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SOCY 122: Introduction to Academic Library Research

Course guide library research tutorial

Library Catalogue Record

So far in this module we have looked at how to do a title search, an author search, and a keyword Boolean search. Now, let's examine the catalogue record that is retrieved when you perform a search and select an item:

qcat item record

The Catalogue record provides you with publication information and the item's location and availability: 

  • author
  • title
  • publisher
  • place and date of publication
  • Status tells you if the book is available
  • Location tells you in which library the book is located
  • call number (if the book is available in print), tells you where the book is located on the Library's shelves

Before turning to an examination of how to read a call number, it is important to consider the Subjects assigned to an item.

Subject Headings

The subjects or subject headings assigned to a book are done so using a strict, controlled vocabulary. For this reason, subject headings are not always obvious, which is why a keyword search on your topic is recommended over a subject heading search. However, once you have located a book of interest through a title, author or keyword search, the subject headings become very useful. If a subject heading describes what you are looking for, click on it to find additional items on your topic, or use the subject headings to give you ideas for other words to use in your keyword searches.