Library 101: Checking out the New PPL Website

City of Plano launched its new website back and January. Let’s check it out together in this month’s Library 101!

The Homepage

The library offers a lot of digital resources that you may not know about, and we try to give you a good jumping off point on our homepage. Let’s ignore the banner at the top of the page for now and look at the search bar, of which there are two. The first one reads “I’m looking for…” and searches the entire City of Plano website. Use this search bar for information on city events, services and facilities.

Below that, you’ll see a second bar which reads “Search the Library”. You might think that this searches our catalog – which it does! – but this search bar also searches academic databases available through our website. Searching The Very Hungry Caterpillar may bring up the item record in our catalog, as well as read-a-likes and articles on Eric Carle’s works. For more refined searches, you’ll need to visit our catalog or databases directly.

Below the search bars, you’ll find Library News and COVID-19 information. Library News details some of our upcoming events, our virtual programs and classes. As you might have guessed, COVID-19 information details our business hours and any restrictions on available library services – are we still offering curbside pickup, what are mask requirements in the library? All of this information can be found here, but we also encourage you to call your local library for the most up-to-date changes, as well as program and study room availability (as these vary by building).

The buttons below Library News include our drop-down menu pages, as well as a curated list of topics relevant to our library patrons ranging from frequently asked questions, to a list of recorded virtual programs, to technology classes and online resources for virtual schooling.

At the very bottom of the page, you’ll find our Event Calendar and social media links. If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to keep up with all things PPL!


Our Wonderful Drop-down Menus

Remember that banner we were going to talk about later, the one at the top of the page? If you hover over where it says Library (which will stay at the top of your page no matter how much scrolling you’ve done!) you will see the options (in bold and teal) Library Home, Catalog & Account Login, About, Learn and Visit.

Library Home will take you to the same homepage that we talked about above. Catalog & Account Login should look familiar to those who have used our catalog computers or our online catalog. Here, you can search our collection for specific titles, browse new releases, books, DVDs and more, as well as sign up for a library card and check the status of your account (click on My Account to see these options and more.)

Our About page includes information on some of our services, such as Book a Librarian (currently virtual), Suggest an Item and Place an Interlibrary Loan. Here, you can also check out our business and community Partnerships, Awards, our Year in Review, Policies and our Strategic Plan, outlining how Plano Public Library intends to promote and improve services to our community.

The Learn tab is where we keep all of the good stuff: Kanopy, eBooks, Databases and our fantastic Blog are all found here. Check out eBooks and more for our digital collections (including Flipster and PressReader for our Magazine and Newspaper lovers), or STEAM for a list of STEAM kits (available for all ages) as well as YouTube videos from our very own Plano Public Library YouTube channel. You can also check out our Programs and Classes and Art in the Library (that’s right, we’re bringing it back!)

If you’re looking for information on your local Plano Public Library, check out our Visit tab and click on the location nearest you for hours and contact information. The Visit page also includes information on our Genealogy Center and Digital Creation Space, as well as our Family Place Library. You’ll also find information that’s also available on the Plano Library homepage, including COVID-19 information and Library News.

A few more notes: under the drop-down menu, you’ll also find links to every page under our About, Learn and Visit tabs, so you can go directly to those pages if you already know what you’re looking for. The pages may take a few seconds to fully load, so if you don’t see something you’re looking for, wait a moment to see if the page finishes loading. We’ve always got something new planned at Plano Public Library, so check back frequently for news updates and be sure to continue visiting our Blog for daily content.

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