How to Use the Library Catalog

To get started, choose one of these topics.

Important: If you cannot find what you are looking for or need help for any reason, please contact us.

Finding my way around

You can find navigation links in the upper-right corner of the header. Click one of these links at any time to log in, go to the My Account page, or go to the My Lists page. You can also click the Catalog-Home at any time to go to the library catalog Home page.

Library Information

You can click the Library Information to find information about the library, such as Hours & Locations, Contact & Customer Service information, and to Request a Purchase or access InterLibrary Loan options.

Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance

Click the wheelchair icon if you require ADA compliance to navigate the site.

Using the library catalog home page

From the catalog home page, you can search for items, access advanced search options, or browse the collection using any of the featured lists on the right to explore genres and see what's new.

Searching for items

Searching with limits

Use the first drop-down in the search bar to limit your search to a specific location or collection, or search "Everything."

Searching by field

Select a field from the Fields drop-down to search within a specific field (for example, Title, Author, or Subject), or search from "All Fields."

Using advanced search

If you want more search options to help you find exactly what you're looking for, click the Advanced Search option to go to the Advanced Search page.

With Advanced Searching, you can search exact phrases or exclude terms from your search. For example, if you wanted to do a search on potters but did not want results for "Harry Potter," you could search the term "potter" and enter "Harry" in the unwanted terms box.

You can also apply any combination of limits on your search with Additional limits, including format type, language, location, fields, availability, and targets.

Once you have set up your search with the terms and limits you want, click the Advanced Search button to get your search results.

Note: While there are many options to limit your search, there is the likelyhood that selecting too many limits will not return any search results.

Working with search results

View options

There are two different view options for your search results: List view & Grid view. Click the icons at the top to change the view.

Sorting search results

You can use the Sort By drop-down menu to sort the results by relevance, publication date, title, or author.

Paging

Click the Previous and Next icons to move forward and backward through pages of search results.

Accessing ebooks & e-audiobooks

To access ebooks and e-audiobooks that appear in search results, click the link that says Kansas City Public Library cardholders click here on the listing.

Placing a hold

Items in your search results that are holdable at your library will have a Place Hold button that you can click to put the item on hold. (For more information, see Placing holds.)

Note: You can also place a hold on an item by using the Select An Action menu (see Using the Select an Action drop-down menu).

Selecting an action

From the Select An Action drop-down menu, you can place holds on items, add items to your Lists, and email or print item information. Select the items you want from your search results page by selecting the item check box(es), or use the Select All check box to select all items on the page. Then select the action you want to take from the Select An Action menu. (For details, see Using the Select an Action drop-down menu.)

Saving searches as RSS feeds

If you use RSS, you can click the RSS icon at the top to save any of your searches as an RSS feed. This way, you can see updated results of your specified searches through your RSS reader. To take advantage of RSS feeds, you must have an RSS enabled browser or an RSS reader.

Limiting Search Results

Using limits

Limits are organized by fields (like Author, Format, Subject, etc.). You can use limits in one of the following ways:

  • Click on a limit. By clicking a single limit, you will narrow your search results to meet that limit. For example, if you click on "Books," your search results will only include items that are books.
  • Select a limit or multiple limits to include in or exclude from your search results. You can select one or multiple limits within a single field by clicking the check box next to the limit(s).
     
    If you want to include limits in your search results, click the Include button. For example, if you select to include Books and DVDs, your search results will only include books or DVDs.
     
    If you want to exclude limits from your search results, click the Exclude button. For example, if you select to exclude Books and DVDs, your search results will include everything but books and DVDs.
     

Use the More and Fewer options to expose or hide limits within a field incrementally. You can also use the Expand All or Collapse All options to either show all limits in a field, or go back to only showing the first five.

Using the Publication Date limit options

The Publication Date limit has two views: Graph & Years. You can toggle between the two. The Years view works just like any other limit. The Graph view, however, has some other options:

  • Use the sliders to create a date range (for example, 1971-1990). Then select whether you want to include or exclude that date range in your search results.
  • Enter a date range in the text box (for example, "1971" - "1990"). If you want the date range to have no end (up to the current time), leave the second text box blank (for example, "1971" - ). Likewise, if you want the date range to go back as far as it can go, leave the first text box blank (for example, - "1971"). Select whether you want to include or exclude that date range in your search results.
     

Removing limits

Any limits you have applied will appear in the "Narrowed by" section. Limits you have included in search results will have a plus (+) sign; limits you have excluded will have a minus (–) sign.

Click the red X next to any individual limit to remove it, or remove all limits by clicking the Clear all button.

Viewing the details of an item

Detail display

When you click on a search result title or image, a new window displays details for that item.

In the catalog data, you might see links (an author's name, for example) that you can click to begin a new search for that link's content.

