The library catalog's default search setting is set to keyword.
Begin by identifying the key words in the question or the subject you wish to find materials for. Here is an example:
"I am looking for books relating to the portrayal of women in First Nations literature."
Begin by identifying important words in the question: Women AND First Nations AND literature
Go to the library catalog to perform the keyword search. Remember to think about different terms (synonyms) which may prove to be more effective during the search process. First Nations, for instance may be changed to, or searched in conjunction with, Aboriginal, Native or Indigenous.
You will probably also want to focus on a specific work or works (a poem, book, or play, for example) or on the works of a specific author or authors once you have done some more background research. Once you have found a work or an author to focus on, you can also search for books containing literary criticism related specifically to those authors or works.
Using the author as a keyword search will find books both by and about Sherman Alexie, for example.
Using the title as a keyword search will find both that book or work, as well as books containing criticism of Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, for example.
If you know the call number of the book you are looking for, you can use it to find similar materials. Searching by call number allows you to go directly to a book's bibliographic record, while gaining the ability to search the shelves virtually from the comfort of your own desk or home.
Every item in the library has been assigned a call number. These numbers tell us the subject area of the material, the location of the item in the library, and the physical order of the books on the shelf. It is these numbers that allow you to see all of the titles of the books located next to the searched item on the shelf.
Give it a try!
Go to the library catalogue and search by the call number PS8535 .O84 A817. As you can see, this call number is associated with the text As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross.
Searching by subject heading ensures that you are able to pull up all of the materials associated with a given subject. Each and every book in the library has a predetermined subject heading assigned to them. These subject headings indicate the different subjects or topics being dealt with in a particular book. Each of the subject headings found in the catalogue is linked to other materials dealing with the same subject matter.
Do a Subject Heading search and see what you can find:
Begin by going to the Classic Catalogue and selecting subject in the drop-down menu. Try searching any or all of the following subject headings to see the various materials we have. The subject headings below are focused on Indigenous literature such as novels, poems, and plays.
Searching by author ensures that you are able to pull up all of the materials associated with a specific author.
Do an author search and see what you can find:
Begin by going to the Classic Catalogue and selecting author in the drop down menu. Try searching any or all of the following authors to see the various materials we have. Below is a list of Indigenous literary authors who have written novels, poems, and plays.