Using Library

If your school is using Populi Library, you'll see a link to it in the topmost navigation bar:


As a Library Patron, you can search the Catalog, place holds on resources, recommend and review resources, and keep track of your Library activity (books you've borrowed, fines to be paid, etc.).

Library has three tabs: Catalog, Links, and My Profile.

Finding Resources in the Catalog

Search Resources

First, select which Libraries (if your school has more than one) and Resource Types you'd like to search. Then, just type in the search field and press enter.

To make your searches more specific, you can type modifiers just before your main search term to narrow down your results:

  • title:
  • barcode:
  • author:
  • creator:
  • subject:
  • call number: 

Your search results will list below the search field. Search returns 25 results per page; you'll find links to the Previous and Next pages at the bottom of each search page.

Click a title to view that Resource.


In the Subjects tab, click any subject name to see all the Resources at your school with that subject.

Resource Pages

Resource pages show basic bibliographical information, list its various copies and where they're located at your school, and show recommendations and reviews in the right column.

Placing Holds

Place a hold on the Resource by clicking Place a hold below the cover image. Choose the library where you would like to pick up the Resource and click Place Hold to complete it.


Click thumbzup.png to give the Resource your thumbs-up.

Leave reviews by entering a Title and Body and clicking Post Review.


The Links tab shows you lists of links to external websites that may be of interest to you in your research.

Your Library Profile

My Profile shows your Library-related activity, splitting it into two tabs: Circulation and Reviews.


Under Loans, use the drop-down to filter the list to show the Resources you've checked out and see those that are On Loan, Returned, or have Unpaid Fines.

You can Renew a resource by clicking the link next to the due date of the resource you'd like to renew.

You can Export a library card at any time by clicking the link. This creates a PDF of a unique photo-ID card with a barcode.

Your Summary gives you the stats: how many resources are checked out, how many (if any) are overdue, and a running total of any fines you owe.

You can probably guess what you'll see under Contact Info. If anyone at the Library needs to get a hold of you, this is where they'll look. If you need to correct something here, change it on your regular Populi Profile and your Library Profile will update automatically.

All of your Resource Holds list here; if you need to cancel a hold, click the link to do so.


Reviews simply collects all of your Resource Reviews and Recommendations.

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  • 0
    Carol Reid

    What about overdue notices?

  • 0
    Carol Reid

    Is there an example of the manual input form?  How do you do materials designations?  What is the maximum number of book records that can be hosted in the catalog?  Do you store the data or is it on our server?  Is the Marc record preserved in case we ever want to migrate away? Is there a trial I can see?

  • 0
    Carol Reid

    Are there "reports" that provide statistics on circulation and holdings?

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell


    I'm putting the finishing touches on the Admin-level Library documentation; this article is meant for student and faculty users who are just trying to search the library and perform basic Patron tasks (leave reviews, etc.).

    I'll make sure your questions are addressed in some form in the advanced documentation...

    Actually, a few answers to some of your questions:

    There is no limit to the number of records you can store in the catalog.

    We store the data; it is securely backed-up with numerous redundant safety systems.

    We will be shortly adding a MaRC exporter to Library; while in Populi, the records are stored in our database format which is just as detailed as a MaRC record, but vastly more efficient, searchable, speedier, and space-saving. We can import MaRC records from legacy systems.

    Reports for circulation and holds are built-in and easy to find.

    I'll do my best to get the other Library documentation out there today. As for seeing what it looks like, would you like me to create a login for you on our demo site? That would probably be the best way for you to get a sense of how it works.

  • 0
    Carol Reid

    Thank you, Brendan.  We would LOVE to have a link to the demo site and any other information that you can provide.  We are currently using ATHENA as our catalog--it is no longer supported by the manufacturer, but we've been able to keep it alive so far. 

    We do have several alumni and area pastors who currently use our catalog.  I'm assuming that only those with Populi log-ins are able to access the catalogs your host.  Is that correct?  Ideally, though not all users would have a user profile, I'd like for the catalog to be open to anyone who wanted to search it.

    Thanks for your help. CR

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell


    Send an email to with the names and emails of the people at Free Will who'd like to look at the Demo Library. Then I'll get them set up.

    I realize now that this article leaves out something important--anyone can browse your Library Catalog using the Search Resources and Subjects tabs. To leave review or check things out, they'd need to be in Populi as a Library Patron (which is a new user role) or as Student, Faculty, or Staff. So, yes, area pastors and alums can check out resources using Populi Library.



  • 0
    Deborah Forteza

    We also use Athena, so I'd be curious to know what develops as far as admin migration tutorials. I'm very glad to see this update!

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell

    The main Library tutorials have been up for a few days:

    We're fielding lots of requests and ideas from customers, so we expect we'll be building it out a lot more in the coming months (while juggling other development projects). But the documentation above covers just about everything. As I learn about what workflows are important to people, I'll add more to the docs.

    Thanks everyone! We do look forward to your thoughts after you put Library through its paces.

    @Deborah, if you want to try out Library on our demo site, send an email to with the names and emails of everyone at CBTS who'd like to try it out.

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