Results List Display

The Results List now displays even more information!

  • Up to fifty records display on each page instead of only twelve
  • Results from a Keyword search now display in a sophisticated relevancy order called "Right Results." For more detail about this new feature, see the Keyword Searching tab under the Searching the Catalog Tab

You still see brief information like the author and the title, the number of available copies, and links to additional information outside the catalog itself.

Each record will show details on up to three copies, depending of course on how many copies the library you are searching actually owns. Below that list you may see the notation "There are additional copies/volumes of this item" as you do in the 4th and 5 records for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shown below.
To see those additional copies or volumes, click on the title link in the record.


Now you can see all the copies listed under the individual record display:

For details about the other new features, see our Special functions and features tab in the Help pages.

  • keyword
  • title
  • author
  • subject
  • series
  • name + title
  • number search
  • advanced search
  • search limiting
Keyword Search

Keyword searching allows you to search the catalog for words from several different parts of the record, instead of limiting you to one part like author and title searches do. Keyword searches will look for words in the title, author, subjects, and notes. The notes field may include information like titles of short stories or plays included in books, song titles on CDs, and other useful information.

When To Use Keyword Searching

  • When you are unsure of the exact title of a book, video, CD, etc., but think you know a word or two.
  • When you aren't sure what subject to look for.
  • When you want to find more items than you found with a title or subject search.
  • When you are looking for a play, short story, song, poem, etc. that might be included in a collection of similar things, like "Collected Works of Shakespeare" or poems about holidays.

What's New! In Keyword Searching

In the previous version of keyword searching, results were displayed sorted in date order, with the most recent titles at the top and the oldest at the end. You then had the option of re-sorting them by relevance or title, using the Modify Search button. Now, although you can still re-sort your results by date and title, they are initially displayed in "Right Results" order based on a sophisticated relevancy detection system.

Your search results are presented in groupings, with the "Most Relevant" group at the top, sorted in date order with the most recent publications at the top within each category. The next most relevant group will be listed next. For example:

Most relevant titles -

Highly relevant titles -

Very relevant titles -

Relevant titles -

Other relevant titles -

You can switch from the new "Right Results" display to "Classic" Keyword results by using codes to specify parts of the record such as the author or title. See " Searching in specific parts of the record" further down in this page.

Another way to switch from "Right Results" to "Classic" is by using punctuation marks such as quotes, or switching from results sorted by Relevance to results sorted by Date or by Title. If you switch the sort order, switching back to Relevance will restore your original Relevance-grouped results.

Basic Rules for Keyword Searching


  • Doesn't matter. You can enter a search or begin a word in either UPPER or lower case, or Mix It Up.


  • Apostrophes can be included or not. For example, searching for O'Hara or Ohara will find the same list of records.
  • Almost all other punctuation marks, spaces, or any combination thereof are treated differently.
    • Searching for U.S.A., brings up different results from searching U S A or U. S. A.
    • Searching for U.S.A. brings up the same results as searching for U. S. A.
    • On the other hand, searching for USA with no spaces or dots between the letters will bring up a different list from either of the examples above. Try it and see!
  • Punctuation exception: + The plus sign + can be used to find items on topics such as C++ or titles like 101 + answers to the most frequently asked questions from entrepreneurs.

Special Words and Word Combinations

  • To find all the words within a catalog record, in any order, connect terms with AND:

Example: type environmental and pollution

  • To find all the words in exactly the order in which you type them, as high as possible within your relevance groups, do not include the AND.

Example: type environmental pollution
Note: lower in your relevancy groupings, you may no longer see the words in this exact order.
See below for use of quotation marks to restrict your search to exact phrases.

  • To find any of the words within a catalog record, connect terms with OR

Example: type oil or petroleum

  • To exclude a word from your search, connect the search terms with AND NOT (just using the word NOT by itself will not work the same way)

Example: type aids and not disease if you want to look for the word aids but not the disease HIV/AIDS.
Note: this will not produce results in Relevancy groups.
Also note: aids not disease will not work for this search!

