This is a guide set up to help you create an online account to browse items in our library system, figure out what is and isn't available, put items on hold, reset your password, and cancel holds. There are also troubleshooting tips for what to do if you can't find a certain item in our catalog.
To create a library account, visit http://search.lancasterlibraries.org. Click “Login,” a blue button in the upper right hand corner.
Enter in your last name and barcode, which is the number on the back of your library card beginning with 20339. If you have never used the online service before, you will leave the PIN field blank. Click “Submit,” the gray button in the middle of the page. If you are setting up your library account for the first time, you will be prompted to create a PIN and re-enter it. Do NOT include any capital letters in your PIN as this will make it invalid. Make sure you caps lock is not on when creating your PIN.
If you think you have logged in before but do not remember your PIN, click the blue link near the middle bottom of the page that says “Forget your PIN?” This will help you reset your PIN. If you are resetting your PIN, you will receive an email link to reset your PIN. You will have to enter it twice and then login again to access our online catalog. If you do not have an email, you will need to call your local library to get your PIN reset. When resetting or creating a PIN, make sure you do NOT include capital letters as this will make your PIN invalid.
Once you are logged in, click “Search the Catalog” to get started. “Advanced Search” allows you to search by Keyword, Title, Author, and/or Subject. You can add multiple fields to narrow down your search. You can specify the Format. You can narrow down the Format, which dictates what type of material you will find in your search (book, DVD, AudioBook, Large Print, etc.). Click the gray arrow when you’re ready to go. Be forewarned that this search does not guess at correct spellings like Google does, so if nothing comes up, you might try a quick Google search to make sure you spelled everything correctly.
To narrow down your search after hitting "Search," use the sidebar to the left. This is probably most helpful for limiting format, for example, if you only want to see movies but your search results are full of books and audiobooks.
When you find an item you want to put on hold, click on the blue title. You will be able to see all of the copies of this item available in the system as well as all of the copies that are checked out, on hold, and in transit. If there are copies available, your chance of getting it quickly is much higher, although new and popular materials can take longer. Keep in mind that you can only place holds on new items that are available in your home library, also known as the library where you got your card unless you changed it at some point. To put the item on hold, click the grey button with the little bookmark icon that says “Request It.”
Make sure it is getting sent to the correct library. You can use the drop down menu to change the library where you are picking it up. The default will be your home library. Click the gray “Submit” button when you are done selecting the library.
You will receive a confirmation popup. Hit “ok.”
To cancel the hold, use the drop down next to “Edit Hold.” Click the gray “Cancel Hold” option and then the gray “ok.”
You may be unable to place a hold for several reasons:
You already have reached your maximum number of holds. If you are a Bookmobile patron, you can have up to ten holds but you may be limited to five if the Bookmobile is not your home library. If this is the case, give us a call and we will help place up to five more holds for you.
The item is new and not available at your home library. For the first six months an item is available, holds are limited to the patrons with that library as their "home library." However, you can still go to the library and check out any new items if they are available.
Your account registration has expired. You will have to contact us or another local library if this is the case.
You have fines over six dollars.
The item is an eBook or eAudiobook. These items must be checked out or placed on hold via Overdrive or Libby (the app version of Libby). For more information, check out this guide: https://lslc.libguides.com/projectgutenberg/overdrive.
What to do if we don’t have an item you want in our system:
Check different formats. For example, if you’ve limited your search to “book,” you might miss that we have eBook, large print, audiobook, and/or eAudiobook versions of the item in our system.
Make sure you spelled everything correctly. Our search engine doesn’t spellcheck the way Google does, so give it a Google.
If you tried searching by title, try searching by author or vise versa. You can also search by keyword if you’re not sure of the title.
Give us a call (717.207.0500 ext 1227 for Ed Miller or ext 1235 for Meredith Hendrix) and let us help you find it in our system or send in an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Request for the item. This means the item might come from a library outside of Lancaster County. There are different procedures and fines associated with ILLs, but they can be a great way to track down a rare item! Please note that only books are available via ILL and that nothing published within the last year can be requested.