Monday, April 4, 2011

eMedia Empire

Welcome to the final port of call of the HCPL Treasure Hunt!

HCPL offers access to several different types of eMedia.  Here, we're referring specifically to digital media, in the form of eBooks, eAudio and video.  Which library product you suggest to a customer will depend on their needs -- for recreational eAudio, eBooks or video, use the HCPL Digital Media Catalog (OverDrive), for children's picture and chapter books try the Digital Media Catalog or TumbleBooks, and for technical and academic ebook titles, use the Safari database or EBSCO eBook Collection (formerly NetLibrary).


Consider the appeal of free library materials available 24/7 from home or on the go.  Did you know that each month HCPL eMedia circulates more than a medium-sized library branch, with about one fourth as many items?  Knowing how to assist customers with eMedia is an essential skill now and will become more so in the future.  To become adept at using these services, you must become comfortable with technology and the idea that technology is in a constant state of change. 


Digital Media Catalog


Although many of us use the term "OverDrive," that is actually the name of the vendor that supplies the content for our Digital Media Catalog, the most used HCPL eMedia collection.  Audiobooks used to be the most popular content in this catalog, but eBooks now circulate most, followed by music and video.  The widespread adoption of eBook readers and Tablet PCs are making it increasing difficult to purchase enough library materials to keep up with demand for eBooks.

Here are some key terms for this content:
  • MP3 Audiobook - An OverDrive MP3 Audiobook is an audiobook that has been optimized for download. OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks are compatible with many different devices including many cell phones, PDAs, and most portable music devices, such as iPods.
  • WMA Audiobook - An OverDrive WMA Audiobook title is a digitally-protected audiobook that has been optimized for download. OverDrive WMA Audiobook titles are built using the Microsoft® Windows Media® Audio format, which greatly enhances the sound quality for desktop listening, play of CD copies (where permitted by the publisher), and portable device use.
  • Adobe Digital Editions - Adobe Digital Editions is a free eBook reader application used to read DRM-protected Adobe eBooks. Adobe Digital Editions must be installed and activated in order to use the DRM-protected Adobe eBooks available at this site.
  • OverDrive Media Console - OverDrive Media Console allows you to download and enjoy OverDrive MP3 and WMA Audiobooks on most Windows® and Mac® computers. Use OverDrive Media Console to navigate, play, and bookmark OverDrive titles, and to manage and customize your media library, including easy transfer and CD burning options.
  • eBook - 'eBook' is short for 'electronic book', a digital version of a print book that has been optimized for on-screen reading. eBooks are available in a variety of different formats and can be transferred to eBook reading devices that comply with those formats.
Take your own tour of the Digital Media Catalog:  the Help features and tutorials, the borrowing policies, the search options, and the support page.  After your tour, follow the instructions and answer the questions  below.


On to the Hunt!
Record your entries using the form on Harriet.  Be sure to submit when you are done. 
  1. Compatible Devices
    1. What items from the Digital Media Catalog can be used with an iPad or an iPhone 4? Select all that apply.
      • EPUB eBook
      • PDF eBook
      • OEPUB eBook
      • OPDF eBook
      • Kindle Book
      • MP3 Audio Book
      • WMA Audio Book
      • WMA Music
      • WMV Video
      • None of the Above
    1.   What about the Amazon Kindle? Select all that apply. Hint 
      • EPUB eBook
      • PDF eBook
      • OEPUB eBook
      • OPDF eBook
      • Kindle Book
      • MP3 Audio Book
      • WMA Audio Book
      • WMA Music
      • WMV Video
      • None of the Above
    1. What about the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor?  Select all that apply?
      • EPUB eBook
      • PDF eBook
      • OEPUB eBook
      • OPDF eBook
      • Kindle Book
      • MP3 Audio Book
      • WMA Audio Book
      • WMA Music
      • WMV Video
      • None of the Above
  2. Search for John Grisham.  Sorting by release date, what is the most recently released title available in the Digital Media Catalog and in what formats is it available?
  3. Find an eBook that appeals to you and check it out to yourself.  What are the lending period options when you check out and how many titles can you have checked out at one time?
TumbleBooks