  • To find words that are close to each other, in any order, connect the terms with NEAR or WITHIN

Example: type texas near history instead of texas and history, to cut down the numbers in a list.
Example 2: type texas within 5 history and then try texas within 3 history to see how the numbers you get are different from each other, and from those you get with near or and.

  • AND and & are searched the same. Searching for Lewis & ClarkorLewis and Clarkwill get the same results.
  • Truncation - You can look for variations on words, like computer or computing or computers, by adding one or two asterisks * to the end of the root word. Comput* will find compute, computer, computers, and computing, but not computational. Adding one more asterisk, comput**, will find all the words beginning with the letters comput.
  • A, AN, THE - In English, when these occur at the beginning of a title, these words are sometimes called "Initial Articles." You can leave them off or include them; they are ignored in the actual search if they occur at the beginning of a title. Searching for The Hunt for Red or Hunt for Red will both turn up The Hunt for Red October, although the actual word "The" may not appear in all the records in your list.
    • Special note: similar terms may appear in other languages as well, such as thê in this Vietnamese title, Tu diên tranh cho bé : thê gioi thuc vât.
    • But see below for a possible alternate way to search for these words:
  • To search terms in the exact way you type them, put quotations around them. This is called a "phrase search." Note: this will not produce "Right Results" groupings.
    • Type "pride and prejudice" to find records for the Jane Austen book. Be warned that this may have unexpected results. For example, this same search will look for those two words in exactly that order, but will look in the notes field as well as the title field! You will be better off using a Title Browse if you know the exact title you are looking for (see the Title tab on the main Help screen.)
    • If you take the quotation marks away, and only type pride and prejudice instead, you will certainly find Pride and Prejudice in almost any library, and books about it or derived from it, but you may also find a book called Slaphappy: pride, prejudice, and professional wresting.

Searching in specific parts of the record

You can also use Keyword Searching to look for words in specific parts of the record, although this will not produce Right Results groupings.

Let's say you know you want to find a CD that has Johnny Cash singing the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt." But there are a lot of Johnny Cash albums in the catalog! You could try this:

Type a:cash and n:hurt
This means you looked for Cash as an "author" (of the CD) and the word hurt somewhere in the notes of the catalog record. Since these catalog record notes often contain liner notes and lists of tracks on a CD, knowing this n: code can come in handy to zero in on a single selection.

You can use these special codes for this kind of search:
     a: for author searches, including (for example) the artist on a music recording or the illustrator of a children's book
     t: for words in the title. This is useful when it's a common word and you don't want to find the word anywhere else in the record, but can't remember the exact title. Try t:red and t:October to find The Hunt for Red October, for example.
     d: for words in the subject. Try d:Alamo and use the dropdown list to limit your search to Video/film/dvd to find movies about the battle or the mission.
     n: for words in any of the notes fields. As we saw with the first example, this can really be useful for finding short or obscure material quickly.

 Limiting a Keyword Search by "MODIFYING" it

Limiting is a way to focus the results of your search by choosing language, location, or material type from the dropdown lists or by using special commands. You can also combine limiters, and sort your results in different ways.
For more information on Limiting, see the "Search Limiting" tab on the main Help screen.
Languages currently included in the dropdown list are English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Gujarati,Hindi, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Tamil, Telugu,Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. You don't have to stop there, though.

  • To search by a language that does not appear in the list, try typing lang followed by the first 3 letters of the language, with no spaces in the Word(s)/Phrase box. For example:

langswe (to search for material in Swedish)
langpor (to search for material in Portuguese)

Material types currently include Books, Manuscript, Scores, Music Manuscript, Microform, Map, Map Manuscript, Video/Film/DVD, Audiobooks, Sound (Music), Pictorial, Software, Instructional, Kit, Periodical, Model/Realia, E-books, and Web Resource.

  • Your library may not own examples of all these types of material. Check with your local librarian if you need help deciding, for example, what "Instructional" means or whether you should use "Map" or "Map Manuscript."

