How to get LEGO books for free (sort of)

There’s a wealth of great books out there dedicated to the love of the LEGO brick. But if you’d rather spend your dollars on actual LEGO, you can get your hands on some of them for free – thanks to your local library!

Haven’t been to the library for a while? Don’t worry, here’s a step-by-step way to get your eyeballs on some fantastic LEGO literature available through The South Australian Public Library Network.

First, there are three great things that make it easier than ever to borrow a book you want.

  • The One Card Network – If you’re in South Australia, this means you can use your public library card (e.g. Salisbury Library) and use it at any other public library in South Australia (e.g. Hamra Library). So, if you’ve moved since you last used your library card and you’re closer to a new library, you’re still good to go.
  • Book delivery to your closest branch – Did you know you can put any book on hold across all the libraries in South Australia and it will be couriered to whichever library branch you like? Let’s say you see “Steampunk LEGO” is available at the Mitcham Library but you live in Para Hills. You can go online, put it on hold and it’ll be delivered to a branch you choose (e.g. Para Hills Library).
  • SMS notifications – When you set up you library card, make sure you add your mobile phone number because as soon as a book is ready for you to pick up, you’ll receive an SMS! Too easy.

How to borrow a book online from the South Australian Public Libraries

1) Get a library card

Yep, pretty straightforward. Head in to your local library and sign up for a card. Don’t forget to add your mobile phone number and also remember your 4 digit PIN. You’ll need that to login to the online library catalogue.

2) Visit the Libraries SA online catalogue

Once you’ve got your library card and your PIN, head over to the Libraries SA online catalogue. This will give you access to all the books and resources available through all the public libraries in SA.

Before you get started browsing, log in using your library card number and PIN at the top-right of the screen.

3) Start searching

You can do all sorts of searches on the site but it can be quite daunting. For example, if you just search for ‘lego’ across the catalogue, you’ll find 1327 results. Take time to explore the advanced search features and filters. You can find out more information about these in the help section.

If you know the specific book, you can search for it using its ISBN. The ISBN is a unique number that identifies any book and it’s international. Most book websites will list the book’s ISBN or it’s usually on Wikipedia. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Steampunk LEGO – ISBN 9781593275280
  • Beautiful LEGO – ISBN 9781593275082
  • Beautiful LEGO 2 – ISBN 9781593275860
  • The Cult of LEGO – ISBN 9781593273910
  • The LEGO Neighbourhood Book – ISBN 9781593275716

4) Place your book on hold

Once you’ve found the book you want to borrow, simply click the ‘place hold‘ button. If you haven’t logged in yet, it will prompt you to log in. You’ll also be able to choose which library you want to collect the book from.

5) Wait for your book to arrive

Next, sit back and wait. The book will arrive as soon as it’s available and will be yours to browse until the due date.

If you’ve put your mobile phone number on the list, just wait for the SMS to arrive.

6) Pick it up, read it, return it

Finally, head in to your local library and go to the ‘holds’ shelves. If you don’t know where they are, just ask one of the friendly staff. Once you have your book, borrow it, read it and don’t forget to return it!

Well, that’s it. Do you have a favourite LEGO book? Let us know in the comments below!

Taking pictures of mini plastic people in public places.

Ben Teoh

Taking pictures of mini plastic people in public places.