Using VLS online catalog:
- Anyone may browse the online catalog but you must have a VLS patron card to request materials. You can get one in person from either your local public library or the Bookmobile. You will also need the card to download VLS ebooks, emagazines, or audiobooks, and to use MNLINK, ELM (Electronic Library for Minnesota), or Ebooks Minnesota resources.
- Searches on the VLS catalog are as basic or as complicated as you want to make them. On the search bar near the top of the page, the far-left drop-down menu (with the default "All") allows you to check the holdings of a specific library or select a format (such as audiobooks, DVDs, or Large Print). The drop-down menu to the right (default "All Fields") allows you to search a specific field, such as title or author. In the blank search bar, you may type words in any order and can disregard capitalization. For a more detailed search, click on "Advanced Search" to the right of the "Search" button.
- When you find the item you want, you can request it after entering the "significant digits" from your VLS patron card (the numbers after all the zeroes). You can order a copy of the item by clicking on "Place Hold," or you can order a specific copy of the item by clicking on "Reserve This Copy" by a library that owns it. PLEASE NOTE: there are some items -- typically new books -- that some VLS member libraries do not lend to patrons that are not from their library. If this is the case, you will get a message that the item is not available. If you have questions about messages that you receive while using the catalog, either contact your local library or email us at VLS.
- You can also renew items you currently have checked out. In "My Account," click on "Checkouts," then check the boxes in front of the items you want to renew, and click on "Renew." If you get a message that you can't renew something, and there doesn't seem to be a reason (such as too many renewals or other patrons waiting for that particular item), contact your local library or email VLS.
If you have questions, please contact VLS at 218/739-5286, or email Gail Nordstrom.