TumbleBooks are animated picture and chapter books for kids.  They are very popular in school settings and  have a variety of supplemental options for each book, including puzzles, games and quizzes.  Take a tour to learn more and be sure to view a book of your choice.
  1. Search for John Lithgow.  List the titles he narrates.
  2. Which TumbleBooks collection offers selections for older readers?
  3. In Language Learning, what four languages are available?
Safari and EBSCO eBook Collection


Safari Books Online are accessed through the HCPL databases page on the website.  Through Safari, HCPL offers access to over 4,732 current (past three years) technical and business books, titles that would be quite expensive individually.  Consequently, it is currently the third most popular database that HCPL provides.
  1. What is Safari's top title by popularity?
  2. How do you check out a Safari ebook?
EBSCO eBook Collection, formerly NetLibrary, titles are no longer purchased by HCPL but older titles still receive use.  Most of the books are available for online reading access, but some can be downloaded.  To view titles online, you do not need an EBSCO account , however to download titles, you must create an individual account, which can be done anytime in the library or at home.


Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you the eMedia Key to the Treasure Chest!  If you have completed the previous 9 modules, you are now finished with the Treasure Hunt!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reader's Advisory Abyss

“Do you know any good books?”  Every staff member gets this question eventually.  But how do you actually provide reader’s advisory?  Do you have to know every genre, subgenre, author, plot twist, and character out there?  No.  Just like providing reference services, you just need to know what type of questions to ask and where to go to find the information the customer needs.  In many ways, doing reader’s advisory is very similar to conducting a reference interview.  Customers often don’t know how to articulate what type of book they want.  They just know they want a “good” book.  You may find that you have to ask a few probing questions to find out what they mean by “good.”  Some examples of questions you could ask include:
“What authors do you like to read?”
“What was the last good book you read?”
“What was the last book you read that you did not enjoy?”
“Do you want something light or something serious?”

HCPL has an online
Reader's Advisor service
called Book Hunters. Let your 
customers know about it and
check it out yourself.
As customers start giving you answers, you will begin to get a clearer picture of what type of book they are looking for.  Now, it is time to offer them some suggestions.  There are many resources you can use to provide the customer with a list of suggestions.  Let’s explore them in our hunt.
On to the Hunt...
Record your entries using the form on Harriet.  Be sure to submit when you are done.


