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Finding and Using Library Resources

Getting Started with Library Catalogs

A library catalog is a list of all the bibliographic resources that are available in a library or collection of libraries.
Databases provide access to electronic resource subscriptions, including a combination of books, images, videos, and/or articles from periodicals, newspapers, and journals; some are interdisciplinary while others are discipline-specific.

The Difference Between Catalog Plus and Classic Catalog

The SCAD Libraries homepage defaults to the Catalog Plus  search tool which allows you to conduct a quick and comprehensive search across the majority of the library's collections - books, videos, and e-resources such as articles, theses, ebooks, and SCAD digital collections, such as the Don Bluth Animation collection. Catalog Plus is useful for exploratory research, when you want to return the most results possible.

Classic Catalog allows you to conduct more targeted searches for specific items.

Users may still search the Classic Catalog, and within database resources directly (from the database page).

Search Strategies

Customize your search to improve results.
HINT: This is where brainstorming a list of keywords related to your topic comes in handy!

“ ” Group keywords with quotation marks to search as an exact phrase.  
Example: “the night watchman” 

* Use the asterisk if you want to search multiple iterations of a keyword.  
Example: sculpt* = sculpture, sculptors, sculpted 

& Use AND to combine several keywords or phrases.  
Example: "Ai Wei Wei" AND installation

+ Use OR to search for information about one term, and also articles about another term.  
Example: sustainable OR eco-friendly

- Use NOT to search for information about one term, while excluding another term
Example: Michaelangelo NOT turtle


Advanced Search features make it easy to narrow a large result list. For example:

  • Subject links limit results to a specific topic or discipline
  • Specify a publication date range
  • Search within the title of an article, the summary or the entire text

Refine / Narrow Search Results

Too many results?

Use the Refine Your Search column to select additional preferences and narrow the search result list.

The more options you choose, the fewer results the search will return.

How to Read a Call Number

Want to browse the shelves for a particular subject? Explore the call number guide below:

Call Number Examples

Call Number Display in Catalog Plus

Call Number Display in Classic Catalog