Catalog Searching – Encore vs Smart Search

Stark County District Library’s new website offers a new way to discover all that the library offers. Using the smart search bar (found on any page on the website) you can enter a subject and explore everything the library has to offer about that topic. For example, to learn more about the spreadsheet program Microsoft Excel you can click in the smart search bar and type “excel.” Results for this search are separated into all the different Excel related items and services the library offers – books, digital books, videos, programs, etc.


This integrated smart search is an effective way to explore all of the library’s resources. The search process and interface are much different than what the website used to offer. Those who prefer the old way will be happy to know that it is very simple to access.

On every page of the website there is an orange My Account button in the top right corner.


Click that and log in to your account (library card number and PIN/password. Note:  PIN/password can be set up for you by visiting any library location.)


After successful log in you are directed to our Web Public Access Catalog (WebPAC), called Encore. Before the recent website revisions Encore was the main search function on the library’s website.

Encore allows you to search for library materials (similar to the smart search bar) but has some advanced features that can be very useful. After searching in Encore you can you can use the filters on the left side of the page to refine results by format, location, language, and more. So if we return to our Excel example, you can search Encore for “excel” and then refine results to see if there are any books available right now at the branch nearest you.

So let’s say you want an Excel book and the East Canton branch is closest to you. Follow the steps above to log in to your account. Then click in the Encore search bar at the top of the page and search for “excel.”

03_encoresearchThis initial search yields over 200 results and includes materials all over the SCDL system. To narrow results that better fit your needs locate the Refine By: filters on the left side of the page. Under Format click Book; under Collection click All Adult Materials; under Location select Stark East Canton Branch Adult. You are now looking at books available at the East Canton branch about Excel. There are four to choose from.


Both search methods cast a wide net and are great for browsing everything the library does. The smart search bar’s integrated search feature is nice for exactly this reason. But if you need to dig a little further: locate a specific type of item or browse what’s available at a particular location the Encore feature is just a click away. On there is something for everyone. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for no matter which search method you use.


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