The library's catalog is called iBistro. Sometimes you may see it called OPAC. Whatever people call it, it is what you use to look up whether the library owns an item and where to find it.
How to Search the Library Catalog
When you get to the catalog, you will see a small search bar. In it, you can type in an author, title, subject or ISBN number. To the immediate right of the box, there is a drop-down box you can change to author, title, series, etc. Then click on the SEARCH button.
TIP 1: Put QUOTATION MARKS (" ") around phrases and you will get a better search because the catalog will look for the phrase as a whole which will narrow the possible results.
TIP 2: You do NOT need to capitalize words or enter entire titles to get results.
TIP 3: Insert a portion of the title followed by the word "and" followed by a portion of the author's name. This will help narrow the search results without needing to type much information (ex: art of racing AND garth).
TIP 4: You DO have to get the s on the end of a plural word or the catalog will NOT find your title (ex. "perk of being a wallflower" gets no results). You can place the dollar sign ($) at the end of a word to help you if you do not know if the word is plural or what the tense of a word is (ex. "perk$ of being a wallflower").
TIP 5: Some words like "not," "with," "same" and "near" will alter your search. So if one of those words is in the title of a book, just remove that word and insert the word "and."
How to Search the Library Catalog Even Better
For a more complex search, click on the words under the small search bar that say "Power Search." In Power Search you can search by words in multiple categories (Author, Title, Subject, Series), and you can narrow your search by limiting it to a specific item type (CDBook, DVD, Fiction, Mystery, etc.) and location (adultdept. or childdept).
How to Read the Results
1. If you get one "hit," you will see the item record. The record will show how many copies are available, the call number and the location. If the item is available, jot down the call number (the call number MIGHT be a word like FICTION or MYSTERY) and the location which will be adult, child or youngadult. If you click on the "Catalog Record" tab, you may see a description of the book, reviews of the book, and subject headings, which if clicked will lead you to more titles on the same topic.
2. If you get a list of possible items, you will need to decide which item is the one you want. To see the full record, click "Details." If the item is available, jot down the call number and location again. When you see a list, the call number is the bit of information right above the title. In the example below, the call number is JUV, which means it is juvenile fiction. When an item is any type of fiction, be sure to also jot down the author's last name.
TIP 1: When a list is displayed, the items are listed in chronological order by date of publication. The latest material published will appear first.
TIP 2: Any time an item does not have a dewey decimal number, be sure to also jot down the author's last name. Items without a dewey decimal number are shelved by author's last name. DVDs without dewey decimal numbers are the exception to this tip because those are shelved in alaphabetical order by title.
If an item is checked out, the record or list will show there are no copies available and will give the estimated wait. In that case, make sure you are in the item's record and click the "Place Hold" link on the left menu. You will then enter your library card number and click the "Place Hold" button. You do not need to enter any other information.