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Using the Library Catalog (BobCat)

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Stop by or call the Reference Desk during open hours.
telephone: 212.353.4186
e-mail: reference@cooper.edu

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Library FAQ

    Boolean Logic Refresher

    AND, OR, and NOT diagrams

    (We recommend caution when using NOT. It's easy to throw out the good with the bad.)

    Most databases list which Boolean operators are available.
    "AND" is often implicit if you place terms next to each other.
    Look for "Search Help" or "Tools" to find details on Boolean operators or other idiosyncrasies of that particular database.

    Tips on Searching the Catalog

    • After you do a search, the first results screen shows a brief record for each item. Clicking on the title will show you a more detailed description of the item. The brief record also indicates availability, such as:
      "Available in your library and other locations" indicates that there should be a physical copy at the Cooper library. Click to get the locations and call numbers.
      "Online access"  indicates an online resource. Click to go directly to the resource.
      "Available in consortium" or "Available in consortium and other locations" indicates that the item is not available at Cooper but should be available at one of the Consortium libraries. Click to get the locations and call numbers.
      "Check Availability" indicates that the physical copy may be on loan, stored Offsite, or not available for another reason. Click to get more specific information.
    • If an item is on loan or stored Offsite, you can request that it be returned specifically for your use. Use a Login link to sign in to your library account, then follow the instructions on screen.
    • Generally, you will not find specific articles from journals or conferences in the catalog. For that, use one of the article databases. In those databases, some full text articles are included, but often your search results will contain citations and abstracts without full text. For instructions on how to find an article from a citation, see the research guide Finding an Article or Book from a Citation.
    • By default, search terms are connected with a Boolean AND. You can also use OR and NOT if you enter them in ALL CAPS.
    • Searches are not case sensitive.
    • You can easily switch between searching the holdings of The Cooper Union Library, the entire Consortium, and Course Reserves without re-entering search terms. Just switch the option at the right side of the search box.
    • Don't give up if you don't get any results. Think of synonyms and related terms, and try again.

    Search the Catalog

    SEARCH THE CATALOG (and more)

    Refining Your Results

    • The default search is a keyword search for your query words wherever they may appear in the record. If you get too many results, try limiting the search to a specific field, such as title or subject.
    • You can also search for an exact phrase instead of keywords. The exact phrase search is equivalent to putting quotes around your query words. Use the drop-down menu below the search box.
    • You can refine your results using the categories to the left on the initial results screen. For example, refine by subject, call number group, or resource type.
    • To sort a result list so that the most recent publications are at the top, change the drop-down sort at the top of the results list from relevance to date-newest.
    • To see results only for physical books (not e-books) at Cooper, use the Limits on the left under Library (Cooper Union) and select any collection except Restricted Internet Resources, such as General or Closed Stacks.

    Electronic Resources in the Catalog

    • Most e-books and e-journals provided by the libraries have records in the main catalog. See also the tabs for E-Journals and for Articles & Databases in BobCat. You can also browse many e-resources available at Cooper on the CU Library website

      NOTE: Some electronic resources are free and publicly available, and some are licensed by one or more of the libraries in our Consortium. Due to licensing restrictions you must be at those libraries in order to use their databases. If you are prompted to enter an NYU or New School NetID, then the link will not work from your current location.
    • In BobCat, e-resources that are freely available may have a link label such as "Online Access" or "US Government Documents." Others may indicate access only for specific institutions.
       
    • When looking at the initial search results, you can use the Limits on the left for Genre to narrow the list down to "Electronic books" or "Electronic journals."
       
    • If you want only physical books (not e-books) at Cooper, use the Limits on the left under Library (Cooper Union) and select any collection except Restricted Internet Resources, such as General or Closed Stacks.
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