How To Use The OPAC
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How To Use The OPAC

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  • Acronym OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalogue.The OPAC provides access to the Library’s collections such asBooksJournalsCDsVideosE-Resources etc.The OPAC also indicates the location and availability of Library material. Remember the Library is housed in 3 separate buildings – Main Library, Science Branch Library and the Medical Branch Library.
  • The OPAC default page is actually the basic keyword search page.The 2 key ways of finding information in the OPAC are by SEARCHING and BROWSING.The red menu bar at the top of the OPAC page contains the BROWSE link and the SEARCH link.
  • The 2 key ways of finding information in the OPAC are by SEARCHING and BROWSING.Searching allows you to find items containing the keywords or phrases you have entered while browsing allows you to locate information arranged in alphabetical order.The search feature can be particularly useful if you are searching for books etc. that cover a particular topic.
  • There are many ways to search the online catalogue or OPAC for short. At the FIELD TO SEARCH menu there is a dropdown list providing a number of ways that you can search the OPAC.If you want to search by topic, type the word or phrase or your topic in the TYPE WORD OR PHRASE BOX and select the KEYWORDS option from your FIELD TO SEARCH menu.
  • If you know the exact title or the first few words of the title of an item you are looking for, use the title search by typing the exact title or first few words of the title in the TYPE WORD OR PHRASE box. Make sure that you have selected TITLE from the FIELD TO SEARCH dropdown menu.
  • If you remember only some words from a title, type those words in the TYPE WORD OR PHRASE box but select NO for WORDS ADJACENT. The results will include titles that contain the words you typed and this should jog your memory of the title for which you are searching.
  • You can restrict your search by collection using the COLLECTION TO SEARCH option. This narrows your results according to the collection you have selected, for example –If I wanted to consult a microbiology journal but didn’t know the title of any, I could simply do a keyword search using the term ‘Microbiology’ but select ‘Periodicals’ as my collection.
  • The results would yield a list of the Microbiology journals available from the library.
  • To determine if the Library has an item by a certain author, click on BROWSE at the top of the page, type the author’s name in the TYPE WORD OR PHRASE BOX.  Type the surname followed by first name.  Select AUTHOR from the SELECT INDEX TO BROWSE drop down menu and click on GO. The author’s name will be at the top if he/she has items in the Library and the name is correctly entered. Click on the name in order to see the items in the Library.
  • Type the surname followed by first name.  Select AUTHOR from the SELECT INDEX TO BROWSE drop down menu and click on GO. The author’s name will be at the top if he/she has items in the Library and the name is correctly entered. Click on the name in order to see the items in the Library.
  • Click on the name in order to see the items in the Library.
  • To browse the OPAC by call number, click on the BROWSE link, type the call number in the TYPE WORD OR PHRASE box and then select call number for the SELECT INDEX TO BROWSE option. Click on GO.
  • The results consist of items of similar content. Notice that your call number is at the top of the list and that the call numbers are arranged in alphabetical order. You can navigate backwards or forwards by clicking on PREVIOUS PAGE or NEXT PAGE.
  • Even though items have similar call numbers, they may be organized in various collections e.g., Course Reserve (RBC) World Bank Open ShelfThey also may be housed in different buildings e.g., Main Library Medical or Science Branch Library West Indies Special Library (West Indies and & Special Collection located in the Main Library)
  • Now let’s go through the search process. Let’s look for information on health promotion.Now click on GO and the following results screen will be displayed. 
  • The results screen provides a list of publications according your search with the most recent at the top. You’ll notice that some of the items are available in more than one location.To find out if an item is available, click on the LOCATION/CALL NUMBER link for that item. If, for example, I want to see if the book by Michelle Buchman is available, I’ll click here on the LOCATION/CALL NUMBER link for that item and the following page will display that information.
  • The availability/due date column on this page shows whether the item is on the shelf or the day it is due to be returned. It may also display other status such as “re-shelving” or “out for repairs”.If the item is available and you’d like to borrow it, write down details such as the author’s name, title, Sublibrary, Collection and Call number. These are important for physically locating the item.   If the item is in the Open Shelf Collection you can use the call number and other bits of information that you wrote down to locate it on the shelf.   
  • To learn more about an item, go to the results page and click on the item number.
  • The “Full View of Record” page appears where the citation parts for the item can be easily identified. The table of contents may also be included on this page. The subject terms which describe the contents of the item are also listed on this page. Clicking on a subject term will provide a list of additional resources on these subjects.
  • You will need to complete a request form if the item you want is in a closed collection, e.g., RBC or the West Indies and Special (Collections) Library (WI&SC). Fill in author, title and call number and any other information required.Forms are available at the Circulation Desk.

How To Use The OPAC How To Use The OPAC Presentation Transcript

  • How to use the OPAC
    UWI Mona
    Medical Branch Library
    Prepared by Faith McKoy-Johnson, Librarian
    (Information from UWI Mona Library Catalogue Tutorial was incorporated in this presentation.)
    ©UWI Mona Library, 2010
  • Introduction
    Online Public Access Catalogue
    Provides access to the Library’s collections, e.g. books, journals, theses, CDs, videos, links to e-books and other electronic resources etc.
    Location and availability of Library resources
  • Where do I find the OPAC?
    The Library’s homepage at www.mona.uwi.edu/library
    Click on the “Catalogue” link and the OPAC search page will open up.
  • Library Homepage
  • OPAC Default Page
  • Searching & Browsing
    Two ways to find information in the OPAC
    Search
    Browse
    Search: Use of keywords or phrases to find items containing those keywords or phrases
    Browse: Scrolling through an alphabetical list of items, e.g. authors, call numbers
  • Searching by Keyword/Topic
  • Searching by Title
  • Words from a Title
  • Searching by Collection
  • Searching by Collection (Cont’d.)
  • BROWSE
    Use this option to search alphabetical lists (indexes) of
    AUTHORS (surname first)
    TITLES (omit articles -- A, An, The -- at the beginning of titles in English, Spanish, etc.)
    SUBJECT HEADINGS (Library of Congress Subject Headings)
    CALL NUMBERS (including Library of Congress Call Numbers)
  • Browsing the Author Index
  • Browsing the Author Index (Cont’d.)
  • Browsing the Author Index (Cont’d.)
  • Browsing the Author Index (Cont’d.)
  • Browsing the Call Number Index
    Call Number – Usually a unique number assigned to each item in the Library
    A call number
    Identifies the item in the collection
    Helps you locate the item on the shelves
    Serves to group books together according to subject
  • Browsing the Call Number Index (Cont’d.)
    Browsing by call number on the OPAC allows you to virtually browse the library shelves from your computer
    You need to know an item’s call number to locate it in the Library
  • Browsing the Call Number Index (Cont’d.)
  • Browsing the Call Number Index (Cont’d.)
  • Finding the Items You Need
    Collections
    Open Shelf
    Course Reserve (RBC)
    Periodicals
    West Indies Collection (WIC)
    World Bank (Main Library)
    Libraries
    Main
    Medical Branch
    Science Branch
    Western Jamaica Campus
  • Finding the Items You Need
  • Finding the Items You Need
  • Checking Availability of Item
    Title
    Author
  • Full View of Record
  • Full View of Record
  • Filling Out Request Forms
  • To learn more about using the catalogue….
    Read the Search Hints and the Help pages. These provide information to make your searches more productive.
    Read the Library’s notice boards for training sessions on advanced searching.