By the end of this module, you should be able to:
Library Catalog Definition
A library catalog is a listing of the materials owned by an individual library, and offers you a variety of ways to search for items. These include the ability to search by the item's author or editor, by title, or by words describing the item's contents.
The physical format of the library catalog has changed dramatically over time. Catalogs of earlier eras took the forms of hand-written lists, card files, bound volumes and even microfiche. Library catalogs today, including Regis University's Lumen, are online databases and are usually available on the Web.
Searching the Lumen Library Catalog
The Lumen Library Catalog lists the books, periodicals (not individual articles), and audio-visual materials owned by the Dayton Memorial Library. Online books collections available through the library are also linked to the catalog for easy access. Since Regis University participates in the Federal Depository Library program, Lumen also includes the U.S. federal government publications that Regis receives through that program. To find magazine, journal and newspaper articles, see Module 4. Methods for identifying materials owned by other libraries will be discussed later in this module.
The three types of searches used most often in Lumen are Keyword, Author, and Title. Other types of searches include Journal Title and Subject.
Refining Search Results
When using the Keyword search option, you may run into three problems: too many results, too few results, or results that aren't quite right. Here's how to solve these problems:
Too many results!
Add another word or two and search again. It's better to add one at a time, or you may end up with the next problem...
Too few results!
A couple of options, depending on the problem:
I have a lot of results, but they're not on my topic!
When you do a keyword search with multiple words, you run the risk of finding titles that have all your words, but don't use them in the way you intended. For example, you might search for "business model" and find books that discuss how a young actor gets in the "business" by starting as a "model."
To fix this, it's back to the subject headings. The solution of finding one good match, looking at subject headings that describe the item, and doing a new search with those words will make your results more precise.
Expanding Search Results
Whenever you see a link in a record, it's an opportunity to expand your search. Clicking on the author's name will retrieve all the items by this author. Because items are shelved according to subject, a good way to see what else might be of interest is to click on the call number. This will bring up a list of neighboring items so you can see what's near the title without having to go to the shelves.
What's a Call Number?
The Call Number, along with the location, tells you where to find an item in the library. Regis uses the Library of Congress classification system to arrange our books, videos, and other materials. For government publications, we use the SuDoc (Superintendent of Documents) classification system and keep those materials in a separate area. If you're having trouble locating something in the library, just ask a staff member for assistance.
Another way to expand your search is to send it to the Prospector Catalog. On your search results screen, you'll see a button that says "Check other Libraries." If you click on this, it will repeat your search in Prospector to find even more items. This feature is very useful for finding titles that aren't owned by Regis. For more tips on searching Prospector, read on!
Searching the Prospector Catalog
While you may be able to find everything you need for some research projects at Regis, other projects may require you to look farther afield. To make that easier, Regis is part of the Prospector system. Prospector is a joint catalog for a group of academic and public libraries in Colorado and lets you look for items at all participating libraries with a single search. Lumen and Prospector are based on the same library catalog system, so searching Prospector is just like searching Lumen.
Here's what makes Prospector really valuable: if you find something you want, whether it's available at Regis or another library, you can request it directly from Prospector with just your name and Regis ID number. The item will be sent to any Regis campus location in Colorado. Most items arrive within three to five days. If you are unable to pick up books at a Regis campus, you can still use Prospector to identify books and then request them using the Interlibrary Loan request system. See below for more information on interlibrary loan services.
Searching the WorldCat Database
For large projects that require comprehensive, exhaustive research, you should consider the WorldCat database as a source. WorldCat (think "the world's library catalog") contains more than 52 million records describing items owned by libraries worldwide. Regis is part of WorldCat, so you'll be told if Regis owns something listed in WorldCat. If Regis doesn't own it, you can request it through interlibrary loan.
Using Interlibrary Loan Services
If you've found something that's not available through the Regis libraries or through Prospector, you can request it from another library using the interlibrary loan (or ILL) system. Here's how it works:
That's it! You may use books for a certain length of time (usually four weeks), then must return them to a Regis campus location so that they can then be sent back to the other library. Articles are normally reproduced so that you don't have to return them, but you'll learn about that in Module 4: Finding Periodical Articles.
Other uses for Interlibrary Loan:
For more information on interlibrary loan services, including how distance students and faculty can also use these services to request materials owned by Regis, visit Interlibrary Loan Services.