Why has the library catalog changed?

Whether you remember the days when you could find a book using the library’s card catalog or you have always been looking for your favorite stories using a computer, it can be difficult to learn new ways to find items.  This guide has been created to assist you in navigating our new public library catalog Encore.  Change is hard, but we want you to have the best possible experience when looking for library materials.  The old system is no longer being supported and is running so slow that we had to make the decision to finally convert to the newer version.

How do I find library materials?

  • Type keywords from the titlesubject, or the author’s name into the search box. In the example to the right, the user is looking for the children’s picture book Click Clack Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin.
  • Click on the button with the triangle/arrow to the right of the search bar to begin the search.

Catalog home page with book title typed in search box

The search brings back 34 results. Some of these items are in physical print format and others are available as an electronic resource. To customize your search, click on the options under the “Refine By” section located on the left-hand side of the screen. If the user wants a physical, print copy today at the Spring Lake District Library, it would be helpful to click on the boxes:

  • At the Library (under Availability)
  • Books (under Format)
  • Spring Lake District Library (under Collection)

These boxes have arrows pointing to them in the photos to the left. Please note that the page will refresh each time you click on one of the boxes.

Tip: You can also click on the “see all” link under the first title on the list since it is a book. This will show where it is currently available on shelf in a quick format.


















After refining the search by clicking the boxes, the user sees only one result on the screen and clicks on the title to see this screen:


















Because the user was hoping to take this book out of the library today, it is important to look at the information provided on the screen. The Location column lists all libraries that own this book. It appears the Spring Lake District Library owns one copy of Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type. If the user looks at the status, one is on the shelf and ready to go. The user can then look at the Call No. to find out where it is located in the library.

What if what I want isn’t at the library?

If this book wasn’t on the shelf at the library, the user could click on the Request It button next to the book title (see example above). This will allow the user to place a hold. The next available copy at any of the libraries on the list will be sent to the user’s home library. When it arrives, the user will be notified and has one week to pick up the item.

What if what I’m searching for doesn’t appear in the catalog?

If the item you’re seeking doesn’t appear in the catalog, it may be available through MeLCat. There is a link to this statewide inter-library loan service on the page. If you click on the link, the search will continue in another library catalog. Any items borrowed through MeLCat will be delivered, free of charge, to your home library! Please note that print items are only available through statewide inter-library loan for Spring Lake District Library cardholders. AV items are not available.

How to find a book that is not listed in catalog

Renew Items, See What’s Checked Out on Your Library Card & Access Your Reading History

If a user clicks on the blue Login button located at the top right-hand corner of the public library catalog screen there are a variety of actions that can be done.

Checkouts: Click on this area to see what’s currently checked out on a user’s library card.

Fines/Fees: If any fines or fees are owed, they will appear in this section with additional details.

HoldsThis section will list any titles currently on hold on the user’s library card.

Reading HistoryA user has the option of “Opting In” to keep a history of items checked out. This will only keep track of what has been checked out after the “Opt In” option has been selected. Unfortunately, it won’t show what has been checked out before a user opts into the service.

My Lists: This is the area a user would access to see lists created by searches on the library catalog using the “shopping cart” feature.

Account and Reading History on Catalog

That was easy! What else can I do using the public library catalog?

If a user is doing research or is looking for a number of items, a list of these items can be kept in a “shopping cart” or can be emailed. By clicking on the basket under the “Additional Actions” area, the user will move that information to one location. In this case the user added Click Clack Moo to the cart and two other books by Doreen Cronin.

Additional tools available on catalog

By clicking on the “My Cart” link on the upper right-hand corner of the screen, a list of all items in the “shopping cart” will appear as seen to below. The user can now request all of these items by clicking on the “Request It” button once. You can also use this to create a saved list of items for use in the future. This would be a great resource for someone to create a “To Read or Watch Someday” list.

Selecting titles to add to a list on catalog

When a user clicks on the “Save to List” option, a prompt to enter a library card number and pin number will appear. Once the action is completed, the user will be shown the library account associated with the card number. By clicking on “My Lists” the user can see all of the lists created. In this example, the user created a list of books by Doreen Cronin for a classroom author study.

My Lists on Catalog

Thank you to Howard Miller Public Library of Zeeland for sharing this guide.