Online library help

1. Overview

Anyone can search the online library catalogue.

To renew or reserve anything, you’ll need your library card number and PIN. You can also renew your loans by phoning 03456080195.

By signing in on the homepage or left-hand side of the online library, your details will be remembered for your whole visit. Alternatively you can sign in as you carry out each action.

Always sign out when you’ve finished, especially on a public or shared computer.

2. Renewing library loans

Renewing your loans

Use your library card and PIN to renew books and other loans up to five times online. You can also renew by phoning 03456080195.

You cannot renew DVDs, titles reserved by other library members, or ebooks and e-audiobooks (these stop working after three weeks and you’ll need to download them again).

To renew your loans:

  1. Sign in to your library account.
  2. You’ll be taken to My account: summary page.
  3. Under the Loans section, click the link to display all ‘Current loans’.
    - To renew individual loans tick the box beside for each loan you want to renew, then click ‘Renew selections’.
    - To renew all your current loans click ‘Renew all’.
  4. Your list of loans will be updated showing whether your renewal succeeded in the status column – please make a note of the new due date for each loan.
  5. Some renewals may not be successful, and the reason will be given in the status column.

Note: ‘Current loans’ includes anything you have which is overdue – any overdue items will also be listed separately under an alert at the top of the My account: summary page.

Renewal charges and fines

Please take care when renewing – your titles will be renewed immediately when you click the ‘Renew’ buttons and any charges added on your account (like hire charges for audiobooks and overdue charges for late loans). These charges cannot be refunded and should be paid on your next visit to the library.

Any outstanding fines and charges will be listed under an alert that appears on the My account: summary page. You can pay by cash, cheque or credit card.

Renewing titles from libraries outside East Sussex

To renew titles borrowed from libraries outside East Sussex, or check if there are any special limits on these loans, please contact your local library.

3. How to search the online library

Quick search

Type in a word or words – like an author and title – that you would like to find and click OK. For a smaller search, change ‘Anywhere’ to title, author or series and change ‘Keyword’ to Phrase or Exact match, then click OK.

The list of results shows brief details about each item you’ve found (sometimes with the libraries where copies are kept). You can:

  • click a title to see full details, including location and availability
  • use the options on the right to narrow your search results
  • tick the boxes beside the titles, then use the buttons at the top to refine or save your list or to reserve titles.

Try a quick search

Title search

Allows you to search for words in the title or series. You can also browse through titles beginning with certain words. Type in the words you would like to find, choose the type of search below, then click OK.

  • Keywords to find the words anywhere in the title
  • Browse to find titles starting with the text you have entered
  • Phrase to find titles with the words you have entered in a sequence
  • Exact match to find titles matching only the words you have entered

If successful, a page of titles will be displayed. Click a title to see details about it, or tick the boxes beside several titles and click ‘Display Selections’ to see brief details about more of them.

Try a title search

Author search

Allows you to search for words in an author’s name. Type in the words you would like to find, choose the type of search (keyword, browse, phrase or exact match) and then click OK.

If successful, a page of names will be displayed. Click a name to see details about their titles, or tick the boxes beside several names and then click ‘Display Selections’ to see brief details about more titles.

Try an author search

Subject search

Allows you to search for words in a subject, or browse through subjects beginning with the text you enter. Type in the words you would like to find, choose the type of search (keyword, browse, phrase or exact match) and then click OK.

If successful, a page of subjects will be displayed. Click on a subject to see brief details of the items about it, or tick the boxes beside several subjects and then click ‘Display Selections’ to see brief details about more of them.

Try a subject search

Advanced search

Allows you to perform more complicated searches. Type your search in the boxes on the search screen. You can type several words in each box, and in any number of boxes.

  • Specific search if you know exactly what you are looking for. For example, enter an ISBN without spaces or hyphens (the International Standard Book Number barcode printed on the back or inside most book covers), then click OK to go straight to the full details of that title.
  • Broader search to start with a broad list of results, then narrow them down using ‘Refine set’. Type the words you would like to find, or select items from the language, location and collection lists (you can do more than one of these) then click OK. If successful, a page of results showing brief details for each item will appear. Click a title to display full details for the item.

