FAQs

You have questions. Ben has answers!

Books, Movies, and More in a PA Library (Also known as Access PA Catalog)

How do I search the catalog?

Here are tips on searching the catalog.

What are E-Resources?

The e-resources in POWER Library are free access to newspapers, magazines, journals, image databases, STEM resources, resources for very young readers, eBooks, and much more! Many articles are full-text.

What if I find an item I would like to borrow?

Ask your local library for the item and they will use the interlibrary loan system to obtain the item for you.

What is the Access PA Catalog?

It is a catalog containing the collections of thousands of Pennsylvania libraries. A single search will reveal materials held by public, school, academic, and special libraries throughout Pennsylvania.

Chat With a Librarian (Also known as Ask Here PA)

Can I get a transcript of my Chat?

Enter an e-mail address (at the beginning or end of your session), and you will automatically receive a copy of your Chat at the end of the session.

Can I keep my Chat confidential?

You do not have to use your real name or enter your email. If you want a copy of your transcript sent to you, you can provide an email address at the end of the Chat.

How do I ask a question anonymously?

Do not enter an email address at the beginning of the CHAT.  This allows you to remain anonymous.

How does Chat work?

Simply LAUNCH CHAT and then enter your question.  A librarian will respond. It might take 10 to 15 minutes for an answer and sometimes more.

What if my question takes a long time to research?

If more time is needed to answer your question, a librarian may ask for your email address so that the answer can be sent to you later.

What is Chat with a Librarian?

Chat with a librarian is a live chat service where librarians answer your questions, 24/7.

Why am I being blocked from Chat?

Firewalls and filters can interfere. Check your settings to allow emails from askherepa@hslc.org or questionpoint@oclc.org or contact your network administrator.

E-Resources

How do I access the E-Resources?

You might have direct access to the e-resources when you are inside a library or you can access the e-resources from anywhere using your public library card or POWER Library eCard. Visit your local library website and look for POWER Library or go directly to POWERLibrary.org and select E-Resources.

What are E-Resources?

The e-resources in POWER Library are free access to newspapers, magazines, journals, image databases, STEM resources, resources for very young readers, eBooks, and much more! Many articles are full-text.

What E-Resources are Available?

The subjects covered include, but are not limited to: Biography, Business, Children’s Resources, Education, Find a Book, General Reference, Health and Science, Literature, and Newspapers and Magazines.  To view the full list of e-resources, visit your local library website and look for POWER Library or go directly to POWERLibrary.org and select E-Resources.

Why should I use POWER Library rather than just surfing the web?

POWER Library gives Pennsylvanians access to authoritative, subscription-only information that isn’t available through free search engines or web directories. Publishers of the e-resources in POWER LIBRARY have carefully checked them for accuracy.

General Power Library questions

How reliable is POWER Library information?

Very. While we cannot ever be certain that all information in the POWER Library e-resources is accurate, you can be confident that it has been reviewed and compiled by subject experts and is more reliable than what you might find with a random search.

What if I can’t find an answer to my question?

POWER Library offers 24/7 Chat with a librarian. Ask a question, and you’ll either have an answer or be pointed in the right direction.

What is POWER Library?

Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library brings together in one place access to the collections and resources of libraries across the state.

Who can use POWER Library?

All residents of Pennsylvania can ask a librarian a question or search for a title, read an article, look through photos and documents, or find information that may not appear anywhere else on the web.  Use of the e-resources requires that you are in a participating PA library or from anywhere using your public library card or POWER Library eCard.

Who pays for POWER Library?

POWER Library is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Why is POWER Library a valuable service?

POWER Library offers Pennsylvanians and their libraries access to materials that they otherwise would not have. These resources are not available except as subscription services.  The resources support the educational, professional, and informational needs of Pennsylvanians.

Why should I use POWER Library rather than just surfing the web?

POWER Library gives Pennsylvanians access to authoritative, subscription-only information that isn’t available through free search engines or web directories. Publishers of the e-resources in POWER Library have carefully checked them for accuracy.

PA Photos and Documents (Formerly Access PA Digital Repository)

How many Collections are Available?

There are over 120 collections available.

What are the PA Photos and Documents Collections?

These collections are digitized photos and documents that are made available online by participating institutions throughout the State of Pennsylvania.

What Types of Photos and Documents are Included?

A wide variety of materials are available across the collections. There’s lots of Pennsylvania history including soldier’s diaries from the civil war. There are yearbooks, newspapers, and much, much more. The collections can be browsed by subject or by the name of the institution contributing the collection.

Why aren’t the Collections from my Library, Museum, or Historical Society Included?

Local institutions decide if they are going to contribute collections to PA Photos and Documents. The POWER Library does not determine which collections are included in PA Photos and Documents.