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Using the Online Library Catalog—Looking Up Library Books and Materials: A CVCC Library Tutorial
Hello, and welcome to our tutorial Using the Online Library Catalog—Looking Up Library Books and Materials. In this presentation, we demonstrate our Online Library Catalog, a searchable database of materials in our library collection.
The CVCC Library has approximately 25,000 books in its collection.
They are arranged by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System. To learn more about this , view our tutorial Understanding
the Library of Congress
The Library has circulating books on many different subjects. These
books check out for four weeks. To search for items in the Library collection, use the Online Library Catalog.
First go to the CVCC Home Page, at this address. Hold your mouse on the heading Resources; you’ll see this drop-down menu.
Click the Library link.
This takes you to the CVCC Library’s home page.
Next, click the Information Reference Page link here.
You are now here, at the Library
Page at this address. The Library Information
Reference Page is your gateway to the many
electronic research tools we offer.
Next, click Online Library Catalog here. The Online
Library Catalog is a searchable database
of all items in the Library’s collection.
You now come to this screen, the Online Library Catalog. Let’s
take a look.
There are five different Search types available : We will be using the default, Basic Search.
Note that the Online Library Catalog is actually a system used by the entire Virginia Community College System.
We have our catalog set so that it only
searches for items here at Central Virginia Community College, but you can change this to search other VCCS locations if you wish by using the drop down menu.
Let’s take a look.
And here is the drop down menu for all the Community Colleges in Virginia. When searching on your home computer, remember, you will need to select Central Virginia CC.
Let’s take a closer look at the Search Screen. Here is
a drop down menu with many different types of searches you can perform, such as Keywords Anywhere, Title, Author, Subject, and so forth.
You highlight the type of search you wish to perform and then enter your search terms in this box.
Very often, you will be looking up books on a particular topic.
You can do either a Keywords Anywhere
search, or a Subject Keywords search. Let’s try a Keywords Anywhere search on the topic “global warming.”
Keywords Anywhere is highlighted. Enter our topic “global warming.”
Choose this option here, Words Adjacent, Yes, because we are looking for the term “global warming”, with these words adjacent to each other. Click
the Go Button.
And here we have a list of 61 items about
“global warming” all here at the CVCC
Library. Note this first item, a book entitled Global
warming and climate change demystified.
Next, note the Campus (owned/out) column. This tells you what Virginia Community College campus, the book is located in--“Central Virginia” in this case, refers to
CVCC. This column also shows how many copies we own, and how many are presently checked out--In this case we
have 1 copy, and 0 copies are checked
out. So, you know the book is available for checkout.
Next look in the Call Number column. The Call Number, QC981.8.G56 S548 2008, tells you where to locate
the book on the shelves.
Take a look at this item, a book entitled The chilling stars:
a new theory of climate change.
We own one copy of this book, and this one
copy is checked out.
As we scroll down, look at these two items, a
book entitled Climate Change and a book called America’s environmental report card.
These two items are electronic resources, or
We don’t own the physical volume, but you can view either book online by clicking these external links.
Let’s scroll back up. If you see a title that looks interesting, you can get additional information by clicking on the small number at the left side.
Let’s look at this item, a book entitled Unstoppable global
warming: every 1,500 years. For more information click on the number seven here.
And here is the Full view of the record for this
It shows such information as: Picture of Book, Author field, Title field, Contents field (such as chapter names), and Subject field.
When you do a Keywords Anywhere search, the catalog will search for your term, in this case “global warming” ..……
…..in any of these fields. See our term “global warming” in these various fields.
In contrast, when you do a Subjects Keywords search, the catalog will search for your term “global warming” ….
……only in the Subject field. See our term “global warming.”
Subject Keyword searching is a more precise searching
than Keywords Anywhere searching.
Let’s try another search, on the topic “reality television.”
This time we’ll do a Subject Keyword search.
Enter your term “reality television.”
For Words adjacent, select yes. This gives you records that have the words reality and television next to each other.
Click the Go button.
Six items have been located about “reality television.”
The first two are electronic resources. Remember, you can view an electronic book online by clicking the external link.
Scroll down to see additional items.
This is a book Shooting
People: Adventures in Reality
TV. Click the small number on the left to see the full record.
And here is the Full View of Record
for the item Shooting People:
Adventures in Reality TV.
Let’s say you are interested in
checking this book out. One option you have is to place a hold on
When you place a hold, library staff pulls the book for you and it’s held at the Front Desk for you to come check it out.
To learn how to do this, view our
tutorial Placing Holds on Library
Let’s take another look at the Search Screen.
Remember the drop down menu with different types of searches you can do, such as Keywords Anywhere, Title begins with, Title Keywords, Author, and so forth.
You highlight the search type you wish to perform and then
Enter your search terms in this box.
Let’s try an author search. This time let’s see if the Library has any books by the author Maya Angelou.
Using the drop down menu, highlight Author (last name first) and
enter the author’s name Angelou, Maya. Click the Go Button.
And we see this screen, listing authors. Here is the author we are looking for, Maya Angelou.
There are 14 records with this
Click on the author name.
And here are our
search results. We have 14 book titles, all by the author Maya Angelou.
For example, here we have a book entitled All God’s children
need traveling shoes. We have two copies and neither copy is checked out.
Note here the Call Numbers, the location of the shelves where these books are located. They all fall in the PS area, an area for American Literature. And all
the call numbers begin with PS 3551 .N46.
So you will find the books by Maya
Angelou all in the same area.
Click the small number on the left to get more information about the book. Let’s get more information about this item, The complete collected poems of Maya Angelou. We click the
small number 3.
And here is the full view of record
for this item. Let’s see if this book is available. Click All Items.
And here is the holdings record for
this item. Here you can see if the book is available or if it is checked out.
In this case the first copy of this
book is available on the Shelf, but the
second copy has been declared LOST; most
likely someone has not returned this item
and it is overdue.
Let’s try one last search. We’ll see if the Library has
a specific book, The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.
Using the drop down menu, highlight Title Begins with .
We use this tip, When using Title Begins with search, omit a, an or the, when they appear at the beginning of the title. So we enter, Audacity of Hope, leaving off the first word “THE.”
Click the Go Button.
And here we see a list of book
titles, including the one we are looking
for: The Audacity of Hope.
Click on the title.
And here is the Full View of Record
for this book.
As you scroll down, you continue to
see the Full Record. Next, by Holdings, click All Items.
And here is the Holdings
Record. Note here that the item is checked out and not available. It is due Sept. 25.
Even though it is checked out, you
can request a hold. To learn more on doing this, see our
tutorial Placing Holds on Library
Now we’ve had a
quick look at the Online Library Catalog,
a searchable database of materials in our library
Remember, come to the library whenever you need research assistance, and good luck with your research.