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A Guide to Database and Catalog Searching: Find Library Books

How to access and search library databases and catalog

What Is The Library Catalog?

The library catalog contains information about physical items owned by the library, including books, e-books, journals and other periodicals in print or microform, government documents, archives, manuscripts, and discs, but not individual journal articles or book chapters.  No login is needed to search the catalog, though an NSU ID is needed to check out books and other physical items.

Getting Started

To access the library catalog directly, click on the "Catalog Search" link in the main menu; use the drop-down field menus to select "Catalog Search."  Or use the "FindIt" search box on the homepage. Here is a screenshot of the basic search page; type in a keyword and search.

Doing a Search

This is the Advanced Search screen, which allows you to make a search more specific.  If you know the author or title of the book you're looking for, enter it here.  Otherwise, enter a search term, keywords you want or don not want, or a phrase.


Results List and Detailed Record Screen

The results list shows all the items (books, ebooks, government documents, etc) in the library's collection that match the search terms you entered.  Items are listed with the most current publication years first.  To view more information about a particular item, click the title.

The detailed record will appear, as in the image below, with bibliographic and location information. This example lists the call number for a physical book Ebook records will have links in the "electronic access" section.Often hyperlinked subject terms related to the item are also shown; use these to extend your search.

detailed catalog record for print book