Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the County Catalog?
The County Catalog is a unified online catalog of all of the items in the public libraries in Suffolk County.
2. Wasn't it always possible for me to search the County Catalog?
Yes, it was possible for Emma Clark members to search the catalog, but in the past it was not possible for Emma Clark members to place holds through the County Catalog interface. Now it is possible for you to both search and request items from other Suffolk libraries through the County Catalog interface.
3. How do I search for items in the County Catalog?
From the Emma Clark home page ( http://www.emmaclark.org ) you can use the “Catalog Search” box to do a search and select the “Suffolk County Catalog” radio button. This will cause the search to be performed against the county catalog instead of the Emma S Clark Memorial Library catalog. (There's also a similar search box in the left-hand column of this page).
You can go directly to the County Catalog website (http://alpha2.suffolk.lib.ny.us/search) and perform your search there.
4. How do I place a hold on an item in the County Catalog?
The process is pretty much the same as placing holds in the Emma Clark catalog. Once you've searched for and are viewing the record for the item that you want, you click on the "Request Item" button located up toward the top of the page. This will bring up a screen that will ask you to enter your barcode and password (see FAQ #8 below).
You'll also need to choose a Pickup Location. Be sure to choose "Emma S. Clark" from the drop-down list to have your item delievered to the Emma Clark library.
|NOTE: If you choose to have your item delivered to another library, you will have to pick up the item at that library. If you choose this option, your item will be checked out to your account in the County Catalog, and it will NOT show up on your Emma Clark account. All overdue notices, bills and fines will come directly from the library that owns the item that you borrowed, NOT from the Emma Clark library.
5. How many items are available through the County Catalog ?
There are currently just under 2 million titles in the County Catalog .
6. Are all Emma S Clark Memorial Library users authorized to place holds in the County Catalog ?
No. Only users with registrations that are current and without blocks on their account are eligible.
[ Note: Emma Clark user registrations expire annually. If you are unsure as to when your Emma S Clark Memorial Library registration expires you can check it by logging on to your Emma S Clark Memorial Library account ( http://emmapac.emmaclark.org/patroninfo ), and there you'll see your registration's expiration date (EXP DATE on the screen). You can renew your registration by stopping in to the library at the Circulation Desk and providing proof of residency. See http://www.emmaclark.org/policies.cfm for more information. ]
7. In the past, I've always borrowed items from other Suffolk public libraries by having a librarian at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library handle the process for me. Will I now be forced to do it on my own?
Not at all. You may still ask a librarian at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library to request the item for you. The new system simply makes it possible to take a "self-service" approach to Suffolk County public library inter library loans--if that is your preference.
8. When I attempt to place a hold on an item in the County Catalog , or try to view my patron account in the County Catalog, I'm asked to provide a barcode and a password. What information should I enter here?
Your barcode number in the County Catalog system is the same barcode number that you have on your Emma S Clark Memorial Library library card (see reverse side of card).
The password is something different though. Whereas the Emma S Clark Memorial Library catalog uses your barcode number and your name to authenticate, the County Catalog system uses your barcode number and a password to authenticate. The first time you try to place a hold in the County Catalog system, you'll be prompted to choose a password. Please remember this password, as there is no way for the Library to retrieve it for you.
9. I forgot my County Catalog password, or my County Catalog password doesn't seem to be working. What can I do to correct this?
You'll need to come in to the Reference Desk at the Emma S Clark Memorial Library and see a librarian who can reset your password. The next time you log on to your account in the County Catalog, you'll be prompted to choose a new password for your account.
10. Are ALL items in other Suffolk libraries available for request?
No. Each library controls access to its own items, and not all libraries have the same rules.
11. Do items borrowed from other libraries have the same loan periods and overdue fines as Emma Clark items?
No, not necessarily. Each library determines and sets its own loan periods and fines and may differ from Emma Clark loan periods and fines. You are responsible for observing the loan periods and fines of the library which owns the item.
12. Can I place holds on Emma S Clark Memorial Library items through the County Catalog interface?
This is not recommended. Although the system will not block you from doing this, it may lead to delays in processing your holds. Although Emma S Clark Memorial Library items do appear in the County Catalog , the circulation status of these items does not reflect the true status of the item. To place holds on Emma S Clark Memorial Library items, always use the Emma S Clark Memorial Library's catalog (http://emmapac.emmaclark.org) instead.
13. Once I've placed a hold on an item in the County Catalog , is there a way I can track it?
Yes. You can to log on to your County Catalog member account (http://alpha2.suffolk.lib.ny.us/patroninfo) to view your outstanding holds that were placed in the County Catalog . (To see holds placed in the Emma S Clark Memorial Library Catalog, you must log on to your Emma member account (http://emmapac.emmaclark.org/patroninfo).
14. How will I know when an item that I've requested from the County Catalog is ready to be picked up, and where do I pick it up?
You'll receive a call from the Library that you chose as your "Pickup Location" library (see FAQ #4 above) when your item is ready for pickup. You pick up your item at the library that you chose as your "Pickup Location."
15. After I've picked up my held item and checked it out, is there a way that I can see its due date online?
Yes. There are a couple of possibilites, depending on what you chose as your "Pickup Location" (see FAQ #4 above) when you requested the item:
If you've chosen "Emma S. Clark" as your Pickup Location: after the item is checked out at the Emma Clark library, it will appear on your Emma S. Clark Memorial Library member account (http://emmapac.emmaclark.org/patroninfo).
If you've chosen another library as your Pickup Location: after the item is checked out at your Pickup Location library, it will appear on your County Catalog member account (http://alpha2.suffolk.lib.ny.us/patroninfo). It will NOT appear on your Emma Clark record.
16. I'm a new Emma S Clark Memorial Library user, and I just registered at the Emma S Clark Memorial Library. Will I immediately be able to place online holds in the County Catalog ?
No. The system is updated weekly, so you may have to wait up to a week before you are able to place holds in the County Catalog . If you have any questions, or would like to request an item from another Suffolk County library during the first week after your registration, please contact the Reference Desk at the Emma S Clark Memorial Library, either in person, or by phone (631-941-4080) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).