SVCC Library Tour
Sauk Catalog Search
Finding information in the Library: Books, videos, music, and more
If you want to find books, videos, music, and audio books, the online catalog is your first stop. This catalog is the OPAC, the online public access catalog. Some libraries have given their catalog a specific name. Others use the library name in a banner at the top of the screen. I-Share is the online catalog for a group of libraries in the state of Illinois . Sauk Valley Community College is a member of that group. Both the Sauk OPAC and the I-Share OPAC have the same appearance and operation. The I-Share OPAC includes the information in the Sauk OPAC.
There are several ways to search for your topic in the OPAC. Let's start with a subject search and watch the next video. After viewing the clip, use the browser back button to return to this page.
I-Share Search by Subject
Sauk uses the Library of Congress system of classification. Like the Dewey Decimal System, the object is to group items on the same subject together. Library of Congress is used by most research and university libraries. The call number is the information on the label, usually found on the spine of the book. Call numbers can begin with one, two, or three letters. The first letter indicates the major division for that subject. The second and third letters subdivide the subject. The first set of numbers after the letters continues to break down the subject into a more specific topic. The third group of letters and numbers usually refers to the author or title of the book, but could be a further dividing of the subject. This may be followed by a date or volume number. Items are shelved by their call numbers in alphabetical and numerical order.
How to read call numbers
Practice: Search in the Sauk online catalog, or your local catalog, for two different topics of interest to you. Did you find materials for each? Use the call numbers and go to the shelf and find the books.
To find books in a library you need to use the online public access catalog (OPAC).
There are several ways to search the catalog.
You can limit searches by using quotation marks, plus signs, and dates.
Books are arranged on the shelves by call number.
Focus your search for information in the library
Now that we've covered the basics of searching, let's look at more ways to limit or focus searches, and other ways to search.
Limit a Search video
There are several other ways to search for materials in the library. Let's try searching by the title.
Title Search video
We can also search by the author's name.
I-Share Search by Author
Practice: Using your library's online catalog, try searching for things by and about “The Beatles” musical group. Try limiting your search to sound recordings they have made. Does your library have a copy of The Call of the Wild by Jack London?
Use quotation marks around search terms.
Search by author or title.
Advanced searching with multiple terms.
Keyword and Boolean Searching
So far, you've practiced searching by title and author, and narrowing your search by format or date.
When you search for the definition of Boolean, you find it is a search joining terms with the words AND, OR, and NOT. “AND” is used if both terms must be in the result. “OR” means either of the words or phrases is in the result. “NOT” indicates a word or term that must be excluded in the results. By using these terms, you can narrow or better refine your search
Advanced Search video
Searching with incomplete information
Partial Information Video
As we learned in the lesson two, this video describes choosing search terms that yield the best results. Clutter or drop words are those that are part of our natural language phrases, but do not add to the meaning of our search. “Who”, “their”, and “with”, may be part of the question we write. However, these words will not help retrieve accurate information for our search. They will contribute to bringing back unrelated information. Let's explore another way to refine our search.
What if there is not an entire book about the information you are looking for? What if you need a play, poem, or essay that is part of an anthology or collection? This video will provide some tips on finding them.
Find Individual Pieces video
Practice: Using your library's online catalog, or the I-Share catalog, check to see if they own a book by Rowling, with the word stone in the title. Did you remember to set the limits so only books were retrieved? Were any of the titles in a foreign language? If so, go back and limit to only English language books. Can you find a book with information about the importance of Riboflavin in your diet? Combine different types of searches like author/subject or title/author. Using the advanced search tab with “and”, “or” and “not” to refine searches. Eliminate clutter words.
What if you can't find enough information in your local library? In most places you can borrow materials from other libraries by going through your own library. This is called an interlibrary loan. Many libraries provide this service free. Others have a small charge. The books are delivered to your local library for pickup. You return them to the same library when finished. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the book to arrive. Interlibrary loan usually takes 7-10 days. In I-Share, you begin by searching the I-Share catalog for the material you need. Let's watch this video to see how it's done.
I-Share Borrowing video
Your account allows you to keep track of the books you borrow from I-Share libraries by looking at your account in the online catalog. You may also renew your books online.
Your I-Share Account
You may also borrow books from other libraries that are not part of I-Share, by asking at the circulation desk in your library. Magazine and journal articles are also available through interlibrary loan.