Sorting your results: Lists are sorted within Right Results groupings in reverse order by date (newest titles at the top) but you can also choose to sort your search results alphabetically by title or by date order, removing the Right Results grouping.
Try this: search for butterflies, and then use the Modify Search button to limit it to Books only, or Spanish language only, to see how limiting works. Then try combining one or two limiters.

The illustration below shows a search for "Butterflies" limited to "Books" in "Spanish" and sorted by "Relevance".
Note: remember, changing the initial sort to Title or Date will remove Right Results.

  • Another way to search for books about butterflies in Spanish would be to type butterflies and langspa in the main search box if you are more comfortable using the keyboard than the mouse.

Title Search

The catalog comes up automatically in Keyword search, but choose Title tab when you know the exact title of an item.

In the search box, type as much of the beginning of the title that you know. You can type in the complete title to be even more precise. If what you type matches only one record exactly, that record will come up on your screen. If what you type finds more than one record, or more than one title beginning with those words, you will see instead an alphabetical “Titles Browse” list of results is displayed.

  • Do not include the articles A, An, and The if they are the first word of your title.
  • If you are unsure of the exact title, use Keyword Search.

The example below shows results for a Title search for merchant of. The search results are displayed in an alphabetical order as more than one title is found.

Author Search

Choose the Author tag to search for names of people or organizations as authors, composers, performers, illustrators, sponsors, and artists.

  • For personal authors, type the surname followed by the first name or initial.

For example: Kennedy William or Kennedy W

  • For organization names, type the name of the organization or as much as you know of the beginning of the name.

For example: American Medical Association Division of

  • If you can only remember part of an organization name, try using the Keyword Search. You may want to add additional terms to help shorten your list, as many organizations sponsor conferences, publish journals, and even occasionally show up as co-authors on single titles.

The example below shows an Author search for the author Kennedy William .

If there is more than one Kennedy William name found in the catalog, the search results will be displayed in a "Names Browse" list. Select the name you want by clicking on it.

Subject Search

Choose the All Subject or Juvenile Subjects tag to find materials on a particular topic. All Subjects will search the entire catalog, including material in the children's section. Juvenile Subjects will search only material identified as intended for children, usually located in the children's section of each library.

Library catalogs use a specific, carefully controlled list of terms for describing the subjects of material in the library.
In this library, and in most others, the primary list used is called Library of Congress Subject Headings. For short, librarians call it "LCSH". For juvenile material, most libraries use either the Library of Congress Juvenile Subject Headings or another list called the Sears list. Ask a librarian for help if you do not seem to find what you're looking for, since sometimes the two lists differ in terminology.

In the search box, type in a complete subject heading or the beginning of a subject heading.
A subject can be a name (in reverse order, such as "Kennedy John") or a place, or an abstract topic.

  • If you search for a name in a Subject search, you will generally find material about that person rather than works by that person. Use Author search if you want books written by John F. Kennedy.
  • Some subject headings may be searched in what looks like reverse order. This catalog compensates for that in some cases by rearranging terms for you.

For example, in LCSH the librarian would be instructed to type: Missions -- Texas -- History.
But you can type Texas Missions or Missions Texas and still expect to find material about the history of Texas missions.

  • This system is not perfect and it can be tricky!
    If you are unsure of the correct subject heading, use Keyword Search to find your materials, or ask a librarian for assistance.

The example below shows results for a Subject Browse search on chemical weapons. You can click on a specific subject heading to find those items. Notice how the top line gives you a hint about an alternate way to look for a similar subject, Chemical agents (Munitions). You can click on that link to search that term also.
You can also mark selected subject headings and save them using the "Saved Marked Items to My Checklist" button.
To view your saved records, click on the button labeled "My Checklist".

Series Search

Use Series tag to find material that is part of a series (like the American Girls books or the Complete Idiot's guides) and you do not know all the individual titles in the series. You will get the best results if you search by the exact name of the series. This search works very well to find the items in a particular Time-Life series.

