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The New Catalog: Create your account and log in!

by eli

Our new catalog is up and running! Thanks for your patience as we smoothed out the last few bugs.

So, to access your account, you first need to Create an Account. Enter any username you'd like, and you can make your password whatever you'd like: it does not have to be your old PIN. You'll also need to identify the text in a picture. If you have any trouble with this, please let us know.

Once you've created your account and logged in, you will stay logged in until you log out. You can find a logout link in the top right corner of every page. You can click My Account to see your checkouts and holds, and renew items. Once you've logged in, you can also comment on stories on the website. Just click 'comments' under a story to add your thoughts!

Have fun, and let us know what you think.


I tried renewing some videotapes and some were able to be renewed but only for an additional two days and one apparently couldn't be renewed but didn't say so. I'm not sure if it was renewed but didn't change the due date or just couldn't be renewed.

I've had a problem renewing things like some of you. On the old website, it told you when things were not renewable. Now I just have to assume that either someone has a hold on it and it waiting for it to come in, or that their is a problem with the website. Also, another problem I have been experiencing is when I click on the title of a book after searching for it, the URL is not found. FIX IT PLEASE.

Wow! The website looks great! And finally, more detail about my requests and holds! Oooh, and RSS, too ... how sexy is that. Well, I see several blogs listed on the site now ... I hope everyone feels encouraged to participate.

npersky, I'm not sure about the two day renewing, but we still need to put some messages in the requests screen about the success or failure of your renewals. You can count on the due date shown, though, as it's being reloaded after your renewal request is processed. So, until we get better messages in that form, if the due date doesn't change when you try to renew, it's probably because there are other requests for that item.

I don't see a way to have things from the catalog put on hold -- is that because you're not doing that yet? Or was it there and I missed it?

On the catalog page, all the bottom-of-column entries ("More new items." "More hot items," etc) all send one to the home page rather
than to "more items."

Victoria, we're having a problem where titles that are on order don't let you place holds. We're working on why that's happening. However, on most titles, you should see a "Request this Title" link on the right for each item in a hitlist, or in the set of links at the top of the page when you're looking at the item's record.

As for the more new items... links, we're working on those too. Thanks for all your feedback!

Eli, looks great, thanks for you and everyone's hard work.

I notice two things about the advanced search "search by call number". One is that if you do a call number search on the regular collection it doesn't interfile the same call numbers in special collections - look e.g. for the book [t:All Our Kin|All Our Kin] and see the shelf list there is only Black Studies books, not the whole collection.

Second is that the search by call number seems to be missing a bunch of title information for call numbers where there is only one book - if you have two books sharing a call number it does the right thing more or less but if there's only one you only get a fragment of the record.



Another small thing just noticed.

If you do an author search and put first name before last name, you'll get an author authority page with your incorrect search highlighted. It helpfully suggests to do last, first, but when you click on that it just goes to an empty search page.

Compare (and I hope I'm getting this right: [a:Will Eisner|Will Eisner] with [a:Eisner, Will|Eisner, Will]. hm, that particular search actually works a lot better than I expected...the actual link it pointed me at was [:|here].

(Will Eisner, graphic novelist, just died - saw an obit online and wanted to look at his work.)

I created my account yesterday with no problem. When I was done exploring our Web site, I did not use the "log out" feature. Instead, I simply went off to another Web site and, eventually, shut my computer down.

Much to my delight, when I went to our Web site again just now, I did *not* have to log in again! I did not have to enter my username and password.

I assume this is due to the clever use of cookies. What flavor? Chocolate chip?

In the Catalog, I can't find the Reviews. In the old system, one could click on the icon next to a book title, and Publisher's Weekly and other reviews would come up. How do I find that?

Disappointing. On the old catalog, you could put in a last name and several names would pop up, suggesting the first name. Now, if you put in a common name, such as Smith, insteading of suggesting "Smtih, Will," and "Smith, Gary" etc, it just gives you this completely outrageous number of matches to the name Smith. Is it going to stay that way? I should hope not.

It would be nice if the replies from AADL staff were more clearly marked. Eli and John seem to be staff but they are not identified as staff.

It would be nice if the most recent posts were listed first. Once a string has been going on for a while new posts will be a long scroll away.


I love the new website. Most things seem to work great.

Just wondering if you dropped the email reminders of when books were about to be due at the library or is that just automatic now? Also, I used to get email notifications of when my book requests had been filled and the books were waiting for me at the library.

OK, we've been working on hard on addressing all your suggestions.

First, we are almost done with an enhancement to the renewal process that will show you the results of your renewal request, such as "Now due 7-14-05", or "Unable to renew", etc. So, after you try to renew items, you'll see what the result of that action was, item by item. As John said, that should roll out today.

