Catalogue Tips

What versions of the catalogue are available?

VIRL Catalogue

Our catalogue lets you search for books, movies, music, ebooks, journal articles, and more.  Our main catalogue can be accessed directly at search.virl.bc.ca, or you can use the top-right search bar from any page on this website.

If you access search.virl.bc.ca from a mobile device, you will automatically be directed to a scaled version of the catalogue customized for smaller touchscreens. The direct address is search.virl.bc.ca/iii/mobile, or there is a link at the bottom of the catalogue landing page (“Mobile site”).

 

VIRL Mobile

The wait is over! Our new mobile app is now available for anyone with an Apple or Android device.
Connect to our catalogue from anywhere, scan any book and find it in our catalogue, access ebooks, follow our latest Tweets, and so much more!

iPhone and iPad users, connect here: http://apple.co/2iYFTBo
Android users, connect here: http://bit.ly/2j2dQDg

Take your library everywhere!

 

Basic Catalogue

Our basic catalogue is a lower-bandwidth version suitable for dialup and slow connection speeds. Its direct address is sierra-app.virl.bc.ca, or it can be accessed through the “Basic Catalogue” link at the top of the New Catalogue landing page at search.virl.bc.ca.

 

Old Catalogue

Our old catalogue lets you search for books, movies, music, ebooks, and more. It can be accessed directly at virl.bibliocommons.com, or you can use the top-right search bar from any page on this website, selecting the radio button labelled “Old Catalogue”.

For information on how to manage holds in the old catalogue, please refer to our Managing Holds in the Old Catalogue (PDF) handout.

 

Catalogue FAQs

How do I log in for the first time?

How do I search the catalogue?

How do I place and manage holds?

How do I make lists?

How do I keep my borrowing history?

What do I need to know regarding my online privacy and the catalogue?

Sometimes when I click on a catalogue link the words suddenly look disorganized and pushed to the left of the page. Help!

 

How do I log in for the first time?

You can log in to the catalogue at any time using the Login linkin the upper-right corner of virl.bc.ca(this website), or at search.virl.bc.ca. If you would like to bookmark, the dedicated login screen is at sierra-app.virl.bc.ca/iii/cas/login. Additionally, you will be asked to enter your login information when you choose certain actions such as requesting an item, saving to a list, or reviewing and tagging.

Logging in to the catalogue requires a library barcode and a personal identification number (PIN).

When you are logged in to the catalogue, you can:

  • request items (place holds)
  • view article results
  • access your account
  • use Community Features to contribute tags and reviews
  • save lists in your book cart

You do not need to log in to search the catalogue.

 

How do I search the catalogue?

  1. The search process begins with a keyword or phrase search using the box at the top right of every page of this website (virl.bc.ca), or by going to search.virl.bc.ca.
  2. Enter a word, phrase, or call number in the Search text box, and then press the <Enter> key. You can enter an author’s name, a title, or keywords describing a subject.
    TIP: to search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks.
  3. The Search Results browse page appears, a list of all the VIRL resources that match your search terms.
  4. You’ll see a brief view of each item, which will show a summary and its availability. Click on the cover or title to see more details.
  5. Narrow down your search by using the sidebar on the left: You can filter by format, branch, publication date, language, and more.

The following optional actions are also available:

  • Choose the Advanced Search link to go to the catalogue’s advanced searching form. Here you’ll find additional options for specifying your search.
  • You can search for newspaper and journal articles (or limit an existing search result to just articles) by clicking the “Articles” tab. From there, you can access full-text articles and download PDFs from VIRL’s subscription databases.  

For more information, please see the following:

Searching for Items in VIRL’s Catalogue(PDF

Searching for Articles in VIRL’s Catalogue(PDF)

 

How do I place and cancel holds? What if I want to change the pickup location after I’ve placed a hold?

In the new catalogue, you can request items from the brief view of the search results list, from the item’s detail page, or from your book cart.

  1. Choose the “Request it” button.
  2. If you are not logged in, you’ll be prompted to do so now.
  3. Choose the branch you would like to pick the item up from, and whether or not you have a deadline for the using it (if you declare a deadline, your hold will be cancelled if not available before then; this is the date after which you “give up” on the hold.)
  4. Hit Submit.

Cancelling a hold

From the “Holds” section in the “My Account” page,

  1. Check the box in the Cancel column for every hold to cancel.
  2. Click the Save Changes button.

Changing the pickup location

From the “Holds” section in the “My Account” page,

  1. Choose a new branch from the drop-down list in the “Pickup location” column.
  2. Click the Save Changes button.

Freezing (suspending) holds

  1. Freezing a request means that your place in line is skipped until the day that you choose to “thaw” your hold. To freeze a request:
  2. Check the box in the Freeze column for the request.
  3. Click the Save Changes button.
  4. You’ll be asked to verify the freeze. Click Yes.
  5. If the request is successfully frozen, you’ll see a checked box in the Freeze column.

If your request is already on the hold shelf or a copy is available and on its way, you cannot freeze it. In these conditions, you’ll get an error message saying “This hold cannot be frozen.”

For more information about managing your holds, download the following instruction sheet:

Account Features and Holds (PDF)

 

How do I make a list of things to read/watch/listen to?

When you find a title you wish to add to a list, click the shopping cart icon next to it in the search results or the item's page to add it to your cart.

To move titles from your cart to your list, click on My Cart (at the top right of the page). When you see the list of titles you want to add to your list, click the Save to List button. There will be an option to save the items to an existing list (in a dropdown menu) or to a new list. Be sure to click the Add (or Create) button to finish the process.

Your lists can be found under your account when you log in. Click on your name near the top right of the page. Then click My Lists in the left-hand column.

You can also refer to this handout:

How to Migrate Lists to the New Catalogue (PDF)

 

How do I keep a history of the items I’ve already read/watched/listened to?

To protect your privacy, the library does not keep records of your borrowing without your direction to do so. Therefore, you need to choose this functionality once logged into “My Account”. Select “Reading History” and then “Save Reading History”.

When you enable the “Reading History” feature, the catalogue will gather a list of the titles you borrow from that point forward. The content on your Recently Returned page is visible only to you, and you can opt out of this feature at any time.

 

What do I need to know regarding my online privacy and the new catalogue?

VIRL tries topartner with digital platforms that share our standards for privacy. Our reputable third-party service providers are expected to only use staff or customers' personal information for the purposes of carrying out the service they provide to the library. Keep in mind, though, if you use third-party vendors, such as OverDrive, to access library materials, your records may be subject to the policies of that vendor. We encourage you to become familiar with the privacy policies of the websites you visit and the digital services you use, including those accessed through the library catalogue:

EBSCO privacy policy

Reviewing service (ChiliFresh) privacy policy

OverDrive privacy policy

Sometimes when I click on a catalogue link  the words suddenly look disorganized and pushed to the left of the page. Help!

This is a known glitch. Please clear your browser's cache and reload the page to resolve. Also, our catalogue provider supports the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, so try using one of these and/or updating your version if you haven't done so.

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(877) 415.VIRL