- Start by clicking on “Local Catalog” to search for books, dvds, journal titles, and other items at the library.
- Enter your search terms
- From the results screen, click “Library” along the left side of the screen to choose your preferred library.
Question: What is the purpose of searching Catalyst when I could just as easily use a database or search engine that I know and love?
A lot of students start their searches with a general topic but not much else (unlike professors and other experts, who might have a specific author or work in mind, or know what the disciplinary terms are). Catalyst is designed to let searchers cast their nets in a big sea where they are likely to encounter useful results right away, without necessarily needing to be expert searchers yet.
While Google Scholar is an excellent tool that most of us (librarians and faculty) use frequently, Catalyst searches a more selective group of resources based on the library’s collections. Catalyst also provides more options for refining searches. Catalyst blends the library’s physical holdings with an online universe of articles, so searchers can start their research in one place.
Question: What materials and resources are in Catalyst? What things are not included in Catalyst?
Catalyst includes hundreds of millions of journal articles, dissertations, reference entries, maps, scores, conference proceedings, ebooks, online videos, and much more from hundreds of scholarly publishers and database vendors like ProQuest, Sage, PubMed, JSTOR, and many more.
Catalyst does not include detailed citations from EBSCO. Unless you specify otherwise, Catalyst searches things our library owns in some way, either on our shelves or through paid subscriptions, or that are freely available to be searched (like Hathitrust). If you already know you only want articles from a specific discipline, or you know detailed descriptions of the articles and books is really important to your search, you are better off searching a disciplinary database (Carleton databases | St. Olaf databases).
Question: What is the difference between the choices of “Everything” and “Local Catalog” when I start my search?
October 17, 2016 update: “Local Catalog” was renamed to “Carl/Ole Catalog” to clarify what was being searched. This text of this post has been updated to reflect that, but the images have not.
Generally, the “Carl/Ole Catalog” [formerly “local catalog”] searches for works (books, journals) that the Carleton or St. Olaf libraries own. Typically, these are things you’ll find on our library shelves. But to keep you on your toes, the local catalog search also includes some electronic stuff like ebooks and streaming videos.
Searching “Everything” expands your search to include not just stuff on our shelves, but also all the electronic articles and indexes that the library has via subscriptions (e.g. the articles in our JSTOR collection or the citations in our MLA subscription). It’s kind of like searching across almost all the databases the library has access to, all at once.
Finally, you have the option to check a box and search for articles from other libraries, too, but you have to choose this option after you have done your search.
This lets you search not just our subscriptions but articles from lots of journals that we might not even own ourselves. This is obviously the most comprehensive search you can do, but also the way you are most likely to come across articles for which we might not have easy full-text access. It’s still a useful search, but you might need to use interlibrary loan to get the full text of what you find.
You can see an illustration of relationship between the different searches below.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2016 with screenshots from new Catalyst interface.
As part of the Bridge consortium (that is, the Carleton and St. Olaf libraries) we have access to items from all of the libraries, no matter which campus you’re currently on. Read on for steps to request an item from another library:
- Click on the title of the item you’re interested in.
- Click “Sign In” in the yellow box in the middle of the screen and choose to log in with your college Username/Password.
- You’ll be brought back to the screen for a book, and now should see a “Request” link under “Request Options”. Click the link.
- Choose where you’d like to pick up the item and click “Request”. You’re done!
You will receive an email when the book has arrived at your chosen pick up location.
Once you’ve logged in to request one item, you’ll be logged in for the rest of your session, so you can skip step 2 for any subsequent items that you want to request.
Would you like to renew or check the due dates on some of the items you have checked out? Would you like to see the status of a request you have made? You can still do this in Catalyst, the process just looks a little different than before.
Start on your library’s home page and click the “search” button. You do not have to enter any search terms.
Once in the Catalyst system, find the Sign In link in the upper right corner. You may need to scroll all the way to the right to see it.
Log in with your campus credentials, the same username and password that you use for email, etc.
Once logged in, you will see your name at the top of the screen instead of Guest. Near your name is a link to My Account. Follow that link to view your list of items checked out.
You will see a list of items checked out with their due dates.
To renew an item, click the box next to the item you want to keep and click the Renew Selected link.
Notice, too, the other things you can do in My Account, such as track requests, save search queries and items from your searches on the e-Shelf.
That’s it. If you have questions, contact your school’s circulation desk (St. Olaf Rolvaag 786-3224, St. Olaf Music 786-3209, St. Olaf Science 786-3389, Carleton 222-4260).