A new way to find books (and more)

As of this morning you may notice a few changes to the Library’s web site. The welcome banner along the top now includes “& Global Commons” and a few links have been re-located or re-named. We’ve also added a link called “Borrowing our materials” which provides info on IDs and how to get, renew, return and generally access our resources.

But there has been another change which is quite significant. We have always used the Novanet catalogue to find out which books, etc. were available at Saint Mary’s or the other local academic libraries. Well now there’s another way to do that. It’s called SMU.worldcat and you’ll find a link just below the book search box. SMU.worldcat is part of a global initiative to improve access to library collections. Here’s what you should know:

  • A search of SMU.worldcat will retrieve both books and journal articles. This is a convenient option not available in Novanet. Of course, the specialized journal databases may still be your best bet. So if, for example, you are looking for articles in peer-reviewed psychology journals, you should still go directly to PsycINFO.
  • Results are retrieved and displayed by location and relevance (another difference from Novanet). But if you prefer, you can change the display to, for example, most recent first.
  • Once you have the results on the screen you will see options on the left for refining your search further by Author, Format, Year, Language, etc
  • You can choose to do either a quick “Google-type” search by typing keywords in the empty search box
  • Or you can click the SMU.worldcat link and do either a basic or Advanced Search which provides more options
  • You can choose whether to search within Saint Mary’s, Novanet, Atlantic Canadian libraries or libraries worldwide
  • Students will love the fact that SMU.worldcat will format citations in one of the many different bibliographic styles. Simply choose a record, click the Cite/Export link and choose a style (APA, Chicago, MLA) and the formatted citation will appear on the screen. Then you can copy and paste it into your paper or export it to RefWorks.

Of course, if you prefer to continue using the familiar Novanet interface, the link is still there.

SMU.worldcat is brand new and we are exploring ways of making it even better. So if you have any opinions, praise, criticism or feedback we want to hear it. Submit a comment to this blog or drop me a line at ron.houlihan@smu.ca. Thanks and enjoy.

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