Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is the Catalog?

Part I in a series on basic searching...

Knowing what the catalog is will help you search that catalog. In simple terms, the catalog is a collection of records that describe all of the material we have in the library. Each record has numerous fields which house certain types of information. What are the three main types of information libraries collect? Anyone?

Answer: Author, Title, and Subject.

There are other fields which store information such as call number, publisher, etc. Another useful field is the Contents field which stores information such as song titles on CDs or music scores, short story titles in short story collections, and such. Some records even have a Summary field which provides a brief description of the contents of the material.

When searching in WorkFlows, these fields can be viewed by selecting the Description tab that appears once you have your results. On the online catalog, these fields can be seen by clicking on a title in a results list. Then, click on Catalog Record which appears in a column on the right side of the page.

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