Library Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Eastern Michigan University Library
Finding Books in the EMU Library Catalog
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
- Finding Books in the Library Catalog
- Interpreting the Results
Click the "Books" tab.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After performing a search in either the Quick Search or the Library Catalog, you will be transported to the 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.
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.
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.
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.
Scrolling down to the "Holding information" heading will list the call number and location information for each copy that the library owns.
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.