  • Some series are numbered, but others are not. Try sorting by date in reverse order if you are looking for the first book in a series.
  • If you don't know the exact name of the series, try searching for one of the titles in the series. Get the name of the series from the Series information that appears in the record. See the illustration at the bottom of this page for an example.
  • Series Browse searching may not always find the titles you expect. The entries must be part of what librarians consider a series, and not just a collection of items.
    • You may think of Patrick O'Brian's sea stories as a series, and in a way they certainly are, but they are not named as a series by the publisher or by librarians.
    • The best way to find this kind of unnamed series is to look for the author.
    • Another way is to try a Subject search for a recurring character's name. "Maturin, Stephen" or "Aubrey, Jack" in a subject browse search should find all the books the library owns that are sometimes referred to by fans as the Aubrey-Maturin series.
  • Try searching in Keyword Search if you still don't get your expected results.

The example below shows a Series Browse search for the Time Life Library of Art. Note that each item has a unique title, but all entries are found using Series Browse.

If you only know one title in a specific series, you can look at its catalog record and find the name of the series. The example below shows the record for the first title in the search above. Note that the series title, Time-Life Library of Art, can be found in the record.

On almost all results pages, and on each record display, you will see a small button like this:

"More About This Title" provides links to the Syndetics Solutions Information that can also be useful for tracking down series information. The Syndetics window that appears, often has a link to series that can help with this, as shown below; you can also get directly to the Syndetics information by clicking on the picture of the book jacket.

Name + Title Search

The Name + Title search is a shortcut search that actually works a bit like a keyword search but may be more straightforward for your needs. Use it if you know an author has written "something" the title of which contains a specific word, but you can’t recall the exact title.

  • You must include something in both search boxes.
  • You must type at least the author's last name (surname) in the Name box. If you also enter the first name or initial, you must enter it last name first. This box works like an Author search.
    • Crane
    • Crane, Stephen
    • Crane, S
  • You must type at least one word from the title in the Title box, but you can put in more than one. You do not have to list them in any special order. This box works like a Keyword search. For Example: Name: Crane and Title: courage badge will still find Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage.

This type of search can only be sorted after you bring up your list of results. See the Search Limiting tab for more details.

Number Search

The Call # and Other # tabs in the catalog will take you to other types of "browse" searches. They work like the other browse searches - Title, Author, Subject, and Series, but it helps to understand what kind of numbers they are.



Call Number Searching

Call number describes the place where something sits on the library shelves, or within a section of the library. Use Call #tag to find an item by its spot on the shelves or to browse the shelves near a call number that interests you.

Call numbers also indicate something about the subject of the material, though not in a way that's obvious to most library visitors. If you research a topic deeply, you will probably notice similar patterns in the call numbers of the things you find most useful, regardless of the library where you find them. That's because most libraries use one of two major types of call numbers. Examples of the two main types, Dewey and LC, are shown in the "Search tips" box of the Call # search page. But some "call numbers" do not include any numbers at all.

  • Most public libraries use Dewey Decimal call numbers for nonfiction, but may use the author's last name for fiction titles and for some other types of material. Dewey numbers start with three numbers that may or may not be followed by a decimal point and additional numbers. They are usually followed by a space and a letter or two.

For example, these are typical nonfiction Dewey call numbers:
          641.01 F
          641.013 Kamp
          641 L
          641 Com
These are typical non-Dewey fiction call numbers with no numbers at all:

  • Many college and university libraries use the Library of Congress or LC call numbers, which begin with one, two, or sometimes three letters which are followed by a string of numbers and other letters.

For example: N 1 .T42
                    HD 105 .F67
                    PN 99 .U52 H

Because most libraries sharing this catalog are public libraries, this page will use Dewey Decimal numbers in the examples below. If your library uses a different kind of call number, you may need to ask a librarian for help.

