Be a Search Ninja in WorldCat Local

What we have labeled “Library Catalog” on the University Library’s webpage http://louisville.edu/library is really far more than a catalog of books or even books UofL owns. If you have used it, you probably have discovered all kinds of other materials: videos, government documents, archival documents, magazine and journal articles, and more. You probably have also realized that your search results may also include items not available at UofL but at other libraries around the world which show up in the WorldCat Local database.

In addition, the database changes daily due to additions from libraries around the world as well as updates from database providers such as Medline. So, your search results today won’t necessarily match your search results from yesterday.

While you may have searched the Library Catalog/WorldCat Local, you may not have had time to really play with it. Below are some search tips that will allow you to dig deeper into the contents of the database and have more precision with your searches. If you would like more information on searching WorldCat Local, please contact a librarian!

Having trouble looking for the title of something? Try adding ti: to the beginning of your search.

Example ti: Immunology

This is especially helpful for one-word titles or titles which have lots of words in common with other titles.

If you know the author, you can create an even more powerful search by adding au: author’s name

Example ti: Shiver au:stiefvater

Just like in Google, quotation marks can be used to search adjoining words as a phrase.

Example “The Sun Also Rises”

Want to search for variations on words?

You can use the * to find variations of a word ending or # to replace a specific character.

Example parent*

Example wom#n

There are MANY more fields you can search specifically such as Library of Congress subject headings (hl:) or MESH (hm:). See the full list here: http://www.oclc.org/support/services/worldcat-local/documentation/expert_examples_WorldCat_Local.en.html

 

Are you a real library geek who enjoys using Boolean operators? You can use them in WCL too, but keep in mind there are still other factors that affect the results set such as whether we own the item. Generally, the Boolean logic seems to apply well in some cases but not others due to the complexity of the search algorithm.

The default operator is AND, so any words you enter will be joined using AND unless you use one of the other two operators OR and NOT. You can also use the | or – signs if you prefer.

Example moon OR stars

Example moon | stars

Example moon NOT stars

Example moon -stars

Use of the facets on the lefthand side can be used to sift through the abundance of results when your search returns more than you anticipated. So for example, if you are looking for a book, often book reviews of the book will show up in your results. You can remove these by using the Book facet on the left.

Some limits can be added to the search before you complete it by using the Advanced Search link.

In this area, you can add or remove additional databases to broaden or narrow your search. Unfortunately, some databases such as Medline, ERIC, GPO, and British Library Serials cannot be removed. They are a part of the OCLC WorldCat Local database.

In the Advanced Search, you can search for a date range, something you cannot do post-search with the date facets.

For a step-by-step tutorial on Advanced Search in WCL, see http://www5.oclc.org/downloads/tutorials/worldcatlocal/advnsrch/default.htm


Today’s Headlines are Déjà Vu

“The New Flood Tide of Immigration”: You’d guess that was a headline from USA Today last month? Actually, it is a headline from 1921 which appeared in the Annals of the American Academy of Political Science. How about the headline “How good are cold and flu shots?” It’s from Science Digest, 1960. “New Hopes for Syria” is an article from 1937. All of these articles and many more that can provide students with a better perspective on today’s headlines can be found in the Reader’s Guide Retrospective database. Comparing coverage of a news story from the past and today can be illuminating to students in many disciplines: history, English, sociology, biology, psychology to name a few. This kind of exercise could be a great class discussion starter or an opportunity for a short paper or project.

This database is the electronic version of the old, green books that comprised the Reader’s Guide, stalwart source for most beginning research. The database covers magazines from 1890-1982. Many of the articles are available via full-text links and others are available in microfilm or even in bound print form in Ekstrom Library. For more ideas about how to incorporate material from this database or any of the other 200+ databases to which the library subscribes, contact an Ekstrom Library reference librarian in your discipline: http://louisville.edu/library/ekstrom/reference/


Where Did the Ekstrom Reference Collection Go?

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Cover picture of the book Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology

You may have noticed that the 30,000 volume printed reference collection in the Ekstrom Library has been rapidly shrinking over the course of the last year. We recently completed a massive review and inventory of this collection because use of the collection has changed substantially in recent years. Due to the ubiquity of search engines and the ease of access to brief, factual data, the need for quick look-up is now rare. There is still a need for authoritative overviews on topics, however, and that was one of our considerations as we chose which titles to keep on the 1st floor.

 

The review involved physically removing the books from the shelf and matching them against the list of items pulled from the catalog that had the location of Ekstrom Reference. In the process, we were able to identify items that had been lost, items we thought were lost but were present, items that were miscataloged or not cataloged at all. Along with baby name books and search manuals for defunct databases, our most amusing find was a laminated picture of a pin-up girl that someone had carefully kept hidden in the International Bibliography of Research in Marriage and the Family.

