Your barcode and PIN can be used to access not only library materials in CountyCat, but also electronic resources such as OverDrive and Hoopla. And remember, if you are a Milwaukee County resident, you may use your library card at any public library in Milwaukee County.
Logging into CountyCat the First Time
From your CountyCat account you can:
- search the catalog,
- modify your personal contact information,
- view holds and checked out items, and, fines.
- set up or refer to your reading history and more
To login, CLICK HERE and enter the barcode number found on the back of your library card (or your username) and your Personal Identification Number (or PIN).
If you do not have a PIN, enter your barcode number and click the "Submit" button. You will be prompted to enter a new PIN and immediately enter your online account.
If you get a message stating "Sorry, the information you submitted was invalid. Please try again", it means there is a PIN on your record already.
If you have an email address on your account, you can reset your PIN. Click on the "Forget Your PIN?" link and enter your email address to use this feature. If you do not have an email address, contact your local library to reset your PIN.
How to Set Up a Username In Place of a Barcode
SETTING UP A USERNAME to USE IN PLACE OF THE BARCODE:You may use a unique username instead of your barcode to log into CountyCat or CountyCat Mobile. To set this up:
- Log into CountyCat on a web browser and go into your library account.
- Click the Modify Personal Information link or Edit Account button.
- Fill in the field for "Username" and click Submit to save your changes. You may also speak to a librarian who can help you enter this information.
NOTE: If you make use of a username, it will appear on the paper slips used to designate materials ready for pickup at most libraries.
After you enter in your search terms in CountyCat, use the facets (or limiters) on the left hand side of the screen under Refine by to narrow a broad topic to the specific item you desire. The checkboxes let you:
- Availability--Limit results to those at the library (for checkout or on the reference shelf) or available online.
- Found In--Limit search results by setting WHERE your search term is found: in the author, title or subject field. This is especially useful when searching the name of a person. If someone has written books under that name, then selecting subject will give you biographies of that author. Selecting the author facet will return books written by that person.
- Format—Limit results by format (DVDs, music CDs, ebooks, etc.)
- Location—Limit your results to a specific library location
- Age - Limit results by age level (adult, child, young adult)
- Language—Limit results to a certain foreign language or translation. You can also eliminate them from your results by selecting English.
- Tag—Check this option to limit and search subjects noted by both librarians and members of the library community, very helpful for broader searching.
- Place—Check this option to filter by the geographic setting of the book or film
- Publish Date—Limit results from a specific time.
How to Add/Remove Titles in a CountyCat Cart & Make a List
From your CountyCat search results display, or within a full record display of a title, there is a "cart" icon (Or, it may look to some like a boat icon), you can click to add items to a cart. When viewing the cart, you may then add/remove items. You will also have a choice to email or print one or more items in your cart, or do a batch request. Or, you may choose to select one or more items in your cart to add to a new or an existing list. That list can be accessed from your library account over time. From the list, you can remove or add titles. You can also use it to place requests.
Watch this short 3 minute video which shows how to add and remove items from a cart in CountyCat and how to make a list.
IMPORTANT: Patrons are asked to save no more than 10 items at a time to a cart. There is a bug with the current 2021 software that throws an error when more titles are saved to a cart at one time. This bug is fixed in the next software release coming in 2022.
Does my PIN need to meet certain requirements?
Yes. When you create or modify your PIN, the system requires that your PIN:
- be between 4- 30 characters long
- consider of any combination of alpha-numeric characters (a-z, 0-9) but not special characters like $%*.
- The PIN should not feature any type of pattern such as characters repeated three or more times (aaaa, ababa, bbbb, etc)
- The PIN should not feature a set of up to four characters that repeat two or more times (abab, abcabc, abcdabcd)
Any PIN not considered complex enough will generate a message:
YOUR PIN IS NOT COMPLEX ENOUGH TO BE SECURE. PLEASE SELECT ANOTHER ONE.
Can I return materials to any library?
Yes. Materials checked out at a public library in Milwaukee County can be returned to any public library in Milwaukee County.
How to Pay a Fine or Fee Online
Watch a 1:22 video on how to pay a fine in CountyCat, or read on for written instructions.
CountyCat allows you to pay your library fees or fines online with a credit card or PayPal account. You may do this from any location with Internet access. Here are the steps to pay a fine:
- Log into your account using a barcode or username and PIN.
- Click Fines/Fees from the menu of tabs on the left.
- Select Pay Online
- Then select Continue
- Then you will enter into the area for e-payment by credit card or PayPalNote: You must have at least $1.00's worth of fees or fines to pay online.