  • No matter what type of call numbers your library uses, type as much of it as you know into the search box
  • Punctuation does matter here. Type in all spaces, colons, periods, and any other marks if you know them.

For example: PN 99 rather than PN99
641.013 rather than 641013

  • As with other kinds of browse searches, if only one record matches what you typed, that record will appear on the screen.
  • If what you typed does not match anything exactly, you will see a CALL NOS BROWSE list, with the number you typed about halfway down the screen.


The example below shows results for a Call Number Browse for 811 B . Note that a record may have additional entries.

ISBN and ISSN Searching

These two abbreviations are sometimes referred to as Standard Numbers.

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It refers to a specific edition of a particular title. Older ISBNs were 10 digits long; newer ones are 13 digits.

ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number. Think of it as a standard number for magazines and journals. An ISSN contains 8 digits but may end with an x.

  • Type an ISBN exactly as it appears, including the zeroes, but leaving out the punctuation and spaces.

For example: 0679839135 rather than 0 679 839 135

  • Type ISSN exactly as it appears, including the zeroes, but you can type the hyphen or leave it out.

For example: 0003083x or 0003-083x will work if the library has this magazine.


Government Document Number searching

This type of search looks for a number assigned by the office of the Superintendent of Documents to official Federal publications, grouping them by Federal departments and agencies.

It is also called a SuDoc number. It is generally used only where a library is an officially designated Depository Library.

  • Type as much or as little of the number as you want. Since it is a specialized kind of call number, punctuation is important here, so include it exactly as it appears.


For example: NAS or NAS 1.2:AM 3/994.


OCLC number searching

Libraries often get their descriptive data about titles from a service called a bibliographic utility. The largest one is a huge database called OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), which is compiled by thousands of member libraries.
Reference databases and bibliographies may include this number as part of the information provided about a title.

  • Type as much or as little of the OCLC number as you want.


For example: 1234 or 12340679.


LCCN searching

LCCN stands for Library of Congress Control Number. The Library of Congress assigns this number to every title they catalog, and in the days of card catalogs you would see this number printed at the bottom of a card supplied by the Library of Congress. It is still often included in reference databases and bibliographies.

  • Type as much or as little of the LCCN number as you want.


For example: 13 or 12215840

Advanced Search

This kind of search performs a keyword search in a more structured manner, using dropdown search boxes to combine terms in different ways. It allows you to do more limiting at the beginning of a search. The following is a recap of some of the techniques you can use.

What's a "Boolean operator" referred to in the table below? It's a way of combining terms and concepts using the special words AND, OR, and AND NOT, named after the British mathematician George Boole.

A "field" is just a part of the record, such as the Author, Title, Subject, or Notes.

Multiple Words When searching multiple words, the system will look for the terms as a phrase in the order entered. If no titles are found, the system will supply the Boolean "AND" operator between each word to create a wider search. Multiple words entered and "AND'ed" together will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. The examples on the right may retrieve different results.  

world health organization

world and health and organization

Phrase Searches Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in quotation marks will appear together in all results exactly as typed. It's a good idea to include quotation marks when searching for phrases that include words such as NOT, AND, OR, NEAR, AFTER, BEFORE, WITHIN, etc.  

"world health organization"

"life after death"

The asterisk ('*') matches up to five non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "inter*" will match "internal" and "internet", but will not match "international". The '*' wildcard may only appear after at least two characters.

The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string. For example, "colo*r" would match both "color" and "colour".

environment* polic*



Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "inter**" will match all words that begin with "inter" (e.g., "internal", "internet", "international", etc.).

The '**' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.


? You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.   wom?n
Boolean Operators and Field Limits
Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list.


stocks AND
stocks OR bonds

stocks AND NOT
Proximity Operators

The NEAR operator is used to retrieve records that contain the specified words or phrases within ten words of each other in the same indexed field.

