How to Use the Library Catalog
Where's the Online Catalog?
You can access the online catalog by pointing your browser to http://opac.goodwin.edu, or via the Hoffman family Library home page. From the home page you can either: 1) click the link in the navigation bar that says "Catalog", or 2) click the link that says "Search for books in the Catalog".
The Basic Search
You do not need to log into your account (1) to search for library items. However, by using your account, you can create your own book lists, place holds on books that the librarian will set aside for you, and you can add titles to your cart.
What type of search to use?
The basic search bar at the top of the screen (2) offers a few options to help narrow your search. It defaults to searching the "Library Catalog" but you can choose another.
- Library Catalog searches the entire catalog record for the term ( this will search descriptions as well as subject and title fields)
- Title looks for the search terms only in the item titles.
- Author searches author's names. You'll do best writing the name in this format: last name, first name (e.g. Joyce, James).
- Subject searches the subject field of the catalog record. This field contains broad terms used to describe the topic of the text.
- ISBN searches for the International Standard Book Number. Every edition of most commerically published books have one. This can be particularly helpful when you know you need a specific edition of a book, such as when your instructor notes that fact in the syllabus.
- Series searches for the title of a series instead of the title of an individual book, e.g. Game of Thrones is the title of the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, and the series search would be used to search for the latter.
- Call Number looks for the search term in the item call numbers. This is helpful if you are familiar with Library of Congress classification.
The Advanced Search
Use the advanced search feature (1) when you want to create a more targeted search by:
- searching more than one field (e.g. you know the specific title and author, but the title is too common a word to yield valuable search results by itself),
- searching for a phrase instead of a single word,
- combining multiple concepts.
Use the drop down menus to choose which field you want to search. Each search term must appear somewhere in the catalog record for the items to be included in the results list.
You can further specify your search using limiters.
- Limit to only items copyrighted in the year or years of your choice. Enter multiple years as a range: 2010-2014.
- Limit by item type so that you only see items that are, for example, Audio/Visual or Non-Fiction.
- Limit by the language in which the book was written.
- The results list can be sorted by relevance, popularity, author, call number, date, or title.
The Results List
After you click on "Search", you will get a Results List based on the terms and limiters you used. There is a lot of information on this page and a lot of choices as to what to do next.
- See how many results your search returned. If the number is too low, you may want to try some different search terms. If it's too high, you might want to try to limit the results.
- If a title interests you, click on it to view the bibliographic record and learn more about the item.
- Use the sidebar to limit your results so you only see results that fit the criteria you select.
- This notes that this book is available and gives you the location and call number so you can find it.
- This item is checked out, so you won't find it on the shelf.
This is what a biliographic record looks like in the catalog. It provides you with a wealth of information about the book, including all of the information you would need to create a citation.
- The item's title and, when available, an image of the cover.
- Publication information.
- Subject keywords. These are links to a search for more items on the same subject.
- Holding information tells you how many copies we have of this title, as well as information only applicable to one specific copy.
- Click here to read comments about the item posted by other library users.
- If you would like us to hold the item for you at the circulation desk, click "Place hold", or save the item to your cart to access it later.