Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

Remember the days of card catalog drawers when library patrons would flip through index cards to locate library materials categorized by title or author or subject? Although sometimes I get nostalgic for those beautiful wood cabinets and the manually typed cards housed inside, I absolutely appreciate today’s library catalog — which is accessible 24/7 online, so whether patrons are sitting in their home office, scrolling on their device or using one of the library’s computers, they can take control of their library experience.

Roseburg Public Library’s online catalog is located at The first thing to catch your eye will be the prominently featured scrolling images of the library’s newest books. Click on one of the covers, which will lead to a record of that book and shows the location, whether it is checked out and often a plot summary. The library’s newest acquisitions also can be found by clicking on the “What’s New” link. Find all new items or use the dropdown to find those of a particular type, such as large print books or audiobooks.

These days patrons have a lot more flexibility in how to search for library materials. There still are options for title, author and subject, but now the default is a keyword search so a few words of a title or an author’s name or a phrase can be searched. This ensures a greater degree of success in locating relevant material. Advanced search and search refinement features are included; educators and parents should take note of the Lexile measure and accelerated reader filtering options.

The Kids’ Catalog resides along the bottom of the home page on the teal banner and is especially designed for younger patrons. Youth can browse the collection by categories or search for stories (fiction) or facts (nonfiction). Clicking on easily recognizable pictures will lead children on imaginative searches. All materials searched through the Kids’ Catalog are located in the Mildred Whipple Children’s Room or Junior section of the library.

Patron accounts are accessed by logging in with a library card number (don’t include the spaces) and password or phone number, including area code. Clicking on the “My Account” button leads to account information where password, phone number and email addresses can be changed or added.

The “Items Out/Renewals” link is where materials can be renewed. Note that most library items check out for three weeks (the significant exception is DVDs, which check out for one week) and the library automatically renews most materials twice if no other patron is waiting for them.

The “Reserves/Requests” link lists the materials patrons have placed on hold. An additional feature allows patrons to defer reserves so they won’t lose their place in line for the newest book while they are out of town. This link also includes the option to request an item not found in the catalog; the completed form is emailed to library staff for consideration.

Spanish speakers can click on the “Language” link at the bottom of the home page to read a translated version of the website. Material titles aren’t translated, but the “My Account” features are.

Patrons can email library staff with questions or concerns by clicking on the “Contact Us” link. Patrons are also welcome to stop by the library’s Information & Patron Services desk for assistance.

The online catalog is meant to be helpful and easy to use, and library staff is here to assist. See you at the library!

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be contacted at 541-492-7051 or

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