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Cataloging eBooks

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2021 08:26

Catalog an eBook

  1. In Items Management, select the Titles tab.
  2. At the bottom left of the Records List pane, click on the plus icon  to add a new title.
  3. Choose how you want to add the eBook:
    1. To find a MARC record match, use Title Assistant. Click on the appropriate record to highlight it before clicking Continue or pressing <enter>.  If the Medium is not “electronic resource” or “downloadable eBook”, remember that you can later change the Medium and Policy and add any additional information (e.g. notes) required to perfect your eBook record.
    2. Or, to add a record manually, click Search or press <enter>.
  4. The new title record will appear in the record pane, where you can add or modify any information about the eBook. Here are some fields you should review:
    1. Call Number. Make the Call Number easily identifiable as a title that is (or can be) downloaded to an eReader. For example, if you were cataloging The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, you may want to add the prefix of KIN to the Call Number in order to designate it as an eBook title installed on a Kindle. Then, complete the call number as if you were cataloging a regular book (e.g. KIN CL SEU).
    2. Policy. Select your eBook policy. You'll want to review it in your Policy Preferences to make sure it's configured correctly. Specifically, check the following:
      1. On the Check Out tab, make sure that the Transaction Period drop-down menu is set to No Loan Period.
      2. On the Other tab, make sure the Allow Hold Requests option is unchecked.
      3. On the Other tab, verify that Show AS ONLINE in Researcher is checked.
    3. Medium. If necessary, change the Medium (245_h) to something like “electronic resource” or “downloadable eBook”.
    4. Subjects tab. Create a convenient link to the eReader group on which the eBook was downloaded/installed by using the title of the eReader group as a subject heading. See Add eReader Group as Subject Heading.
  5. When you're done customizing the record, click Save

Optional Strategies

Here are some extras things you can do with your eBooks and electronic resources.

Add eBook Copies

Generally, we don't recommend adding copies for eBooks and electronic resources. This is because it gives patrons the wrong impression on how to access those items, is often considered incorrect cataloging (since there aren't actual copies), and it may contribute to your item limits. However, you might choose to add eBook copies if you want to track usage or have digital copies that can only be loaned to one person at a time.

If you want to add copies to your eBooks, first follow the instructions to Catalog an eBook. After you click Save, a dialog will pop up asking if you want to add a copy. Clicking Add will create a new, blank copy in the record pane. Fill out the copy's information and click Save. You can add more copies by clicking on the Actions menu  and selecting Add Copy (adds one new copy) or Duplicate Copy (adds multiple new copies).

Add eReader Group as Subject Heading

Create a convenient link to the eReader group on which the eBook was downloaded/installed by using the title of the eReader group as a subject heading. This way, patrons will be able to see the eReader group for an eBook by looking at its expanded details in Search or Explore's results.

  1. Go to Items Management and select the eBook record.
  2. Click on the Subjects tab.
  3. At the top of the window, click the padlock icon to unlock  the record for editing.
  4. Click Add and select 650 - Subject Added Entry - Topical Term.
  5. In the 650_a field, type the eReader group name (e.g. "Kindle Group 1"). This should exactly match the title of the record for the eReader(s) on which this particular eBook is installed.
  6. At the bottom of the window, click OK.
  7. Click Save to keep your subject heading changes or Revert to abandon them.

Add the same subject heading to multiple records at once by using the Add a MARC Tag utility.

Visit the Library of Congress for more information about 650 - Subject Added Entry - Topical Term tags.

Create an eBook Barcode Reference Sheet

If you have eBook copies, run a Copy Labels (3x10) report to create a printable quick reference for all the eBooks in your collection. These are easy to use, distribute, and share at your organization!

  1. Go to Tools > Reports > Copies > Labels.
  2. Select Copy Labels (3x10) – Barcode Labels, Envelope Labels, Info Labels.
  3. Configure the Selections tab as shown below:


    • Copies with a Status of: Any

    • Copies with a Policy of: eBook
    • Copies from: Copy Location
    • Copies with a Medium of: Any—though you can choose a more specific option from the dropdown menu.

  4. Click on the Options tab. Click the Sort By dropdown menu and select Title.


  5. Click the Run button at the bottom of the window.

  6. Next, click the Operations icon in the top right of your window. 

  7. Locate your report, which should be at the top of the list, and then click the PDF icon to download it to your device.


  8. Print the PDF and keep a hard copy at your circulation desk so it is readily accessible for reference.

Make this a Saved report and mark it as a Favorite so you don't have to remember how to set it up again the next time you add more eBook titles.