Searching by Keyword
For most searches, using the keyword feature to find books in the catalog is your best choice. It looks for a word or words in the title fields, subject fields, and contents notes of every record.
To perform a keyword search, click on the drop-down menu, and highlight and click on the "keyword" option, as illustrated in the screen shot below:
Then type in the term(s) you want to search for in the box pictured below, and click "Search" or hit "enter." The computer will look for every catalog record containing all the terms you type in:
If instead, however, you were to use the LC subject heading "World War, 1939-1945," you would find over 40 entries dealing specifically with World War II. So in this case, searching by "LC subject headings" instead of by "subject word" would produce a better result.
To search by LC subject heading, choose the LC subject headings option in the drop down menu of the catalog, as illustrated below, and type in your LC term in the box provided:
If you don't know what LC subject heading to use, see Finding a valid LC subject heading for tips on how to identify appropriate LC subject headings.
If you don't know what constitutes a valid LC subject heading, do a subject word search, and in a relevant record, scroll down to the field that says Subject:, highlighted in blue in the screen shot for a record from the "Buddhism" search below:
Subjects listed in this field, like "Buddhism" highlighted in the screen shot above, are legitimate LC subject headings; if you click on them, they will search for all other records in our catalog that have that specific LC subject heading assigned to them.
If you're having trouble finding relevant searches on your topic, try some of the following techniques to expand or broaden your search:
For example, if you do an LC subject heading search for "sports medicine," you'll get a list of LC subject headings that includes "Sports Medicine--6 related subjects," as indicated in the screen shot below:
If you click on this link, you'll then get a list of 6 "see also" references that suggest other LC subject headings related to that of "Sports Medicine." These include "Doping in Sports," "Sports Injuries," and "Sports Physical Therapy," among others, as illustrated in the screen shot below:
Clicking on these "see also" links produces a list of all the records with each particular LC heading assigned to it, as illustrated for "Doping in Sports" below:
Using the "related subjects" and "see also" LC headings increases the number of places you're looking for similar information, therefore broadening or expanding the original number of links to records that cover similar subjects to the original one of "Sports Medicine."
Narrowing Your Search
If you're overwhelmed by too many hits (25 is probably the maximum number to deal with comfortably at a time), experiment with some of the following ways to narrow your search. (Narrowing either reduces the number of results or re-sorts them into a more manageable order.):
In order to sort items (including books, e-books, government documents, audiovisuals, etc.) by date, you must first search the catalog. You may search using any of the methods available, but searching by subject, author or title are the most frequently used. Then sort those items by date by doing the following:
You can limit your searches to a specific location in the library. This can help when you are trying to find a particular type of resource such as an electronic book, a government document, a children's book, a map, or a secondary school textbook. Instructions for doing this are listed below:
All the locations in the library should appear on this menu. E-Books are in the Electronic Books collections. Children's books in the Curriculum Lab are referred to as CL Easy Readers, CL J Fiction, CL J Non-Fiction or CL Young Adult. Secondary school textbooks in the Curriculum Lab are referred to as CL Textbook. (For help with other locations see the reference librarian.)
To look at all the textbooks held in Hackney Library, search the catalog by title, using "textbooks" as your search term, as illustrated in the screen shot below:
The results are listed by grade level and by subject, as seen in the following screen shot:
To see a list of textbooks in a particular grade level and subject area, (for example, Grade 1, Language Arts--in line 3 of the preceding screen shot ), click on the corresponding link, and the results will display as seen in the following screen shot:
The results are listed by grade level, with the location "CL Textbooks" in the location field, followed by a three-part call number separated by dashes, as seen in the following screen shot:
(For a more complete explanation of these "call numbers" for textbooks, see our North Carolina Textbook Codes page.) All K-12 textbooks are located in the Curriculum Lab in Hackney Library.
Videos are included in the library catalog. To find a video on a particular topic, you must first search the catalog by keyword to find all the materials on that topic. Then limit your results to those materials that are videos. Instructions for doing this are listed below:
This will retrieve only those items on your topic that are videos, indicated by the film icon in the following results list :
Browsing by call number can be useful in locating books similar to those you've already found helpful. It's the electronic equivalent of standing in front of a bookshelf that contains a helpful book and looking at those shelved near it. Call numbers are the numbers on the spines of books, audiovisual cases, and other items in the library. They are assigned to items based on the topics they cover. Items with the same or similar call numbers treat the same or related aspects of specific subjects and are therefore shelved together.
To browse by call number, choose "call number" from the options given for searching the catalog, as highlighted in blue below, and type in the call number of an item for which you'd like to find similar works; then click "Search":
The results are listed beginning with items having the call number you typed in. For more information about the item, click on the call number to see the full record, including its location in the library and its availability:
Even if you don't know the exact or the complete title of a book, you can still search for it in our catalog by doing the following: Instead of searching the library catalog by title, try searching by keyword and using what you think is the title as your search term. A keyword search looks in the title field of a record as well as other fields, but is more forgiving than a title search. You don't need to know the exact title, as long as you know some of the words. In contrast, when you search by title, you must use the exact title to bring up a record.
See the following example of using a keyword search for the partial title "confederate widow" to find the novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus:
Searching the catalog by any method (by subject word, author, title, etc.) produces a list of results or records. (If only one item is found to match your search, the record for that item is displayed rather than a list of records.) These can be marked selectively for printing, emailing, or saving by doing the following:
Your list should print as it appears on the screen.
If your email is sent successfully, you will get an "E-Mail Sent" message in red above your list, as illustrated below:
When you do so, a box will appear asking you whether you want to open the file or save it to your computer. Click "Save," and then navigate to the flash or hard drive to save it there. You can then open the saved file in a word processing or text program later:
Hackney Library offers a service called Interlibrary Loan to its patrons. If you need a book or a journal article that is not available in the library's collection, we will borrow it for you from another library. This service is generally free for books and articles. Please see our Interlibrary Loans page for more information.
Last updated January 15, 2010