Try an advanced search

Search results

Depending on what you searched for, one or more of the following options will appear:

  • List of titles click a title to see full details, including location and availability
  • Refine set button narrow your results in several ways, including by library
  • Refine results options on the right to narrow results by year, topic, and much more
  • Sort set button to sort results by title, publication date or series
  • Save selections or Save all tick the boxes beside the titles you’re interested in, then use the save buttons at the top of the page, you can go back to this ‘Saved list’ to reserve titles later
  • Reserve selections or Reserve all tick the boxes beside the titles you’re interested in, then use the reserve buttons if you want to reserve them immediately.

If you didn’t find what you are looking for, check your spelling or try a different search.

If your search results tell you the number of copies we have but then don’t list all of them, they may be missing, damaged, unavailable during refurbishment work at a library, or kept at a library closed to the public like the prison. Please ask library staff about reserving a copy.

To find books and magazines to download, go straight to the relevant Ebooks and eaudiobooks website.

New titles

Find new books, DVDs and music CDs using the links on the left of the online library.

You can also create an ‘alert profile’ in your account for materials you would like to know about. If any new items that match your preferences are added to the catalogue, you’ll be sent an email containing brief details and a direct link to reserve it on the online library.

4. How to reserve library loans

You can reserve an individual title or a set of titles. When reserving a set of titles (for example, holiday guides) you can choose whether you want to reserve all of them or just the first few that arrive.

Reserving an individual item

  1. Search for the title you would like to reserve.
  2. Click the title to view the full details.
  3. If you can reserve it, a ‘Place reservation’ button will be displayed – click the button at the top or bottom of the page to go to the reservation form.
  4. Enter your library card number and PIN if you are not already signed in.
  5. Choose the library where you would like collect the item.
  6. Choose an expiry period or enter a specific expiry date – your reservation will be automatically cancelled after this date, but you will still have to pay the reservation charge.
  7. Enter any notes you would like to include.
  8. Click ‘Submit’.
  9. You will be told if there are any charges or problems with your reservation:
    - to go ahead with your reservation, click the ‘Continue’ button
    - if you don’t want to reserve it, choose the ‘Cancel’ button.
  10. If you decided to go ahead, a confirmation of your reservation will be displayed which includes your position in the waiting list for the title.

Reserving a set of items

  1. Search for the titles you would like to reserve.
  2. If there is more than one result, a page of titles will be displayed showing brief details about them.
  3. Browse through your results and tick the titles you would like to reserve.
  4. Click the ‘Reserve selections’ button at the top of the page. If you found less than 30 records and want to reserve all of them, you may have a ‘Reserve all’ button you can use instead.
  5. If you are reserving across more than one page, you will need to use a Saved List. Information on creating a Saved List can be found on this page.
  6. The reservation form will be displayed – any titles you cannot reserve (like reference books or new DVDs) will be listed first, followed by the list of titles that you can reserve.
  7. Enter your library card number and PIN if you are not already signed in.
  8. Choose the library where you would like collect the item.
  9. Choose the number of titles you would like to receive to satisfy your reservation:
    - for example, if you searched for titles on a particular subject (like roses) and would like to borrow just one of the items you found but don’t mind which one – just the first one available – choose ‘1’ for the number of titles required
    - if you want to reserve all the titles you found, choose the ‘All titles’ option.
  10. Choose an expiry period or enter a specific expiry date – your reservation will be automatically cancelled after this date, but you will still have to pay the reservation charge.
  11. Enter any notes you would like to include.
  12. Click ‘Submit’.
  13. You will be told if there are any charges or problems with your reservations:
    - to go ahead with your reservation, click the ‘Continue’ button
    - if you don’t want to reserve them, choose the ‘Cancel’ button.
  14. If you decided to go ahead, a confirmation of your reservations will be displayed which includes your position in the waiting list for each title.

My Saved List

The saved list allows you to build a list of items from the library catalogue which you can use to:

  • reserve a selection of items, or reserve all of them if there are 30 or less
  • send details to an email address
  • download details of the items on your computer or mobile device.

