Our new software is here – see what’s new for you

people pointing at computer screen

The changeover to our new software is (mostly) complete. While it makes our job easier and faster, it also comes with a lot of new features for you, our patrons. Let’s see what’s new, what’s changed, and what’s to come!

Accessing our new site

We have two websites — this one, which is our main website, and our online catalog, which is where you log into your account, search for items, place holds, and more. This website hasn’t changed; however, the online catalog is now at a new link: https://hctpl.polarislibrary.com .

If you bookmarked the old catalog, you’ll want to delete that bookmark and create a new one at this link. If you access it by clicking “Catalog” in the menu above or the “My Account” link on the homepage, you can continue visiting that way — those links have been changed to take you to the correct website.

Signing in to, and using, your account

Just like the old site, the new catalog lets you sign in to your account to see your checkouts, holds, lists, and more. You can do this by clicking Log In in the top right corner. Note: For privacy reasons, your 6 digit PIN was reset during the software change. You will now need to use the last 4 numbers of your phone number to sign in (while still using your library card number).

Once logged in, you should see something like this:

You have the items you’ve checked out, how many renewals are left, and when the item is due shown, among other things. If you look at the side of the page, you can see links to your Requests, which are your Holds, as well as your Reading History, Saved Searches (more on this in another blog post), and your Lists.

My Record

Right under your name along the left side of the page, you can see a link titled My Record. By clicking that, you can make changes to your account, such as your contact information, notices preferences, and even your username and password.

When you click My Record, you get a brief summary of your account. You also get a Messages box, which allows staff to send you a message if needed (for example, if you leave something at the library and we’ve tried getting in touch via normal methods). You will also see a section labeled Contact Information and Preferences. If you click that, it expands to show the area where you can change your address, phone, email, etc. You can now receive email and text message receipts, and this is where you want to go to turn those on. Here’s how.

Email & Text Message Receipts

  1. Click Contact Information and Preferences to expand this box.
  2. Make sure you have an email and/or phone number in the email and phone number boxes.
  3. Scroll to the part of the page titled Preferences.
  4. Choose your preference for notifications using the given options. Note: If you mostly check your email from your phone, we suggest choosing the plain text email option.
  5. Click the Submit Change Request button.

Once set, you will immediately start receiving digital receipts. This also applies when using our self-checks; you can feel free to tap No Receipt knowing you’ll still have one in your email inbox waiting for you.

Here’s what one looks like:

If you look at the receipt, you’ll see something new. Yes, our receipts now tell you just how much money you save when you use your library! This will show on printed and email receipts, so make sure you keep an eye on just how much your library card saves you each year!

Setting Username & Password

Remember the days of typing in your library card number and six digit PIN every time you wanted to see your account online? Those days are gone! You can now set a username and password for your account that you can use to log in online. Here’s how.

  1. Click Change Logon to expand this box.
  2. If you’re changing your username, click the box next to Change Username. If you are changing your password, click the box next to Change Password. If you are changing both, you can click both boxes.
  3. Type the new username you’d like to use to log in to the username box. It can be letters, numbers, hyphens, underscores, periods, and the @ symbol (so feel free to use an email as your username). Type it again in the Verify Username box to make sure there isn’t a typo. If you aren’t changing your password, skip to step 6.
  4. If you are changing your password, put your old password in the Old Password box. Again, due to the software change this will be the last 4 numbers of your phone number.
  5. Put your new password in the New Password box. It can be letters and numbers only, from 4-15 characters. Type it again in the Verify Password box to make sure there isn’t a typo.
  6. Click Save.

You can now use that new username and password to log in to your account online. The username is only for the website, but the password is the same across everything you use your library card for, including the self-checks and OverDrive, so make sure you really want to change that before you make the switch.

In summary

This is just a small taste of what our new online catalog can do for you. In coming posts, we’ll talk about searching, saved searches, making lists, viewing your reading history, and more. We’ve even got some really cool eBook and rich data integrations coming soon, which are fancy words for tools that will make it even easier for you to learn more about the books, authors, series, and subjects you’re searching for.

But for now, feel free to sign into the site, click around, try new things, and explore as you please! Best of all? This new site works perfectly on phones and tablets! Go ahead, visit it on your smartphone and see for yourself. Isn’t it great?

We hope you enjoy the new site, and we look forward to sharing all of its cool new features with you. Let us know what you’d like to see and any feedback you have. There are still a few kinks to be worked out, and there’s chocolate for those who help us fix them, so let us know when you find something broken or acting weird.

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