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Find Books & eBooks Fast: Use the Library Catalog (Fall 2021): Home

Asynchronous Workshop

Welcome to the asynchronous version of the Fall 2021 "Find Books & eBooks Fast: Use the Library Catalog" workshop!

(Use the table of contents below to navigate the presentation/lecture and access the assessment/quiz.)

Presentation: 

Assessment: 

Books & Ebooks

Before getting into the specifics of using the Library Catalog to find books and ebooks, let's quickly review a few things about books and ebooks. 

There's the traditional form of books that we're all familiar with which is the physical, printed one with pages made of paper and front and back covers. These books can be held in our hands and placed on shelves.

Books also come in a non-physical but digital/electronic form, ebooks, which we'll discuss later. But from here on out, whenever books are mentioned, we usually mean the physical/printed kind.

Books can be found on shelves throughout the Rio Hondo College Library depending on the subject matter, intended audience, or specific use of the books. Depending on which location or collection they belong to, books can have different borrowing periods, lending rules, or levels of access.

Books are organized on our shelves by call numbers using the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) System, rather than the Dewey Decimal Classification System used by public libraries. (Visit our Research Help page for more information on call numbers and the LCC.)

Unlike physical/print books, electronic books (ebooks) aren't kept on shelves but within the databases and electronic resources (e-resources) offered by the Rio Hondo College Library.

Depending on the usage rights available and obtained, some ebooks allow an unlimited number of users to read them simultaneously, while others allow only one person (or a few) at a time. Ebooks may either be viewable only online through their respective databases/e-resources or be downloaded for offline reading. 

In addition to using the Library Catalog, ebooks can be found by searching within individual ebook e-resources. A complete list of our all e-resources and their links can be found on Library's A-Z List, but the following are our ebook e-resources: 

Research Process (Tips)

Using our Library Catalog (also known as "OneSearch") might seem confusing or overwhelming at first. But it's actually not all that different from using other online and digital resources.

The following are a few helpful reminders on getting the most out of our Library Catalog.

Did you know you already have the skills needed to successfully find books and ebooks in the Library Catalog?

Every time we listen to music on an app, shop online on a website, or call someone using a mobile phone, we use a database. And like many of the other databases we use regularly, the Library Catalog is designed to work in similar way. 

Remember: You Got This

Less is more in Library Catalog search requests; more words don't lead to better results.

Although some databases might understand complex requests, the Library Catalog handles simple search requests best. That's why it's better to limit an initial search request to just a handful of words on the fewest number of essential. (Think of the Library Catalog like a pet dog: simple, brief commands are more effective than long, complex requests.)

Remember: Keep It Simple... And Use Fewer, Better Words In Your Searches

Why waste time reinventing the wheel or doing things the hard way, when there might be an easier way?

Often times the problem isn't too few results when searching, but too many. Rather than manually scrolling through an endless list of results, trying to find the needle in the proverbial haystack, it's easier and faster to use the filtering options built into the Library Catalog to narrow down the list of results, such as availability, resource type, author, location, subject, etc.

Remember: Ain't Nobody Got Time For That... So Use Filters To Quickly Focus Results 

Because it's a database and provides an interface to view and follow shared connections and relationship between items, once something has been found in the Library Catalog, it's easy to find other things related to it.

Can't remember the title of a song by a particular artist? Searching in a music streaming app and a few clicks later all of an artist's available albums and songs are listed. Find one book by an author on Amazon and all it takes is a click or two to find all of their other available works. The same is true when using the Library Catalog. 

Remember: One Good Thing Leads To Another... So Take Advantage Of The Library Catalog Interlinking And Interface

Research Process (Example)

Let's do some holiday shopping for My Little Pony on Amazon as an example. 

(Note: Over time databases such as Amazon are likely to be updated resulting in changes to their interfaces and options presented. While the screenshots of Amazon presented might no longer be entirely accurate by the time they are viewed, the functionality shown will almost certainly still exist in some form.)

Searching (Start Simple) 

There are lots of ways we can shop on Amazon.com, but let's just start by typing and searching for: My Little Pony

Way Too Many Results (Filtering) 

With over 7,000 items, that's way too many to look at. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Let's use the filtering options on the left side to narrow down our results. 

 


That's Better 

We went from over 7,000 down to just 65 items, using the category options on the left side to filter the results for Books then Children's Books then Beginner Readers.

Much better! 

(Note: we should always be mindful when filtering that we might be missing out on lots of great items by narrowing down so much.)

Take a Look Around (Exploring) 

Lots of ways to find more things to browse and buy, thanks to the helpful "Frequently bought together" feature.

