METHODS AND TECHNIQUES
Page 2 of 3
Keeping a Record of your Search
Once you have found the text you are looking for, it is very important that you make a full record of it before you go on to the next search. The most important things you'll need to know are:
- Which shelf is it on? Always make a note of the shelf number of any book your might be interested in. It's much easier to do this early on, rather than constantly have to return to the catalogue every ten minutes. Writing the shelf number next to the reference in your reading list is a good idea, or you may prefer to make a new list of the references you are interested in.
- Is the book or journal number on loan to somebody else? Many online catalogues record this information. If someone else does have the book you need, you may be able to get it 'recalled' - but remember, it might take days or even weeks to come back, so once again plan well ahead.
- How many copies are there? Or, if you are looking for a particular volume of a journal, what is the Library's 'run' of that particular journal. At this stage, if you are basing your searches on your tutor's reading list, most of the texts should be in the library. But later on, when you start broadening your searches, you may find that your library doesn't have a copy of the book you want, or that it only started to stock a journal after the volume you want was first issued. There are ways around both of these problems, but for now you should probably stick to what you can find in the library.
The key point about searching the library catalogues is that you should do it well in advance.