Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Catalog: What is THIS?!?!

If you are trying to figure out if a book is available at the library today you may be confused because the catalog looks completely different. No, you are not dreaming. This is our new catalog! I know that the old catalog was near and dear to many of us, including staff, but life is full of changes and we must embrace them if we want to be successful going forward (apologies on the extra cheese in that final statement).

Yes, this new catalog looks very different and is going to take some getting used to. I will not sugarcoat it, you will need to relearn how to navigate the catalog. The great this is that you can do so much more with this new catalog. Luckily for you, I’m giving you some super basic tricks to get you started. I promise it is not as terrible as it looks. Okay, take a deep breathe. Are you ready?

You probably notice these big misshapen red arrows, GREAT! The first one on the top left indicates that you can limit searches to what is currently available to check out at the library by clicking “At a Library”. That means that the item has been checked in at circulation and is ready to be checked out. I’m going to continue going down the “Refine by:” box to make this less confusing. Next you have “Format”, which is exactly what it sounds like, the medium of the item. Books will limit you to print books. Anything that says digital will be online content. At the bottom left of the image you will see an arrow next to Arlington under “Location”. This will restrict your search only to items that we have here in our Arlington Libraries, this will include Robbins and the Fox Library.

Now I get to tell you about one of my favorite features in our new catalog! When you do a search, you don’t have to click on the title and wait for another page to load to find out whether or not the item is in the building or where else it might be available. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have tried to look up a popular book that the networks has a bazillions copies of then you have experienced what feels like an eternal wait to load the page. Instead, just click the “see all” link, under the title and format of an item, then you are able to view whether the item is available here or at other libraries in our network. This may not seem cool to most people, but heavy users of the catalog are rejoicing over this addition. 

Yes, there is much more I could show you about using our new catalog, but these are just the basics to get you started. One more thing I can suggest is signing into your account at the beginning of your search if you are interested in digital articles or ebooks. You wont be able to view our online holdings if you aren’t logged in. Again, this is only for digital content; you can still see physical library materials without signing in. 

I hope I don’t need to say this (but I’d rather say it then not), if you have any questions about our new catalog PLEASE ask a staff member. We expect these questions as we had many ourselves. Many of us are still learning the ins and outs of this new system because of all the new features. 

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