The different sections contain information about item availability, item summaries, reviews, excerpts, etc. Click on the section you want to open and scroll down to view its content. In the availability data, use the sort icon () to sort items. Click once to sort ascending. Click again to sort descending.

Placing a hold

Items that can be checked out will have a Place Hold button that you can click to put the item on hold. (For more information, see Placing holds.)

Note: You can also place a hold on an item by using the Select An Action menu (see Selecting an action).

Selecting an action

From the Select An Action drop-down menu, you can place a hold on the item, add the item to My Lists, and email or print item information. (For more information, see Using the Select an Action drop-down menu.)

Accessing ebooks

If the item is an ebook there will be a link under "Electronic Access" which will allow you to access the item through the appropriate ebook service.

Using My Account

My Account lets you view your checkouts, holds, and any fines you may have. You can also view your personal information, change your PIN, and set up your preferences.

Go to My Account page by clicking My Account from the upper-right corner of the header. If you are not already logged in, the system will prompt you to log in before you can access the My Account page.

Getting around in My Account

There are four My Account tabs: Personal Information, Checkouts, Holds, and Fines. Click on a tab to open it up.

Understanding the summary box

The Summary Box on the right gives you a quick view of the number of items you have currently checked out, the number of items you have on hold, and the amount of fines you owe your library. You can click a heading (for example, "Checkouts") to open the corresponding tab.

The summary box also shows your user status. Some statuses prevent you from performing certain actions (for example, if you have unpaid fines, you may have a status that prevents you from renewing items you have checked out). If you have questions about your status, please contact us.

Alert icons

Alert icons will appear in My Account when a new action is available to you. For example, if you have a hold that has arrived and is ready for you to pick up, you will see an alert icon on your Holds tab and in your summary box next to the Holds heading. Alert icons will appear when:

  • You have overdue checkouts
  • You have holds that are ready for you to pick up
  • You have any new or unpaid fines
     

Personal Information

The Personal Information tab has three sections: User information (your name will appear as the heading), Change PIN, and Preferences.

User information

The User information section displays your personal information. If you see something that is inaccurate or outdated, please contact us.

Change PIN

Change PIN lets you designate a new Personal Identification Number or password for your library account.

Important: If you have forgotten your PIN, contact your library for instruction on how you can be assigned a new PIN.

Go to the Change Pin section to change your login PIN.

Note: The PIN cannot be more than 10 characters in length.

Preferences

Set up your personal preferences in the Preferences section. You can configure these options:

  • Default My Account Tab lets you select which tab (Personal Information, Checkouts, Holds, or Fines) opens when you access the My Account page.
  • Preferred List lets you select a default My List. When you add a title to your lists, the program adds it to the default list. If you select "no default list", the program prompts you to select a list. You can create a list to use as your preferred list in the My Lists page (see Adding/Deleting lists).
  • Preferred Pickup Library lets you select which library you want to use as your pickup library, or the library where you go to pickup holds.
     

Checkouts

This section displays the items that you have currently checked out. If you have any items that are overdue, they will appear at the top of the list with the alert icon.

You can click on the title or image of any item to view its detail page.

If you want to renew items, select the items you want to renew (or select them all by using the Select All check box) and then click the Renew button.

Use the sort icon () to sort items. Click once to sort ascending. Click again to sort descending.

Holds

You can view all your holds in the this section. Any holds that have arrived and are now available for you to pick up will appear at the top of the list with the alert icon.

You can click on the title or image of any item to view its detail page.

From this section, you can also cancel a hold, edit a hold's pickup location (library), or suspend a hold. To perform one of these actions, select the items you want (or select them all by using the Select All check box) and then click one of these buttons:

  • Cancel Hold(s). After you click this button, a window will open to confirm the cancellation. Click Yes to cancel the hold or No to go back.
  • Edit Pickup Location(s). After you click this button, a window will open where you can select the new pickup location. Click Change to change the location or Cancel to go back.
     
  • Suspend Hold(s). When you click this button, a window will open with a calendar you can use to select the start date of the suspension and the end date of the suspension. Click Suspend to suspend the hold or Cancel to go back.
     
  • Cancel Hold Suspension. When you click this button, a window will open to confirm the cancellation. Click Yes to cancel the hold suspension or No to go back.
     

Use the sort icon () to sort items. Click once to sort ascending. Click again to sort descending.

Fines

The Fines tab has two sections: Accruing Fines and Current Fines. If you have any new or unpaid fines, an alert icon will appear in this tab. You can pay fines by clicking on the Pay Fines button on the right, or in person at your library.

Accruing Fines

Go to the Accruing Fines section to view any accruing fines assessed to your library account. An accruing fine is a fine that is added to over time (for example, for a late book that is fined more every day that it is not checked in past the due date).

