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Guide to searching Bobcat

Although this tab is called "Books", library catalogs (including BobCat) contain much more than just books. They include bibliographic records for ALL of the library's physical holdings. This includes books, movies, music, serials, journals, etc. BobCat specifically also includes the bibliographic records for The New School Library, the NYU libraries, Cooper Union, New York Historical Society, Brooklyn Historical Society and the New York School of Interior Design. New School students and faculty have access to all of these libraries.

You can find links to BobCat from the library's website or from MyNewSchool or can directly do a simple BobCat search from the search bar at the top of every New School Library website. However you conduct your search of BobCat, a new window will open to the BobCat simple search screen. The default settings are to search all Consortium libraries using a keyword search. Your search box will look like the image below:

By clicking on the tabs above the search bar, you can limit your catalog search to 'New School' resources (this will show you only search result which are in The New School library locations, not at NYU or other consortium libraries) or to 'Course Reserves' (useful if you know your course name or number and are looking for a known item on reserve for that course). The 'Articles and Databases', 'Databases A-Z', and 'Journals A-Z' tabs are covered under the 'Articles/Databases' section of this guide.

From the simple search box you can also limit to a specific type of material (eg. books, music score, videos, etc.) or to a specific type of information about the item (eg. title, author, subject, etc.).

Below the simple search box, you can switch to the 'advanced search' box. When you switch to the advanced search box you will see the following screen:

The advanced search box allows you to add an additional search bar which will be combined using the Boolean operator AND. For more on Boolean operators and other advanced search strategies, please click on the 'General Search Strategies' tab at the top of this guide.

You can limit your advanced search to specific types of information (eg. author, title, subject, etc.) as well as to recent years of publication and material type (eg. books, music scores, videos, etc.).

Once you enter your search, you will see the results listed as below. To the left of each result, you will see the material type and its icon. It is important to note that for journal items, you are only searching for the journal availability, NOT the contents of the journal! To search the contents of a journal, you must go to the journal or to a database. To find out more about how to do that, please click on the 'Articles/Databases' tab at the top of the guide.

The search result view of the records includes the title, author, publisher, publication date, and availability. It may also include an image of the item. If you would like to add the item to your e-shelf you can check that box. You must log in to do this and adding an item to your e-shelf WILL ONLY ADD TO RECORD TO A LIST OF SAVED RECORDS. IT WILL NOT REQUEST THE ITEM OR MAKE IT AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY.

Below is a sample results page.

From the search results page you can either view a record in more detail, find out more about the availability of an item (learn more about this in the 'GetIt' section below), or refine your search (learn more about this in the 'Using Filters' section to the right).

To view a record in more detail simply click on 'Details'. You will now see more information about the item including linked author and subject headings which will conduct a search for the author or subject when clicked. You may also see other available information about the item such as its table of contents or online availability, although these features may not be available for all items. You will also be able to add the item to your e-shelf and to check its availability. Below is a sample detailed item record.

Get It!

From the search results page or from a detailed record you can click on the availability (GetIt) button to find out more about an item's availability. When you do, you will be taken to a page like the one below. It provides information about how you can get the item in the record, including whether the item is available online and where a physical copy of the item might found. It will also tell you if the item is checked-out, oversized, off-site, etc. Depending on the item, different information will be displayed. In some cases, if the item is not available, there may be a link to Inter-Library Loan (ILL) which will be displayed as 'Request a copy from Inter-Library Loan' or 'Request Materials from Non-Consortium Libraries'. There is more information on ILL in the box below.

To the right of every GetIt screen there is a link to 'Import Citation Into RefWorks'. For more information on RefWorks and how to import citations, please click on the 'Citations' tab at the top of this guide.

Inter-Library Loan

When an item you are looking for is not available from one of the libraries in our consortium, students and faculty have the option to order the item through Inter-Library Loan (we request that undergraduates first consult a librarian before submitting and ILL request). An ILL request can be submitted through NYU's request system, Illiad. The library will then try to find a copy of the item at another library, have that library send it to NYU, and make it available for you to pick up for a regular loan period at NYU's Bobst library. The process usually takes about two weeks from the time you put in a request although it may take longer for harder to obtain material.