Although, the author's name appears to be a clickable link. Perhaps the author has written other books, too? 

 


Easy Peasy 

And with that one click, we're at the author's landing page and can see she's written lots of other My Little Pony books. No need to manually search for them ourselves. Nice! 

Library Catalog (Searching)

The Library Catalog 

All the books and ebooks available from the Rio Hondo College Library are entered into the Library Catalog and can be found by searching in it. 

Actually, it's more than just books and ebooks. The Library Catalog (also known as "OneSearch") contains records for the contents of almost all our databases and e-resources. That means books, ebooks, articles, journals, magazines, newspapers, streaming media, and more are all searchable through the Library Catalog. 

The Library Catalog can be accessed by: 

Starting a Search 

To start a search in the Library Catalog, enter what you're looking for into the search bar and then hit the enter/return key after you finish typing or press the search (magnifying glass) icon. 

Selecting one of the suggested search terms offered by the Library Catalog while you were typing will immediately launch a search with those selected terms. 

In the example screenshot, we'll start a search for books on racism by just using racism as the search term.

(For more on what words to enter as search terms, visit the "Choosing Search Terms" tab.) 

Search Results for Racism 

As can be seen in the screenshot, searching for racism in the Library Catalog results in lots of items (specifically "438,712 results") being returned.

However, by default only the first 10 item records, as sorted by relevance, are displayed. To see more, options are at the bottom of the page to both view the next page of results, as well as increase the number of items per page. 

In a sidebar to the left of the results are number of options, including filtering options (which will be discussed in more detail below) and the ability to change the sorting preference. If you prefer results to be listed in an order other than by relevance, you can use the "Sort by" pulldown to select that item records be listed by title, author, or date (newest first or oldest first). 

To view more detail about an item in the search result list, click on the item to view its complete Library Catalog record. (The contents and features of Library Catalog records will be discussed in more detail below.)

How to choose words. 

Keep it Simple 

Sometimes it's easy to figure out which words to use in a search. (These are often referred to as search terms.) For example, if it's something written by a particular author, use the author's name. Or perhaps it's a specific book, in which case use the title. 

However, if it isn't a specific author or book sought, but one on a certain topic, take some time to think of the different ways and words that can be used to describe the topic. Since there are often multiple ways to describe the same thing, there's no guarantee the words we initially use will be the ones actually used in the Library Catalog. 

So start by searching for only the most important topic or two, using as few words as possible. Too many words can affect the quantity and quality of results, as well as make it more difficult to figure out how to adjust or change your search later. 

Search, then Re-search

If the results of your search aren't satisfactory or seem like they're off topic, consider changing the words. This is when the list of alternative keywords you've brainstormed can come in handy. 

Depending on the search results obtained, it might be necessary to reevaluate the words used to search to not only see whether they accurate capture/describe what is sought but also whether they are too narrow or broad given the pool books, their contents, and how they are described. 

Avoid Using Phrases, Unless You're Absolutely Sure

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid using quotation marks or double quotation marks around your search terms. Wrapping words in quotation marks tells the Library Catalog to find only those entries that have those exact words in that exact order and often result in very few items being returned in search results. 

There are times when wrapping words with quotations marks is necessary, such as when your search terms contain terms of art (i.e., very specific terminology that would otherwise be mistaken for plain words) or  specific titles/persons/places/phrases/quotes composed of common words.

Library Catalog (Filters)

What are filters? 

Filters provide a quick and convenient way to select specific attributes (characteristics or contents) by which search results can be narrowed down. 

If the remaining items should have a specific attribute or thing in common, then a filter option would be used to "include" that. 

Conversely, if all the remaining items should not have or contain a specific attribute or thing, then a filter option would be chosen to "exclude" that. 

Include Filters (Click-and-Go Option) 

To apply an include filter using the click-and-go option, simply find the filter option listed under "Filter Search Results" to the left of the search results and click on it. 

In the example screenshot, clicking on the "In Library on Campus" option under "Availability" will automatically apply that filter to the results. 

See "Included Filter Results" below for the filtered/narrowed results. 

 

 


Include Filters (Check and Apply Option) 

What if you would like to apply more than one filter?

While you can click on as many individual filter options as you like, having each applied immediately before clicking on the next. You can also select all the filter options you want first, before applying them all at once when you're done. 

This method involves selecting checkboxes, which show up in front of filter options when your cursor hovers over a filter option or upon long pressing on touch-enabled screen displays. 