As for the call number search, Ed, in the case of [t: All our Kin], (and by the way, big props to <a href="">Ed Vielmetti</a> for making the first patron use of <a href="/interwiki/1">interwiki</a> tags on our new site), that's the only copy we have. The other problem you report sounds like you're viewing the Call Number browse screen, which gives limited information about each title, but links into full records. Does that sound right?

The way you linked your [a: Will Eisner] links also explain that problem, Ed. (Feel free to ignore the following geekiness and skip to the next paragraph). We set up the author interwiki tag to do a keyword search within the author field, so that we could link to the author Firstname, Lastname. The catalog's default author search expects last name first. We're working on a fix for that.

Kelpaige, our default search is a keyword search, which will indeed give you lots of hits for a common word like [k: Smith]. However, at the top of your results screen, you can change your search to be a title, author, or subject search, you can refine your search. You may want to try starting at the [:catalog/advanced|Advanced Search] page.

As for the Barbara Novak problem and related cases of "The URL you requested is not found on this server" messages, that's a bug you just helped us find, and we're working on it right now.

Thanks for all the great comments. Keep them coming!

With a lot of things I have requested, there are many people who also have requested them. I think that the library should get more of these titles so that people do not have to wait for so long.
Ex: Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Ex 2: Now 18
Ex 3: Grammy Nominees 2005

Oops, missed two. Jenniferss, email warnings of upcoming due dates and notification of holds that are ready will still happen, we just haven't sent out the first batch yet. Those will start up again after we get a few things sorted out regarding request processing on the new system.

Also, kelpaige, we generally buy more copies of an item as holds build up. Our target is no more than 4 holds per copy, but it's hard to keep up on really hot titles!

Tech Manager

In reply to by eli

I just want to say that I think you guys are doing a great job at getting out the bugs asap. It feels very good to have a library system that works so vigilantly.

A suggestion, a small thing -

I'm looking at the [|renew my books] page and seeing a bunch of book titles and call numbers. It would seem that I should be able somehow to click through these titles to get the book detail page, at least so that I could find a cover image for the book so I could remember what it looked like so I could find it.

[|Edward Vielmetti]

Ed, we've got that on our enhancement list already. It's not as straightforward as it should be, nor is getting those titles to display more characters, as we don't have much control over what the system spits out when we access it, but I'm sure we'll figure it out.

You wouldn't want covers on your checkout list by default, would you?

AADL Tech Manager

that feature is on my to-do-in-the-next-few-days list, I want that feature too!

To all,
The so called "Barbara Novak" bug is now fixed, so the "Page Not Found" errors should be cleared up. Also, now when you renew items, the status of that renewal will appear in the due-date field.


A small suggestion:

On the My Account page, I would like to be able to update my personal contact information (address and phone number). Though I have given it twice in person to librarians, it does not seem to have been updated yet. Is this a possibility?

Also, is there a way to see when you request an item how many people are essentially "in line" in fromt of you for it? It is one of the most frustrating aspects of trying to get books online.

Jennifer, the detailed item page will display the number of holds on an item (if there are any). If you then request the item, it will show up under the "My Account" page. If it is a hold, it should show you your place in line in the "status" column.

I'll work on placing a link directly to your account page when you place a request to make that easier.

/*== [:/ejk|ejk] ==*/

love the new website! I am still looking for the old feature "Brief record" or "previous search result" where you can go back directly to your search result. Another thing is there used to be a default picked up location but now I have to choose every single time when I tried to reserve an item. Thank you.

I created an account and can log in just fine but when I look at "my account," it shows no books checked out and no requests. I have books out and a number of requests. What do I need to do to see the status of my account? Thanks.

On the old catalog you could sort the list of new non-fiction books by call number.

I could not figure out how to do that with the new catalog.

I found it very helpful to be find new non-fiction books in particular call number ranges.


I see that terms typed in the initial catalog search window are now being "And"ed together.

That is certainly a help if the phrase that one has typed in has no matches but it complicates matters if there would have been a match for the phrase.

Is there a way to let the catalog know you want a phrase search for your search terms rather than having them "And"ed together?



Yes, there is a way. If you surround your term with quotation marks (e.g. "Blood Prince"), it won't insert the ANDs between the terms.

/*== [:/ejk|ejk] ==*/


The new site is shaping up nicely - best wishes to you getting all the glitches ironed out and making everyone happy!

Now on to my little gripe: When creating a new account, the success page shows my password in plain text (and as I recall, tells me it will mail it to me, though I never recieved this email).