The WITHIN operator is similar to the NEAR operator, but allows the user to specify the maximum number of words that may appear between the specified words. WITHIN 10 and NEAR are equivalent.


international near conference

fractal within 3 geometry

Field limits

Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list in the form before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s). The following field limits are supported:

Field limit Meaning
Author: Search only author fields
Title: Search only title fields
Subject: Search only subject fields
Note: Search only note fields
  Author: twain

Title: huckleberry

Limiting Your Search Results

Limiting is a way to narrow the results of a search to find more specific search results. If you do a search that retrieves a lot of items, limiting will help you narrow the list to find the ones you're really interested in.
For example, if you searched under the subject "dinosaurs" and wanted only videos on dinosaurs, the limit option can be used to sort out all of the other types of material (like books or audiobooks) and just find the videos. 

  • The results for a Browse search (Author, Title, Subject, etc.) can only be limited after the search has been done and you have pulled up a results list.
  • Keyword and Advanced Search allow limiting from the beginning.
  • Even after you have Limited a search you can continue to Limit or Modify it until you are satisfied with your results list.

Search limits that are available include the following.
Note: Some of these limits as described below are only available following a browse search. See the Keyword and Advanced Search pages for additional information on limiting those search types.

  • Year of publication limits your search to items published before or after a year that you specify. You can also specify a range of dates. You can fill in dates in either the "Before" or "After" boxes, or both.
  • Material Type limits your search to the physical format you want -- books, videos, books on tape, etc. Pick the format you want from the drop-down menu.
  • Language limits your search to only items in a particular language from a drop-down list.
  • Publisher is especially useful for finding books on a topic published by a specific publisher, such as Sunset books on gardening. Here, try typing the most important word in the publisher's name, since some publishers have many branches and divisions.
  • Words in the AUTHOR, Words in the TITLE, Words in the SUBJECT allows you to limit your search by adding names or words to it from these specific field areas. Use the dropdown list to select your field.
  • Sort results by year will display the results with the most recent entries first. Click in the box next to the option to set this limit.

To Limit a search, click on the button labeled "Limit/Sort" (following a browse search) or "Modify Search" (following a Keyword or Advanced search.)

The example below shows a Subject Browse search for Dinosaurs. The search found over a thousand entries divided among 119 variations of this subject. Click on the "limit/sort" button to limit your results to a more manageable number.


The screen below shows the options available to limit your search. In the example, the original Subject Browse search for dinosaurs is limited to Material Type: Videos/Film/DVD located in the Location: Alief Library. The results are sorted in date order (Year) with the most recent results at the top of the list. Click Submit to apply the limits to the original search.

This limit cut the list down to only 24 results.

  • Extra Features
  • My Checklist (Saving/Exporting Records)
  • Placing Holds
  • Printing
  • Reviews

Extra Features

The catalog screen offer additional information about most of the titles listed. This information comes from partnerships with vendors who provide this added value.

Other Web Resources

This button will open a new window leading you to external information related to your search (from a browse list) or an individual record (from a single record display.) Click on the links provided to perform a similar search at the linked site.

In this example, clicking the button directly above the search for pirates pulled up this window:


In this example, clicking the button next to the title in the list, Pirates of the Caribbean, at world's end, brought up this window:



More About this title

This button shows up when you click on an individual title.

When you click on it, it will take you to a screen provided by our vendor Syndetics Solutions showing additional information about the title. Note that available information varies with each title. The cover image is also a link to the Syndetics Solutions information about the title:

My Checklist

My Checklist is a feature that can be used to save search results in a temporary list. You can view the saved records on screen, download the catalog records to disk, or e-mail them to yourself or someone else.

  • Note:  downloading records may only be available on selected terminals in your library. Ask a librarian for assistance.

Adding Items to My Checklist

After you have done a search and found records you would like to save:

  • Look for the button labeled "Add to My Checklist" to the right of the title in a list of results, or at the top of the page if you have pulled up a single record. Click on the button to save the record.
  • If you are saving from a results list, you can click on several records one at a time, or use the "Save this page to My Checklist" button to save all the records displayed on that page.
  • You can also perform another search and save more records to your list.
  • When you have finished making your selections, to view your saved records, click on the button at the top of the screen labeled "My Checklist".
  • If you change your mind at this point, there is also a button labeled "Clear Checklist." Click it to empty your temporary list.

