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Overview: The Basics

Click a grey heading below to expand a section.

Overview

We recently refreshed the appearance of the UNT Libraries Catalog. The underlying system remains the same, but we hope that the new look will make it easier to use.

This page gives you an overview of how the catalog works. For additional help pages and tutorials providing more details, choose any of the links in the left-hand sidebar.

Coverage

What's in the Catalog?

  • Records for over 5 million items owned or subscribed to by the UNT Libraries. These include books, CDs, DVDs, government documents, journals/magazines, and many other items.

What's Not in the Catalog?

  • Articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers. To search for articles, use a service listed in the Electronic Resources Database.
  • The full text of items. The catalog functions differently from Google. Searches in the catalog are based on summary records about the items—not content within the items themselves. Use the catalog to find materials by searching their titles, authors, subjects, tables of contents, or descriptions.
  • Some special collections and older items. Consult a reference librarian for assistance using these collections.

The Main Search Screen & Basic Searching

Find the main search screen by clicking on the   New Search link at the top of any catalog page. The main search screen defaults to Basic Search, but it also provides quick access to Advanced, Course Reserves, Author & Title, Numbers, Music, and Media searches. You can find additional research tools in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the screen.

From the Main Search Screen You Can...

  • Perform a Keyword, Title, Journal-Title, Author, or Subject Search
  • Limit your search to specific locations of the libraries' collections

You May Also Want To:

  • Try out the  Experimental Search Homepage, which also allows you to limit your results to specific material types (CDs, DVDs, Scores, etc.). If you like the experimental version, please give us feedback.

Here's How the Different Search Types Work:

Keyword: Use any word or combination of words that seem relevant. The system will search for your word(s) in the indexed fields of the catalog records including title(s), subject(s), author(s), and textual notes such as tables of contents, summaries, etc.

Title: Type a title phrase. The system will search for your phrase in the title fields of the catalog records--including main titles, former titles, series information, translations, and title variations.

Journal Title: Type a title phrase. The system will search for your phrase in the title fields of catalog records associated with journals, magazines, or other serials.

Author: Use the name of a person or organization that helped create the item. The system will search the catalog records for authors, joint authors, editors, composers, directors, and performers, as well organizations, conferences, government agencies, corporate, and many other named entities. Some things to know about author searches:

  • Knowing a little about the person (first, last name, birth/death dates) helps. Consider the search: Strauss. There will be too many results to be useful.
  • If you know both the first and last name of a person, type them into the search terms field in the form last name, first name.
  • Many names are normalized within the catalog for organizational purposes. If you’re having trouble finding a name, ask a reference librarian for help.

Subject: use a Library of Congress Subject Headings from the searchable list provided by the Library of Congress. The system will search the subject heading fields in the catalog records. If you are unsure of the correct subject heading for your research, use the keyword search instead because it will look for your keyword within the subject heading fields. You can combine keyword and subject searches to find highly relevant materials. To learn how, see this tutorial on Better Searching with Subject Headings.

Advanced Search Screen

How to Find It

  • On the Main Search Screen, click the Advanced Search tab.
  • From any other page, hover over  New Search at the top of the page and select "Advanced Search" from the drop-down menu.
  • From the top of most results screens, click  Modify Search.
    (This will take you to the Advanced Search screen with your existing query saved for further refinement.)

What It Does

Enables you to find results with greater precision by adding a number of conditions to your search.

How to Use It

See the advanced searching tutorial for details.

Course Reserves

How to Find It

  • On the Main Search Screen, click Course Reserves from the right-hand sidebar.
  • From any other page, hover over  New Search at the top of the page and select "Course Reserves" from the drop-down menu.

What It Does

  • Allows you to search for readings, scores, recordings, media, or other materials your professor has placed on reserve for your class.
  • Allows you to chat online with library staff.
  • Provides maps of reserve desk locations.
  • Links to policies and fines information.

How to Use It

Click the appropriate tab to search or browse by your course number or instructor’s name. You can also search by the title of the reserve item. If your search is successful, you will see a list of materials currently on reserve for your class.

Then What?

Click on the title of the reserve item you want to use.

  • If the item is available electronically, you will need to log in using your own EUID/password as well as the course password provided by your instructor.
  • If the item is not available electronically, you will need to take the call number to the reserve desk listed under "location." Be sure to take your UNT ID card with you. Typically, reserve items can be checked out for a limited period of time. Some may only be used in the building where they are housed.

Other Search Screens (Music, Media, Author/Title, Numbers)

The catalog provides several specialized search screens for unique searching situations.

How to Find Them

  • On the Main Search Screen, click the appropriate tab or sidebar link.
  • From any other page, hover over  New Search at the top of the page and select "Author & Title," "Music Library," "Media Library," or "Number Search" from the drop-down menu.

What They Do

Music and Media Library Catalogs provide functions similar to the Advanced Search screen, but offer additional help for searches of multimedia items, scores, etc. Be sure to try the "Instrumentation & Voice Search" in the Music Library Catalog to search for scores and audio recordings with specific voicing or instrumentation.

Author & Title simplifies finding an item when you know both its author and title.

Numbers allows you to search for items by identifying numbers such as call numbers, ISBNs, OCLC numbers, etc.

How to Use Them

Follow the prompts and help links available on each screen.

Search Results

There are two forms of search results you will typically see:

Citation List

This view occurs in keyword searches (example) and in author, title, and subject searches where the results have been narrowed down to a single controlled authority list (example). Aspects of Brief Citation Result Screens:

  • Top of results screen includes new search box,  Modify Search link, and other tools to limit/change your query
  • Each row allows you to mark & save a result for later viewing/exporting
  • Each item displays a material type icon for quick browsing
  • Each item displays the title, and other imprint information
  • Usually a linked floor map or a form for requesting retrieval from remote storage
  • The call number
  • Availability Status (Available, Due XX-YY-ZZZZ)
  • A link to export to Refworks

Brief Browse List

This view occurs for title, author, subject, and number searches where a number of similar items are found and further limits can/should be applied. This display will typically give you lists of names/phrases (hereafter "Authorities", and a listing of the number of entries for each row. Examples:

Individual Records

Clicking on the title of an item the Citation List Result View, or an item in the Brief Browse List where there is only a single item available (example) will result in the display of an Individual Record Display. From this screen you can:

  • View extended details about the item (various titles, names, subjects, other imprint information, etc.)
  • Cross reference the item with other items on the same subject(s) or by the same author(s)
  • Note other availability details, maps, etc.

Sidebar

Many items will have additional information and tools available from the left-hand sidebar. These include:

  • Book covers and reader information from Google Books
  • Social media: sharing, printing, and email functions
  • Add to Refworks
  • Link to circulation policies, fines, etc.
  • Link to browse nearby items on the shelf. Serendipity is one of the most undervalued parts of information discovery in a library, this lets you try it from the computer screen.
  • More information from WorldCat Identities about an author
  • Online citation generator
  • Data for Librarians and other Information Science Types (MARC Data)
  • A permalink (shorter URL's for citations, etc)
  • A QR code for scanning/sharing with your smart phone.