LibCat Basic Searches

On this page:

Begin Searching

To begin searching in LibCat, all you have to do is type your keywords into the search box. We'll use hula as an example.

LibCat search for hula showing search options: LibCat, Physical Items, Course Reserves.

Remember, the default LibCat search is items within the library. If you want one of LibCat’s other searches, you need to select it either from the drop-down menu that appears when you begin typing or by selecting the magnifying glass.

Video introduction to LibCat basic searches (Part 2)

Basic Search Options

LibCat search option: that contain the keywords, with the exact phrase, beginning with

The Basic Search allows you to control your search by directing LibCat to process your keywords in one of three ways:

Option Description
that contain the keywords looks for your keyword(s) everywhere in LibCat’s records (not the text of the book); provides the most results
with the exact phrase keeps two or more words together as a concept; looks for words in order: “black cats” not “cats that are black” so you may miss some items
beginning with don't use A, AN, or THE at the beginning, e.g., Lord of the Rings, not The Lord of the Rings

You can also instruct LibCat to look for your keyword(s) only in certain places:

LibCat search option: anywhere in the record, in the title, in the author/creator name, in subject headings

Option Description
anywhere in the record title, author, subject headings, publisher name, publication city, table of contents, summary (if available), so provides the most results
in the title good way to narrow the results to items that are focused on your keyword(s)
in the author/creator name be careful of spelling; will also find authors listed in anthology tables of contents, if available
in subject headings subject headings are like hashtags, but not all records have them, so you may not find all relevant records

LibCat Search

The default LibCat search looks for print books, ebooks, CDs, and DVDs that are in the Mookini Library (or Pālamanui Library for Kona patrons). The Manono campus search does not include ebooks.

This search is for materials that you can access right away, provided they aren’t already checked out.

results page for default LibCat search for hula

When you find a title you want, select it to see the full record.

  • You'll need to note both the collection (e.g., General, Hawaiian, READ) and the call number (GV 1796.H8 H67 in the example shown) to find the book on the shelf. The collection tells you where the shelf is in the library and the call number tells you where the book is on the shelf.
  • Library floor maps indicate where the different collections are.
  • If an area isn’t open (e.g., Hawaiian Collection), take the title, collection, and call number to the Circulation Desk for library staff to retrieve items for you.

part of item record showing collection and call number

Physical Items Search

This search is for physical items that are available both in your local UH library and also within the larger UH system of libraries. Some items from other libraries can be requested and sent to the UH library nearest you.

The default LibCat search returned 361 results; the Physical Items Search is 2,279 results. Select the title to see how to request (you'll need to login with your UH username and password).

LibCat Physical Items results list for hula search

Course Reserves

Course Reserves is a special collection of items that instructors want students to access. Sometimes it is an instructor-provided copy of the textbook; other items may be additional readings, DVDs, or even animal skeletons! Note: The library does not purchase copies of textbooks; items on reserve are chosen by individual instructors.

To search for an item on reserve, enter one or two of the following:

  • subject (e.g., biology, history)
  • instructor name (e.g., inglis, ostertag) - Be careful of spelling!
  • course name and number (e.g., BIOL 270 not BIOL270)

Find the item you want and select the title.

  • If the item is not checked out, write down the call number (e.g., HIST 152 #12 item 1) and go to the Circulation Desk to borrow the Reserves item.
  • Course Reserves materials have shorter loan periods to allow greater access to the materials.
  • Some Reserves are electronic files: after selecting the title, select Click Here To View. Scroll down to view the file.

More information about Course Reserves.