The Complete Guide to PamCat
- Go to www.pamcat.org.
- In the login box at the top of the page, enter your library card number. If you have a library card with a number that includes spaces, enter the number without spaces.
- Enter your password/PIN. If you have never logged in before, or if you've never changed your password/PIN, it will be changeme.
- Click the "Login to My Account" button.
- If you have problems logging in, call any branch library or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have never logged in before, or if you've never changed your password/PIN, it will be changeme.
- After logging in with changeme, be sure to change it to a unique password/PIN.
- Your PIN/password must be 10 characters or less.
- You may not be able to change your PIN/password if you have overdue books or late fines.
- If you need to reset your password/PIN, call any branch library or e-mail email@example.com.
- Enter your search terms in the search box (ex. To Kill a Mockingbird")
- Using the drop down menu, you can search for everything, author, title, subject, or series.
- If you're doing an author search, it's better to use last name, first name (ex. Lee, Harper)
- Periodical title searching is not currently available, but if you want to search for magazines, use a title search.
- You can also tell the catalog to search by keyword, browse, or exact options. "Keyword" finds records that contain the words entered. "Browse" finds links to names, titles and subject headings close to the words entered. "Exact" finds records that exactly match words in the order they are entered.
- Here's what a basic search looks in PamCat (for titles with cats as a subject at the Mechanicsville Library):
(Click on the thumbnail to enlarge)
If you're looking for subject heading terms to use try this helpful explanation of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
Boolean search operators tell PamCat to look for search terms in specific relationships. They are the words: AND, OR, NOT, WITH and NEAR.
- bears NOT Berenstain will give you items about bears but will not include the Berenstain Bears series.
- Chicago WITH history will return items with historical aspects of Chicago.
- Virginia NEAR Williamsburg will return a variety of items related to Williamsburg, Virginia.
- Flowers OR Trees will give you an expanded list of items that include either of these words.
- Flowers AND Trees limits your search to only items that contain both words and will give you a smaller number of results.
If a title contains one of the Boolean operators, it is necessary to do a Keyword title search using quotations. For example, using "And Never Let Her Go" tells PamCat to search for the phrase, not individual words, and will give you the correct results.
What else would you like to know?
How do I review my account?
How do I renew my materials?
How do I change my password?
How do I renew my card?
What are "My Favorites?"
How do I place a hold?
What's the difference between "Hold" & "Keep?"
How can I get books you don't have?
How do I search for certain items?
What is a Browse search?
What is a Call Number search?
Where can I find New Arrivals?
How do I use Explore Subjects?
How do I search the Kids' Library?
When is PamCat available?
What are know technical issues with PamCat?
Where can I find bestseller and other reading lists?
Where can I find printable PamCat Guides?