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What search tool should I use? Library OneSearch? Library Catalog? WorldCat? Other?

1978 views   |   Last updated on Aug 07, 2014    research how do I


That depends on what you are looking for.


Library OneSearch covers most, but not quite all, of Wesleyan library’s online and physical resources, including the library catalog (and also books etc at Trinity and Conn College) and most of the indexes and databases the library subscribes to. It does not search WorldCat. (see alsoWhat is OneSearch?)

Credo Reference is a large collection of published academic reference sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.); there is also a list of subject specific online reference sources.

The Library Catalog lists the physical and online books, audio and video recordings, journal/magazine/newspaper titles, which the library owns in its collections or subscribes to in print or online. The CTW Catalog is a combined catalog of materials at Trinity and Conn College as well as at Wesleyan.

WorldCat is a list of most books in most libraries in the United States and many libraries elsewhere, so if a book has been published and cataloged by libraries it is most likely listed in WorldCat. This includes many titles not in Wesleyan’s collection and thus not included in Library OneSearch. WorldCat does indicate whether a particular title is held by Wesleyan, Trinity, or Conn College.

So, if you are looking for a specific book (or audio/video recording or other specific known item), WorldCat is a good place to start, since it will indicate whether the book is available at Wesleyan (if so, then look in the Library Catalog to find the book’s call number location in the library and to see whether it is available or checked out), or at Trinity or Conn College (if so, then look in the CTW Catalog and place a request for Trinity or Conn’s copy). If the item is not available in CTW, WorldCat allows you to place an interlibrary loan request for it.

If you are looking for a specific article, use the Journal Locator to see whether Wesleyan has online access or a physical copy of the journal, then find the article in the journal. If the library does not subscribe to the journal, you can place an interlibrary loan request for the article.

If you are looking for information on a topic, Library OneSearch is a good place to start. Enter a few keywords to describe your topic, then you can narrow and specify the results using the facets on the left of the screen (limiting to peer reviewed sources, sources in a particular discipline, etc). Or, you can look through the Indexes & Databases to find an appropriate subject specific index of publications. 

Or, you can ask a librarian for assistance