Talking Points |

The Discover catalog provides the simplicity patrons expect from modern technology. It was created specifically for public library patrons and is more intuitive, personalized, and accessible. To help patrons embrace the switch from Encore, below are a few talking points that summarize what makes Discover different.

A modern and graphic interface

Discover has a clean, simple appearance with more intuitively organized features. It is more visual than the old catalog, with larger cover images, a fully customized homepage, and the ability to choose grid or list view for search results.

Smart results grouping

All formats of a title are shown in one place, and you can easily see all editions of any given format. You can place a hold for the soonest available copy of the title without having to select a specific edition, resulting in faster delivery. You can also still select an individual edition if you want.

Librarian recommendations

Staff lists and showcases feature throughout the site to highlight new items, local collections, and expert recommendations. They can appear on relevant item pages, the homepage, and embedded in other websites. Showcases on the homepage give patrons the option to browse instead of keyword search.

Staff showcases can be curated or automated and are managed by MHLS staff. Items on the New York Times Best Sellers list will also feature a showcase of the current list. Additional contextual and you-might-like information appears thanks to the BIBFRAME context engine and Syndetics Unbound.

Better lists, saved searches, and reading history

Bookmark lists are much easier to create and manage. There is a quick “For Later” list, and you can make as many custom lists as you want. You can move items around lists easily or add them to multiple lists.

Searches can be saved and those saved searches can be easily updated and shared.

There are now more ways to sort and search through your reading history.

Revamped profile, giving users more control

You can now use a nickname within the catalog if you’d like. You can also choose your home library, preferred pickup location, and preferred notification contact method. You can edit your email address, phone number, and passcode.

Discover helpfully displays the library card expiration date much more prominently than Encore.

Note: when a patron changes their home library, it will also update their Home Library in Sierra. When they choose a preferred pickup location, it will not affect Sierra, as that information will only live in the Discover catalog. Patrons cannot change their p type, which indicates the library they legally belong to based on residency and is used to determine access to certain eResources and other borrowing privileges.

Your physical and digital items together

See both your physical items from the library and digital content from Libby and Hoopla together under both Checkouts and Holds. Easily search and borrow digital content directly from the catalog.

Results customized to your home library

When you’re logged in, the status and call number for your home library display first. Libraries with available copies are also grouped together before libraries with checked-out copies.

New ways to sort search results

You can choose to show only physical items that are currently available at a library or only content that is available digitally using the “Availability” filter.


Help when and where you need it. First-time users have handy popups that help to navigate through the new screens. If a user finds themselves in unfamiliar territory, a button is there to assist with making decisions.

Predictive search

Predictive search starts to suggest results as you type, also making searching faster.

Quick access to library info

Without leaving the catalog, you can look up any library’s hours, address, phone number, and website.

Mobile friendly

The site is completely responsive to different screen sizes and easy to use on smart phones. No more tiny text or missing features on the mobile site.


An icon that says "VPAT Compliance"


Discover has been thoroughly assessed for compliance with web accessibility standards and is regularly updated to follow the latest recommendations. It is compatible with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Language options

Customize the display language of the catalog. You do not need to be logged in to choose a language.


Linked data principles anchor BIBFRAME, a new cataloging framework developed by the Library of Congress. Discover converts our MARC records into BIBFRAME automatically to better connect the library to the wider web and improve discoverability. (Okay, maybe this is more of a talking point for librarians, but it’s still cool!)

New Catalog Launch Kit

See what’s different about Discover.


Frequently asked questions.

Take a video tour of the catalog and its features.

Full documentation in PDF format.

Social media images to help advertise the switch.

Codes and instructions for embedding the Discover search box and links to patron profile.