Changes to Our Catalog

by on January 31st, 2017

You may not have realized this, but for several years, the Iowa City Public Library has had two catalogs. If you regularly search to see if ICPL owns a book or a DVD, you probably noticed differences in the way some of your searches look.



There is our reliable, workhorse Catalog Classic, a catalog technology introduced to the world before Google existed (it is twenty years old now). It searches as you would search an index in a book, alphabetically through specific fields in our collection database. It was revolutionary at the time.

Then there is the newer catalog, CatalogPro, a keyword based search. You type a word in the box and it searches everything; you do not have to determine if you are looking for a title or an author. Like most other websites, it ranks its results based on a relevancy formula, pushing results with a title similar to your search, newer items, or popularity to the top of the list. You can narrow down your results based on the format you want, what’s available now at the library, or by collection.

On February 1st, we retire Catalog Classic. As much as we love Classic, it is no longer supported by the company that maintains our catalogs and we want to focus our efforts on improving and developing a single way to search library collections.

If you’ve bookmarked our catalog, make sure to update the url:

If you have any questions about using the catalog, contact us at or call us at 319-356-5200.

2 Responses to “Changes to Our Catalog”

  1. Kathryn A. says:

    Grrrr! I want my classic catalog pretty please!!! I understand it isn’t supported any more, but surely there’s a better way than just 100% junking it 🙁

    I find the Encore/CatalogPro annoying and clunky. I have tried it occasionally over the years but always ended back at Classic. This is probably my deficit, but it just isn’t working for me.

    For instance, I have a similar user experience as when I use the IC Press-Citizen’s search feature to look up topics. Unless I have the ‘correct’ keywords, it may find nothing or 200 mostly unrelated articles. I often end up just using Google to find an old PC article.

    Today, I was trying to browse thru the music CDs to find some classic rock compilations. Even though I used Advanced Search to narrow down the format to Adult CD, it keeps giving me irrelevant articles. It also seems to be pickier about having the right search term.

    BTW, have you thought about putting the ‘start over’ button back? It’s not immediately obvious to click on Encore Home or CatalogPro at the bottom of the screen.

    Is there a tutorial or tips page for folks getting used to the switch? I think my short-term work-around will be to lookup topics on Google or Amazon then look up a specific item on the catalog. Sorry for the tirade but I’m a bit in shock 🙂 Thanks!

  2. John Hiett says:


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