Working with the Records in My Checklist

When you click on "My Checklist" you will be able to View, Download, or Email your list, or you will again have the option to clear the list and start over.

 If you click on the View*Download*Email button, you will then be able to choose:

  • How you want the records delivered to you
  • What kind of format you want the display or printout to have
  • Whether you want to remove any items from your list

Click in the circle next to an option to choose it.

  • Format of List -- Full or Brief record display; MARC (library-coded record)
  • Send List To -- email, screen or local disk

Click the Submit button after choosing your options:

  • To delete items from your list, click the box next to any records you wish to delete and then click on the button labeled "Remove Marked Records from This List"

The screen below shows the initial "View*Download*Email" screen. The Full Display option is chosen and will be sent as a Screen display after you click on the button labeled "Submit".


This is how the screen looks in full display, which can then be printed using your browser's Print functions:

If you choose Brief Display, it looks like this:

And finally, if you choose MARC display, it looks like this. Some of the information you see in a MARC display may be useful to a librarian even if it looks strange to you!

Be sure to clear your Checklist before you leave the terminal if you are working at a public terminal in the library! Closing the browser will also clear your Checklist, so be sure to save or print it if you want to keep it.

Placing Holds

You can usually place a hold and be notified when a copy of your material is available. This can be done through the online catalog as follows:

    • Log into My Library Account first! This will allow you to place multiple holds (until you reach your limit) without re-entering your personal information.
    • Locate the material in the catalog.
    • Look for the button labeled "Place a Hold Request."

      In a results list, it will be to the right of the title. If you are looking at an individual record, it will be at the top of the screen below the logo for your library.
      Click on the button to bring up the "Hold request verification" screen.
    • Choose a Pickup Location from the drop-down menu before submitting your request. This should be the same library that issued your card! If you are logged in, your own library will show up automatically in the Pickup Location box.


    • Get hold notices faster! Add or correct your email address by going to My Library Account and clicking Modify Personal Information.
    • If prompted to pick a specific copy, whenever possible choose one with CHECK SHELF status.
      You should get this prompt if there are multiple volumes or parts listed for the title you are requesting, for example this display for volumes 1-22 of the World Book Encyclopedia:

  • Holds that are unfilled after 180 days will be cancelled.
  • To view or cancel your hold requests, go to My Library Account.
  • Each local library sets policies regarding the maximum number of holds per library card.
    Check with your librarian if your hold request is denied.

If your browser has a "Print Preview" feature, you should always use it before attempting to actually print.
Because of the way different browsers handle printing tasks, it is possible that you might end up with blank pages instead of your search results. The best way to consistently print search results is to save the items that you want to My Checklist. See the tab labeled My Checklist (Saving/Exporting Records) for more information.

This feature will also allow you to email results to yourself as an alternative to printing a paper copy.
If you are using a library workstation, remember that your library may charge for printouts. Check with your local librarian if you have questions.


Content 6
  • About My Library Account
  • Preferred Searches
  • Ratings
  • Reading History
  • Renewals
About My Library Account
My Library Account gives you a more personal experience when you use the catalog. When you are logged in with your last name and your library card number, you can:
  • search the catalog and place holds without having to re-enter your personal information each time
  • save favorite searches to use over and over ("My Preferred Searches")
  • view any checked out items and see their due dates
  • renew checked out items
    (If you renew online, it is recommended that you print an updated copy of your account for your records!)
  • rate items you have checked out in the past
  • keep a reading history list if you like
  • view the items you have on hold and where you are in the queue
  • cancel holds you no longer want
  • view any outstanding fines and fees
  • modify selected personal information
  • Coming soon -- My Lists!
    My Lists will allow you to create, save, and manage subject lists using My Library Account.
    Currently available is My Checklist (see info under the 'Special functions and features' tab).
Preferred Searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you place reserves on new materials quicker.

