Find Books & More

find-bannerUse this page to learn how to search the online catalog.

Search Tips

  1. How to Find a Book in the PINES Catalog
  2. Understanding the Search Results
  3. Locating the Book on the Shelf
  4. Placing a Book on Hold
How To Find A Book in the PINES Catalog

The library’s books and other material are all listed in the PINES Catalog. You can search for a specific book or a specific author, or you can search for books about a subject without having a specific book in mind.

About the Search Screen:
  • Search Field: Enter the word or words you are searching for in this field. If you are searching for a book title, you do not need to enter all of the words in the title.
  • Search Type: Choose the type of search you are doing (Author, Title, etc.). If you are not sure what type of search you are doing, leave this dropdown box as “Keyword.”
  • Format Type: By default, the system will search “All Formats” (books, audio books, videos, large-print books, etc.) – if you wish to search only a specific format, then select the appropriate one from the dropdown list.
  • Location: Use this field to search for a book in a specific library branch or library system, or to search for it in all of the 280+ PINES libraries. (Remember, if it is present in another PINES library, you can place a hold on it and request that it be sent to your local branch.)
After you enter your search terms and make any selections you wish to make, press the “Go” button.

Example 1: Search for anything written by Jonathan Franzen at the Lovejoy branch.
  • Search Field: Jonathan Franzen
  • Search Type: Author
  • Format Type: All Formats
  • Location: Lovejoy Branch
Example 2: Search for videos for learning yoga at any CCLS location.
  • Search Field: yoga
  • Search Type: Keyword
  • Format Type: Video Recordings
  • Location: Local Library System
Understanding the Search Results

The search results screen will tell you the titles, authors, and formats of the items that are available, as well as the numbers of items that are available. Each of the columns on the right tells you how many copies are owned and how many copies are currently available for checkout. For instance, in the first example below, Yoga on the ball…, my ‘home’ branch owns one copy and it is on the shelf and available for checkout. Out of all six Clayton County library branches, there are 6 copies of this book and 5 of them are available for checkout. Out of all of the PINES network of libraries throughout Georgia, 6 copies are owned, and 5 are available for checkout (meaning, Clayton County is the only library system in the PINES network that owns this book).

In the second example below, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga, Clayton County’s only copy is checked out, but another 4 copies are available at other PINES network libraries.


For more detailed information about a particular book, click on its title. If you wish to locate the book on the shelf in the library, you will need to get the book’s Call Number. When you click on a book’s title from the search results screen (above), you will see more details about the book including it’s “copy information” (below). In this example, the call number is: 613.7 BIRCH, BERYL BENDER.


Locating the Book on the Shelf

1. Write down the Call Number
The Clayton County Library System organizes its non-fiction books by subject, and those subject areas are assigned numbers using the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Each book is assigned its own individual call number (for example, 745.58 CYPHER) using this system that gives it a specific place on the shelf to go and groups it with other books on the same subject. If you would like more information about how the numbers relate to the subject areas, see: Wikipedia: List of Dewey Decimal Classes.

Fiction is organized by category and author (for example, A FIC KING, STEPHEN).

2. Determine what section of the library the book is in
Look at the first part of the call number to determine what section of the library it will be shelved in – many of the common codes are listed on the chart below. If you have a call number that begins with a different code than the ones listed here, please feel free to ask us what the code means.

Begins with… Sample Call Number Section of the Library
  745.58 CYPHER Non-fiction (no special code beforre the number)
A FIC A FIC LAMOUR Adult Fiction
GR GR 929.2 Genealogy Room (Headquarters Library only – Items have been moved to Reference)
JR JR 910 WORLD Juvenile Reference (cannot be checked out)
J FIC J FIC ROWLING Juvenile Fiction
R R 364.03 Reference (cannot be checked out)
SF SF DELANY Science Fiction / Fantasy
YA YA STIEFVATER Young Adult Fiction

3. Find the book on the shelf
If the call number includes numbers (for example, 364.03), they will be organized numerically on the shelf. For instance, 125.04 will come before 364.03, which will come before 364.04, which will come before 365.01.

If there are many books with the same number, the numbers will usually be followed by a word or an author’s last name, and then that group of books will be organized alphabetically. For example, 364.03 Abrams will come before 364.03 Smith.

If the call number does not include numbers (usually meaning that it is a work of fiction), it will be organized alphabetically. For example, AM HARRIS, CHARLAINE will come before AM HARRIS, STEPHEN.

When a Book Isn’t On the Shelf

There are several reasons a book may not be located where it should be on the shelf. Someone else may be using it, it may have been recently returned and not reshelved yet, it may have been pulled for repairs, etc. If you are having trouble locating the book, please ask a library staff member for assistance and we will help you track it down or request another copy for you.

Placing a Book on Hold

If the book you are looking for is located at another library, or is checked out, you may place a “hold” on it and the first available copy will be retrieved and sent to your local library for you to pick up. You will need your library card number and your account password – if you do not know your password, stop in at one of our branches with your card and photo ID and we will reset your password for you.

Learn more about the Clayton County Library System!

Mission Statement

To contribute to the success of the citizens of our diverse community by offering a full range of library services that meet their informational, educational and leisure interests, fostering the love of reading in our youth and the lifelong pursuit of knowledge for all.