Merlin is My Electronic Resource Library information Network; a library catalog shared by 31 libraries in eight northern Wisconsin counties. A library card from any of the member libraries can be used to access an online account to request items, cancel requests, renew items, and keep lists of titles, preferred searches, or reading history. Searches in Merlin can include all libraries or they can be limited to one library or material type. Advanced search features offer many more ways to limit search results. Merlin provides links to featured lists, lists by material type, popular titles, and databases offered to Wisconsin residents. New online features include online payment of fines or donations, self registration for limited temporary card privileges, and a reading advisory feature linked to search results.
The Home Page
From the main navigation bar patrons can access their account, the help center, search options, Features Lists of recently acquired material, or information about their library and the catalog. A set of basic navigation links are also located at the top of the home page.
After logging into Merlin, individual or multiple requests can be placed while browsing through the catalog. From a Merlin account patrons can also modify information, renew items, cancel requested items, pay fine, and manage preferred searches and reading lists. If you're in a hurry to request items and don't have a card, a temporary card with limited functionality can be issued online. More information about patron account features can be found in the Help Center.
The Quick Search on the home page can generate a list of materials that contain the search term anywhere in the record. Before clicking the Go icon, the search results can be limited:
- 1.The Search drop-down box options will limit a search to title, author, author/title, subject, call number, and ISBN/ISSN.
- 2.The Limit drop-down box options will limit a search to a library location or to a material type.
Quick Links offers many different lists limited by genre, electronic, print and audio/visual formats, including separate lists for children and adults.
The Advanced Search allows a user to enter search terms and limit to more specific options to further narrow the results. Advanced limits include specific library locations, specific material types, language choices, publication years, and publisher’s names (if known). Users may incorporate wildcards, Boolean operators, field limits, and grouping in an Advanced Search.
Keyword searches produce a list of brief records. Brief records are identified as displaying title information, a call number, a media icon, a book jacket (if linked to one), rating stars, a request button, and book cart button, but no other description for the item.
Other index searches may bring up either a list of authors, titles, or subjects (depending on the search) or the exact record requested. Results screens show 12 results per page. Navigation features include page numbers and the option to choose Next and Previous to move between long results lists.
Clicking on a title in from the list of results will retrieve the full record details.
An item can be requested from a brief record display or a full record display by selecting the Request link:
- You will be prompted to type in your name (e.g. John Smith) and barcode number from your library card before submitting a request.
- You'll be prompted to select a pickup location where the item will be shipped for you to pick up.
- You have the option to select a date to “cancel if not filled”
- Click Submit to send the request
- A message will inform you the request was successful. (You'll receive notification from your library when the item is ready to pick up.)
- At this point you can place more requests or check other areas in your patron record.
- It is necessary to Log Out of your account once you're finished.