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Using The Online Catalog

Published or Revised January 12, 2012

The first step after selecting and focusing the topic is to begin the search for information sources using the Paris Junior College online catalog.

To access the online catalog, click the “Online Catalog” link under “Explore The Library” on the left side of this and every Web page pertaining to the library. The direct URI for the page is:

http://library.parisjc.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=pjc#focus

The screen that opens is the keyword search screen. This is the broadest type of search resulting in the highest number of results, but they may not be relevant to the topic. Fox example, the research project assigned is identifying a scientific issue that has become a political issue. The issue identified is cloning and the focused approach to the topic is the statement: “The government should ban human cloning.” Keywords in the statement are government, ban and human.

If the keyword is used, there are many results. The search needs to be narrowed. The opening screen is most useful for an author or title search or if the Library of Congress subject heading is known.

Some Tips On Searching

At the top of the page, there is a link to “Search.” Opening this link enables the selection of a basic, advanced or power search. The basic search allows the selection of a search by author, title or subject keyword. Using the drop down menu, select the search index to be used. Enter the term in the search field and click “Go.”

Practice. Open the online catalog and, using the basic search, select the author keyword and search for items by and about on the author Kurt Vonnegut. Observe how many hits there are and make note of the call number that is applicable to Vonnegut. Refer to the Student Library Handbook (PDF) on pages 9-11 for information about the Library of Congress classification system.

The advanced search allows search terms to be entered in one or more of the fields provided. The name of the author and title can both be entered. One can also limit the search to collections such as books, DVD, etc. The more words used for the search, the smaller and more refined the results will be.

Some Tips For Advanced Searching

The power search allows a search by using multiple author, title and subject keywords and by refining the search using one or more the Boolean operators: AN, OR, and NOT. Refer to the Student Library Handbook (PDF) to find an explanation about Boolean operators.

More Search Tips

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