An official website of Arlington County Government

New Catalog: Tips and Tricks

Part 1: Get the Most Out Of Your Searches

Looking for something specific?

Try these tools for customizing, personalizing and even saving your favorite searches!
Click each image to enlarge for full screen.


Sort Results By

Search Results

Sort your search results by:

  • Best Match
  • Total Checkouts
  • Date Added
  • Newest First
  • Oldest First
  • Author
  • Title



Saving Searches

Search then filter

Do you look for the same kind of items every month?

If you always want to find the newest Detective novels or kid DVDs, you can create and then save a search to your account:

  1. Start an empty search by clicking on GO.
  2. Choose your search parameters using “Sort Results By” and…
  3. “Narrow Your Results” options.
  4. Save searchScroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Search.”

You can sort and save the Library’s Browse Lists the same way.



Viewing Searches

Covers only


You can also view your search results as all covers…





List with covers


a list with covers…





List with no covers


or a list with no covers.






My Lists

Importing Old Lists

Did you use saved lists in the old catalog?

It’s easy to import them! Just click on “My Lists” in your account, then choose “Import Existing Lists.”




Check out New Catalog: Tips and Tricks, Part 2: Reading Your Search Results.




Comments (36)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Emma S says:

    Thanks for the tips & tricks. I’m always resistant to change but, I gotta say, I really love the catalog redesign. So much fun to browse online now and so easy to find what I need. Well done.

  2. Web Editor says:

    Emma, that’s great to hear – thank you!

    Don’t miss Tips and Tricks, part 2: Reading Your Search Results

  3. jane p says:

    please tell me where i go to return a book early — i used to find it in the paragraph at the top of the page but don’t know where it is now.

    thank you

    • Web Editor says:


      If you are referring to returning eBooks early, you go to your OverDrive app if you are using an Android device, or your Amazon account if you are using a Kindle.

      You can find more information on our eCollection Help and Troubleshooting page.

      If you are referring to returning regular books early, you can do so at any of our Library locations.

  4. M Green says:

    How do I filter my searches to available titles?

    • Web Editor says:


      When you do a search, there are two buttons at the top of the search results – “Entire Collection” and “Available” – just click on Available.

  5. Jeanne T. says:

    I want to see my list of holds in chronological order. The oldest to newest, as in the prior system. Or even newest to oldest. Looking at the cancellation date is too time consuming. How do I change the way the holds are listed on the screen?

    • Web Editor says:


      Do you mean that you want to see them in the order that you placed them, with the oldest first?

      At the moment, holds can’t be sorted, but we’re working on adding a number of ways to do so.

  6. Carol Biondolillo says:


    I know sort by due date on the check out screen, but can I sort the requests by “active” and “frozen” and if so, how do I do that?

    Thanks for your help.


  7. Laura says:

    I am unable to find a “freeze” button for my most recent holds. The only option showing is cancel hold, yet the book is not currently available for checkout, and I would like to be able to download it at a later date of my convenience.

    • Web Editor says:

      Hi Laura,

      It sounds like the item you want to freeze is an OverDrive hold (eBook or eAudiobook). Unfortunately, only physical holds can be frozen in the catalog, which is why you don’t see the option on that item. To freeze your OverDrive holds, you need to log into your OverDrive account directly.

      • Howard Schreier says:

        I have this problem with physical holds, via the web. If I freeze a hold, then later thaw it, I see no freeze button.

  8. Kate says:

    What does “in transit” mean? It sounds as if the book is on its way to my local branch for me to pick up in a day or so, yet I am still far down on the waiting list, lower even than the total number of available copies.

    • Web Editor says:

      Hi Kate,

      We need to know where all of our items are at all times, so “in transit” is the term for any item moving from one library location to another, whether it is on hold or being returned to its home branch.

      So if someone returns a book at Central and the next person on hold for it wants to pick it up at Aurora Hills, the item status will be “in transit” while it is moving between locations.

      • Kate says:

        Thanks–it makes perfect sense now.

        New question please–when I freeze a hold because I have other books I’m reading, do I continue to move up in the ranks so that when I “thaw” I should be higher on the waiting list than when I froze it, i.e., I won’t have lost movement up the list. Or do I just stay on the waiting list where I was when I hit the freeze?

        • Web Editor says:

          Kate, a frozen hold continues to advance – but when it reaches #1, it stops and stays there until you unfreeze it. You can learn more on our Holds info page.

  9. Ginny Johnstone says:

    Is there some place I can find the length of a DVD?
    It used to be with the description. (Occasionally
    it’s on the back of the DVD holder – but not on the three I just checked out.) Thanks!

    • Web Editor says:


      Click on the blue DVD button to go to the full record for the item. Then look for “More Details,” where you’ll find the length under “Physical Description.”

  10. Pauline L says:

    When a book is due in a few days or a hold is available for pickup I used to get notified by email. Is there a settling somewhere to activate notification by email on a certain page? Thanks!

    • Web Editor says:

      Pauline, you should still get those alerts. Check your spam or junk email folder, and if they’re not there, call or speak to someone at Circulation (703-228-5940 or your local branch) and ask to check that email messages are turned on in your account.

  11. P Santiago says:

    Where can I find who narrates an audiobook? It used to be in the description section for most audiobooks but now I can’t find it.

    Thank you.

    • Web Editor says:

      With our new Grouped Records, the information about a narrator is still in the description of the ab Audiobook on CD, but now you have to choose the “Audiobook on CD” version of the book from the Grouped Work to see it.

      In the case of eAudiobooks from OverDrive and hoopla, we get those records directly from the online vendors – and unfortunately neither company includes the narrator information in their records (why not? no idea…).

  12. Kelly says:

    I would like to export one of my lists…is that possible? I can see how to print it and how to email it, but being able to export it as a .xls or .csv file would be great.

    Also on the topic of lists…is there a way to filter a list the way you can filter search results? I’d be interested in seeing, out of the 63 books on my list, which are currently available, which are currently available at my branch, which are currently available in eBook format, etc.

    • Web Editor says:


      The kind of versatility you’re looking for isn’t currently available for lists, but we can keep it in mind for future development.

  13. Beverly Armstrong says:

    How do I get to the “Browse New Books” on the catalog page from a specific search? A button that takes me there would be nice; it may be there, but I can’t find it. Thanks!

  14. Bob Cambridge says:

    What is a “wait list” and how does one get on such a list?

    • Web Editor says:


      We don’t have a catalog function called “Wait List,” but when you place a hold for an item, you are placed on a “hold list” – is that what you are referring to?

      We do have wait lists for some registration events, but I don’t think that’s what you mean – let me know if I’m wrong!

  15. Dennis O'Connor says:

    When placing a Hold, I have to select my library name. Can this be a default in my Account? There is a space there for Home Library, but no way to insert anything.

  16. Ruth Duvall says:

    How can I rate books? I don’t see an icon when I look at my checked out books.

    • Web Editor says:

      Ruth, in your checked out items page you should see ratings stars under the title and author info for each book you have checked out. You can click on those stars to rate each book.

  17. Jeremy says:

    If Kindle format is not specifically listed, but Overdrive is, does that mean the eBook is only available via the Overdrive app?

Leave a Reply to Web Editor

We love to know what you think about our news and events. We read all comments, and post a selection of them here on the blog.

We do ask that comments stay on topic - for more guidelines on what we consider appropriate feedback, see our comment policy. If you have concerns or urgent questions that require a response, please email the Library.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.