Frequently Asked Questions - Catalog System


Why won't my PIN work?

During our catalog update, your PIN may have been reset. If the PIN you were using is not working, try using the last 4 digits of your telephone number. Once you have logged in successfully, you can go to your Account and reset your PIN. See the new Account Tutorial for more information. If you are still having trouble, you can call or visit any Branch Library for assistance.

How can the library notify me of overdue items and requests?

To receive notices about overdues and requests, please be sure the library has your current email address. If you need to add or change your email address, go to "My Account" by clicking the big orange button at the top right of this page. Log in to your library account with your library card number and PIN, then click your name to be taken to your Account page. You can change your email address under "Contact Information and Preferences" by editing the email field and clicking the "Submit Change Request" button.

For information about your PIN number, see "What is my PIN" below. For more information, tutorials for using your library account, search tips, and more, visit the Catalog and My Account Tutorials page.

What is the best way to receive notices and renew items?

Using email notification saves the library money and gets the information to you in a timely way. Users with email addresses will get a pre-due notice 3 days before an item is due, and they will also get a reminder notice before a requested item is pulled off the holds shelf. Email noticing is cost effective, faster, and offers more features.

Library users who choose written notices will have notices about requests mailed to them. They will not receive reminders about overdue materials and will only get mailed notices when items are already overdue by 14 days and later, 28 days.

Can I check out items from one branch library and return them to another branch?

Yes, items can be returned to any SCPL branch library. (Watsonville is a separate library system.)

Can I renew an item that I don't have with me?

Yes, as long as there is no outstanding request on the item and you have less than $9.99 in fines on your account.

Can I see a list of everything that I've checked out?

You can opt in and start saving such a list by logging into your account, selecting the "Contact Information and Preferences" link on your account page, and checking the box that says "Maintain reading list." Note that this will not record any items that you currently have checked out (or that you had previously checked out), but will begin with any items you check out after having made this change.

How can I set the pick-up library for my requests?

When you request an item from the catalog, you can choose which branch you’d like to pick it up from. Checking the box "always use this library" will cause future requests to default to your chosen selection.

If you wish to change your default branch, you can do this when you create a new request by updating the location dropdown. The "always use this library" checkbox will re-appear, and can be selected. If you select the box, the next time you place a hold your branch will default to the new branch. If you do not check the "always use this library" box, your next request will revert to your previous saved branch.

How do I access an electronic book that I find in the catalog? (For example, a Safari book)

Click the title of the book to show the full display, then choose "Librarian's View." Copy the link from the 856 field and paste it into your browser's address bar. You will then be prompted for your library card number and PIN.

I placed a hold on an item. How do I know where I am in the queue?

After logging in to your account (you can use the big orange button at the top right of this page), click your name to view your account, and choose the "Requests" link. The Hold Position column displays where you are in the hold queue for each item as well as the total number of circulating copies available to fill holds.

What is my PIN?

A Personal Identification Number, or PIN, is used to log on to your library account. When your account is created, this is usually set with the last four digits of your phone number--try that first. If you can't remember your PIN and have an email address on your Account, you can reset it using the "Forgot your password?" link on the "My Account" login screen.

If you don't have an email on your account or can't remember, library staff can help you in the branch or over the phone. You'll need your library card and will be asked to provide identification. For more information, see the Library Services -- Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) page.

Where can I learn more about how to search the catalog and use "My Account"?

Take a look at the Catalog and My Account Tutorials page: http://www.santacruzpl.org/online_catalog/. We've put together a number of tutorials that we hope will help answer most of your questions.

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Discover California History

The Library system has a special Californiana collection of books and materials at the Downtown Branch to augment your history research.


See our Calendar, Online Catalog or Branch pages for more details and contact information.