NoveList
You may want to make NoveList one of your first stops on your hunt.  This database has a treasure chest full of resources and options for searching.  On NoveList, you will find links for Author Read-alikes, Recommended reading lists, Grab and Go Booklists, and a Reader's Advisory Toolbox.  If your customer gives you a book title or author they like, you can look up the book in NoveList and find links to books with a similar pace, tone, subject, writing-style and more.  You can also search for books with specific appeal factors under the Advanced Search function.  One benefit of using NoveList to search for reading lists is that it is connected to the HCPL catalog.  So if you find a title you think a customer may be interested in, you can check the HCPL catalog directly from NoveList.  An online tutorial of NoveList can be found here.
  1. Your customer has read every single Janet Evanovich book and is currently on the wait list for her newest title.  List 3 authors that NoveList suggests if you like Janet Evanovich.   
  2. What are the two "pace appeal" terms used in NoveList?  List one book title written for adults for each of these terms.
Book Lists and Blogs
So many books, so little time.  How do you keep track of them all?  Well, there are many great book lists, newsletters and blogs out there to help you help our customers find great books.  On the HCPL website, you can find links to many of these, such as the New York Times Bestseller List, the HCPL Kids and Teens Newsletters, websites such as Overbooked, and Series and Sequels Websites.  HCPL also has lists of New Titles added to the catalog, Most Requested Titles, and Most Circulated Titles.  These lists are updated at the beginning of each month.
  1. What are the 3 most requested Young Adult Fiction Titles this month?
  2. Using one of the Series and Sequels Websites on the HCPL website, look  up the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts and list the titles of  the first two books in that series. Note which website you used to find  this information.
Reading Levels and AR Lists
Accelerated Reader Program(AR) is a program which many schools use.  AR tests whether or not students have read a particular title.  Students read a book from the AR list.  Each book has a level and point value associated with it.  The student then takes a test at their school which tests them on details of the book.  The reading levels assigned to books range from 0.0 up to 15.7.  In general, books with a level 1.0-1.9 could be considered 1st grade, 2.0-2.9 considered second grade, and so on.  Parents are often looking for a book for their child to read at a particular level or level ranges.  Many branches will have binders of AR lists for their local schools.  However, even if your branch does not have a printed list of AR books, you can still help parents and students find book in their desired level through the Accelerated Reader BookFinder website.  If you use the Advanced Search option, you can search for a particular book level range.
  1. A customer with a second  grader wants a fiction book with a book level range between 2.0 and 2.5. Using the Advanced Search function, find one and list the title, author, book level, and point value assigned.
Kids and Teens read too! 
Learn More:
Reader's Advisory Training
Don't forget about kids.  Providing great reader's advisory for kids and teens help them realize that libraries are welcoming places that value them.  NoveList has a database titled NoveList K-8.  While very similar to the regular NoveList, NoveList K-8 highlights resources of particular appeal to children, parents and teachers.
  1. Little Bobby is obsessed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid because it is so funny.  He wants a book just like it.  List 3 books that NoveList K-8 suggests.

Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises  and submitting the form has earned you the Reader's Advisory Key to the Treasure Chest!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Island of Misfit Software


Record your entries using the form on Harriet.  Be sure to submit when you are done.
Pharos
Pharos is the booking system used at most branches to make reservations on the public computers. Information on Pharos can be found on Harriet in the Network Services section.  Customers use their library card number or a visitor pass to log into the system.
  1. When printing visitor passes, what fields MUST be filled in?
  2. How many times a day can a customer login to a public computer?
Ticks
Ticks is used to submit a ticket to the Network Services Help desk.  You can find a link on Harriet and more information in the FAQ.   The serial number, machine name, and a descriptive title are very important when submitting a ticket.  

Serial numbers (or service Tags) can be found in various places depending on the model of the computer.  On laptops, they're generally on the bottom; on desk tops on the back or side.

Machine names are on the sticker on the computer.  However, if the sticker is gone, you can find the machine name by
  • Clicking Start
  • Right clicking on My Computer
  • Clicking Properties
  • Clicking the Computer Name tab.  
On public machines, the machine name can be found on the Pharos screen.

Descriptive titles help Network  Services staff assign priority to tickets.  For example, if this is the description: "Computer freeze at DOS screen. Will not boot up."  then ADM53 Computer Freezes at DOS Screen is a better title than Computer Will Not Boot.
  1. What is the name and serial number of the machine you are using right now?
  2. The machine is displaying several errors. Main error is that it is out of virtual memory. Some times when clicking to close the error message, the computer will kick you out of Horizon and display the regular desktop screen.  Which of the following is the best title for this problem:
    • DOS will not boot
    • I virtually forgot
    • FB25 Virtual Memory Error affecting Horizon
    • Brrrr, Horizon froze on my computer
Technical Problems
Ticks is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about technical problems.  However, some other departments and/or people handle some other areas.  Who to contact is covered in Who Does What.
  1. Who would you contact for questions about the Digital Media Catalog?
  2. If Horizon goes down, what is the best way to contact the Help Desk?
  3. List the contact names and method of contact for pull list problems.
  4. If you're having problems with the website, to whom do you send an email?
Drives
We have access to multiple drives at HCPL.  Drives are a storage mechanism for data and can be something you hold, such as a USB Flash drive or a diskette that is used in a disc drive or they can be on the computer, such as the hard drive, or the server such as the S drive.  The main drives we have access to are:

"C" Drive - This is the hard drive inside your computer.  It is only available on the individual computer.

