Getting Started

You can search the library’s online catalog from a remote computer, tablet, or smartphone, or from a computer in the library. Your library may offer many additional features; for example:

The online catalog display adapts to your device, so menu and feature positions may be different on a computer screen, tablet, and phone. However, the same features are generally available for all devices.

The library catalog software has been tested with common operating systems and browsers. If you have problems using the online catalog, contact your library.

See the following topics:

Page Features

Your library determines the first page you see when you connect to the library website. Many libraries provide a link on the library home page to access the online catalog. Other libraries use the library catalog main page as the home page. The main catalog page offers links to library information, searches, and other features.

Menus - Click or tap a menu option such as My Account to see choices related to the option.

Cover images - Your library may display a picture of a book. The pictured book is taken from current best-seller lists, and changes every time you return to or refresh the portal page. You can click or tap the picture to search for the title in the library catalog, and if the title is not found, a form is displayed so you can ask the library to purchase it. Or you may see a rotating series of cover images that represent materials in the library catalog. You can click or tap any image to search for the item in the catalog.

Lists - You may see lists such as new arrivals and seasonal items. Click or tap the name of the list to expand a list. Items on the list are often links. For example, you can click or tap a title on a new titles list to search for the title.

RSS Feeds for New Titles

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds publish links to content on a website. If your library provides RSS feeds from the New Titles list, an RSS icon appears on the list. To view RSS feeds, you need an RSS reader such as My Yahoo!. The list is updated hourly to show new materials at the library, and the results are sent to your RSS reader. You can click or tap a link to launch a search for the title. (Click What’s RSS for more information about how to set up RSS feeds and where to find readers.)

Click or tap the RSS icon to list the RSS feeds. If you have a Windows-based reader, you can drag the XML icon in the RSS Feeds list for each feed you want to add to your reader. If you have a web-based RSS news reader such as My Yahoo!, copy the URL for the feed and paste it into the appropriate field on the RSS setup page for your web location. See your reader’s instructions for specific procedures.

Your feed will supply new titles for the system or branch to which you are currently connected. See Switch Branches.

Select a Language

To select a language other than English, if your library offers a choice, select Language to display the list, then select a language. The pages are displayed in the language you select. You can select a different language at any time during your session, without losing your place.

Switch Branches

To change the library to which you are currently connected, click or tap Branch, and select another library from the list. When you switch to another branch, the page appearance and available features may change. If you switch to another branch while you are searching the catalog, the main page is displayed.

Return to the Home Page

To return to the home page, click or tap the library’s logo image or branch name.

Timeout Warning

A timeout warning is displayed 30 seconds before your session will time out. (Session timeouts usually occur because there has been no activity on the page for a significant length of time.) The session countdown timer continues while the message displays. If you click or tap Continue session, the message closes, the session timeout clock is restarted, and you remain on the current page. If you do not click or tap Continue session, when the session timeout limit is reached, the session ends.

Protect Your Privacy in the Library

If you are logged in to a library device, click or tap Log Out on the My Account menu, by your name at the top of the page, or in the My Account section at the side or bottom of the page. If you are not logged in, you can click or tap the library’s logo or branch name to end your session.

Identify Yourself as a Registered Library User

To use some features, you must identify yourself by logging in. You log in by typing your library account barcode number or user name and your password. Your library may allow you to set up a user name for logging in, instead of requiring the barcode number.

Some libraries require you to log in each time you need to identify yourself. For example, you might need to log in to request a hold, and log in again to view your library account. At other libraries, you log in only once, and you remained logged in until you log out.

If your library provides the single log-in feature, you are logged in for your entire session the first time you use a function that requires log-in. You can also log in for the session by selecting Log In at the top of the page or Log In/Register from the My Account menu. See Log in using your library account information.

Log in using your library account information

To log in for your entire session

Note: If you are working in the library, you may be required to insert a card in a reader and type a password or PIN to use a library workstation. After you log in to the workstation with your card, you may be automatically logged in to the catalog. To log out of the catalog only, but remain logged in at the workstation, click or tap Log Out by your name, or click Log Out on the My Account menu. To log out of both the catalog and the workstation, remove your card from the reader.

  1. Select Log In/Register in the My Account menu, or select Log In at the top of the page. The log-in form is displayed.
  2. Enter your barcode number (from your library card) in the Username or Barcode box. Your library may require all or only part of the number.
  3. Your library may accept a user name instead of the barcode. To set up a user name, select Create username.

    Tip: If you have an account but have never had a password, you may be able to set up your password online. Click or tap create a password. If you need a password but do not see the create a password link, contact the library for assistance.

  4. Type your account password in the Password box.
  5. Click or tap Log In.
  6. Your name and the Log Out link are displayed at the top of the page when you are logged in, and your Items Out page is displayed. If you have saved title lists, they appear under My lists.

  7. Click or tap Log Out at the top of the page, or click or tap Log Out in the My Account menu.

    Important: Logging out protects your privacy. If you are using the online catalog in the library, be sure to log out.


Your library may provide a secure connection for any functions that require your library account barcode and password. The lock icon in the status bar indicates a secure connection. You may receive a security alert message when you first select a function that requires transmission of personal information. You can click or tap Yes to proceed.

Failed Log-in Attempts

The library may limit the number of times you can attempt to log in without success. At the first attempt, the system starts timing the attempts to log-in, and a warning message appears at the first unsuccessful attempt. When the limit has been reached or 5 minutes have passed from the first attempt with no successful log-in, a message appears and you must wait 5 minutes before trying to log in again.

Email a question to a librarian

Your library may allow you to send a question to a librarian by email from the catalog, and receive a response by email. You may need a barcode number or user name and password to use this feature.

To email a question to a librarian

  1. Select Ask Us on the Library Info menu.
  2. If a log-in page appears, type your library account barcode or user name and password in the appropriate boxes, and select Log In.
  3. Note: Your library may allow you to send a question without logging in. If so, you can select Guest on the log-in page to go straight to the form to type your question.

    The Ask Us form is displayed. If you logged in, the top part of the form shows information from your library account. If you selected Guest to open the form, no barcode field is displayed, and your personal information is blank.

  4. Type the email address that should receive the response in the Your email address box. Your email address must include the @ symbol and a period (example:
  5. You can also supply the date by which you need the response, and (if you did not log in) your name and your telephone number. This information is optional.

  6. Type your question in the What is your question area, and click Send. Your question is sent by email to library staff at the library listed at the top of the page. A staff member responds by email or telephone.

    Important: If you see your name and a Log Out link at the top or bottom of the page, you are logged in. In the library, be sure to click Log Out before you leave the computer.