The Library Catalog: One Stop Nonstop
Searching the Library Catalog shouldn’t prove to be difficult. Anybody who is used to finding information on any major type of search engine will be able to use it. You’re associated with an institution of higher education that has strong admission standards. You can do this.
A bigger question is, why bother? When any random search on Google retrieves umpty-gazillion responses, why restrict yourself to the few hundred thousand available through the Library collections?
One answer lies in the quality and relevancy of those collections. Materials are selected by Librarians who are professionally trained and experienced in selecting resources and often have additional degrees in the areas where they work. In addition, they work closely with Detroit Mercy faculty to identify and select materials recommended by the professors who teach your courses.
Besides the brick-and-mortar stuff on the shelves, the Library Catalog is important as a guide to find books and journals available online. Currently, access is provided to over 125,000 electronic books and thousands of electronic journals.
It’s easy enough to find the Library Catalog: just google “Detroit Mercy Library Catalog”. Or, even better, go to the Library Re:Search page at http://research.udmercy.edu/. Use the search box labeled Find Journals, Books, eBooks, DVDs and More… All electronic books will have a direct link, allowing access regardless of whether the Library building is open or not.
In the interest of full disclosure, the Library Catalog does not yet provide access to all of the available electronic journals. We’re working on it. For now, using the “Browse Databases +eJournals” tab on the Re:Search page is the most comprehensive way to find these.
Still, enough are available in the Library Catalog to provide one more strength: its ability to provide links between similar materials. Every Catalog entry contains descriptive terms (“Subject Headings“) which are used consistently. These enable you to quickly link to materials on similar topics, something which can be very handy when you’re just starting your research and have no idea where to go next.
The Library Catalog has been designed to provide one-stop shopping, 24/7, to important materials selected for the Library’s Collections. Whether you are browsing a subject area or searching for a particular known-item, it is designed to make your process as efficient as possible.
David Moody, Librarian