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ABM310 DL Library Research Tools Readings: Library Catalog

This guide contains the research tool readings required for Step 2 of the distance learning section of AMB310.

Library Catalog Pt. 1

What is the Library Catalog?
A library catalog contains records for all the library materials owned by a library. To find the Madigan Library’s catalog, go to the Library Homepage at library.pct.edu. Find the mint green box directly under the words Madigan Library on the left side of the page that appears. Keep the Catalog open while you are doing this part of the tutorial to help you visualize what I’m explaining.

Searching the Library Catalog

When you open the Library Catalog, you will see the "Quick Search" screen. As the name implies, you are able to do uncomplicated searches here. Next to the search box in the Library Catalog, you will notice a drop-down menu. This menu will allow you to search just the Madigan Library Catalog, local catalogs, or catalogs worldwide. Regardless of what way you search, Penn College’s results will always appear first. To search for a specific author, title, or subject and to limit your search in a number of other ways, you should use the "Advanced Search" method found under the search box.

After doing a catalog search, you should see a results list in the center of the screen. Clicking on the title of any item in the results list will provide you with additional information about the item. Near the bottom of each item record in the list, there will be a "Libraries that own this item" field, and it will indicate whether Penn College owns the item. On the left-hand side of your results list, you will notice several boxes that will help you narrow your search by format type, authors, years, etc. Do a search in the catalog on "automotive repair" and observe the results list and the boxes on the left. Find an item that is in the Penn College Library and click on it. Scroll down the screen that appears and notice the various boxes with important information about the item you chose. Pay particular attention to the "Subjects" box, the "Find a copy…" box, and the "Details" box. The "Subjects" box will give you the major subjects the item deals with. These subjects are hyperlinked ; clicking on them will often provide you with more specific results. The "Find a copy…" box will tell you where the item is located—the floor of the library where the item is and the call number. The "Details" box will often give you additional information about the item that may help you decide if the item is useful for your project. Often a table of contents and/or a summary of the item is given here.


Answer these questions from the above descriptions:
(I will grade these responses, so don't skip them.)

Please enter your name:    

Question 1

What will you find in a library catalog?

Question 2

In the dropdown menu that appears under the Madigan Library Catalog "Quick Search" box, list the three ways you can search.

Question 3

After you do a catalog search, what will you see in the center of the screen?

On the left-hand side of the screen?

Question 4

What will always appear first in any results list that you get?

Question 5

What is the heading for the box that will tell you how many books, DVDs, etc. your search produced?

Question 6

In the results list, how do you know if Penn College owns an item or not?

Question 7

Clicking on the title of an item in your results list will open up a screen with more specific information about the item. In what box would you find the call number of the item?

What floor it’s on?

The major subjects it deals with?

A Table of Contents and Summary (Abstract)?


Questions 8-10 require you to investigate on your own. Do a search on “automotive repair,” and click on a book that belongs to Penn College. Make sure the book you pick has an author. Then answer these questions:


Question 8

In what box would you find the ISBN?

Question 9

In what box could you find out what other libraries own the book you picked?

Question 10

In what box could you find additional information about the author of the book you picked?


Type the security word (given to you by your professor).


Library Catalog Pt. 2

Locating Items in the Library Catalog

To locate items found in the Madigan Library Catalog, you should follow this process:

  1. Do a search in the search box;
  2. From the results list click on the title of a hit that interests you;
  3. Look at the "Find a copy…" area of the screen that appears;
  4. Copy on to a piece of paper the "call number" and the "Location."

Most books in the Madigan Library used for research purposes are located in either the reference or circulating collections. Reference books are located on the first floor and do not circulate (may not be checked out); circulating books are split between the first and second floors (A-P: first floor, Q-Z: second floor) and may be checked out for 1 month.

Answer these questions from the above descriptions:
(I will grade these responses, so don’t skip them.)

Please enter your name:    

Question 1 After you click on the title of a hit, where on the screen that appears will you find the call number and location?
Question 2 List two details about circulating books.
Question 3 List two details about reference books.
Question 4 What floor would this book be on: PT1020 .F36 2004?
Question 5 What floor would this book be on: REF Z247 .R93 2006? (Look closely at this call number.)

Type the security word (given to you by your professor).


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