Using our Online Resources

Library Catalogs

Merlin Local Library Catalog

Iron River Public Library is a member of the Northern Waters Library Service (NWLS), a library system that encompasses a large geographic area as far north as Bayfield extending south all the way down to Shell Lake, east to Sayner, and west to Grantsburg. Our patrons have access to nearly thirty libraries without having to drive to member libraries!

Merlin is the shared catalog of Northern Waters Library Service member libraries, where you can find books, CDs, DVDs, videos, books on tape, magazines, etc. Log in using your name and library card bar code number. The default setting allows you to conduct general searches and gives you the option to include all Northern Waters Libraries or limit your search to material available at the Iron River Public Library. To access all of the material available in the Northern Waters system click on “Limit Search to” arrow and scroll up to “View All Merlin Items.” To narrow the scope of your search to specific types of material at specific libraries, click on “Advanced Word Search.” When you request items in Merlin, the material will be delivered to the library of your choice. You can also view and renew items you currently have checked out, access your reading history, and pay fines online. (If you receive a message to “contact your library”, you probably owe a fine.) To learn more about using Merlin, Access Merlin Help.

If you cannot find something in our system please ask a librarian. We will gladly look throughout the state or possibly country for materials You can fill out a "WISCAT Request Slip" at the library, call us or email your request to a librarian. We will attempt to find your requested item and order it from another library.

OverDrive Digital Media Catalog

The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) offers a catalog — through a service called OverDrive — of downloadable ebooks, videos, music and audiobooks that are free to any Wisconsin public library cardholder. Sign in with your library and library card number.

Ebooks are available for most eReaders that support the ePub format — including Nook and Sony Reader — and for Kindles or any device that supports the Kindle app. Downloadable audiobooks are available for most MP3 players and iPods. For your desktop, tablet or phone, Overdrive offers your choice of the free reader apps Libby, Sora and Overdrive. Access to items may differ depending on device and app. For information on how to get started, visit the OverDrive help page. Be sure to check out the "Get Started" section. It gives you step-by-step requirements for downloading library materials to your device/app.

Things to Note:

  • You can only check out 10 WPLC items at a time, but you can make a "wish list of material you would like to check out at a later date”. 

  • You can check out an item for 7, 14, or 21 days; we recommend that you set your default setting at 21 days. 

  • After your time is up an item will automatically be deactivated.

WisCat State Library Catalog

WisCat is the Wisconsin library catalog that can be browsed when the Merlin catalog doesn't have what you're looking for. Contact your librarian to request items from WisCat. 

WorldCat Global Catalog

WorldCat is a worldwide catalog of library collections that includes more than 67 million bibliographic records with items in many different formats. Patrons can access this database at any library or at home with a user-friendly search page.


Library Databases

Ancestry Genealogy Database

Ancestry Library Edition is an extensive library genealogy research tool. Access is limited to in-library use. Promotional and training materials are available.

BadgerLink Discovery Databases

BadgerLink contains thousands of newspaper and periodical titles, image files, and other reference materials. EBSCO (BadgerLink) offers over 6,000 magazine and journal titles, over half of which are available in full-text, and an online support center. BadgerLink, available to everyone in Wisconsin (login with your library and library card number), is a project of the Department of Public Instruction's Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning for the citizens of Wisconsin. Funding is provided through the Public Service Commission Universal Service Fund. BadgerLink promotional materials are available.

Learning Skills Database

Learning Express Library is a learning center for people of all ages and education levels interested in learning extra skills for school or work. Login with your library and library card number.


Online Courses

Gale Courses

Library card holders in the Northern Waters Library Services libraries have access to Gale Courses which offers a wide range of highly interactive, instructor led courses that you can take entirely online.  As a library card holder you are entitled to these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month.