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How to Search the Library Catalog



This guide will show you how to effectively search the Davidson Library Catalog.

How to Search the Library Catalog (when you know a source's title)

The Davidson Library Catalog tends to favor texts that are carried by the Davidson College Library. For example, if you search the library catalog for Orange is the New Black, you will get the following results: 

Searching the library catalog, using "Orange is the New Black" as an example

Notice that the library catalog has not found Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Rather, it has produced a series of academic essays about the book. This is because the Davidson Library carries these academic essays, but not a copy of the actual book. In order to find the original book, you have to use the "advanced search" function to the right of the search bar. There are a few things to keep in mind when using the "advanced search box:" 

  1. It's necessary that you select the applicable "material type." In this example, I am looking for a book.
  2. The more keywords you can use, the better. In the below example, I have entered the author's last name (Kerman) into the search box. It's important to put quotes around a text's title, and around any keywords you may be using. 
  3. Make sure you are searching in the right location. The Davidson Library may not have a copy of your book. For example, Davidson doesn't have a copy of Orange is the New Black. Therefore, I have selected "search libraries worldwide."

Applying filters while using the library catalog

After using the advanced search, the library catalog gives me the correct search result: Piper Kerman's Orange is the new Black.

The result for "Orange is the New Black"

To access a book not owned by the library, click "check for availability." If Davidson has no online copies of the book, you can request to interlibrary loan a copy. 

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