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Using the Library Catalog

How to use the OPAL catalog more effectively

Citation Information

The top part of an OPAL record contains all of the information you would need to make a citation for that item, including the title, author's name, and publisher information. Here, and anywhere else on the record, the words you searched will be bolded and highlighted. The author's name is also a link to all other works in the catalog published by them, which may also be on the topic you are researching.

Text a call number and Reviews and More linksOn the right hand side, there are two icons. Send via Text will text information about the book and the call number to your phone. Standard rates apply. 

Reviews & more will show you summaries, reviews, the table of Cover Image for War, Politics, and Superheroescontents, and other information that may help you determine if this is a book you need. 

Reviews & more can also be accessed by clicking the cover image of the book, if available, located to the left of the title.

Top Bar

  • New Search: go back to the advanced keyword search search 
  • Request: get a book from another OPAL library sent to Heidelberg
  • Save Item: keeps the record in a temporary folder
  • Modify Search: returns to the advanced keyword search, but with everything you put into your last search there; useful if you are getting results that are close to, but not exactly, what you want to find and just need to adjust your search a bit
  • Search OhioLINK: if you find what you want, but all OPAL copies are checked out, this will see if any are available in OhioLINK
  • Search History: a drop down menu of all your searches during this session - will erase when you close OPAL

Find Copies

Find Copies tells you everything you need to know about obtaining the item.

  • The location of the book, including what library and if it is in a special collection
  • The call number
  • Whether the item is checked out
  • Any special notes limiting access, such as in-library use only

The call number is also a link to a list of books will similar call numbers. Since the first part of a call number is given based on the topic of the book, books with similar call numbers may also be useful for your research. 

For ebooks, links to the book itself will be under Find Copies.

Suggested Terms

Suggested Terms includes the name of the author(s) as well as assigned subjects. The subjects are tagged to the book by librarians based on the topic of the book, and can help you determine whether or not it may be worth looking at for your research.

Clicking the author's name will bring up other works by that author in the catalog. Clicking the subject will bring up other works assigned the same subject, which you may also want to look at for your research.

Full Record

Full Record includes everything in Find Copies and Suggested Terms. It also may include a summary or the table of contents, which can help you determine if you want to check out a book. A book may have a single essay or chapter on your topic, so it's worth checking this section, especially if you cannot tell from the title or subjects why the catalog recommended this book.