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Curriculum Resource Center (CRC)

Where is it? When is it open? How can I borrow materials?

Search Strategies

Do a keyword search to lead you to the Library of Congress Subject Headings used for your topic. Using these headings will help you find more items on the same topic, as well as give you the vocabulary for further keyword searching.

1. Browse the list of results from your keyword search.  When you find a promising title, click on it to open the full view.

2. Read the table of contents and summary, if available, as well as the subject headings, to help gauge the item's relevancy. 

3. Click on any of the subject headings to find all the items in the library catalog that have that subject heading assigned.

4. Alternatively, use the subject terms you now know in a new search in combination with your keywords or with other subject terms.

5. Browse the lead term (also called the "main heading") of the subject heading to see what other subtopics that subject has by using the "Subject begins with" choice in the drop-down menu of the "Basic" search.  For example, for the subject heading "Women--United States--Identity," browse "Women United States" as a "Subject begins with" search to see other subtopics (called "subheadings") of "Women--United States."

What is in the Library Catalog?

A library catalog is a searchable database that:

  • contains information about  the items (books, CDs, DVDs, government reports, etc.) that the library owns (or has electronic access to) and
  • tells you where to find them (physically or virtually).

You can search for known or unknown items in a library catalog.  That is, you can find a particular item--for example, a certain book or movie whose title or author you know--OR items that meet certain criteria (on a certain topic, in a certain language, are a certain format, etc.).

Rider University Libraries catalog is here.

 You can do general keyword searching (words in any fields,including summary and table of contents fields).

 

Put quotes around any words you want to keep together as a phrase, in that exact order. This can help if you get too many results.
  

 


You can do keyword searching in specific fields (words in any order in title, author, or subject fields)

 

Again, use quotes if you want the search to return the words in the exact order you enter them.

 

In the classic catalog interface, you can browse the index to do more precise searching.

This is helpul in finding items by composers or prolific writers, because the titles are listed alphabetically after the author.

Terms must be in exact order to be retrieved in an author (last name, first name), title, or subject search (unless you are in the advanced search):

Examples: 

an exact title match, such as girl with the dragon tatoo

an exact author match [last name, first name], such as Larsson, Stieg

an exact subject match, such as Missing persons--Fiction

 

Each item in the database is represented by a bibliographic record, which contains descriptive information about:

  • What the item is--author, title, publisher, physical description (number of pages, illustrations, bibliographies)
  • What the item is about (subject headings, table of contents, summary notes)
  • Availability. Tells you whether the item is currently available and how to access the information:  where it is available physically (which library, where in the library, by call number) or virtually (URL).

 You can do general keyword searching (words in any fields,including summary and table of contents fields).

 

Put quotes around any words you want to keep together as a phrase, in that exact order. This can help if you get too many results.

   

You can do keyword searching in specific fields (words in any order in title, author, or subject fields)

Again, use quotes if you want the search to return the words in the exact order you enter them.

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