Library 101 – How to Search for Books in the Comfort of Your Home

Does your child need a book about polar bears by Monday? Are you afraid that your going to drive all the way to the library, only to find out all the polar bear books are checked out? Did you know that you can check on this from home before ever setting foot in the library?

Using our website, you can search our entire library catalog for that book Junior needs that he totally forgot to tell you about a week ago.

First, go to

From here, you can type what you are searching for in the search box at the top right of the page.

When you click enter, you will see over 400 results for polar bears at the library. Don’t get too excited yet. Many of those books are at library’s that are far away because we are part of a library network that shares books with each other. Junior needs that polar bear book today so you need to limit your search to find the books that are available at your local library.

On the left side of the screen, you will see a box that says Narrow Your Search. You can first click on a location or assigned branch, choosing the library you plan to visit that day. In this case, you have chosen Old Town Newhall Library.

Now, you have a list of over 70 books, and all of your results are books at Newhall Library. If you scroll down the list, though, you can see that some of the books do not look educational. Junior needs a book that has facts about what polar bears eat and where they live, not a picture book about a polar bear who wants to become friends with a snowman.

The next step is to limit your search even more. Again, you will look to the left of the screen. This time you will limit your search to books.

Then, you will limit your search to Non-Fiction.

This will bring your results down to 29. That’s a nice number of results to look at and will give you many options for Junior. You can continue limiting your results if you would like, or you can start looking at each result and seeing if it meets your needs. You may find some on this list are too young or old for junior, but you may want to look at the book in the library before you make that judgment.

For each result, you are going to want to check its availability if you need it that day. That information can be found on the right of the screen.

When you click on the green Availability button, you will see whether or not that book is checked in or out. That lets you know if you will find it at the library that day. When you make it to the library later that day, please go to the front desk or the children’s desk and ask for help. We are happy to show you where the books can be found in the library.

If you are worried that you will show up at the library, and it will not be there. You can always call us ahead of time. We are happy to check that the book you are looking for is here.



Miss Angie

I am a children's librarian at SCPL's Canyon Country Library. My favorite things are funny books, ice cream, and the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

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