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Finding Books: Basic Catalogue Searching

How to do a basic search for material using Word/Author/Title/Subject

Search by word

If you know the topic you want to search, but aren’t sure of any titles or authors, you can do a WORD search.

  • Type in a word or two that you are interested in researching. "Word" search is the default option.
  • Combine each concept with AND (e.g., sports medicine AND football).
  • Click the green magnifying glass!

You can browse through the list of results to see if any items are useful. If nothing of value comes up, try changing your keywords. Use synonyms or related concepts. 

Search by title

If you know the exact title of the book you are looking for, you can do a TITLE search.

  • Start at the library home page ( and click on "Library Catalogue".
  • From the Catalogue search page, choose "Title" in the drop-down menu.
  • Type in the beginning of the title, ignoring any articles such as “the”, “a”, or “an” (e.g., grapes of wrath instead of the grapes of wrath).
  • Click the green magnifying glass!


If the library has many items with the same title, you will be taken to a result list, and you can choose the one you want by clicking on the title. If there is only one item with that title, you will be taken directly into the detailed record for that item.


The item record provides you with many details of the book including:

  • Author, place of publication, copyright information (all very useful for your bibliography).
  • Location indicates which library the book is located in. If the book is available as an e-book you will see the phrase "Electronic Book". Select "connect to the online version" to read the full-text of the book online.
  • Call # indicates the unique number assigned to a book. Write this down! - this number will help you locate the book on the shelf. 
  • Status indicates if the item is currently in the library or is signed out.
  • Increasingly, item records for new books also contain a table of contents or a brief description which can help you determine whether the material is useful.

Search by author

If you know the author, but aren’t sure about the title, you can do an AUTHOR search.

  • In the Catalogue choose "Author" from the drop-down menu.
  • Type in the author’s LAST name first, followed by the first name or initial (e.g., laurence, margaret or laurence, m).
  • Click the green magnifying glass!

If the library has items by different authors with the same name, you will be taken to a result list, and you can choose the one you want by clicking on the correct name. You may need to try a few until you find the right one.

What is the catalogue?

Try it!

To search in the catalogue from this page, simply enter your search terms into the box below and click GO


The library's eBooks are searchable in the library catalogue. To limit your search to eBooks in the catalogue:

  • In the Catalogue, choose "Electronic Resources" from the drop-down menu. NOTE: this option will retrieve eBooks, e-theses, e-journals, etc.