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Research and Instruction

Searching the library catalog

Introduction to Catalog Searching

Check out this video for a demonstration of searching the Ellender Library online catalog.

Finding Books on Shelves

Finding Books on the Shelves

Ellender Memorial Library is in the process of switching our classification to the Library of Congress system. In the meantime, some books are cataloged using the LC system, and others are still cataloged using Dewey Decimal. Books from similar subject areas can be found together.

For lists of call numbers where you can browse the shelves to find something that interests you, check out the subject guide relating to your topic.

Template Search the Library Catalog

How to Search for Books in the Library Catalog

   Advanced Search

  Call Number Search                 Power Search

The drop down menu above gives you several options for searching:

Keyword: This will search for the term in all areas of the record. Keep your topic to its key concepts for this search.

Author: Use if you know the author's name. You can enter just the last name of the author, or if you know their full name enter is as last name, first name (Example: Dickens, Charles).

Title: Enter either the full title or just a few keywords from the title.  

Subject: This is helpful if you are looking for numerous books on a topic. Check your subject guide for suggestions of subject headings that may be useful in your research. 


The CALL NUMBER search allows you to search for a book by its call number. Your subject guide may provide suggestions on call numbers relating to your topic.

The POWER SEARCH link will give you many options to choose from when searching for a book including keyword, author, title, subject, and periodical title. Use these options together for a more concentrated search. You can even change the drop down boxes to search more than one subject or keyword at a time. 

TIP: When using power search, try BOOLEAN searching. Boolean describes the connecting word you use between your search terms such as AND, OR, & NOT.
Using these connectors allows you the ability to link search terms, so you can find articles that address multiple subjects. From power search, these options are found in drop down menus where you enter your search terms.

Adding OR between search terms will search for all records with one term OR the other (this is a broader search tool).
Using AND between words will search for all records with BOTH or ALL search terms applied.  
If you use NOT between the terms, it will search for the FIRST word in your search string and NOT the other.  

Example: Searching for "global warming" AND "Louisiana" will pull up resources that address both global warming and Louisiana.

Credit for Page

This page was created by Magen Nosworthy (Fall 2018 ENGL 489)