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What will I find on the library's web site?

Our web site allows you to browse through thousands of quality web sites and booklists on a huge variety of topics, find out about upcoming library events, access your library card account information, reserve books, communicate with librarians, and learn about regional history, just to name a few of the possibilities. We encourage you to set aside some time to explore!

What services does the library offer?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers a wide variety of services through our web site and our locations. Find out more about them on our Services page.

Who picks the sites that are listed in these pages, and how do they pick them?

The web sites that we link to have been chosen by our library staff based on the individual quality of each site and the information it provides. For more information on our selections and the Internet, take a look at our Collection Development and Management Policy and our Internet Safety and Use Policy.

I don't live in Pittsburgh. Can I use your web site and databases?

Our web site is intended to provide useful information and resources to all web users, regardless of geographic location. The links you will find throughout our pages range from local to national to international in scope. Due to subscription limitations, most of our online databases require that you use an Allegheny County library card number to access them from home. Pennsylvania residents living outside of Allegheny County can find out more about database access at the Access PA POWER Library's Where to find the POWER Library page. Residents of other states are encouraged to contact their local libraries to find out about available database access.

How do I search the web site for the topics I want to find?

You can search our web site by using the Subject Search box in the left-hand menu of each page, or by linking to the search page (click on the orange magnifying glass or the link to "Search" at the bottom of each page). To begin a search, type the words or topics you're looking for in the empty text box. For more information on searching, be sure to check our Search Help and Tips page.

What's the difference between a web site search and a catalog search?

A web site search finds information, text, and links that appear on pages of our web site, while a catalog search finds information about the books and other materials that are part of the library's physical collection. So, for example, a web site search on "Hop on Pop" might find a children's booklist or a link to a web site about Dr. Seuss, while a catalog search on "Hop on Pop" would find the catalog record for the Dr. Seuss book, with publication information and details on whether copies of the book are available or checked out.

What's the difference between a web site search and an Internet search?

A web site search looks only at information, text, and links that are contained within the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh web site. An Internet search examines the much larger scope of the World Wide Web.

What does Fast Find do?

The Fast Find box (located toward the top of the page) allows you to quickly navigate your way to the area of our web site that you want to use. Because there are thousands of pages on this site, the Fast Find function provides a quick and easy way to jump to a particular portion of the site.

How can I find the library location closest to me?

Use the map of Pittsburgh featured on our Locations page to find the library closest to you.

The web site is great, but I need more information. How do I get in touch with a real, live person?

Contact information, including phone number and address, is located at the bottom of every page. Additionally, every page has a link to Contact Us at the top and the bottom of the page, allowing you to submit an email with comments or questions.

How can I find out about upcoming events at the library?

Take a look at our Events and Classes page, where you can view a list of all events on a particular day, or you can search for events by type, subject, location, or audience. Ongoing events will provide a link to "Other Dates" on which the event will occur. Be sure to check out all the specifics on the program you would like to attend by clicking on "Details!" Here you'll find location and contact information, as well as an online registration form for events that require registration.

What is an electronic database, and how do I access one?

An electronic database is a service that provides access to online versions of newspapers, magazines, journals, books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, image collections, transcript collections, and much more. While some of these databases can only be accessed at the library, most can be used at home with an Allegheny County library card number. To find out more about this endless resource, check out our Research Databases page. There's something there for everyone!

How do I use the web site to look up a magazine or newspaper article?

Link to the Research Databases page, and click on the link to Magazines/Newspapers. While you're there, make sure you take a look at all of the other online resources that are available!

How do I use the online catalog to locate a book?

To locate a book, access the online catalog by linking to the Catalog page. Once you've reached that catalog page, you can choose to search by title, author, subject, or word. Use the "Show me what's at:" box at the top of the page to change the location you would like to search first. Another way to quickly search the catalog is by using the Subject Search box in the left-hand menu; be sure to choose "Catalog" from the drop-down menu before you click Go.

How can I reserve, renew, or check the due date of the materials I have checked out of the library?

Find out the answers to all of your borrowing questions on the Borrowing FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

How do I get to my library card account?

Find out everything you need to know about your library card account on the Your Library Card Account page.

There was a page on the old web site that I loved. How can I find it on the new web site?

Try doing a web site search (click here for help and tips) on the words or topics that you remember from the old page. While many of the pages from the old web site were moved into the new format directly, others may have been changed, updated, or incorporated into other parts of the site. Over 4,500 pages were moved to the new site, though, so chances are good the information is still here!

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