Please don't echo passwords to the screen or mail them in plaintext. This is very insecure (and you must be interested in security since you have the 'enter the word you see in the picture' mechanism). I realize this is 'just the library', but it's not good practice to treat passwords so carelessly. If there is a problem with people forgetting their passwords, consider the "password hint" mechanism used by some sites (in which you provide a question or statement that will jog your memory).


I also love the new site - it's really beautiful!! I know it will take some time to work the kinks out and for users to get accustomed to the new system, but I think this is much more user friendly. And I absolutely love that I can see where I am in the queue for books that I've reserved.

The one problem I did have, was that once I had searched, I had to keep clicking back to return to my original search. Every single time I put the cursor in the box with the original search terms, the page would reload. Identical to the original search. It would be really great to alter a search as you go along, fine tuning it.

Keep up the great work!

triplett, we've fixed the registration process, so passwords won't display. The password hint mechanism would be much better than the current lost password process, we'll put that on the list.

elnian, is that still happening? If so, [:eli|email] me, we haven't seen that problem before.


I'm having trouble figuring out some navigation around the site. For instance, from the catalog I couldn't figure out how to get back to the main page (Home just kept me at the catalog) and then I couldn't figure out how to put in a comment to this blog except by replying.

When I initially logged in, it showed me my history and said I was a "member" for 36 seconds. And I thought I had been a member for 20 years!

Then when I went to search, I searched "Obadiah" as a keyword. That worked. Accidentally I pushed the author search, that worked. When I try to switch to title search (still under Obadiah) it keeps reverting to "author" search before I can even push the search button. Here is the link if that helps:…-

Thanks, Ruth

Ruth: Yes, that fix didn't get moved from the testing server to the live server, so the passwords are still being shown. We'll get that resolved shortly. As for the 'Obadiah bug', that's a new one for us, Ruth, Thanks! We will look into it. Thanks for your comments.


I have tried to create an account for my daughter, but the site keeps saying the card number is invalid. I just renewed her card a couple of weeks ago, so I am wondering if it just is not in the system yet.

When a search like [t:Story Substance Structure Style and the Principles of Screenwriting] yields zero hits, it would be great if there was some path through the catalog that would suggest (or do for you) a search on Worldcat or MILE or other interlibrary loan system so that you could get that book even if the AADL doesn't currently carry it.

Edward Vielmetti

Great job respoonding so quickly to the suggestions coming in! I'll add one to the list. It would be really nice to be able to set my request pickup point permanently to the library location nearest me. Right now I have to keep selecting it for every book requested.

I like the new site, but am having a problem reserving one particular book, The Deryni Archives by Katherine Kurtz. It seems like it's going through, and all my others did, but I can't get that one to show up on my list of requested books. Any ideas?

The New items by Genre feature is still broken -- Catalog > New Items > Mystery or SF takes you back to the main page instead of showing up a list of mystery or sf titles.

Beth: I'm not quite sure what happened there, although we are on the hunt of a weird bug that could get in the way of requests. However, I see you were able to request it today, so I'm glad that worked out. Thanks for the details; it really helps us track this stuff down.

wfzimmerman, those links aren't working properly. I've pulled them until they're fixed, but that's on our list for this week.

Also, Ruth, we tracked down and fixed that crazy "Obadiah" bug you described, which only affected certain browsers. Fixing that one should solve many other weird little problems, as it was throwing some bad tags into every catalog page.

Keep 'em coming, everybody.

When a list of holds says (for example) 19 of 108 holds, does that mean that you are 18 positions from the first person to get the item? Or does it mean that you are 88 positions from the first person?

The glass is half-full, in this case. =) That shows your place in line: you are 19th in line out of 108 patrons. When you reach 1st in line, the next copy to come back in is yours. At that point, you may see a hold status of "Waiting for your copy", that means you've reached the top of the list and the next copy is yours.


Maybe someday, wfzimmerman, but not soon. The system does not make that data available; in fact, the system doesn't even directly know that number. It can only add up the copies attached to a title on the fly. For someone's hold list, that would be a very large amount of data to process every time they viewed their account. It's a good idea, though, and we'll keep it in mind for the future.

While I like the feature of staying logged in, more or less, I think there should be an option when you sign in to keep you signed in, defaulted to not saving one's data (like Yahoo email accounts). This way those who regularly access their accounts from home, the very type who's inclined to blog on the library's website, will know to check that, whereas the less regular patron would just ignore that, and the account wouldn't stay logged in after its use. This would be beneficial for those accessing their account inside the library as well.

Just stumbled on the site update and love it, thanks!