You don’t need sign in to use ‘My Saved List’ – just click the link on the left-hand side of the screen.

Add items to the Saved List

First search for the titles you’re interested in, then you can add them to your saved list in two ways:

  • List of titles showing brief details tick the boxes beside those you want to save and click the ‘Save selections’ button – you must do this on each page before moving to the next page – and then the page will change so that the boxes next to your saved items are deactivated.
  • Full details of an individual title click the ‘Save record’ button – if the item is already in your saved list it will be marked ‘record saved’ and the Save record button will not appear.

Remove items from the Saved List

Click ‘My saved list’ on the left side of the screen. If you have any items in your list, they will be displayed with brief details.

  • To remove individual items tick the box for each one you want to remove then click the ‘Remove selections’ button – you must do this on each page before moving to the next page – your list will update to only display the remaining records.
  • To remove all items just click the ‘Remove all’ button.

Sort or refine your Saved List

You can change the order of your list or make it smaller before reserving, emailing or downloading it. The buttons below will only be displayed if you have more than one item in your saved list.

  • Sort set button choose to sort results by title, publication date or series.
  • Refine set button narrow your results in many ways, including by library, and click OK – this process does not actually remove items from your saved list, only changes the display, go back to your original list by clicking ‘My saved list’ on the left.

Email or download your Saved List

  1. Check your saved list and sort or refine it if you wish.
  2. Tick the boxes beside the titles you want to include, or leave the tick boxes blank if you want to include details of all the items.
  3. Complete the form near the top of the saved list page:
    - Choose ‘Email’ to send the details to an email address, choose ‘Download’ to save the list on your computer or mobile device
    - Choose ‘Citation’ for brief details about the titles, choose ‘Full’ for all the information about each title
    - For emails only – type the email address in the ‘Email To’ box and, if you want to, change the wording in the ‘Subject’ box
    - Click the ‘Submit’ button
  4. Your email will be sent. If you picked ‘Download’ you will be asked where you want to save the file instead.

Why can’t I reserve a title?

You can’t reserve titles if they are:

  • new DVDs under three months old, reference books or special collections like reading group books, sets of scores and plays which can only be reserved by asking library staff
  • missing, damaged, unavailable during refurbishment work, or kept at a library usually closed to the public like County Library Store
  • need to be reserved using the Ebooks and e-audiobooks website.

Other reasons may be if you try to reserve more than 20 titles, or there is a problem with your library card, such as your owing over £25 or your loans are very overdue.

Titles not on the library catalogue

To request or suggest books, films or CDs to add to our libraries, use our library enquiries and comments form or fill in a reservation card in libraries.

  • Request new titles before they are published – we’ll consider buying them in line with our stock policy.
  • Ask us to try getting specialist items using the national inter-library loan system – this may involve an extra reservation charge.

Reservation charges

You may be charged a small fee for reserving titles. This is payable on your next visit to the library. If your account is over £5, you can also pay by credit or debit card over the phone.

We regret this charge is non-refundable even if the title is not available, if you don’t collect it, or if you cancel the reservation.

Collecting your reservation

We’ll tell you by email or post when your reservations are ready to collect. To check their progress or change your collection point or contact details, sign into the Members’ area of the online library.

Cancelling a reservation

Sign into the online library and go to ‘My account’. Under Summary, there are two headings ‘Reservations available for pickup’ and ‘Reservations not yet available’ that you can click if there are any current reservations.

  • To cancel individual reservations tick the box beside each one you would like to cancel then click ‘Cancel selections’ – a list appears asking you to confirm if you’re sure you want to cancel the reservations, please click ‘Continue’ to confirm (or Cancel to go back to your reservation list).
  • To cancel all your current reservations click ‘Cancel all’.

Your list of reservations will be updated to show the result for each cancellation in the status column.

If you reserved an ebook or e-audiobook, you can check if they are available or cancel them by signing into the Ebooks and e-audiobooks website.

If you change your mind about a title you reserved that isn’t on our catalogue, please contact your local library.

5. Signing in, charges and personal details

What you need to sign in

You need a library card and PIN to sign into some of our online library services.