 

Most of the books were moved either to the regular stacks on the 3rd or 4th floor or to the Robotic Retrieval System (RRS). These books can now be checked out. A small percentage of the books which have an online equivalent will be weeded from the Library’s collection all together.

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Cover picture of the book Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language

We will be maintaining approximately 15% of the total collection as a print reference collection. Items staying in the reference collection were selected due to their general nature, high quality, and currency. Over time, we anticipate the collection becoming smaller yet, as many titles move to online-only equivalents.

Sometime this summer, we will be shifting the remaining books to be closer together to form the compact and hopefully easily browsable reference collection.

If you have a favorite reference book that you can’t find, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help you locate it in its new home.

 


Minerva, the Traditional Library Catalog to be Sunsetted

On May 1, 2014, the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), fondly known as Minerva will no longer be available via links on most University Library web pages. This piece of software has served us well for 15 years, but the time has come to retire her. You may have already noticed the change to our new default search of the WorldCat Local (WCL) database on the University Libraries webpage and also on the Ekstrom, Kornhauser, Music, and Art Library webpages. WorldCat Local will be used as our publicly accessible catalog, although we will continue to use the Voyager system behind the scenes to process and circulate materials. The Archives and Special Collections will continue to use the Minerva interface due to the specialized materials that they have.

When you say “no longer be available via links”, what exactly do you mean?

We won’t link to minerva.louisville.edu from our webpages, but if you type in that URL, it will continue to work for the foreseeable future. It will not be customized, and more importantly, the records will not be corrected or maintained and thus will not be as accurate as the ones in WorldCat Local. Some pieces of the system will, however, continue to be used such as “My Account” where you can log in to renew your materials and the piece used to request an item from the Robotic Retrieval and Storage (RRS) system.

Why is the library catalog changing from Minerva to WorldCat Local?

WorldCat Local searches for books, e-books, articles, videos, and other items from UofL Libraries and many other libraries, all in a single search. In addition to library holdings it includes over 70 million citations to articles from JSTOR, ERIC (education), ScienceDirect, ArticleFirst, GPO (U.S. government publications), and more databases. With its intuitive interface researchers can then narrow results by location, format and full-text availability. Minerva, on the other hand, only contains what UofL owns and cannot search articles at all which has been a source of confusion to students and other researchers.

Book records in WorldCat Local include an image of the book as well as the standard information that Minerva provided: call number, availability, subject headings, citation and description. WorldCat Local will also indicate libraries nearby that have the item if we don’t have it here at UofL. Articles can be limited to peer-reviewed and/or full-text availability. Overall, the contents and functionality of the WorldCat Local tool far exceed the Minerva catalog.

Why now?

It comes down to time and money. Reductions in budget and staff have made us look for ways to provide the same level of service with fewer hours of staff time. For the last several years our staff has been doing double duty updating both versions of the catalog. This has meant many staff hours creating and updating records in the two systems and managing changes to the Minerva interface. Officially going with WorldCat Local as our library catalog will eliminate the duplication of effort and help provide our patrons with a single interface for finding the up-to-date information they need.

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

We introduced WorldCat Local on a pilot basis a few years ago. We wanted to make sure that it would meet the needs of our researchers as well as fulfill the University Libraries’ needs for a catalog. While WorldCat Local has improved its functionality consistently, the software that runs Minerva is no longer being upgraded or developed. Another inhibiting factor has been that we have materials that are available through Minerva, such as University records, manuscripts, and some other archival materials, that have been problematic to access through WorldCat Local. The benefits of moving to WorldCat Local, however, far outweigh these difficulties.

Questions?

Obviously, as with any change of this magnitude, there will be bumps along the way. Nothing is perfect, and there are still a number of issues to be resolved. WorldCat Local has interoperability with some library systems and processes. If you have questions about this changeover or what it will mean for your research, please contact the library at UofL that you use the most often.

If you’d like to familiarize yourself more with the WorldCat Local catalog, please visit our help page: http://louisville.libguides.com/help for more information.


Local Happenings….The Courier-Journal

If you are a UofL faculty, staff, or student, you have access to articles from Louisville’s local newspaper, The Courier-Journal. Access is provided through the Gannett Newstand database, available from either the “C” or “G” pages of the All Databases List. The Gannett database includes a number of other papers published by Gannett such as the Cincinnati Enquirer, so if you want to limit your search to just the Courier-Journal, you’ll need to use the Advanced Search, and search for the Courier-Journal in the Publication Title. See the picture below.

GannettNewstandscreenshot

The database contains articles from 1999-the present. If you do not find an article you remember seeing in the online or print edition of the paper, it may be that the article was from a news service such as Reuters or reprinted from another paper such as the New York Times and you’ll need to look elsewhere for it.  Contact a librarian if you need help!

Articles from before 1999 are likely not available online, or even on the computer! UofL has microfilm of the Courier-Journal dating back to 1868, and from the two proceeding newspapers Louisville Courier (1851) and the Louisville Journal (1833). Here is an example of the index (also on microfilm) to the CJ from 1918.