From the article on RPS in the Books Blog I clicked on the link to the RPS Tournament event. From that page I clicked on the link that said "Back to Events Listing," but I was sent back to the Books Blog instead - I guess it makes sense, because how could I go "back" to a page I had not come from ;-)?, but it still was a little confusing I guess.


Aysenur, we are still working on the new items, as the new system handles that information a little differently. The New Mysteries page will return, and those links will be fixed soon.

Please bring back the Community tab/links. Having them all in one place was very useful.

This is ridiculous1 I'm being told that I'm not authorized to access the page to create a new account. So far the new system seems to be a debacle. I've just returned from some time abroad and have come back to find this confusion. It would be nice to b able to register.

jamespy, you're already registered and logged in. I've added your library card number for you. Please feel free to [:contactus|contact us] if you have further trouble.

wfzimmerman, sorry about that, it had been working. We will indeed fix it asap.

gelpdj, the old community tab, unfortunately, saw very little use, which is the reason it was discontinued. The new site is still growing, however, and we'll keep your comments in mind.


Site looks great...I love it! Two quick questions. First, is there any way to expand the title field in the "My Account" section, when looking at items on request and items checked out? It seems to truncate the longer titles, and it would be helpful to be able to see the entire thing, especially for items that were requested a long time ago.

Second, have you considered (or is it even possible) making the items listed on the "My Account" page into active links so that you could click on the title of something on request to be taken to that item's main page? Just a thought.


alireingold, both of your suggestions are already on our list. Believe it or not, the truncated title you see is actually all the system gives us when we retrieve your checkouts... expanding that field is not just a matter of a small tweak, unfortunately. However, we have an idea that will allow us to both offer the full title, make it a link to the catalog, and even optionally include the cover on your my account page. So, stay tuned, and thanks for your comments.

Here's something very minor -- I asked to see all the new dvds (I went
to the "new items" page, or whatever it's called, and chose dvds from
the "choose media" dropdown). I think it's showing every copy of a title, rather than just showing the title once.... NO rush on this one!

Thanks for all your work getting things up to speed.


It looks like each item is a separate record in a series or volume. For instance, the West Wing season 4 may have 3 DVD's and each DVD shows up as a new item. In other words, the entire set does not have a single record. Consolodating these may not be a bad idea however.


Congratulations on the new look Ann Arbor Library webpages.

I would like to comment on the "Account Page" for Library Patrons.

In the older webpage version, if a checked out item was NOT renewable, it was clearly marked that way on the Patron's account page. This enabled a user, if they had several items out, to determine which they should read/watch or listen to first. But in the current webpage version, at least as far as I can tell, a user only knows that an item is not renewable when they actually attempt to renew it.

I really prefer knowing right away if an item is not renewable, so that I can priortize my items and know which ones I need to attend to first.

Thanks so much.

Solantra, thanks for your comments. We've heard this from many patrons, and we have had this enhancement on our own list since before launch. This is actually a difference in the way that the new system handles requests; it doesn't directly make that information available until you try to renew. However, we have some ideas about how to pull it off. It's not just a matter of flipping a switch, so it will take some time, but rest assured that we want to restore this convenience.



Thank you for your response. Knowing that the issue is being worked on is great.

On another note, I recently renewed an item on the website [DVD "Glengarry Glen Ross"] and it appeared that the renewal went through. A few days later, I returned the item -- Tuesday, the 27th. Now my account is showing a late fee due of $1.00 for that item, as though I had not renewed it.

Should I take this up with the Librarian when I next visit the library? This is not the first time, since the new webpage went up, that I have had problems renewing items.

thanks again.

I was just browsing the books on cd, and the first several screens of
titles show most titles as "none available". Does that mean "all checked out" or "this is on order and we don't have it yet"?

I looked at the record for McCullough's _1776_, and didn't see any way to reserve it. Can we reserve books on cd? Maybe I just couldn't reserve that one because "none available"? I know we can reserve books before they are available, so I wasn't sure what was up with this?


Solantra, please be sure to have those fines waived on your next visit to the circ desk, sorry I didn't catch your comment earlier.

Victoria, items in the catalog don't have a request link offered when there are no requestable copies in the system. For example, all the copies could be missing or lost, or in many instances, only owned by the new Pittsfield branch, which we're slowly building up the collection in preparation for opening next Spring. Those items are not requestable because they are currently non-circulating.

We did not intend to have items that only Pittsfield owned; our collection generally is not built that way, but a quirk of the ordering process produced this. However, we are going through Pittsfield's items as fast as we can and buying additional copies that will circulate, so this problem will be temporary. It will still take a while before they're all gone, but we're working on it. I had also meant to remove those items from the new items reports, since they're not actually available. I will do that on the next update.

Thanks for your comments.


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