Catalyst is the joint library catalog for Carleton and St. Olaf. You can use Catalyst to find books, dvds, journals, articles, and more. If you are searching for books, use the Books tab (or the shortcut search box above), which will search for books at Carleton and St. Olaf. If you find a book at St. Olaf, request it through Catalyst or go to St. Olaf to check it out.
Start with a keyword search on your topic, which will search for your words in the title, table of contents (if available), subject headings, and author fields. If you get too many results, take a look at the choices along the left side of the page to narrow your search.
Textbooks tend to provide more accessible overviews of topics than peer-reviewed articles, which can be dense and difficult to follow. After performing a search in Catalyst, you can limit your search results to only include textbooks by looking under the search filter labeled "Genre/Form" and choosing "Textbooks."
If you find a book that looks great for your topic, look at the record for that book to help you find other relevant books:
These are listed in the center of the full details page for an item, and are the Library of Congress Subject Headings for the book. If one of those headings really captures your topic, click on it to find all the other books with that subject heading.
The books in the library are shelved in call number order, so books on a similar topic are shelved together. Take time to look at the books shelved near books that you've found. You can also use Catalyst to virtually browse the shelves: click on a record for a print book title (ebooks are not included in this feature) and scroll down to Virtual Browse to see books that would be shelved nearby.
[visual description: screenshot showing book titles in the Catalyst virtual browse]
When you've found the book you're interested in, you need to note three things from the Catalyst catalog:
For information on how our library is laid out and what is on each floor, take a look at our online library tour.
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