What is an Online Public Access Catalog?

                Can you remember when your local public library had a physical card catalog that you used to find what books the library had and where they were located? Today the only time you will see a physical card catalog in a library is for decoration. Almost all libraries have converted their paper card catalog into an electronic card catalog which is referred to in library lingo as an OPAC or Online Public Access Catalog.

                The Henry County Library’s OPAC can be accessed on catalog computers at both our Clinton and Windsor locations and also at home from your own computer or internet enabled device. These catalogs can be very useful for looking up books by their title, looking up all materials by a specific author, or looking up items by a keyword or subject. You can even look for items in a specific format such as audio or large print by either doing an expert search or clicking the media button under the general search box and clicking which type of material you would like.

                The OPAC is also useful for finding out if the item you are interested is available and which library location it is at. A majority of the library’s collection is requestable which means that if an item you want is not at the location you want it at you can reserve the item and we can bring it to your home library for you to pick up. The library makes several trips between the branches each week so materials are normally available within 1-5 days of the request. If a requestable item that you want is checked out you can also put a reserve on it so that it is put on hold for you when it is returned.

                One of the greatest thing about the OPAC is that you can log into your own library account online and see useful information such as what items you have checked out, when they are due and if there are any fines on your account. You can even renew any renewable items on your account page from the comfort of home to make sure that you get more time to finish your items and you don’t incur any overdue fines. In order to log into your account from home just go to the library’s web-site www.henrycolib.org and click on the open book logo that says ‘catalog’. This will bring you to the main screen of the OPAC. In the upper hand corner you will see a box that says ‘account’. You will need to put in your library card number and a PIN number. Your PIN number will be the exact same number as your library card number unless you have specifically set it up differently with a library staff member.

                If you are not very familiar with the library’s OPAC please take the time to get to know it better. The web address for the main page of the library’s OPAC is: http://henrycpl.booksys.net/opac/henry/#menuHome.

You will find that the OPAC allows you to interact with the library in more ways than before and gives you 24/7 access to your own library account and the records of what is in the library collection.