  • If you have a library card but no PIN complete our PIN request form
  • If you don’t have a library card yet you can join online if you live, work or study in East Sussex to get a temporary card number and PIN and reserve titles straightaway – visit any East Sussex library to collect your card within 30 days or your membership will expire.

How to sign in

Sign in on the online library homepage or left-hand side and your details will be remembered for the rest of your session. If you don’t sign in here, you’ll be asked to enter your library card and PIN for each action like placing a reservation.

  • Online library homepage type your library card number and PIN in the form and the click the ‘Sign in button’.
  • Left-hand side of the online library click the ‘Sign in’ link, then type your library card number and PIN in the form and click the ‘Sign in button’.

If successful, your account summary page will be displayed. You can go to your account at any time during your session using the ‘My account’ link that will appear under Members.

How to sign out

To protect your privacy, please sign out when you have finished using the online library, especially if you’re using a public computer or mobile phone.

  • To sign out, on the left-hand side of the screen click the ‘Sign out’ link – you’ll be taken back to the online library homepage.
  • If you haven’t used the online library for more than 20 minutes, the system will timeout your session (you will be given 60 seconds notice).

My account

When you sign into the online library, you are taken to the ‘My account’ page where you can:

  • check and renew your loans
  • check if your reservations are ready to collect or cancel them
  • check any outstanding fines and charges
  • view your previous loans and reservations
  • update your personal details
  • create and update alerts about new titles.

Summary

The ‘My account: summary’ page provides a detailed breakdown of your account, with links to more information. Some sections will only appear if appropriate.

  • Alerts shows the total amount of outstanding fines and charges, links to overdue loans and reservations ready to collect, and any statuses on your card (for example, if you are suspended).
  • Messages we’ve added to your card, if they are no longer current please ask us to remove them using our library enquiries and comments form.
  • Loans and renew always displayed, summary of the number of items on loan to you including all current loans, overdue loans, and loans reported returned or lost – use these links to renew your loans.
  • Reservations shows reservations available for pickup, and reservations not yet available – use these links to check, edit or cancel your reservation (note, you will still be charged for any reservations you cancel).
  • Other shows any alert profiles you’ve set up to receive notices about new books, films and music when they are added to stock – use these links to amend or delete your alert profiles.
  • History shows your previous loans and reservations.

Personal details

The ‘My account: personal details’ page allows you to view your current address and contact details. You can also change your phone number, email address, PIN and nearest library using this facility.

To change your PIN:

  1. Sign into the online library and go to the My account: Personal details page.
  2. Type in your new PIN in both the ‘New PIN’ and ‘Confirm new PIN’ boxes – it should be four numbers with no letters or spaces, we strongly recommend you don’t use obvious numbers like ‘1234’ or birthdays.
  3. Click the ‘Update’ button.
  4. You can start using your new PIN the next time you sign in to the online library.

New alert profile

The ‘My account: new alert profile’ page is where you can create automated notices online and by email about new items you would like to know about. You can have more than one profile.

6. eBooks and eAudiobooks help

Downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks

Library members can download books from our eBooks and eAudiobooks websites. When you download a title, it is ‘on loan’ to you like an ordinary book. You can access them through an app on your smartphone, tablet or mobile device.

When you find a title you want:

  • if it is available immediately, use the ‘Download’ or ‘Checkout’ button and confirm you want the title.
  • if it is not available yet, use ‘Place a hold’ to reserve the title.

eBooks and eAudiobooks stop working after three weeks, so you’ll need to renew or download them again. eMagazines will stay on your account until you delete them.

Finding eBooks and eAudiobooks

All our electronic resources are listed on our online library as ‘eBooks’. You can search for them two ways.

  1. Library catalogue
    Use keyword, author or title to search across the whole online library, then look for titles marked ‘eBooks’.
  2. Library catalogue – advanced search
    Under advanced search, in the box marked ‘Collection’ choose ‘eBooks’ to limit your search to eBooks and eAudiobooks only.

The titles in your search results contain a column marked ‘Status’ - use the link in this column to go straight to your chosen title on the eBooks and eAudiobooks websites.

You can place reservations (holds) for eBooks and eAudiobooks on the relevant website.

