Please watch the brief video below to get a quick idea of how to search the Library catalog. Also, read through the tips and reminders on this page. However, the best way to become an accomplished searcher is to spend time with the tool and to ask questions when things don't make sense.
The Library's catalog is a database that has records for items that we own both physically and electronically. Each record describes items at the title level and then gives information about about access. You can use the catalog to search for titles and authors that you already know or you can use the catalog to search for information about a topic.
Use the catalog to look for books that we own or to determine whether we have a subscription to a journal.
(The catalog also includes records for lots of other titles including government information, maps, videos, and more.)
TIP 1: Remember that if you know the book or journal title you are looking for that you should change the dropdown menu to "title" so that the search will be more efficient.
TIP 2: Take a good look at your citation and make sure that you know what title you are searching. If you are looking for a book review or other article, you will actually be looking for a journal title. You cannot search article titles in the catalog.
TIP 3: Remember that the catalog is unforgiving. It doesn't forgive spelling errors and disregard superfluous words like Google does. It looks for exactly the words you put in.
TIP 4: Don't forget that the full descriptive catalog record may have useful information, including the date of publication, table of contents, and additional subject information that might help you construct new searches.
TIP 5: If you are planning to retrieve books from the shelf yourself, remember to note complete call number and the location on the record. Make sure that the record indicates that the item is AVAILABLE and not checked-out. If you need help, just ask on the first floor.
TIP 6: If you are not in Cache Valley and want us to deliver material to you that you find in the catalog, see the tab on "material delivery."
TIP 7: While you can search the catalog without logging in, most electronic content (e-books, e-journals, videos, etc.) to which you try to link will require that you login. We have literally hundreds of book and journal interfaces, each with their own features, some helpful, others a royal pain. If you need help, just ask.
TIP 8: If you find a useful book, spend some time going through the footnotes to locate other relevant sources and research leads.
You can use the library catalog without logging in from anywhere you can get the internet. If you link to online content from one of the records, you may need to authenticate with your A# and strong password. If you run into trouble with access, please let me know.
Additional tutorials for using the Library's catalog and other resources are on our website.