Tech Tips: How to use the SWAN Libraries + app

By John Gargiulo, Supervising Librarian of Creative Technology

Did you know that there is an app you can use to search for library materials, place holds, and manage your checkouts all in one place? The SWAN Libraries + app makes finding and requesting items easy. 

Let’s review a few basics of how to use the SWAN Libraries + app

Install the app

Download the SWAN Libraries + app for iOS or Android.

Log in

After installing the SWAN Libraries + app from the app store on your device, you’ll see a screen with the SWAN logo that asks you to select your library (see figure 1 below).

You can select your library by either using your location or by manually typing in the name of your library (see figure 2 below). 

After selecting your library, you need to enter your library card number and PIN to log in. Forgot your Oak Park four-digit PIN? How to reset your PIN »

Navigate the app

Discover page

After logging into the app, you will see the Discover page (see figure 3 above). At the top of this page is a search bar that you can use to search for items. Below the search bar, there are titles curated by Oak Park librarians on various topics. You can load additional lists by scrolling to the bottom of the screen and pressing the Load All Categories button.

At the bottom of the screen, there are options to switch between the Discover page, Card page, Account menu, and More page.

Card page

Pressing the card page displays your library card number and barcode (see figure 4 above), which you can use for checking out titles at library check-out locations. The app may prompt you to allow permissions for adjusting your screen brightness to make the barcode more easily read by barcode readers.

Account menu

Pressing the Account menu button opens an account menu on the side of the screen (see figure 5 below). The menu displays the name and card number of the account. It shows titles you have checked out, titles you have on hold, lists, saved searches, check-out history (only if you have enabled that feature), fines, events, contact information, and linked accounts. The account menu also has a button to Sign Out of the app.

More page

The More page displays library building hours at the top of the screen (see figure 6 above). It also offers information on other library locations and a preferences button. On the Preferences page (see figure 7 above), you can manage browsing categories that appear on the Discover page. You also can adjust your Device permissions on this page (see figure 8 above)—for example, the ability to turn on notifications for things like item updates and library announcements.

Searching for items

Finally, let’s review the process of searching for an item and using the app’s search filters. In these screenshots (below), I searched “Curtis Mayfield” to find his biography (see figure 9 below). You can use the filters button at the top of the screen to limit your search results by various factors (see figures 8 and 9 below).

After limiting the format to books (see figure 12 above), I found the title I was looking for. After selecting the title, I could place a hold on the item (see figure 13 below). Once I placed this hold, the account menu now displays that I have one title on hold (see figure 14 below). Pressing the Titles on Hold tab shows holds that are ready for pickup and holds that are still pending (see figures 15 and 16 below).

Have a tech question?

About John

As the library’s Supervising Librarian of Creative Technology, John enjoys working with patrons to discover how we can demystify technology and shape it to help us with our different needs and aspirations. He is also a musician and loves making noise.