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Digital Skills Basics: Using the Library Catalog

Did you know that you can look up available books, movies, and music from home? All of this information is available on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh website through the library catalog. The catalog tells you:  

  • What items are available at the library
  • Where those items are located 
  • If the items are checked out and when they are due 

Through the catalog, you can also have an item delivered to any library that is open for curbside or in-person services, get on the waiting list for an item that is checked out and log in to your account to see what you have checked out.  

You can search the catalog on any computer, phone or tablet by visiting 

To search for an item with the catalog:  

  1. Go to the library’s homepage. 
  2. In the search box labeled “What are you looking for at the library?,” enter your search item and make sure the field is set to “Catalog.”
  3. Click on the little magnifying glass next to where you typed when you are ready to start your search. 

Try It Out – Looking for a book at the library? Try going through the steps on your own to begin your search!  

You have now entered the catalog with your search. From here, you can narrow down your search results with the different options provided under the heading “Filter Results” on the left of your screen. These options allow you to view items available at specific locations, by different material types, subjects, languages and other categories. Scroll down to view items that were found in your search. 

Try It Out – Narrow down the results of the item you searched for using “Filter Results.” Click on “Location” to find the library of your choice. Next, click on “Format” to find the specific item format you’re looking for. Use the other filter options to narrow your search further.

*Note – If your search is not returning any results after using multiple filter options, try broadening your search by taking out some of the filters that you set.  

To create an account for your library card with the catalog:  

  1. While still in the catalog, select the option in the upper right corner of the screen labeled “Log In or Register.” 
  2. Enter your library card barcode number in the top box and your PIN in the bottom box. *Note – Don’t know your PIN? Selected the “I forgot or want to change my PIN” option or contact the library to help! 
  3. Once you are logged in, search for the item you want to place on hold with the box at the top of the page labeled “Library Catalog.”After you’ve typed in what you want to search for, make sure to click on the little magnifying glass next to where you typed. 
  4. After locating the item you want to order, select the option labeled “Request.”  *Note – If there are multiple formats or editions of an item, you may see the option “Show Formats and Editions” in the place of the “Request” option. Select this to see all of the options and then select “Request” for your preferred format. 
  5. Review the pickup location to make sure it is the library where you would like to receive your order. If you would like to change your pickup location, select the option labeled “Show Other Libraries.” Choose your preferred library from the list and select “Okay.” You have now placed an item on hold through the library’s catalog.  

You should receive a message below the catalog search box if this process was successful. We will contact you when the item is ready for you to pick up. 

Try It Out – Get the item you searched for sent to your preferred library! Follow the steps to put the item on hold, and you’ll be notified when it’s ready for pick up! 

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