"P" Drive - This is your branch or department's shared drive. Note: It might have a different letter than P.  You and members of your branch/department have access to this drive.

"S" Drive - This is the HCPL shared drive and is used to share large files.  It is not permanent storage and you should only put copies of files on the S drive.  All staff have access to this drive. More information may be found in the FAQ.

"Z" Drive - is your network drive.  Only you have access to it.  It is the best place to store your documents as it can be accessed from anywhere in the system.
  1. Create a document.  Include your name and branch code in the document's file name and save it in your Z drive.  Go to the S drive, locate and open the Treasure Hunt - Software folder.  Place a copy of your document in the sub-folder labeled Drives.  What is the name of your document you copied to the Drives folder? (Note: Your File will be deleted after you get your key).
File Extensions
Extensions are suffixes to file names and indicate the file format of the contents.  The extensions often correspond to a specific program that creates or opens that type of file.

Documents: The most commonly seen extensions for documents are
   
.doc for MS Word "documents"
(.docx for Word 2007)
.xls for MS Excel spreadsheets
(.xlsx for Excel 2007)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
for Adobe Acrobat files Note: PDF files 
are not easily edited, and are used 
as a way to present information 
with a fixed layout similar to a paper publication.
Images: Three of the most common image extensions are:
 
 
.jpg 
(Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Generally used for photographs
.gif 
(Graphics Interchange Format)
Generally used for illustrations
.bmp 
(Bitmap Image )
Tend to be large files, so
used infrequently
For the difference between JPG and GIF see eHOW.

Media:
Music files are usually either:
MP3 
(Moving Pictures Experts Group)
WMA 
(Windows Media Audio)

Video files are
.mpg
(Moving Picure [Experts] Group)
.mwv
(Windows Media Video)
.mov 
(MOVies from QuickTime)
  1. Look in the File Extensions sub-folder of the Treasure Hunt-Software folder on the S drive.  What are the file extensions for each of the items in the folder?
Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you a Software key to the Treasure Chest!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Database Dunes

Texshare databases are
funded by the
Telecommunications
Infrastructure Act.
HCPL offers over 70 subscription databases to our customers.  Some of these databases are provided by HCPL, such as Ancestry.com, while others are provided by TexShare. The databases to which HCPL subscribes can be divided into two groups:
  • The majority are searchable collections of data on a topic such as news articles, genealogy, or business (e.g. Masterfile Premiere, HeritageQuest Online, and Reference USA)
  • The rest are learning centers on a specific topic.  An example of this is Mango Languages, through which you can learn a new language.
Most databases can be searched by keyword and then can be further refined used limiters defined by the database provider.  For example, in Masterfile Premiere, a basic magazine and journal database, you can refine your search by publication and date published.  In the census search in HeritageQuest, you can limit by census year and state.  For more detailed instructions, see Database Presentations on Harriet.

How to search (video)