Courier-Journal_index

The earliest years of the Courier-Journal are being digitized, but currently, UofL does not have a subscription to that database; it is however, available from the Louisville Free Public Library.

There are many treasures to be found in the historical Courier-Journal. It would be an interesting assignment for students who want to trace the history of a local story, event, or famous person.

UofL also has several other newspapers of local historical interest on microfilm such as the Louisville Defender, the local African-American paper from 1951-2009; the Louisville Anzeiger, the local German language newspaper from 1849-1937; and the Louisville Leader, another African American newspaper currently being transcribed via crowdsourcing.


Some Helpful Features of the Library Catalog aka WorldCat Local

So, that big search box on many of the University Libraries webapges… you’ve used it to find stuff, but did you know that it can help you cite what you find? Just click the Cite/Export link in the top right corner as you’re looking at the record for a book, article, or other material you’ve found. Then choose the citation style that you’re using.

wclpicblog2013-09-11

If you find an item of interest, you can share it with others using the Share button. Items can be shared via Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and any number of other social media sites. This button is located to the right of the Cite/Export link mentioned above.

With WorldCat Local, you can also create a personal account and create lists for yourself. For example, I have created a list for myself of items that I’d like to read someday but don’t have time to get to right now. Lists can be public or private. In addition, you can track other people’s lists, save searches of your own, add tags to items of interest, and create a profile that can be either private or public as well. If you are a researcher who uses more than one library, you can add these institutions to your favorite libraries list. The sign in feature is located in the far upper right corner of the screen.

wclrefineyoursearchWhat if you need a children’s book in Spanish? Start with a keyword search, say for “girls” because you want a book about a little girl.  Once you have the list of results, you can narrow using what are called “facets” or Refine Your Search options on the left side of the search screen. Click on the facet for “Spanish” under language and then click on the facet for “juvenile”.  Voila!  You find 3 books about girls in Spanish that UofL owns!


Saying Good-bye to Minerva, the traditional library catalog

“The times, they are a changin’” sang Bob Dylan and while it’s a bit cliché now, we really do sometimes have to change with them. On May 1, 2014, the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), fondly known as Minerva will no longer be available. This piece of software has served us well for 15 years, but the time has come to retire her. You may have already noticed the change to our new default search of the WorldCat Local (WCL) database on the University Libraries webpage and also on the Ekstrom, Kornhauser, Music, and Art Library webpages. WorldCat Local will be used as our publicly accessible catalog, although we will continue to use the Voyager system behind-the-scenes to process and circulate materials.

Why is the library catalog changing from Minerva to WorldCat Local?

WorldCat Local searches for books, e-books, articles, videos, and other items from UofL Libraries and many other libraries, all in a single search. In addition to library holdings it includes over 70 million citations to articles from JSTOR, ERIC (education), ScienceDirect, ArticleFirst, GPO (U.S. government publications), and more databases. With its intuitive interface researchers can then narrow results by location, format and full-text availability. Minerva, on the other hand, only contains materials owned by UofL and cannot search articles at all which has been a source of confusion to students and other researchers.

Book records in WorldCat Local include an image of the book as well as the standard information that Minerva provided: call number, availability, subject headings, citation and description. WorldCat Local will also indicate libraries nearby that have the item if we don’t have it here at UofL. Articles can be limited to peer-reviewed and/or full-text availability. Overall, the contents and functionality of the WorldCat Local tool far exceed the Minerva catalog.

Why now?

It comes down to time and money. Reductions in budget and staff have made us look for ways to provide the same level of service with less hours of staff time. For the last few years our staff has been doing double duty updating both versions of the catalog. This has meant many staff hours creating and updating records in the two systems and managing changes to the Minerva interface. Officially going with WorldCat Local as our library catalog will eliminate the duplication of effort and help provide our patrons with a single interface for finding the up-to-date information they need.

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

We introduced WorldCat Local on a pilot basis a few years ago. We wanted to make sure that it would meet the needs of our researchers as well as fulfill the University Libraries’ needs for a catalog. While WorldCat Local has improved its functionality consistently, the software that runs Minerva has not grown to meet users’ expectations. Another inhibiting factor has been that we have materials that are available through Minerva, such as University records, manuscripts, and some other archival materials, that have been problematic to access through WorldCat Local.  The benefits of moving to WorldCat Local, however, far outweigh these difficulties. During the changeover our staff will work out methods to keep these materials available and some units in the University Libraries system may choose other access software for their materials.

Questions?

Obviously, as with any change of this magnitude, there will be bumps along the way. Nothing is perfect, and there are still a number of issues to be resolved. WorldCat Local has interoperability with some library systems and processes. If you have questions about this changeover or what it will mean for your research, please contact the library at UofL that you use the most often.

If you’d like to familiarize yourself more with the WorldCat Local catalog, please visit our help page: http://louisville.libguides.com/help for more information.