Library Elf now a paid-subscription service; here's our free alternative!

by professor.knowsitall@evpl on Monday, January 26 2009, 5:07pm. Viewed 6,049 times.

Library Elf, a free service that library patrons all around the world could use to keep tabs on their & their family's due dates, is no longer free.  Check out their announcement here, which details the reasons for the change.

Since Library Elf began, we've been adding features to our own "My Account" section, many of which duplicate Elf's features.  This means two things:

  1. The EVPL is not currently planning on subscribing to Library Elf.
  2. You don't need to either!

As long as we have your email address on your library account, you'll receive these email notifications free of charge!  Follow these steps to make sure we have your correct email address on file:

  1. Hit up the My Account page and log into your account using your name & library card number.
  2. Click on the "Modify Personal Info" button.
  3. Make sure the "I would like to receive my notices from the library by" option is set to "Email", and ensure we have your correct email address.
  4. Click the "Submit" link.

Once this is completed, you'll begin receiving the following notifications via email:

  • Hold Pickup Notice: When an item you've had on hold is available at the requested library, you'll receive this notice within 24 hours.
  • Due Date Reminder: These emails get sent out 2 days before an item is due.  A nice reminder to avoid those late fines!
  • First Overdue Notice: Sent out when an item is 4 days (for feature DVDs & Bestseller Express titles) or 7 days (all other materials) overdue.

Patrons are still free to subscribe to Library Elf's Premium service; however, the need to do so has greatly diminished.  Those with Library Elf accounts who will be relying on our own email notifications from now on have been asked to close their Elf accounts; instructions on doing so can be found at

If you have any questions or comments about our email notifications, please post them in the comments section below.  Questions, comments, or feedback about Library Elf should be submitted to them.  Library Elf is and has always been a third-party company with no affiliation to the EVPL, offering their notification services to patrons at libraries all over the world.

Comments (9)

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teach2reach wrote
on Monday, January 26 2009, 9:17pm

Thanks for posting this information and for all that you do!

on Sunday, February 8 2009, 4:24pm

Actually this isn't 100% accurate.  The on-person basic  account is still free (I found out after reading the small print on the Library Elf website).  It is the family and premium services that cost money.  Still, our EVPL circulation system reminder system is just as good as Library Elf -- and anyone who checks an email account regularly should have their email address on file with us anyway -- for holds and overdues.

on Monday, February 9 2009, 10:16am

@teach2reach: Thanks for the praise!  Your check is in the mail.  ;-)

@MediaPhile@evpl: I know, I read that bit also.  However, their free service offers less than what our free service does: they only send due date reminders & overdue notices, whereas we also send hold notices.

Also, as per

"This free (basic) service is mainly for users whose libraries do not have a pre-due or overdue email reminder service. If your library does provide such a service then you should use theirs instead of ours."

For these reasons, I did not mention or endorse their free service in my post.

We're currently looking into adding new features that rival LibraryElf's premium service, that would be free for our users.  Stay tuned for more info!

on Monday, February 9 2009, 12:07pm

That's a good point about the Elf service no longer offering hold notices.

tazzy14 wrote
on Tuesday, February 10 2009, 9:48am

Would it be possible to add an additional/optional email to the profile screen? For those parents who have children with their own email addresses so that both child and parents can still keep up with their childrens accounts. Hope this makes sense.  

on Tuesday, February 10 2009, 11:01am

@tazzy14: That's actually something we're looking into!  I know one of LibraryElf's best features (that's now only available with their paid service) was allowing one or more parents to monitor accounts of all their family members.

More info will be coming soon!

tazzy14 wrote
on Tuesday, April 14 2009, 10:58am

knowsitall are they still looking where parents can monitor  accounts for all of their family members?

on Tuesday, April 14 2009, 11:35am

Hi tazzy14!

Yup, that's something that's still in the pipeline.

However, we have discovered a workaround that can be used in the meantime.  Patron accounts can have multiple email addresses on file by separating them with commas.

Say you want to receive emails for a family member.  Once they've logged into their account and clicked the "Modify Personal Info" button (instructions in above blog post), they could type the following into the email address box:,

Emails for this account would then be sent to both email addresses.

Definitely not the most elegant solution, but it replicates this functionality to some extent.  We're working on a better/easier solution, so stay tuned for that!

tazzy14 wrote
on Tuesday, April 14 2009, 11:43am

awesome thank you for the info