On to the Hunt...
Search the databases for the following items, fill out the form by recording the requested information.
  1. Reference USA is the most popular database to which we subscribe.  It is a business directory (as well as health and residential).  Information on businesses includes their contact information, type of business, and sales. There are two types of searches, Quick Search, which searches for a company by name, and Custom Search, through which you can find businesses by type, location, and other factors.
    1. How many Bank of America locations (of any kind) are there in Houston?
    2. How many Greek Restaurants are located in Harris County?  Need help? View the video.
  2. HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com both cover genealogy.  They both include US Census data and then each has specialized data.  In general, Ancestry.com has more detail than HeritageQuest. HeritageQuest can be accessed remotely, while Ancestry.com is only available in a library branch.
  3. Ancestry.com includes
    all persons in the census
    not just the Heads of
    Household.
    1. Search the census in both databases for Jack Faber without limiting results.  In which database, did you get more results? 
    2. View the Military results for Jack Faber in Ancestry.com. What is the date of birth and place of registration for the Jack Faber who registered for World War I?
  4. Mango Languages is an online language learning system.  It offers languages such as Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Greek.  In addition, it also offers English as a Second Language for Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and Polish speakers.  Users can create an optional account to track progress.
    1. How do you say "Good Afternoon" in Brazilian Portuguese? (Hint: this is in lesson 1)
    2. In what countries is Dari spoken?
    3. English courses are available for speakers of a number of languages.  Which language is not represented? (Hint: hover over the languages for a translation)
      • French
      • Korean
      • Urdu
      • Turkish
  5. LearningExpress Library offers practice tests and some preparation materials in a wide variety of subjects including standardized testing in K-12 schools,  GED, SAT, cosmetology, and US Citizenship.  Customers (and you) will need to create a free login, separate from a library card number, which is required to access the tests as it will keep track of progress. Navigation to discover available tests areas is found on the left side of the screen on the main page, and across the top of the page throughout the database.
    1. In GED preparation, what are the four categories available?
    2. In the US Citizenship practice test, what is the first question, under Principles of American Democracy?
    3. What Occupation Practice Test areas are available for the military?
  6. ChiltonLibrary provides repair information for vehicles from 1940 to the present.  Information varies greatly by both vehicle and year.
    1. Not all vehicles have information available yet .  Of the following, which 2010 Ford Model is available?
      • F150
      • Mustang
      • Escape
      • Taurus
    2. On a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle, Copy/paste the first step to removing (changing) the headlights? TIP: This is generally found in Repair/Chassis Electrical/Lighting/Exterior
  7. EBSCO is one of the major database providers.  One of the many EBSCO databases we have is MasterFILE Premiere, which is a general magazine/journal database.  Use it to find articles on a variety of topics back to the mid-1980s.  You can limit your results to full text, by publication, by date, as well as several image options.
    1. Find a full-text article from 2011 about HarperCollins and Copy/Paste its citation in the Chicago/Turabian Humanities format.  Hint: Cite is found under Tools on the right
    2. What is the month and year of the most recent article on cell phones from Consumer Reports?  
Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you a Database key to the Treasure Chest!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reference Reef

The Reference Interview
Alternate PDF of Good Reference Behavior.





On to the Hunt...
Record the requested information on the form.
  1. How should you answer a reference question (or any request from a customer or co-worker)? Please list your answer in priority order: or yer'll be keelhauled
  2. List the five phases of the reference interview. Please list your answer in chronological order: 'less ye like the feel o' the cat on yer back
  3. In which phase or phases of the reference interview is it helpful to use a close ended question?
Weeding
  1. What are the MUSTIE Guidelines?
              M is for _________________
              U is for _________________
              S is for _________________
              T is for _________________
              I is for _________________
              E is for _________________


An' if yer fowled mouthed answer has any thing te do wid the captin, yer grog ration'll be cut off


Ready Reference                 Now fer some real digginn'
Resource:  HCPL maintains a collection of ready reference websites.
  1. Using one of websites find a site that contains key facts and statistics on countries of the world. Paste its URL on the form.
  2. What is the capital of the Kyrgyzstan (the Kyrgyz Republic or Kyrgyz Respublikasy) and what is (are) its official language(s)?
Confidentiality 
Resource: Harriet.
Library transactions are confidential. The reference interview should be conducted as discreetly and quietly as possible to preserve confidentiality. Staff must not discuss a customer's questions or reading habits except in the course of conducting library business. Hint: We be lookin' fer a procedure here, not ye policy!
  1. What’s the proper way to respond to a police officer who says that she’s found an HCPL book at a crime scene and wants to know who checked it out?  Find the procedure, read it carefully, and paste the URL on the form.
  2. Whose responsibility is it to review the form of a subpoena for any legal defect?
    Don't get smart wid t' law. Capt.Kidd was hung at the Execution Dock before being drowned under three tides then his body was left suspended at Tilbury Point near the entrance to the Thames as a warrrrrrrnin.' Ye could see his rottin' corpse swinging from the gibbet fer years.


