Chapter 9: Searching Lirary Catalogs 

Exercises and Projects

1. Use Libweb at to find the British Library. Choose the option to search the catalogues. Remember to look for online help before performing your search! At the search form, choose to search the combined reference collections. Does the library have a copy of the book The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers? If so, print the catalog entry for the book.

2. Use LibDex, to find library catalogs organized by vendor. Search one academic library catalog that uses Innovative Interfaces and one that uses SIRSI. In each system, perform a search on an author or two with whom you are familiar. Were the search features the same or different in each system? Which system did you like the best? Why?

3. Try using LIBCAT, cfm, to locate a special collection on the Wright Brothers. Where is it located? Access the library's catalog (you'll have to go back to LIBCAT's main page and choose the LIBCAT search) and search for manuscripts and archives about them. Print a description of some material that is available in the special collection.

4. Go to LibDex,, to look for a special library in Australia that collects information on the Great Barrier Reef. Hint: the library is in Queensland. When the find the catalog of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority library, perform a search on the keywords coral reef fauna. How many results did you obtain?

5. Choose one of the sites we've used to look for the Othmer Library of Chemical History catalog. How did you find it? Look for titles about Ernest Orlando Lawrence. How many do you find? When you've finished your search, you may want to browse the site to find more information about the Othmer Library.

6. Access the National Library of Medicine's Library catalog by using Libweb,, and looking under the category National Libraries and Library Organizations.

a. In its online catalog, LOCATORplus, do a "keyword anywhere search" for multiple myeloma. How many entries did you find?

b. Now go back and change your search to a subject search. How many subject headings did you find searching this way? How many entries? How do the results compare with the keyword search?

c. Go to the Library's home page to see if it allow visitors to use the Library.

7. You are doing research on the Battle of Wounded Knee, which took place in South Dakota in 1890. It makes sense to look for information in that state. Go to LIBCAT at cfm, and search for libraries in South Dakota. Note that there is a consortium in South Dakota that would give us access to the catalogs of many libraries. It is called the South Dakota Library Network. Access this catalog by clicking on the hyperlink, click on Search the SDLN Catalog, select the option to search all SDLN libraries, and enter the topic.

a. What search expression did you use? How many results did you find? Do you need to limit your search?

b. Click on the number to the left of a title in your results list that looks relevant to see the holdings for that record. Print the page.

c. What are the advantages to using the catalog of a library network?

8. Go to Libweb at http://sunsite. and look for the Ann Arbor, Michigan public library. Click on the link to its catalog. Perform an author search on the author Charles Baxter. How many items does the Library have in its collection by this author? Now go back to the list of Michigan's public libraries and select Albion Public Library. Perform the same search on Charles Baxter and see how many items this library has in its collection. Any idea why Ann Arbor has the number of items it does in its catalog by this author?