A database is an organized collection of online records in a standardized format that can be stored and accessed in a variety of ways. The library catalog is one example of a database.
Each record in the library catalog is composed of important elements of information that describe a specific item. For example, the elements of information for a specific book title would be contained in a single catalog record.
Each record is composed of a set of fields which contain the individual elements of information. For example, each record in a library catalog includes fields such as: title, author, and subject headings.
Example of a Detailed Record from the Library Catalog
A keyword search retrieves words or phrases from the important fields of the database records. In most databases a keyword search finds words in fields that have descriptive content, such as author, article title, source title (book, journal, magazine, or newspaper, subject/descriptor terms, and abstract. In some databases, additional fields may be included in the keyword search. And in other databases, a keyword search will search everything in every record. Some keyword search engines allow you to specify which field(s) are to be searched.
A keyword search usually retrieves more items than a subject search, but they may not all be relevant. The computer is looking for the exact word you typed, not for the meaning or context of the word.
For example, a search on AIDS will retrieve items on...
A keyword search is the best method to use when:
A subject search involves searching for subject headings/terms used in the library catalog or a library database. The library catalog and many library databases include subject headings/terms that are assigned to each record.
A list of subject headings, (also known as a subject thesaurus), ensures that all items about the same topic have uniform headings. Users can then retrieve all of the items on the same topic using a subject heading/term, even when there may be several other ways to state the concept. By using the subject heading/term, you will retrieve every relevant item for your topic. Searching with a subject heading/term retrieves items ABOUT that particular topic, and it is a more precise search than a keyword search.
For example, you may want to research the topic pet therapy.
Possible ways (synonyms) to state this topic include:
When using the library catalog, to search for books, the subject headings for pet therapy are:
The subject heading for pet therapy may be different in other library databases.
|KEYWORD SEARCH||SUBJECT SEARCH|
Specific search tips for using the library catalog:
For additional information or assistance on searching the library catalog, ask a Reynolds librarian.
General search strategy tips:
Other search tips:
For additional information on general search strategies, review the Online Search Strategies page.
Use the library catalog to search for items at all three Reynolds campus libraries including:
**You can also access the library catalog from most of our research guides located at http://libguides.reynolds.edu.
When the search results screen appears, you have the option to limit your results to type of resource including online articles, online and print books, and multimedia (e.g., online videos and DVDs) as well as various other options.
To limit results to books and videos available (not checked out), click on the Books & Media from the Availability menu on the right.
To limit results to books only, click on Books from the Resource Type menu on the right.
To limit results to print books from a particular campus, Parham, Downtown or Goochland, click on the specific campus link from the Library menu on the right.
You can search for words in the Author/creator, Title, or Subject fields by using the menu from the Advanced search screen.
Advanced Search Screen:
When viewing the result list, physical items (e.g., print books, DVDs) will include the following information: the specific campus that holds the item, the specific collection where the item is located, and the Library of Congress (LC) call number which indicates where the item is located on the shelf. If items are available (not checked out), they will be indicated by Available at.
Items checked out will be indicated by Checked out from.
If a physical item is already checked out (indicated by Checked out from), you can request that the item be held for you when it is returned to the library by using the Request item option. You can also use the Request item option to have an already available item transferred to another campus library for pickup.
1. To request the item, click on the item title from the results list to view the detailed record.
2. When the detailed record appears, click on Sign in under the Request Item section.
3. When the Virginia's Community Colleges login screen appears, sign in with your My Reynolds username and password.
4. After you sign in and are brought back to the detailed records screen, click on Request.
5. When the Request Item window appears, click on the down arrow from the Pickup Location menu. When the menu appears, select the campus you would like to pick up the book from then click on the Request button.