    INTERLIBRARY LOAN (ILL)
    Resource: ILL Policy
    1. What library materials cannot be obtained through ILL services?
      1. books
      2. eBooks
      3. videos
      4. photocopies
    2. What is the maximum number of interlibrary loan requests and loans that a customer can have at one given time?
    3. What happens if a customer's pet squirrel chews the cover off a book belonging to another library?
    What scurvy swab let that rodent aboard ship??!!!


    Request for Reconsideration
    If a customer has a complaint about materials in the library's collection they can request that the material be reconsidered.
    1. Where do you find a “Request for Reconsideration of Material form” to give to the customer to fill out? Please paste the URL.
    Tell 'em t' go ask Davey Jones! Har! Har! Har!   Arrrrrrrr!



    Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you the Reference Key to the Treasure Chest!

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    Email Mountains

    In my day, we be sendin' messages to buccaneers in other ships usin' our flags t' let 'em know t' come ahead or stay away. Now, I hear, ye's doin' this fancier.

    Electronic mail, commonly called email, is a method of exchanging digital messages across the Internet or other computer networks. HCPL understands how important communicating by email is for the library system, and provides an email address and access to sending, receiving, and storage for all HCPL employees.


     A complete email message includes these components:
    1. The email address of the author of the message
    2. The email addresses of one or more recipients of the message
      • Put the primary recipients of your message in the "To" line.
      • Include others who you would also like to see the message in the "cc" [carbon copy] line.
      • If there are others who you want to see the message, but whose names/addresses you don't want to reveal, put them on the "bcc" [blind carbon copy] line. This is also a useful way to 1) protect the privacy of  addresses (e.g. for book club members) and 2) a way to avoid having long list of recipient names clutter up the appearance of your message.
    3. The subject line that describes the content of the messageNever omit the Subject Line. It is the only way that recipients have to evaluate what is in your message. If you don't give them a way to decide if your message is important or safe, they may just delete it without even opening it.
    4. The content of the message itself
       Follow these basic rules of email etiquette:
      • Be concise and to the point.
      • Answer promptly.
      • Do not write in CAPITALS, as it seems like SHOUTING.
      • Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
      • Don't send or forward emails containing offensive, racist or obscene remarks.
      • Do not forward chain letters.
      • Don't reply to spam.
      • Do not overuse the opportunity to mark your message as "high priority."
    1. And optionally, one or more attachments to the message, such as a file or photo.
    Once an email is received, you can take several additional actions.
    Replies don't include
     attachments.
    Forwards do.


    • REPLY:  This sends the message back to the original sender with your response.
    • REPLY ALL: This sends the message back to the original sender, plus all additional recipients named in the "cc" [carbon copy] line.
      Warning
    Use this only on the rare occasion when all recipients really need to see your response.


    • FORWARD: This sends the messages on to new recipients who you specify. 
    There are three types of email programs available through HCPL. Their features vary, and the program you use will depend on what job you have at HCPL, whether or not you are inside or outside of the library, and what your personal preferences are. The chart below summarizes some of the main features:

    Below there be doors of three.
    Click below the one that beckons thee.
    Behind each one challenges await.
    Complete one door's tasks to seal your fate.
    It’s the only way to win this key!
    Squirrel MailRound CubeOutlook
    Squirrel MailRoundCubeOutlook

