Catalog Tips: See What's on the Shelf

We know that many of you miss walking the aisles at ICPL to browse our shelves. Personally, I discover a lot of my next reads by spotting an eye-catching cover or randomly stumbling across a book near something else that I’m interested in. Did you know that our catalog has a browsing feature? Use it to help you virtually explore the shelves. I find this feature particularly useful for our nonfiction collection, as books are grouped together based on similar subject matter. If we don’t have a book available that you’re looking for, perhaps there’s something else nearby that would suit your needs. Or maybe you read something interesting and want to explore that topic a little further—this tool can help with that! Just follow the steps below to learn about our catalog’s browsing feature. Hopefully this will help you browse our shelves and stumble across something new and interesting for your next read! 


Step 1: Use the catalog search to select a book title that you are interested in. For my example, I looked up a specific title that my neighbor recommended to me. I can see that there are no copies available and a few holds have already been placed on it. I can place a hold on this title, but I also want to see if there is something else ‘nearby’ that may suit me.


Step 2: Take a look at the area that I’ve highlighted and circled below. Every book has a Call No.. When you click on that link, you will see a few options for virtual browsing.


Step 3: By clicking the Call No. link, a pop-up box will open that is automatically set for graphical browsing. The book that I had searched shows up in the middle of the shelf, with other covers shown beside it. Use the arrows to explore further down the shelf.


Step 4: If you don’t need to see the covers, but would like to browse a list, click on the “List browse” tab.


Happy browsing! And if this tool doesn’t provide you with an answer on what you should read next or if you prefer to have someone else do the digging for you, try out our personalized recommendation service, Staff Picks... Just for YouAlways remember that while we may not be able to connect with you inside the library’s walls, we are more than happy to answer your questions and support you in any way we can! Library staff can be reached at 319-356-5200 Mondays through Fridays between 10AM and 6PM. You can also email or chat at 



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