Searching the Library Catalog

Open Searching the Library Catalog in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

This tutorial will help you learn how to find electronic and print books in Utah State University's library catalog.

Shelve of books

Use the arrows below to navigate through the tutorial. 

Keyword Searching

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You are planning to build a time machine in order to stop the Star Wars Prequels from ever being made. You are unsure of the science of time travel and want to learn more about it.

 time travel machine

Your Turn:

Using the search box to the right, search for the terms time travel and science and see what results come up. Click "Search."

Keyword Searching

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How many results did you find?

Keyword Searching

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We just ran a search for a general topic, using keywords. You can also search for a specific author or title in the same search box at the top of the page.

The Philosophy of Time Travel

Keyword Searching

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Your turn: Now search for the author Brian Clegg in the search box using the "keyword" as the default search. 

How many books did you find of his?

Finding an Item

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To find an item on the shelf, you need three pieces of information:

1. Location information

2. Call number

3. Availability

Everything you need to know is in the library catalog record for the item. Let's take a look.

Image of library website record

Finding an Item

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In the result list you ran for Brian Clegg, click on the book titled How To Build a Time Machine. In the middle of the page, you can see the book's Location

Since we have books on every floor of the library, you first need to find out where the book is located in the library. Or, determine whether it is an e-book?

Looking at the record for this book, where is it located?

Where is this book located?

Finding an Item

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Call Number

Next to the location, you will see the book's Call Number.

The Call Number tells you exactly where to find the book on the shelf.

Next to the call number, you will see whether the book is Available or whether it is currently checked out.

What is the call number for the book How To Build a Time Machine

Finding an E-Book

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Did you know that the library has thousands of electronic books that you can read online? E-books are a great resource for research papers.

Your Turn:

Click New Search at the top of the page.

New Search

Next, click on Search Only Electronic Books at the bottom of the page.

Search only electronic books


Finding an E-Book

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Re-run the search: time travel and science.

This time, your results should only be e-books!

Select the title Exploring Science Through Science Fiction.

Click Online Access to view the full-text. You can browse through a specific chapter, run a keyword search, or read the book in its entirety.

Online Access


Tip: Not all of the results are always going to be related to the exact terms you entered. Don't forget to evaluate your search results and refine your search terms!

End of Tutorial

Congratulations! You have now completed the tutorial.

The library also has a collection of quick how to guides to help you with your research.

You can also get help from a librarian.

Go to the next page if you need to e-mail a completion certificate to your instructor, but remember to only enter in one e-mail address at a time.

Happy researching!






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