In the example screenshot, the checkbox for "In Library on Campus" has been selected. Optionally, I can select and check as many boxes as I want before choosing "Apply Filters" button to have the results filtered accordingly. If I made a mistake, I can uncheck a box or choose "Clear" below to reset and clear all the checkboxes. 

See "Included Filter Results" below for the filtered/narrowed results. 

 


Included Filters Results 

In the example results screenshot, you can see on the left under "Active filters" that "Books" and "In Library on Campus" have been applied to the search results. 

If we want to individually remove any of the currently applied filters, clicking on their listing under "Active filters" will remove them. To remove all the currently applied filters at once, clicking on the "Reset filters" option. 

 

Exclude Filters (Click-and-Go Option) 

To apply an exclude filter using the click-and-go method, find the filter option listed under "Filter Search Results" to the left of the search results. While hovering over (or long pressing) the option, checkboxes will appear. If the option to exclude the filter is available, an icon/symbol of a checked checkbox with a strikeout line through it will appear behind/after the filter listing. Clicking on that icon will immediately select and apply that filter to exclude that item from the search results. 

In the example screenshot, we'll be excluding items that are "In Library on Campus" from the search results. 

See "Excluded Filter Results" below to see the filtered/narrowed results.

 

 


Exclude Filters (Check and Apply Option) 

Selecting and applying more than one filter to exclude, is the same as selecting multiple filter options to include but with an additional step added. 

First, activate the selection checkboxes just like with including filters by hovering your cursor over a filter option or long pressing it on touch-enabled screen displays. Initially select the filter option as if you were going to include it. Once the checkbox in front of the filter item shows that it's been selected/checked, click on the exclude checkbox shown after/behind the filter item in order to convert it from an include into an exclude filter. (The exclude filter checkbox is visually different, having a white diagonal strikeout through the check inside a red-filled checkbox.) 

In the example screenshots, you can see the initial activation and selection of the "In Library on Campus" filter along with its conversion into an exclude filter. 

See "Excluded Filter Results" below to see the filtered/narrowed results. 
 

 


Excluded Filter Results 

In the example results screenshot, you can see on the left under "Active filters" that "Books" is an included filter option, while "In Library on Campus" (with its text struck out) has been excluded. 

As mentioned previously, if we want to individually remove any of the currently applied filters, clicking on their listing under "Active filters" will remove them. To remove all the currently applied filters at once, clicking on the "Reset filters" option. 

List of all filter options usually available from initial search results: 

  • Availability 
  • Publication Range 
  • Resource Type 
  • Author / Creator 
  • Location 
  • Subject 
  • Collection 
  • Journal Title 
  • Language 

Note: Filter options shown will depend on search results and prior filter selections. Also, by default not all options will be shown under a particular filter option; if more are available, a "Show More" link will appear which can be clicked to show all the options. 

Bonus Tip: In addition to adding or changing the words used as search terms, try using exploring the subject terms listed under "Subject" filter option. They can be a great way to focus your initial search on a specific subject/topic. 

Library Catalog (Filtering)

Filtering for Books 

Because the Library Catalog contains item records for many different types of resources, in order to find just books and ebooks the search results will need to be filtered for them. 

This will need to be done in two steps: 

  1. Filtering for books (all books)
  2. Filtering by type of books (physical or ebook) 

Note: The filtering for books can be done either after you've started a search or before you've started one (pre-filtering for books). 

Filtering for Books (All Books, Whether Physical or Ebook) 

After getting results from a search in the Library Catalog, find and apply the include filter for "Books" under "Resource Type" options in the "Filter Search Results" sidebar to the left.

Once the include filter has been applied (which will be indicated by "Books" being listed under "Active filters"), the remaining results listed should all be books, a combination of both physical and ebooks. 

For more info on using and applying include filters, see the section on "Library Catalog (Filters)" above. 

 

Filtering for Physical Books 

After initially filtering for books, you can then filter for just the physical or print books available from the Library. 

This can be done by finding and additionally applying the include filter for "In Library on Campus" under the "Availability" options in the "Filter Search Results" sidebar to the left.

Once the include filter has been applied, which will be indicated by "In Library on Campus" being listed under "Active filters," the remaining results listed should now be just physical books. 

 

Filtering for Ebooks 

Or if it's ebooks you seek, after initially filtering for books first, next find and apply the include filter for "Online" under the "Availability" options in the "Filter Search Results" sidebar to the left.

Once the include filter has been applied, which will be indicated by "Online" being listed under "Active filters," the remaining results listed should now be just ebooks. 

 

Pre-Filtering for Books (All) 

You also have the option of starting your search by pre-filtering for books from the very beginning by choosing the "Books" options from the "All items" pull-down menu under the search bar and then running your search. 

