and make new literary discoveries.
  • What to read with a group? Join one of our book clubs! See our online adult activites list for details.
  • Text, phone or stop by the library and ask a librarian.  We love to match people with books!

Happy library member who now understands how to use ereadersOnline Resources

The Westbank Library District is delighted to provide you with a full range of electronic resources! These excellent resources professionally compiled and edited for the very best, most up-to-date information.  To access these resources, log into your library account on the catalog home page and select the icon for the database you are interested in. Here is an example of how to get to the Education & Testing Research Center.

Zinio

The newest addition to our electronic resources is Zinio.  This service gives you online access to magazines from your computer, iPad or iPhone.  To access Zinio and set up an account:

  • Log into your library account from the catalog page. 
  • Select the Zinio icon on the catalog page.
  • Click the link that says 'Please click here to access Zinio'. 
  • Select 'Create Account'
  • Enter an email address and password to create your account.  You will receive an email with a link to select to confirm your registration.
  • After you have confirmed your registration, log into your account.
  • Select the magazine(s) you would like to subscribe to, enter your account information and start reading.

To access your magazines from an iPad or iPhone, download the Zinio app and log in with your account information.  (Note: Not all magazines are available on the iPhone and iPad.)

Research, Language Learning, Investment Guides and more

To get you started with some of these resources, we have created video tutorials to explain the great features these databases have. Or, you can dive right in by going to the Catalog page and logging in with your library account. 

Are you planning on taking the SAT or ACT soon?  We have some great free online test prep tools for you!

If you're interested in Genealogy, our librarians have put together a pathfinder to help you navigate all the Library's resources on the subject. If Genealogy's your thing, take a look!

In-Library Only

As hard as we try to get Library resources to be available to you at home as well as in the Library, there are a few we simply can't push out to you. Here is the list of those, along with some ideas that might help with flexibility.

  • Ancestry Plus
    The genealogy service for libraries with over 10 million images of US Census forms. This is available on all our public computers- right on the desktop.
     
  • Austin American Statesman Archives
    The Library has two months worth of the Statesman on its shelves. If you need articles older than that, ask the Reference Librarian for a password.
     
  • Consumer Reports Website
    Want to know what the ratings are on that item you're about to buy? Consumer Reports is the place! Ask the Reference Librarian for a password.

The Consumer Reports magazine is also available in the TexShare Resources, which you can access from home with your library card number. Log-in on our Catalog page, click on the Tex Share icon, scroll down that confusing page that follows (the icons are not under our control!) and click on All EBSCO Databases at the top of the beige column on the left. Publications on the blue bar at the top will take you to all sorts of interesting digitized magazines, including Consumer Reports!

Interested in learning how to make good use of these resources? We'll be happy to help! Email our Public Services Manager to sign up for a 15 minute training session.