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Catalog Cape

    All hands on deck!  We be headed straight for Catalog Cape!
    Consortium - A 
    cooperative
     arrangement 
    among groups 
    or institutions.
    The Library catalog is a database of book, DVD, video, CD, cassette, downloadable eBook, audio book  and music records in our HCPL library group. It also contains records for items in our HARMONIC consortium.  We share our catalog with Montgomery County Public Library and Lone Star College.  While we have reciprocal borrowing with Lone Star College, this is not the case with Montgomery County.  
    Ahoy, me hearties!  We be changing course fer Customers Accounts.  
    Customers can manage their own accounts by clicking on the link “My Account/Renew” on the home page.  They will need their library card number and PIN.  If the customer does not have a library card, there is information on the bottom of the page directing them to the “New User” icon which allows the customer to create a temporary number, which is good for 30 days.  With a temporary number, a customer can use it to place holds or access the library online databases.  They will need to come into a branch to get their actual card before they can check out an item.
    There are links across the top of the page to help our customers navigate through their account.
    • Overview: Once logged into your account you can see an overview of the account.
    • Checked Out: You can view all items you have currently checked out and can also renew items.
    • Holds: You can view a list of all items you have placed on hold.  You can check the status of the item, locate where you are in line and cancel any requests if needed.  You can suspend your hold by clicking next to the title and click “change status.”
    • Fines/Blocks: You can see any fines that have been assessed to your account.  You can also see if any blocks have been placed on the account.
    • Paying Online: You are able to pay fines online with a credit or debit card.  There is a one dollar minimum for online payments. 
    • Changing Address: You can change an address. 
    • Profile: You are able to change an email address and also a pin number.
    Shiver me timbers it's the Public Catalog:  There are links across the top of the main catalog page, HCPL ADA catalog, HCPL Spanish catalog, Login and Help. 

    • HCPL ADA catalog gives you a larger print for viewing your catalog searches.  This catalog is also great for Smart Phones and PDA because the text is larger and there are no pictures.
    • HCPL Spanish catalog offers our Spanish speaking customers the same searches in Spanish.
    • Login allows you to log into your account.
    • Help gives you guidance to log into your account.
      Tips for Better
      Search Results
      Aye, now we be searchin' the Catalog: There are different types of searches you can do when looking for an item. 
      • Basic Search: Basic search lets you search your library's catalog by a single author, title, or subject keyword
      • Advanced Search: Advanced search lets you refine your search by entering more criteria than the Basic search.  Advanced search lets you define limits and allows you to sort your search results by specific criteria.
      • Browse Search: You can browse a catalog index until you find items of interest. For example, you can type just the first few letters of an author's last name and then browse the Author index. When you browse the Subject index, you may find cross-references that can lead you to related subjects. You can browse the Title, Author, Subject, Call Number, or Series indexes of the catalog.
      • Wildcards: You can also search for items using a "wildcard" symbol or a truncation symbol.  This is useful if you do not know the exact term for which you want to search, e.g. how to spell an author's name.
      Limiting a Keyword Search
      Limiting is a way to focus the results of your search to retrieve only those items you want. Limiting is available by language, material type and location. Search results are displayed in date order, but there is an option to sort alphabetically by title or by relevance.

      Ahoy, we be placin' an item on hold – When you find an item in the catalog that you would like and you find it is not available you can request a hold on the item. 

      You click on the “Request Item” icon and this will take you to a screen where you will need to login with your library card number and pin. 

      Next you will get a request confirmation.  This page will tell you your position in the queue, how you will be notified, gives you the opportunity to choose your pick up location from a drop down menu and tells you how long the request will be in effect.


      If ye don’t complete this challenge I’ll see ye measured for chains ye scallywag! An' be quick about it, I be shippin' out soon.