Remember, when you borrow from another library, you must follow the lending rules of that library. The rules may be different than in your home library.
Practice: Here's where you need your library card. If you don't have one, it's time for a visit to your local library. Login to your library account and check the information there. Is everything correct? If not, contact the circulation desk at your library. Search the I-Share catalog for a book on your favorite subject. Request it through interlibrary loan. If your local library is not a member of I-Share, ask at the circulation desk for help on requesting a book through interlibrary loan. Remember to return the book on time.
Borrowing books from another library is called interlibrary loan.
You find materials available from other libraries through online catalogs.
You need to know your library ID to borrow materials. Interlibrary loan may take several days. You can keep track of the books you requested through your account.
Magazine and Journal Databases
Magazine and Journal Databases: Part 2
Periodicals are materials that are published at regular intervals (daily, monthly, quarterly, etc.) They contain current information, often too new to be covered by books. Newspapers, magazines, and journals are all examples of periodicals. There are several ways to find articles in magazines and journals. First let's look at the differences between magazines and journals.
Magazines are written for a general reading audience. They usually have glossy paper, advertising, and pictures. They do not follow a scientific format, and the articles do not have a bibliography.
Journals are serious formal publications usually written for a specialized audience. They generally do not have advertising, glossy pages, or lots of pictures. The articles are written by authorities in the field and are always signed, except they are critical essays. The articles follow the scientific format. There is a bibliography or list of sources at the end of the article. Frequently subject specialists review the articles for accuracy before they are allowed to be published in the journal. This is called peer review, or a refereed journal.
Articles are available in the original magazine or journal. You could also use an electronic copy of the article. Be sure the electronic copy is identical to the paper copy. Some articles are only available in the electronic format. You will need to check with your instructor on how to cite electronic copies.
The traditional way to locate magazine and journal articles has been by using print indexes. Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature is the one most commonly used for magazines, but some libraries are no longer subscribing to the Reader's Guide due to the availability of online magazine and journal databases.
There are several subject area indexes for journals as well. Examples include Education Index, Social Science Index, Humanities Index, and CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. These indexes are searched by author or subject. Each volume of the index covers a specific time period. Often you will search several volumes for your topic. When you locate articles about your topic, you write out a list of the article titles, along with the magazine titles and information about the specific issues that contain the articles you wish to read. Your next stop is the “stacks”, the area where all the back issues of magazines and journals are stored. You need to locate each magazine issue identified in the index and read the article, or make a photo copy of it to take home.
Many articles can also be found online through databases. These are large indexed collections of information from many different sources. Some databases are general. Others cover specific categories of information. All databases provide the citation information for the article (author, title, periodical title, publication date, and page numbers). Some databases only provide abstracts - short summaries - of the articles. And some articles are available in full text. Full text means the entire article is there in the database in electronic form. You do not need to locate the paper copy of the periodical. Academic Search Premier by EBSCOhost is an example of a popular general database service. To search for an article in Academic Search Premier, you will use many of the same techniques you learned when searching for books. Most periodical searches are subject searches. On the opening screen you will see places to type in your subject, and limits for publication date and full text articles only.
Here is the result screen for a search on global warming. The first result has the full text of the article attached in two formats: HTML Full Text and PDF Full Text. Some results may be only an abstract or a citation for the article. In that case you would need to use another source to locate the full text article, either online or the actual print journal. If you have citation information for a magazine or journal that the library subscribes to, you can usually find that magazine or journal in the back issues. Generally it is a good idea to search several different databases for information about your topic.
Full text articles come in many formats. PDF and HTML are the most common, but sometimes the display will just say “text” or “full text”. Text or full text articles are like the documents you type in notepad or Microsoft Word. This is the easiest format to use to “copy and paste” quotes in your paper. This format also loads the fastest. HTML documents are web pages and appear in a browser window. PDF documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free software program) installed on your machine to view them. PDF documents are photocopies of the actual pages, so this is the best format to use when you need to specifically site a page number from a longer article.
Your Turn: Find the print version of Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature and use it to find an article on the Environmental Aspects of Hurricane Katrina. Then do the same search in one of the online databases your library owns. Compare your results. How many full text articles could you find in your library? Online?
Newspapers, magazines, and journals are all examples of periodicals.
Articles are available in the original magazine or journal, or you can use an electronic copy of the article.
Access to articles is available online through databases.
All databases provide the citation information for the article. Some provide abstracts of articles and some provide the complete article.