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VuFind FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

VuFind Catalog Frequently Asked Questions

About VuFind

Net ID and Password



Use I-Share

MyAccount, My Bookbag, Tags


What is the VuFind catalog?

The VuFind catalog is the newest catalog interface at the University of Illinois. It is a Next Generation Discovery System, which allows patrons to perform broad searches and then narrow their search with facets. The catalog is provided by CARLI (the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois) and is an alternative to the Voyager Classic Catalog.

Can I still use the old catalog?

You can continue to use the old Voyager catalog by clicking on links to the Classic Catalog. The University of Illinois Online Catalog is now offered via both VuFind and Voyager Classic Catalog, so patrons can select the version of the catalog they prefer. However, in June 2010, I-Share (the shared catalog of more than 70 academic libraries in Illinois) began to use VuFind Catalog, so you must use this version to search for items from other I-Share libraries.

Why did the library change the catalog?

The Library Catalog system is managed for the U of I and 75 other libraries in the state by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).  CARLI supports the I-Share catalog, a union catalog containing the holdings of all 76 libraries. The I-Share catalog is what is used to search for and request items in other Illinois academic libraries. CARLI also supports a local catalog for each of its individual member libraries, including U of I. 

Due to unresolvable technical problems with the old I-Share union catalog system, CARLI replaced it in spring 2010 with a new underlying system known as VuFind. We still use the name I-Share for the new union catalog. The new U of I catalog is also based on VuFind, and has the same look and feel as the new I-Share catalog.

Net ID and password

My NetID and Password do not work, and I am no longer asked for my library number and last name to login. Why?

 VuFind requires you to create a unique username and password just for VuFind. Some of the benefits to this new login system are:

  1. You can pick a username and password that is easy for you to remember.
  2. After you create your account, you no longer will need to enter your 14-digit library borrower number to access your account.
  3. You will no longer be timed out of the system after 10 minutes unless you are on a public access terminal.

This new account still links to your library ID number and allows you to request books, view fines, view what you have checked out, and change your account information.


How do I search for items located in a specific library on campus?

  • VuFind does not offer a way to limit results to a particular library on campus. 
  • For individual items, you can look at the results screen to see where they are located. 
  • To limit your entire search, use the Classic Catalog  and select "More Limits." You will be provided with the option to limit by campus library.

How do I search for a specific call number?

  • VuFind does not currently offer the ability to search for a specific call number.
  • To search for a particular call number, you can use the Classic Catalog: Quick Search (Voyager Catalog). Type the call number into the search bar and select "Call Number" from the menu.


How can I limit my search by publication date in the VuFind catalog?

  • VuFind does not offer a publication date limit. 
  • To search by publication date, you can use the Classic Catalog: Quick Search (Voyager Catalog). Click "More Limits" on the right-hand side of the page, and enter the year or years you would like to search. Then select "More Limits" and continue with your search.

How do I add limits to the Basic Search in VuFind?

Unfortunately, the Basic Search in VuFind does not include limits. There two ways you can limit or narrow your search.

  1. Add limits at the beginning of your search by selecting Advanced Search. Click here for tips on conducting an Advanced Search.
  2. When searching a broad subject, narrow your results by clicking on the facets on the right hand side of the search results. Click here for tips on using the facets in VuFind to narrow your search.

How do I limit by language? The language I want to limit my results to is not listed in the VuFind Advanced Search.

  • The VuFind Catalog allows you to limit by several languages in Advanced Search. 
  • If the language you are looking for is not listed, you can use the Classic Catalog to see an extensive list of languages. In your Classic Catalog search, select "More Limits." You can then browse for the language you want. 

Use I-Share

How do I repeat my local catalog search in the I-Share catalog? 

  • If your search did find the item you were looking for, repeat your search in the I-Share catalog
  • On the right-hand side of the page under "Facets Now Applied," click on "show all Libraries." 

I found the book I want in the local VuFind catalog, but it is checked out. How do I see if there is copy available in I-Share? 

  • Retype or copy and paste your search information in the search box at the top of the page and select "All I-Share Libraries" from the far right drop-down menu. Click "Find."

MyAccount, My Bookbag, Tags

How do I access "MyAccount" to see checked out books, fines, and my account information in VuFind? 

  • You must log-in with your VuFind login and password. If you do not have a VuFind account yet, see our tips for creating an account. Click here for tips on using My Account features. 

How do I access "My Bookbag" in VuFind? 

  • Items in your old bookbag do not transfer over to VuFind. Click on the "My Favorites" link to access similar features to your old bookbag. "My Favorites" also allows you to save interesting items to look at later, write personal notes about items

What are the tags in VuFind and how do I use them?

  • Tags are a Web 2.0 feature of VuFind that encourage library users to add their own language to a library record to describe an item. 
  • Adding tags allows you to incorporate new descriptors that make sense to you. When you find an item in the VuFind catalog that has a tag, you can click on the tag to find other items that have been tagged with the same word. The more users tag, the more connected items in the library catalog will be.