Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Thursday December 18, 2014

Library Hours: 7:30am - 10:00pm

Eastern Michigan University Library

Finding Books in the EMU Library Catalog

Introduction

There are a variety of ways in which you can search for books in the EMU Library. This tutorial will introduce you to the simplest of these options. If you would like to skip to a particular topic, click a link below.

Finding Books Using the Quick Catalog Search

Click the "Books" tab.

Books tab on the library homepage

Begin by typing your search terms, or keywords, into the search box. If you need assistance in developing keywords, please see the Research 101 tutorial or consult a librarian.

Keyword search using the Quick Catalog Search

You can perform four different searches from this page: Keyword, Title, Author, or Subject. Use the drop-down menu to select an option. The search that you select depends mainly on what information you have about the book. If you have detailed information, such as a title or author, it is easiest to use these categories. If, however, you just have a general idea or topic, it is best to use keyword searching.

Search options dropdown menu

Click the "Search" button to see your results. For further information on interpreting the results page, see the Interpreting the Results section of this tutorial.

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

While the Quick Catalog Search works well for simple, quick searches, you may often find that your search is more complex and requires additional options. In these instances, it is easiest to conduct your search in the catalog screen.

Navigating to the Library Catalog

The library catalog is found at http://portal.emich.edu/vwebv/search. From the library's homepage, there are two ways to navigate to the catalog. First, click the "Books" tab. Now, you can click either the "Find Books and more in the Library Catalog" heading or the "More Catalog Searches" link found on the right side of the screen.

Books tab on the library homepage

Searching in the Library Catalog - Basic Search

Type your search terms, or keywords, into the search box. If you need assistance in developing keywords, please see the Research 101 tutorial or consult a librarian. Be sure to pay attention to the search tips that appear at the bottom of the screen.

Basic search screen

Select the type of search that you want from the dropdown menu. There are a number of limiters available, such as call number, ISBN, etc., that you cannot use on the Quick Search page.

Choosing search type via dropdown menu

Below, you'll see a heading titled "Limit to." This option allows you to limit by material type. Select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu.

Limiting by item format via dropdown menu

Once you've entered all of your criteria, click the "Search" button to see your results. For further information on interpreting the results page, see the Interpreting the Results section of this tutorial.

Interpreting the Results

After performing a search in either the Quick Search or the Library Catalog, you will be transported to the results screen.

Library catalog results screen

There are a couple of things that are worth noting. First, unlike Google, there is no relevancy ranking. By default, all items are listed by publication date, with the newest coming first. If, however, you wanted to change the sort order, this can be achieved by using the drop-down menu on the top-right of the screen.

Changing sort order via the 'Sort by' dropdown menu

You may see a shaded region on the right of the screen labeled "Filter Your Search." Here, you can further limit your search by material type. Simply click the type of material that you would like.

Filtering your search via filter menu

The results themselves contain quite a bit of useful information. First, you will always find the author, title, and publication date, although the order may change slightly depending on your search. You will find information on what type of resource it is—e.g. film, book, etc. Most importantly, you can often see the item's call number and information about whether it is available or checked-out.

Screenshot of item record

Clicking the entry's title will bring up detailed information about the item. The "Subjects" heading contains links that, when clicked, allow you to find other, similar books.

Finding related material using the subjects heading links

Scrolling down to the "Holding information" heading will list the call number and location information for each copy that the library owns.

Holdings information in detailed item record

If you click the location link, a map will open in a new window to assist you in locating the appropriate call number range. See the Finding Items on the Shelves tutorial for more information.

Map of library holdings