Current Fines

Go to the Current Fines section to view and pay any new or unpaid fines.

You can click on the title or image of any item to view its detail page.

You can pay fines by clicking on the Pay Fines button on the right, or in person at your library.

Use the sort icon () to sort items. Click once to sort ascending. Click again to sort descending.

Using My Lists

When you find items in Searching that you want to keep and organize, you can save them in your Lists. You can create and customize your lists, and you can print or email your lists. From My Lists, you can also place holds on items.

Adding items to My Lists

You can add items to your My Lists by using the "Select An Action" drop-down from either a search results page or an item's detail display.

If you are logged in to the system, you will be prompted to select which of your lists you want to save items to.

If you are not already logged in to the system, any items you add to My Lists will be sent to a "Temporary List." To access your custom lists, you will need to first log in.

Using your Temporary List

If you are logged in to the system, you can move items into other lists, or you can save the entire list. In essence, you will be creating a new list out of the items in your Temporary List.

To save your Temporary List, select Save Temporary List from the Select An Action menu. A window will open and ask you to name the new list. Enter the name and click Save to save the list or Cancel to go back. If you log out without saving the list, the Temporary List will be cleared.

You can log in after you have placed items in your Temporary List to move them to one of your saved lists.

Viewing and arranging My Lists

Your Temporary List and your saved lists are listed in the left-side window under the "Lists" heading.

To view a list, click on it. It will open in the main window.

To arrange your saved lists, do one of the following:

  • Use the () icon to drag and drop your lists in the order you want them to appear.
  • Use the Arrange By drop down to arrange your lists alphabetically (ascending or descending), or by the time they were created (most recent first or oldest first).
     

Adding/Deleting lists

To create a new list, click the Add List button. A window will open and prompt you to name your new list. Enter the name and click Create to create the new list or Cancel to go back.

To delete lists, select the lists you want to remove and then click the Delete Lists button.

Viewing and arranging items in a list

You can click on the title or image of any item to view its detail page.

To arrange items in a list, do one of the following:

  • Use the () icon to drag and drop your lists in the order you want them to appear.
  • Use the Arrange By drop down to arrange the items in your list alphabetically (ascending or descending), or by the time they were added to the list (most recent first or oldest first).
     

Selecting an action

First, select the items you want to do an action on, or use the Select All check box to select all items on the page. Then choose the action you want to take from the Select An Action menu. (For details, see Using the Select an Action drop-down menu.)

Placing holds

Many items in your library are available for holds.

If you are not already logged in when you try to place a hold, the system will prompt you to log in.

A window will appear for you to specify the library where you want to pick up the item when it arrives. Once you have selected the pickup library, click Place Hold. The system will tell you if the hold was successfully placed or not.

Once you have placed a hold on an item, you will be able to see it in My Account under the Holds tab.

Using the Select an Action drop-down menu

The "Select an Action" menu is found on the search results page, on an item's detail display, and in My Lists. Depending on your library's configuration, you will see these options in the "Select an Action" menu:

  • Place Hold: This option lets you place a hold on selected items (see Placing holds).
  • Add to My Lists: This option lets you save selected items to a list. If you are not already logged in, items will automatically be sent to a temporary list (for details, see Using My Lists). You can see this temporary list by going to the My Lists page.
     
    If you are logged in, a window will appear and ask you to specify which of your saved lists you want to add the item(s) to. Select the list you want and click Add.
     
    The system will tell you when items were added successfully, and then you can see them when you go to the My Lists page.
     
    Note: The "Add to My Lists" option will not appear when you are on the My Lists page.
     
  • Email: This option lets you email item information. A window will appear where you can enter the email address where the item(s) information will be sent. If you want to send the email in plain text format instead of HTML, select the option. Click Send Email when you have finished.
     
  • Text It To Me: This option lets you text item information via SMS. A window will appear where you can enter the phone number and mobile carrier where the item(s) information will be sent. Click Text It To Me when you have finished.
     
    Note: If you select multiple items to text, it will send one SMS message per item.
     
  • Print: This option lets you print item information. The item(s) information will display on a new page in print format. Use your browser's print option to send the information to a printer.
     

The following options will also appear in the "Select an Action" menu on the My Lists page:

  • Delete Selected: This option lets you remove items from a list. A window will appear to confirm that you want to remove the item(s) from your list. Click Delete to remove the item(s) or Cancel to go back.
  • Move: This option lets you move items from one list to another. A window will appear for you to select which list you want to move the item(s) to. Click Move to move the item(s) or Cancel to go back.
     
  • Copy: This option lets you copy items from one list to another. A window will appear for you to select which list you want to copy the item(s) to. Click Copy to move the item(s) or Cancel to go back.