Six Libraries = One Card + One Computer System
Our web site at www.lmls.org is the main portal to the libraries’ computer system, Polaris, and most of our digital services. From there you can find information about the libraries, access our databases and your own library account, and search our integrated catalog of materials. Make sure to choose a password for your account when you register; it will be required for many of the following services. If you wish to add a password to your account later, it must be done in person at the library.
DOWNLOADABLE E-BOOKS, MUSIC & AUDIO BOOKS: The Lower Merion Library System offers e-books and audio books from Overdrive, Hoopla and OneClick. Digital music is available through Hoopla. Any Lower Merion resident with a valid library card can download titles by going through our web site. Overdrive titles are also available from our on-line catalog. All titles must be downloaded or streamed to your home computer or other device; they cannot be downloaded to a library computer. See our E-Library page for more information.
Internet Services & Printing
All six libraries offer high-speed internet access to the public. All patrons must accept and abide by the Lower Merion Library System Internet Policy to use our computers. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, all children under the age of 17 receive filtered Internet access.
Internet sessions are controlled by a program called PC Reservation. You must have registered with the libraries to use the Internet as you will be required to enter your barcode number and password/pin to log into the computers. All Internet sessions are for thirty (30) minutes. However, if no one is waiting for the computer the time will be extended in five (5) minute intervals. If all computers are in use, you may reserve a session by using the PC Reservation Station at Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Belmont Hills and Ludington, or by asking a staff member to make a reservation at Gladwyne and Penn Wynne. Visitors to our area or those without a library card may ask staff for a guest pass to use our computers.
All Internet computers also offer the full Microsoft Office suite and access to the library system’s databases. You may save your work to a CD/DVR drive or to a memory stick, but not to the hard drive. All your work/information is wiped from the computer when your session ends.
Black and white printing is available at all six libraries, and color printing is available at the Bala Cynwyd and Ludington libraries. Please call the libraries for current printing fees.
The Lower Merion Library System offers the “Stop and Go” Wireless Service at all six libraries. There is no log-in to the service. Wireless access through “Stop and Go” is filtered. Printing from wireless is available at Ludgington, Bala Cynwyd, Penn Wynne and Ardmore libraries. The cost per page is the same as printing from a public computer.
Searching the Catalog
- From our web site, use the Search button or click on Catalog. Click on the boxes at the top to change from a Keyword to a Browse, Phrase, or Advanced search.
- Use the drop down menus in the Search by, Limit by, Sort by boxes to limit or refine your search.
- You can search every library in the county or pull down the “switch to another branch” to search just that library’s holdings. Other search options are found under the “Search” pull-down menu. They are Keyword, Browse, Phrase, Advanced, Boolean, and My Lists. Select Browse to search by these options: Title, Author, Subject, Series, LC and Dewey. To search by call number, select Dewey. Some examples of call number searches are:
- Books on CD – CD F AUST or CD NF BRYA or BKCD F AUST
- DVDs – DVD KING
- Large Print Books – LG PT F AUST
Note: If you want to bring up every DVD a library owns, just search ‘DVD’.
Creating Title Lists
Title Lists is helpful in creating bibliographies or creating a list of titles you want to find in the library.
- Run your search as above; Click Add to My List found in the right-hand column of each title entry.
- Your Working List will appear in the top left-hand column of the display.When you have finished building your list, click “Show list details…” at the bottom of the list. A new page will open with options to save, send by e-mail or print your list.
If you would like to know when the libraries get a new book by your favorite author or on a subject you are interested in, you can create a “Saved Search.”
- Select a Keyword or Phrase search from the Search pull-down menu.
- Type in your search. You may refine your search by changing the Search by field to Author or Subject, etc., or leave it at Any Field. Hit return or click on Go! to start the search.
- If the results are what you were looking for, click on the blue Save Search button found in the top left-hand column . If not, you may want to narrow your search or make it more general.
- You will then be asked for your barcode and password. Enter this information and click on Log In. A screen will appear requesting several pieces of information:
- Search Name: Give your search a title that you will find useful. Note: This field is optional.
- Search Command: This field is filled in for you by the computer.
- E-mail Search Results to: Enter your e-mail address.
- E-mail Format: The default is HTML, you may choose plain text using the arrows if you wish.
- E-mail if no Result: The box is checked for Yes. Uncheck for No.
- Search Frequency: This field defaults to monthly or you may suspend your search for a time.
- Number of Times to Run: Saved searches will be run for up to one year so you may set this to run for up to 12 times. At the end of one year the search will be deleted, and you will have to re-enter the search.
Reserves may be placed electronically either from your home computer or from a library’s catalog computers. There is a reserve fee of $0.25 per reserve for items other than DVDs, which can be paid when items are picked up. DVDs are $0.50 per reserve. Reserve fees are charged regardless of whether the patron decides to pick up the reserved item. Please note that reference materials cannot be reserved. For more information on reserves see “Accessing Your Account” below.
- Do a search using the directions above. When you have found a title you wish to reserve, click on Place Request.
- Enter your barcode number and password/pin and then click on Log In.
- Use the drop-down menu to select the library where you choose to pick up the requested item.
- Click on Submit Request. You should see “Request Placed Successfully.”
Accessing Your Account
Accessing your library account allows you to view all of the items you have checked out, renew items, see what fines, if any, are currently on your account, view and change your saved searches, view your holds or reserved items, and change your password.
You can access your account directly from the web page by clicking on My Account or from the catalog by clicking on Patron Account. Enter your barcode and password/pin and you will have access to all of the above information.
To renew items, click on Items Out. Check how many renewals, if any, are left for that item, then click on the box under the checkmark on the far left of the title(s) you wish to renew. Click on Renew Selected Items. If you wish to renew all items click on Renew All Items. You will then receive a message that tells you if the item was successfully renewed. If you have chosen to renew a number or all of your items make sure that all items have been renewed successfully. Items that have reserves on them for other patrons cannot be renewed even if the computer says you have renewals left.
Your account not only allows you to see what items you have on reserve but also gives you the ability to suspend/reactivate holds. If you are going away you may choose to suspend a reserve so you don’t miss it while you are gone. Click on the Requests tab and then place a checkmark in the box by the request you wish to suspend. Then click on Suspend/Reactivate Selected Requests. Repeat this action when you return and your request will be reactivated. You may also cancel requests.
Automated Patron Notification
The Library System has implemented automated patron notification services to provide you with information about your reserved and overdue items. You can choose whether to be notified by e-mail or telephone.
All databases are accessible for in-library use. Remote availability is only possible with a Lower Merion resident barcode. (Non-residents check your home libraries for their offerings.)