For more information on ILL at The New School, please visit our library's ILL information site.

To submit an ILL, you can a (1) follow the link at the bottom of the ILL site above, (2) click on the link from a GetIt screen, (3) follow the link in the MyNewSchool Library tab, or (4) submit a request from WorldCat.

1. If you follow the link on The New School Library ILL page, you will first be asked to authenticate your account. You will then be taken into Illiad where you must identify the type of material you want and fill out a form with as much information about the item as possible.

2. From the GetIt screen you will also have to authenticate your account, but when you get to Illiad you will find the request form populated with the information from the BobCat record. BE SURE TO CHECK OVER THIS INFORMATION AS IT MAY NOT BE CORRECTLY PASSED TO ILLIAD. You may also have to fill in additional required fields.

3. The MyNewSchool link takes you to the library's ILL page where you will follow the instructions above.

4. If you are searching WorldCat (see the box below), you may find materials not available in any of the consortium libraries. From any WorldCat record under Availability, you will find a link to 'Borrow this item from another library. (Interlibrary Loan)'. You will be directed to fill out a form (NOT IN ILLIAD) which will send your request to NYU's ILL department.

Other Catalogs

If you can't find what you are looking for in BobCat, there are still other options.

WorldCat is a union catalog comprising the holdings of university, public, and institutional library collections from all over the world.

In addition there are catalogs for New York Public Library and many other local libraries, such as Columbia University and the CUNY libraries.

Access to these libraries may be requested for a limited basis by consulting a New School librarian.

A list with links to other local institutions catalogs as well as WorldCat can be found on The New School Library 'New York City Area Library Catalogs'.

Call Numbers

Call Numbers are controlled by the Library of Congress and generally added to items by individual libraries. They are designed to organize the books of a library by subject. In science and technology, the most relevant call number classes are Q and T. They are further broken down into subclasses and even further by number ranges. By knowing or looking up the relevant classes, you can browse the shelves or search the catalog for items by their subject. Here is a breakdown of these call numbers into their subclasses.

Q - Science (General)

QA - Mathematics

QB - Astronomy

QC - Physics

QD - Chemistry

QE - Geology

QH - Natural History/Biology

QK - Botany

QL - Zoology

QM - Human Anatomy

QP - Physiology

QR - Microbiology

SEARCH TIP: You can use call number ranges to virtually browse the collection. If you select 'Call number' from the simple and advanced BobCat search boxes under the drop-down 'Anywhere in the record' limiter and use a wildcard operator (*), can browse all items, including off-site, special collections, and checked-out items in that call number range. For example if you want to browse all books with the Molecular Biology classification you could limit by 'Call number' and search for QR*.

Using Filters

Filters or limiters are a really useful tool for refining your search. Most catalogs and databases provide ways to narrow or tweak your search before or after you conduct a search. In BobCat, the filters appear on the search results screen on the left-hand side and are labeled 'Refine My Results'. BobCat lists categories such as Library, Author, Subject, etc. which each have possible refinements below. Next to each refinement you can see the number of results in parentheses to which you will narrow your search if you click on it.

Filters provide a quick way to drastically narrow your search and may suggest new directions for your search. Each category only lists 5 refinements so you may have to click the 'show more' button below the refinements to see them all.

Once you have added a filter, you can remove it by clicking 'remove' next to the filter below the search box.

My Library Account

You can access your library account from BobCat or the MyNewSchool Library tab. In BobCat, you can access your library account by logging in from the link in the upper right and looking through the 'My Workspace' box. In MyNewSchool, the 'View Your Patron Record' link in the 'Library Catalogs - BobCat' box will take you to your library account.

To access your account your will be asked to authenticate by signing in.

Once you have logged in, you can click on the e-shelf button, to view any items you have checked out, renew library materials online, save searches, and view records saved to your e-shelf.

For more information on how to use the e-shelf and your library account, please view The New School Library's 'How to Use the E-shelf' video.