After creating a Library Account (or signing into your Library Account if you’ve already made one) you might start to feel overwhelmed or lost. How do you search for something? How do you renew the items you already have out? How do you place items on hold? All of these processes are super easy once you know exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s what this post is for! Using the author of this blog post’s own Library account, we will walk through all of the most important functions you need to know. After you’re finished reading this, you’ll have clear instructions, and the knowledge, of how to use the Library exactly as you need it throughout the 2020 school year.
Searching for Items
Searching for items is the first thing you need to learn how to do. It’s how you will find all of your online resources, from books to articles to even movie streaming. You can start this a couple of different ways, but the easiest way would be to sign into your Library Account and go from there!
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be brought to your Account Page. This is a page that has all of your "Checked Out" items, as well as helpful tabs to tell you what you’ve "Requested" or put on hold; your "Fees", which tells you if you have any fines or overdue fees; "Saved Searches", which is a place where you can save your searches for a later date or that you will need again; and finally "Profile", which just has your basic contact information for overdue notification purposes.
On the Account Page there’s a search bar up at the top. You guessed it: this is were you can search for things. You can go by title, by author, and keyword. You can also change some of the settings around to include different databases, or types of formats or articles. There’s also different settings to choose if you want just resources that MHC carries, or if you are looking for a resource that is from a different library world-wide. You can see the title of the resource, the year, what format it is (eBook, Print Book, eVideo, DVD, etc.) and whether or not it is available physically, available online, or it is on loan or on hold.
Now that you’ve found the item that you would like, you can click on the picture of it to get a better view of its details. You can "View Description" or even "Explore Editions and Formats." If there is an eVersion of the resource, you can easily click, use your barcode number to gain access, and start to read. If you’d like the physical copy of an item, you can even go a bit further down and place a hold on the item to ensure that it is ready to be picked up for you as soon as possible.
Placing a Hold
In order to place a hold, you just need to find the item that you want, and once you have found it, you click on the item and scroll down to "Check Availability." Under that section, there will be a blue button called "Request MHC Copy." This places the item on hold for you.
You will receive an email notification when the item has been checked out for you, you can then come and pick it up at our Self Service Shelves! These are located to the left of the entrance to the Library. Sometimes, a hold may not be available for pick up immediately because of new COVID-19 procedures–please keep checking your Account and within three days it will be ready for you. Make sure you bring your Virtual or Physical Student ID–you will need the last four digits on the barcode in order to find your holds!
Your holds will be signed out to you for the regular sign out time of 4 weeks. Remember to check your emails or account for the due dates!
Renewing Your Items
On the Account Page, you are able to see a clear list of your items that you have signed out, as well as how many days you have left with them. It also tells you the Due Date for the items. If you need to renew the items, you can use the check boxes beside the items (or the check box at the top of the page where it has a "Select All" function) and you can renew them for another 4 weeks. Reminder: you can only renew 2 times before you will have to bring the items back no matter what. Unfortunately, you are unable to renew items that have a hold put on them by another person, and they will need to be returned by the due date.
Browse the Shelf
When you are searching for items using the Library site, you actually have access to a function known as "Browse the Shelf." When you click it, it electronically brings up a small amount of books that would be located beside the item you are currently looking at as if you were physically browsing through the shelves! It’s a great tool to find items that are similar to the book that you are currently looking at, and is an easy way to expand your subject area when researching for essays, papers or assignments. It will feel like your out in the stacks, just like in years previous.
So you’ve found a few books or resources that look interesting, but they aren’t on the topic of your current assignment. You don’t want to lose them, and writing them down on a piece of paper might just not cut it. You can actually save your searches and resources, using the star icon and the "Save" function, so that you are able to log into your account at a later time and easily access all of your saved searches. It’s also a good way to keep track of your favorite searches, or ones that you always seem to come back to over and over again.
If you have any issues using any of the aspects of your Library Account, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-529-3867, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or social distance and come up to the front desk of the Library. We will be more than happy to help!