Search Catalog / Search FAQ's

How do I ..... ? What does ..... mean? Why can't I ..... ?
search for an item My List log in
search for music CDs or DVDs location renew my book
change my PIN/phone request item request a book
get on a waiting list call number find a book
log into my account All Fields search save or access My List
view Central stacks map get a book due reminder
make book suggestions view Children's map access ebooks
find reading suggestions    


How do I search for an item?

The Library catalog allows you to search the same way you would use Google or other search engines. You can start most searches by leaving the drop-down boxes as Everything and All Fields.

For example, if you are looking for Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer you can search by:

All Fields: krakauer thin air OR everest biography disaster


Title: into thin


Author: krakauer, jon OR jon krakauer (but not krakauer, j)


We recommend you don't use the Subject search unless you know for sure what library subject the item is under. Library subjects can be very specific.

Non-fiction books will have a call number, fictional books are shelved by the last name of the Author.

If the item status says checked out, in transit, or on order, that means it is not available. The item status should say checked in. If the item's status says Recent Check In, that means it was just returned and may be temporarily stored in the pre-shelving areas. You can ask a staff member to help you locate it.

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How do I search for music CDs or DVDs?

On the first dropdown box, select Central Media from the options. If you are at a branch you can choose your branch's media option from the first dropdown box. Search as you normally would for books. You can narrow your options to CD or DVD/Blu Ray by choosing from the Format options on the left-hand side of the screen after you have clicked search.

What does My List mean?

The My list feature allows you to create lists to save titles that you might want to read in the future or have enjoyed in the past. You can create numerous lists for different purposes.
If you are not logged in, items will be saved to a temporary list. Once you are logged in, you can move the items to your saved lists. If you do not log in, the temporary list will be deleted when the session expires.

Why can't I save or access My List?

You must be logged into your account first to save your lists. Once you are logged in, you can access saved My Lists by clicking on the My List link located in the upper right menu of the catalog.

If you have trouble adding new books to my list, try deleting all existing saved entries to start with a fresh list.

What does location mean?

The library has holdings in 5 different Huntington Beach locations:

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What does All Fields search mean?

The library keeps track of items with records that contain the title, author, subject, and summary description. When you use All Fields to search for an item, the system searches all areas of the record: the title, author, subject, and summary.

An All Fields search of homer would retrieve a record with a title of Homer's Odyssey, another title called The Far Reaches by author Homer Hickam, and a Bob Dylan music CD that has the song Open the door, Homer in the summary description.

If you knew two pieces of information like the author and title you could do an All Fields using the words homer and reaches to narrow in on author Homer Hickam's book, The Far Reaches. With All Fields search the exact order of the words does not matter.

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What does request item mean?

Request item allows you to be placed on a waiting list. The library will contact you when the book is ready to be picked up. It usually takes a day for an item that is currently on a shelf to be available for pickup. Items that are checked out or on order will take longer. 

What does call number mean?

The call number is the number used to find the book on the shelf. After you do a catalog search for a book and see that the status is checked in, you can find the book by writing down the call number and searching the shelves. Library books are organized by call number and many public libraries use the Dewey Decimal classification system. Fiction is shelved by the author's last name. Non-fiction (real and factual) is shelved by subject with a Dewey number. For example, Gone with Wind by Margaret Mitchell would be shelved alphabetically in the fiction "M" section with a call number of FIC Mitchell, M. Non-fiction books like Cooking A to Z would be shelved numerically in the 640 cooking subject section. All Children's books are identified by an X in front of the call number.

Electronic resources (eBooks and digital audiobooks) generally do not have a call number because they have no physical space at the library.

Call number prefix codes:

X Children's Book BOCD Audio book on compact disc
BOARD Children's Board Books SS Sight Savers (Large Print)
CD Music compact discs XC Children's Caldecott Award
DEPOSITORY Archived Storage BRAY Blu Ray videos
DVD DVD videos XE Children's Picture Books
eAUDIOBOOK Downloadable Audio Book F Folios - extra large sized books
FIC Fiction FIC (YA) Fiction for Young Adults
FIC (YA VL) Visual Literature for Young Adults X VL Children's Visual Literature
G Genealogy (Use in Library Only) XM Children's Mysteries
ILL Interlibrary Loan materials XN Children's Newbery Award
MYS Mystery Collection XBR or XP Children's Early Reader
PLAYS Play scripts R Reference (Use in Library Only)
SC Story Collection XR Children's Reference
SERIALS Magazines or Newspapers SF Science Fiction
SP Spanish Language X SC Children's Short Stories
VI Vietnamese Language X VI Children's Vietnamese Language
WES Westerns    
000-099 General Works    
004-006 Computer Books 600-699 Technology, Medical, Sciences
100-199 Psychology 700-799 Arts
200-299 Religion 800-899 Literature
300-389 Social Sciences 900-919 History, Travel
390-399 Custom/Folklore 92 - 929 Biographies
400-499 Language 930-999 History
500-599 Science X 000-999 Children's Non-Fiction

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Did you know?

The Homeless Task Force has helped more than 600 individuals off the streets and assisted more than 90 individuals reconnect with their loved ones.

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