This will have the same effect as running a search first and then applying the include filter for a "Resource Type" of "Books" to the results. 

 

 


Searching with Books Pre-Filtered 

 

Library Catalog Records

Library Catalog Records 

Clicking on an item in the list of search results will bring up the catalog record for the item, which provides some handy features and useful info, not only on item but on other potentially relevant items in the Library Catalog. 

(Access the example Library Catalog record using this link or view the full-sized image of the record by clicking on the image.) 

Handy Features (in "Send to") 

There are a number of handy features available under the "Send to" section of the catalog record, including: 

  • Email 
  • Permalink 
  • Citation

 

 


Email 

To send yourself an email copy of the catalog record, you can use the "Email" option under "Send to" section. 

This can be handy for saving and tracking your research, allowing you to easily return to the catalog record again at a later time to take advantage of some of its other timesaving features (discussed below). 

 


Permalink 

Unlike web addresses (or URLs) shown in web browser address bars which might not work later since they're only temporary, permalinks are meant to be permanent and always lead back to the catalog record. 

If you don't want to use the email option to track your research, save permalinks in your research notes instead to provide easy future access back to catalog records. 

 

 


Citation 

If you're searching for books to use for an assignment, most likely you'll need to provide citation for them. 

Thankfully, the "Citation" feature in the "Send to" section provides great starter citations in several of the popular citation style formats. (Keep in mind that citations generated might not be entirely accurate and should be double-checked for errors.) 

Library Catalog (Exploring)

Find More Books by Exploring from Library Catalog Records 

As with the prior online shopping example above, once you've found something useful in the Library Catalog, its interface and interconnectedness make it easy to find other potentially relevant items with just a click or two. 

(Access the example Library Catalog record using this link or view the full-sized image of the record by clicking on the image.) 

Details section 

There are a couple of features within the "Details" section of the catalog record that can be used to easily find other books. 

Try clicking on links in the following sub-sections to easily find other books or items in the Library Catalog: 

  • "Creator" -- Authors and editors tend to create books on similar topics. So clicking on their name might lead to other books by them on similar or related subjects. 
  • "Subject" -- Think of the subjects listed here in the Library Catalog like the hashtags used on Instagram or TikTok. Use them to find all the other books/items tagged in the Library Catalog on the same subject(s). In the example catalog record, there are four (4) different subjects listed. 

Virtual Browse 

Did you know that books in our Library are placed on the bookshelves by subject? 

That means books found next to each other on the shelves are either on the same subject or about similar things... which also means once you found one good book on the shelf, you could easily browse nearby to find more. 

The "Virtual Browse" section in the catalog record provides a digital method for browsing "nearby" books based on their LCC call numbers. (Visit our Research Help page for more information on call numbers and the LCC.)

 

More from the same... 

"More from the same Course" 

Any book that is part of a Course listing in the Library Catalog will have the other books associated with that course shown here.

"More from the same Collection"

Any book that is part of a Collection in the Library Catalog will have the other books in that collection shown here. 

 

Getting Books & Ebooks

How to Get Books 

Once you've found books and ebooks in the Library Catalog, how do you get them? 

Use the following sections of the catalog record to find a print book or access an ebook. 

Getting Print Books 

For print books, information on where to find the books can be found under the "Get it" section. 

"Locations" provide info on availability status and which part of the Library the book is located and the call number assigned to the book. 

Some things to keep in mind about getting books: 

  • Most books can be found directly on the shelves using the call numbers.
  • Some books in certain locations, such as Reserve Books, have limited borrowing periods and require assistance from Library staff to obtain.  

Visit the following to learn more about: 

 

Accessing Ebooks 

To access ebooks from the catalog record, go to the "View Online" section and use the link(s) provided under "Full text availability" to view the ebook. 

Thinks to be aware of with access links: 

  • Clicking on the access link should take you to the ebook on the ebook database/e-resource site.
  • The first time you click on an access link during a browsing session, you'll need to authentication using your AccessRio username and password (these are the same ones used to access your Rio Hondo email). 
  • If an access link doesn't work and there is more than one listed, try the other links.  
  • If none of the access links work, try to find the ebook by title directly in the ebook database/e-resource listed. (All e-resources can be found in the Library's A-Z List.) 
  • Ebook usage rights can vary with some allowing mutiple simultaneous access and others only allowing one at a time 

 

Librarian

Assessment (CLOSED)

Assessment for Digital Badge / Extra Credit 

Assessment submission period for this semester's workshop is over and is no longer available.