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BGSU University Libraries

Finding Fiction: For Authors and Titles

How to Search for Authors and Titles

Start by navigating to the catalog. By default, all search fields are set to Any Field; we'll get more precise results by setting one to AUTHOR and another to TITLE. Note that authors' names must be entered as Lastname, Firstname.

For our example, let's look for Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip.

Summon advance search

If you're not sure about the exact title or the spelling of the author's name, don't worry; you can use wildcards in your search. Searching just for hia* in the Author field and skinny in the title field will still work. This tells the system to look for any authors with names that begin with "Hia" and who have written a book with "skinny" somewhere in the title. And of course, you can search for just a title or just an author's name.

Summon search options

If you get a lot of results that don't match what you have in mind (maybe your author has a very common last name, you can't remember the first name, and the part of the title you remember isn't very distinctive), try applying some limits using the bottom half of the search page. Set the Material Type to Book to weed out non-book results, set the Location to Jerome (Main) Library to find only results here in the main library, and try a Year range if you have a rough idea of when the book was published.

Our sample search was precise enough to pull up only one result, even without limits:

Summon search results

Here we see that BGSU has two copies of the book: one on the first floor, and the other in the Browne Popular Culture Library (many works of fiction at BGSU are part of this library; their call numbers all begin with pop, and they usually can't be checked out). Since that second one is for library use only, we'll click the Map It button for the available copy on the 1st floor to see where to go to find it. You'll see a map of the floor with a little green arrow pointing to the range you want.

Now just write down your call number (PS3558.I217 S575 2004) and head to Range 158. You'll find other books by Carl Hiaasen shelved in the same area; in fact, if you click on the call number in the record, you can see the list of books shelved around it.

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