      On to the Hunt...
      Search through HCPL catalog for the following items and fill out the form by recording the requested information.
      1. Keyword Searching
        1. In the catalog, using general keyword search, search for pirate treasure. How many results were there?
        2. Limit your results to adult fiction.  How many results are there now and who are the authors of the books?
      2. Holds
        1. Pick one of the books from your pirate treasure search and place a hold on it.  What book did you reserve and what number are you in the queue?
        2. One of the things customers can do is a suspend a hold.  Explain why you would suspend a hold.  Hint:  See Harriet
          Before moving on, cancel your hold, if you don't want the book.
      3. Browse Search
        1. What are the four New Title browse options?
        2. Do a title browse search for Pirate. How many results did you get?
      4. My Account
        1. What can customers add or update themselves in their profile?
        2. What is the link to change your address?   Copy and paste the link.
      5. If a customer is searching the catalog and wants to request a copy of The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues, which of course has multiple holds on it, but does not have a library card what can they do (provide a link)?
      Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you the Catalog key to the Treasure Chest!

      Monday, February 14, 2011

      Website Wetlands

      The website is our main communication outside library walls with our customers.  With a 26 branch system, you know it covers a lot of information.  On this hunt, you’ll be finding some hidden gems, but let’s go over the general map of the area first before you hunt down your treasure key.  You have three main navigation areas: the Primary Tabs, the Secondary Links, and the left hand side Navigation box.  In addition you have some quick link images such as the Teens Know on the lower right hand side.

      And just below decks …


      The Primary Tabs include About, Locations, Books, Movies, Audio, Websites, Databases, Español, Kids, and Teens. 
      • What is About about? Policies, services, and some of the general questions customers might have about our library system.
      • Location, Location, Location? -  If you want to know who is nearby, when their hours are, or hunt down a branch, this is the tab for you.
      • Books! - From genre to clubs and author biographies (called interviews) as well, this tab has the information on getting titles from other systems and suggestion forms on getting titles added to ours. 
      • Movies and Audio Tabs – what’s new and being talked about in movies and TV.
      • Websites – convenient links to great websites.
      • Databases – what we have in databases as well as print periodical (magazine) holdings.
      • Español – find the policies, catalog, and Spanish literature information here.
      • Kids – blog and links to the Kids website with information, games, and resources for those just exploring reading and links parents and teachers can use such as story time themes.
      • Teens – there’s a lot going on in teens’ lives and there’s a lot on this page, too, to help with everything from school now and in the future to life struggles.
      • Searching – and if you don’t know exactly where it is, put your keywords in that handy Search this Site box on the blue bar on the right, and the site will hunt down what you’re wanting to find.
      Take it from the Topsail
      • Catalog – you’ll find out more when searching for another key!
      • My Account/Renew - that you will explore in another hunt.
      • Events Calendar – a searchable tool to find out what’s happening at each branch
      • New Titles – lists of not only what’s new but what’s requested the most and what title checked out oftenest.
      • Ask a Librarian  - when an emailed question will do.
      • Chat – when you have to have an answer now, but it may not be from one of our staff as this service is covered by a nationwide system.
      • Jobs, ADA Info, Toolbar, and Help finish out the list
      Port Side  Navigation (Left Hand Side For Ye Landlubbers)
      Here there are direct links to information about Meeting Rooms, links to staff who post to the website through blogs, as well as Frequently Asked Questions.

      Batten down your hatches!  The hunt is on!
      Record your entries using the form on Harriet.  Be sure to submit when you are done.  
      1. Storytime Database
        1. How many books are listed in the Asia story time?  
        2. Who created that story time database theme?  
        3. What is the newest story time database theme?
      2. What are the subject tabs listed on the Teens Know: Life page? 
      3. List all branches that carry the print copy of Texas Observer magazine.
      4.      a. What branches provide event type Baby Time on Wednesday?
        1. Find a Book Sale going on in the month of October. Which branch(es) has one and what date(s) is it on?
      5. Meeting Room Policy
        1. Which branch has a different Meeting Room policy from the others? 
        2. Besides the Meeting Room Policy shortcut link, under which Primary Tab would you find this information?
      6. Outline the steps for three ways to reach Interlibrary Loan information from the front page.
      Congratulations! Searching for the answers to these exercises and submitting the form has earned you the Website key to the Treasure Chest!