Formats available

  • eBooks are electronic versions of printed books in Adobe PDF or Adobe EPUB format. You can read them on your computer, most eBook readers (but not Kindle) or mobile phone.
  • eAudiobooks (sometimes known as talking books) are electronic spoken word versions of printed books in MP3 or OCDF format. You can listen to them on computer, MP3 player or compatible mobile device, including phones.

Audiobooks are also available on CD from our libraries.

Get more help

7. Online reference library help

Signing in

We subscribe to several online resources from encyclopedias to newspapers. For free access from home, you’ll need to sign in with your library card number and PIN.

  1. Go to the online reference library.
  2. Click the sign in link next to the resource you want.
  3. Type in your details and click the ‘Sign in’ button.
  4. You’ll be taken your account summary page. Under ‘Other’ click on the online reference library again to start using the resources straightaway.

If you’re already signed in, just go to the online reference library and click on the ‘at home’ links to start using them.

Staying signed in

Your online library session will end if you sign out or don’t use the online library for 20 minutes – for example, if you visit another website like our online resources.

This ‘timeout’ happens for security reasons to protect your personal data, and to make sure we can handle lots of people using the online library at the same time.

If you want to stay signed into the online library we recommend that you use Firefox as your Internet browser, together with the Reload every add-on.

By setting the online library page to reload every 10 minutes, and using Ctrl+click to open links, you could keep your session open.

Why am I sometimes asked for a second password?

Usually you can use the online resources immediately when you click on their names after signing into the online library, but sometimes you may be asked for another password or username.

When you click a link to go from one website to another, the website you’re going to is usually told which website you’re coming from. All the online library subscription resources use this to check that you’re coming from the East Sussex County Council website before they let you in.

If you are asked for another password at this stage, the subscription website hasn’t recognised that you have signed in via the East Sussex online library.

This is usually caused by the way your computer is set up or the way it is connecting to the Internet. Problems can be caused by:

  • firewalls
  • cookies
  • your Internet browser
  • type of computer you are using
  • your Internet service provider.

For more about dealing with each of these possible causes, see below.

Changing your Internet security settings

Firewalls

Security software on your computer – like McAfee Personal Firewall Plus – can block information about the website you have come from. That’s why the online resource asks for another password.

You can change your security settings to allow this information for specific sites. You’ll need to do this once for each site you want to access. When it asks for the site name – copy and paste in the links listed below:

  • Britannica Online (all editions) – http://library.eb.co.uk/
  • Britannica Junior – http://library.eb.co.uk/elementary
  • Britannica Student – http://library.eb.co.uk/comptons
  • Britannica Adults – http://library.eb.co.uk/eb
  • Go Citizen – http://eastsussex.gocitizen.co.uk/
  • Illustrated London News – http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/esusslib?db=ILN
  • Newsvault (Times, Sunday Times, Illustrated London News combined search) – http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/esusslib
  • Oxford Art – http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – http://www.oxforddnb.com/subscribed
  • Oxford Dictionaries Pro – http://english.oxforddictionaries.com/
  • Oxford English Dictionary – http://www.oed.com/
  • Oxford Music – http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/
  • Oxford Reference Online – http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/GLOBAL.html
  • Theory Test Pro – http://eastsussex.theorytestpro.co.uk/
  • Times Digital Archive – http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/esusslib?db=TTDA
  • Who’s Who and Who Was Who – http://www.ukwhoswho.com/

As the Microsoft Windows ‘built-in’ firewall blocks information about the website you are coming from, you will need to use a different firewall to access our online resources.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file sent to your computer by some websites to store information about your visit to the site. If you want to view the web anonymously, you can set your web browser to refuse cookies. However, high security settings for cookies on your web browser can prevent our online resources working.

  • Change your security settings In most web browsers you can organise your cookies and set security levels so that you only receive cookies from certain safe sites. Explore your browser’s help pages for more information.
  • Remove older cookies Sometimes earlier cookies on your machine may also prevent access. Use the ‘delete cookies’ option on your browser to remove them.

Different types of computer and Internet browser

Any Internet browser works with the online library. However, if you have an old browser we recommend you upgrade your browser to avoid bugs.

