MODULE 3: Books as Information Sources:
Section 2 of 6, THE LIBRARY CATALOG, page 3 of 5.

THE LIBRARY CATALOG

BASIC SEARCHING

Let's try out the online catalog.

Let's say we are interested in the subject of glassmaking. It could be in the title of a book, but every book on the subject might not have that word in the title. Nevertheless, it can't hurt to look—nobody is watching—we won't know unless we try. Part of research is trial and error. Have a notebook handy and write down where you looked, how you looked, and what you looked for, for example: 10/16/08—searched the TROY Online Library Catalog. Did a title search for the word glassmaking. Found three print books.

Let's see.

Here is the search screen.

And here is the results list.

The results are not too bad, but let's try out some other searches as well.

A word or phrase search looks in several places for the term(s) we enter: In the title—yes—but also in places such as subject headings or content descriptions.

Let's see. We do the search...

...and this time we find 7 items—6 print books and one electronic book.

Let's try one more search, by subject. When the catalog searches by subject, it looks for words (subject headings) that have been assigned to each book.

This time, the catalog says (pictured below) "Glassmaking ... hmmmm ... I don't have an exact subject heading for that, but I may know what you want. I keep listings of items for these other subjects—would you like to look at those?" Think along the lines of telephone yellow pages—if you look under the words cars, the book will suggest you look under the word automobiles.

Sure! Let's look at Glassware--History. There are four items.


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