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Using the Library Catalog

How to use the OPAL catalog more effectively

Search Results

Your results will be set to display by relevance, unless you changed that in the advanced search screen. "Relevance" is a guess by the catalog on how likely something is to be relevant for your search based on how many times your search terms appear in different descriptors of the book or other material. You can have the results be displayed by title alphabetically or by date from most recent to oldest in the area above the results. 

Image of cover for War, Politics, and SuperheroesFor each result, OPAL will display basic citation information such as the title and author, all well as all of the information necessary to find the item in the library or, in the case of ebooks, a link to open the item. It will also display the cover of the book, if available, and tell you the format of the item (book, ebook, sound recording, etc.). Clicking the title to open the record for the item will give you more useful information such as summaries, the table of contents, and subject descriptions of the item. 

Request and add to listTo the right of the title are two buttons. The first lets you quickly request a book not located at Heidelberg to be sent here. 

The second adds the book to a temporary list. This allows you to keep track of books you are interested in without writing them all down. OPAL will often reset to the main page if you do not interact with it, so if you try to keep track of your books by opening multiple tabs in the browser you may find you have multiple tabs of the main page if you aren't careful. You can view your list by clicking View List. Once a book is added to the list, the button changed to a Remove item button that takes it off the list.

Above the Results

Top of the results screen

Above the results, there are a number of tools to use if you are not happy with your search results. New Search brings you to a blank advanced search screen, while Modify Search brings you back but with everything from you last search filled out. Search OhioLINK will take your current search and put it through the OhioLINK catalog, giving you more results. You can also see previous searches in the Search History.

The View List button allows you to keep track of books you found in the catalog while searching. It will only appear if you have added a book to the list (see box to the left), and once you close the catalog it empties the list.

Changing your search on the page

There is also a search bar for adapting your search or beginning a new search on the page. This search bar does not offer the full list of option available on the advanced search screen, but is fine for adjusting most simple searches. You can also quickly go from looking at results in just Heidelberg's library to all of OPAL.

You can limit your results to just what is not checked out, but then you cannot see if a checked out item if available in OhioLINK.