All branches of the Marin County Free Library will be closed on Friday, September 19 for MCFL's All-Staff Day. More info.

Chat with a Librarian

QuestionPoint
24/7 Live Online Reference

 

This library partnership service is best for simple questions that are not specific to your local library.

If you need help with a local item or service, please call or email us.

Suggest a Purchase

You can use the catalog search located at the top of every page of our website to find books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and other materials in the Marin County Free Library branches and other Marin libraries.

AirPAC, a version of the catalog optimized for display on smart phones, is also available.  http://m.marinet.lib.ca.us

How to Search the Catalog

You can search for all library materials in the catalog by author, title, keyword, subject or call number.  Click on the menu arrow to select one of these options. After typing your information into the box, click on the Go button. If you only know part of a title or author’s name, try a keyword search.  

Keyword Search Tip:
Enter relevant words of the title, author, or topic.  Keyword searching is similar to a Google search.  Do not include words such as “an” or “the.”  See more information about Keyword searching.

Author Search Tip:
Type the author’s last name and then the first name.  For example:  twain mark or king stephen. You do not need to use capital letters. See more information on searching Authors.

Subject Search Tip:
In our catalog, a subject search is not like a Google search or a keyword search.  Subjects are precisely created terms assigned by catalogers.  If you are not sure of the exact subject term to use, start with a keyword search. See more information about Subject searches.

How do I know which library has the item I want?
After you perform a search, click on the item’s title to see which libraries own copies.

How do I limit my search to a specific branch or  material type?
You can use the advanced search or limit this search button to limit your results to a specific branch or material type.

How do I save a list of materials?

  1. Use the add icon to the left of each item in your list of search results to add titles to your Book Bag.  After you click add to your first title the Book Bag icon will appear at the top of the screen.
  2. When you are done searching, click the VIEW Book Bag icon near the top of the screen.
  3. To print/email this list, click on Export my saved titles.  You can then edit, print or email this list.
  4. Or you can place a hold on all/some of these titles.

For further information about searching the catalog please view this MARINet catalog tutorial.

 

Explanation of some common library catalog terms

Check Shelf:  Check the shelf for the book, DVD, CD, etc.  If it’s not there, ask a librarian for assistance. (It could be awaiting shelving or in use by a patron in the library.)

On Holdshelf:  The book, DVD, CD, etc. is on the hold shelf for another person. It is unavailable to check out.

Missing:  The library owns this item but it cannot be found on the shelves.

In Transit:  The item is being sent from one library location to another.

In Process:  The item is being processed for circulation in the Library's Technical Services Department.

In Tec/Svcs:  A damaged or incomplete item has been sent to our Technical Services Department for repair or replacement parts.  It is unavailable to check out.

In Workroom:  A slightly damaged item is awaiting repair in the library staff work area.  It is unavailable to check out.    

On Order:  The library has ordered the item, but has not yet received it.

Reserved:  The item is on the hold shelf for another person.

Withdrawn:  The library has removed this item from circulation.

Library Use Only:  This item can be used only in the library and cannot be checked out.

Billed:  This item is long overdue and the user has been billed. It is unavailable to check out.      

Large Print:  Fiction and nonfiction books printed in at least a 16-point type.

 

Interlibrary Loan

  • First, search for the item using the catalog search at the top of this page. If it is on the shelf at a MARINet library,  you may have it placed on the holdshelf at the owning library by phoning them in advance, or you may request the transfer of that item to your home library.
  • MARINet, our local Marin County consortium of public libraries and Dominican University, is now a member of Link+Link+Link+ is a consortium of libraries in California Nevada that share resources.  If an item is not available in our MARINet catalog, it may be possible to borrow it from one of our Link+ partners.  Look for the Link+ icon in the library catalog to start your search.  There is no fee to request an item through Link+. For more about Link+, visit the Link+ FAQ page.
  • If the item cannot be located through MARINet or Link+, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request for the item by calling or visiting your local branch library. We will search academic and public libraries in the United States for the requested item using WorldCat.  There is a nonrefundable $5.00 charge to initiate the search for books, microfilm, DVDs or audio books. This fee does not guarantee the receipt of the material. Occasionally, a lender may require additional fees for postage or copying charges before they will loan an item; you will be contacted if any additional charges are necessary. The ILL process can take from 4 to 6 weeks.

If you have questions about  InterLibrary Loan procedures, please contact the Reference desk at your local branch.

 

Suggest a purchase

The staff of the Marin Free County Library welcomes your purchase suggestions. However, due to the number of requests we receive, we are unable to personally respond to your purchase suggestions and cannot guarantee that an item will be purchased. Please check the catalog in 4 to 6 weeks to see if an order has been placed for your suggested materials.

Before submitting a purchase suggestion, you may consider searching our partner libraries in Northern California to see if the title you are suggesting is available through an interlibrary loan. (More information about interlibrary loans is in the section above).

Click to suggest a title for purchase.

 

Finding Articles

When doing research for school, work or personal interests, online databases provide reliable information from published journals, consumer magazines and newspapers.  We also offer online access to tutoring help, reader’s advisory, biographical dictionaries, and other reference sources.

You need a library card and a PIN to access these resources from home, school or work.

If you do not have a library card, apply for an ecard online to use the library’s digital materials.

You can search databases using keywords, authors, or publication name. You can limit your search to just material that has full-text articles or is peer-reviewed. Each article includes the name of the source and citation information for a bibliography.

One of our most popular databases is EBSCO which provides full-text access to many popular magazines such as Consumer Reports. To get started using EBSCO, see their help section.

Take a look at the other online resources we have available.