Online search catalog remains popular


In any location of the Delaware County District Library, we track foot traffic – that is, the amount of people who come through our doors every day. Did you know that our website has a similar tracking mechanism also called “traffic?” Everyone who stops by the library website at is also accounted for, just like those who walk into our buildings.

Just last month, we had 37,000 unique users visit our website! For this reason, we sometimes will refer to our website as another “branch” of our library system. It welcomes visitors, answers questions, gives book recommendations, and so much more. For this week’s installment of our “Back to the Basics” series, we’ll take a very simple look at the most popular page at – our online search catalog.

By far, the number one reason people visit the library website is to discover and check out books and other materials. At the very top of the page is a search bar that pulls information from our library catalog. Many people will remember physical card catalogs from visiting the library as a child. These have now been translated into an entirely digital format, making it easier and faster to find the information you’re looking for. Putting them online also makes it easier for multiple library systems to share their items in one place. This is how the Delaware County District Library works!

When you search for a book through our online catalog, your results are coming back from 17 partner libraries in central Ohio that make up the Central Library Consortium. Sometimes a fruitless search for a book on the shelf at Delaware Main Library may result in several dozen being available at one of our partner libraries or another branch of the DCDL system. So don’t despair: just because a book isn’t on the shelf doesn’t mean that we can’t get it.

Many of our patrons like to take advantage of “holds” – think of it like ordering takeout, but in this case, your meal is books (or movies or games)! You can ask a librarian for help or you can search directly online for the title you need. Decide if you’d like it as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, or in another format (that we discussed in a previous edition of this column) and then simply click the green “Place hold” button. Click and follow the prompts to “order” your book and have it delivered to your preferred location.

Your library account (made up of your library card barcode and a personal identification number or PIN) will keep track of the items you have placed on hold and let you know your place in line. While you wait, you can continue to browse for other materials. Search by author, title, or keyword, or browse different subjects. Continue to place holds as often as you’d like. The library will send you an email when your items are ready to be picked up. Depending on what location you selected, you’ll either walk inside and find the holds shelf (it’s usually near the main desk where library staff can help you check out) or you’ll drive your car to the branch’s drive-thru window and have a staff member assist you.

On very rare occasions, some books are just more difficult to find than others. The Delaware County District Library partners with two additional search catalogs – SearchOhio and OhioLINK – to help our patrons get the materials they desire. SearchOhio goes beyond our 17 partner libraries in the Central Library Consortium and connects our users to a network of public libraries throughout the entire state of Ohio, making over 16 million items available to the communities we serve. SearchOhio partners with the OhioLINK system, which serves academic libraries. Together these systems can meet the information and entertainment needs of a very broad cross-section of Ohio’s population.

As you may have guessed, libraries love sharing. Not only do our librarians share information with our patrons every day, but we share our resources with each other because we know that as a community we can work together to give our patrons the best experience possible. The Delaware County District Library website is your connection to literally millions of items, and all you have to do is search. Of course, if you’d still rather have help from one of our friendly staff members, we’re ready to assist.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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