1. Log in to your My Library Account.

2. Click on the "Another Search " button.

3. Search for your favorite author, subject, title, etc. or create an advanced keyword search including limits to material type, language, publication year, etc..

4. When your results are displayed, click the button marked "Save as preferred search".


5. The next time that you log in to your My Library Account, you can click on "Preferred Searches" to see a list of your saved searches.

6. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred search terms in the list to quickly execute your search.


Did you love it? Hate it? Did you feel it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good either? Now you can rate items you check out, keep a list of the items rated, and share your opinion anonymously with others who use the catalog.

How to Use Ratings
Explanation of Ratings
1) First log into My Library Account.

2) From there choose either "SEARCH THE CATALOG", "My Preferred Searches", or the "My Reading History" icon (if you have opted into the Reading History feature) and locate the item you want to rate.

3) From either the list or the specific record display, click on the number of stars you think the items should have.
 Color Coding:
 Yellow - your rating.
 Blue - group rating.
 White - needs to be rated.

*****   Excellent. Highly recommend.
****_   Very Good. Exceeds expectations.
***__   Good.
Met expectations but did not exceed them
**___   Fairly low opinion.
ecommend only with reservations.
*____   Extremely low opinion of this item.
Would not recommend.
_____   Never been rated.
No recommendation available.

You can see your own ratings in "My Library Account." Just click on "My Ratings" after you log in. You can even change your rating if you wish.

No one else can see how you personally rated an item, but the catalog will take all the ratings you and others have given each item and display them as an average in a browse list. If you "hover" your mouse pointer over the stars, you will see how many people have submitted ratings. (If no one has rated the item, the stars will be blank.)

Reading History

Reading History is an optional "My Library Account" feature that allows you to begin collecting a circulation history of the items you check out from the library. You must "Opt in" to the Reading History service to take advantage of this feature, and only then will it keep a list of material you have checked out. You can "Opt out" later if you change your mind.

  1. Log into "My Library Account"
  2. Click the "Reading History" link.
  3. If you haven't yet chosen to save your Reading History, you will see a button labeled "Opt IN" and right below it, the words "No Reading History Available."
Opt In to Reading History

  1. If you click on the button, the label will change to "Opt OUT."

  1. From that point on, any items you check out will be listed in your personal reading history. Items you checked out before you chose to "Opt IN" will not be listed.

  1. You can delete any or all items from the list at any time. Click in the checkbox in the "Mark" column and then click "Delete Marked" to remove selected items, or just click on "Delete ALL" to remove your entire Reading History.
  1. You can discontinue using the reading history feature at any time. Simply "Delete All" from your list, then select the button labeled "Opt Out."

  2. Log out of your account when you are finished. This is very important to ensure your privacy. Just click the "Logout" button and you will be returned to the main search screen.

The library staff will not access your reading history unless required by law or at your request.
Please be aware that if you elect to keep a Reading History, under the USA Patriot Act, it may be subject to examination by law enforcement authorities without your permission.

For more information, see the Reading History link on your library's Home Page or on the page where you first log into "My Library Account."


Public Library cardholders may renew their own materials online.

Materials with holds or reserves and materials on which you owe fines may not be renewable. Consult your local librarian if you have questions about your renewals.

  1. Log in to your "My Library Account".

  2. You will see a link named "Items currently checked out" with the number of items you have checked out. Click the link to view the materials you have checked out.

Screen Shot


3. Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes in the RENEW column and then click the Renew Selected button. If you want to renew everything, click the Renew ALL button.

Screen Shot


4. If you cannot renew items, a brief explanatory message will appear on the screen.
This is one possible example:
You cannot renew items because:
Your registration has expired

5. If you are successful, a new due date will appear in the "STATUS" column with the word RENEWED, including a note for how many times the item has been renewed. Always check the STATUS column for information on the success or failure of your renewal.

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