On some computers you may need to use a different kind of browser to use some resources on the online reference library. For example, you may have no problems using Oxford Dictionary of National Biography on an Apple Mac if you use the Safari browser, but are asked for a password when you try to view it using Internet Explorer.

  • PC If Internet Explorer or MS Edge cause problems, we recommend Google Chrome or Firefox.
  • Apple Mac Use Safari or Firefox.

Download the latest browsers by visiting the links below:

How you connect to the Internet

Access to our online resources can be affected by the way you connect to the Internet via your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Please contact your ISP for advice.

Contact us for more help

If none of the suggestions above have helped you access our online resources, our web team may be able to help.

Ask us for help using our Library enquiries and comments form.

Please provide as much information as possible about the way your computer is set up. You may not be able to answer all the questions, but the more information you provide, the quicker we will be able to deal with your enquiry.

  • What operating system are you using? (like Windows 7 or Mac OS X)
  • What web browser are you using? (like Internet Explorer, Firefox or iPhone including the version number if known, like Internet Explorer 11)
  • Are you able to access one or more of our other online resources? (like Newsbank or Times Digital Archive)
  • Do you have cookies enabled in your web browser?
  • Are you using a firewall? If so, which one?
  • What error messages are you getting?

8. Alerts about new titles

What are alert profiles

To receive alerts about new library stock, sign into our online library with your library card number and PIN and create an ‘alert profile’. You can have more than one profile.

  • Email alerts you must have an email address in your personal details – you’ll be sent an email containing brief details about each new item and a direct link to read more about it and reserve it.
  • Alert profile online check at any time to find new items matching your preferences.

When you’ve set up a profile, you can check and update them from the ‘My account: summary’ page. Alert profiles include:

  • Search profile your areas of interest like author, title or subject, collection (like Adult Fiction) or specific library
  • Alert frequency daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly updates.
  • Profile active status set to Yes if your profile will be checked, No if it won’t be checked.
  • Expiry date set an optional date after which your alert profile will no longer be checked by the system – your profile will still exist and you can change this date at any time.
  • Description give each profile you set up a brief description for different topics.

Creating a new alert profile

  1. Sign into the online library and go to ‘My account: new alert profile’ page.
  2. Create a search profile
    - Type your preferences in the boxes on the search screen, you can type several words in each box, and in any number of boxes.
    - On a computer you can hold down the Ctrl key to select or remove several items from the material, collection and location lists (for example, Adult Fiction Hardback and Adult Fiction Paperback) – if you’ve chosen something from these lists, a blue asterisk is displayed next to the box.
  3. Test your search
    - Click the ‘Search’ button to see if it finds the number and type of results you expect – to go back, click ‘Back to previous record’ at the top of the page (don’t use the back button or you’ll lose your search)
    - If necessary, amend your search and retest it.
  4. Choose an alert frequency for how often you would like the online library system to look for any new works matching your profile.
  5. Optionally enter an expiry date if you do not want alerts to be sent after a specific date.
  6. You must provide a short description of your profile so that you can recognise it in your list of alerts.
  7. Click the Save button to create your new profile.

Updating an alert profile

Sign into the online library and go to ‘My account: summary’ page. Under ‘Other’ click the Alert profiles link to display a list of your existing profiles, and then choose the one you want to update.

To amend your search:

  • Make any changes to your search and test it – remember to change the Description at the top if you are now looking for different items.
  • Tick or untick the ‘Send alerts’ box to say if you want to start or stop alerts.
  • If needed, change the alert frequency and expiry date options.
  • Finally, click one of the buttons to ‘Save’ your changes or undo them using ‘Reset’.

To run your search online straightaway, choose one of the extra options:

  • Display profile set shows everything that matches your current search.
  • Display new entries shows any new items that match your search that you haven’t been notified about yet.
  • Update profile set if you’ve amended your search, resets your results to include everything matching your new search.
  • Clear profile set clears everything from your previous searches and begins again so that the next time your alert is checked for new entries, everything matching your preferences will be reported.

To delete the alert:

  • Click the ‘Delete’ button.