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Hope Library Guides

Research Desk Practice Exercises

Searching for Books

If a patron comes to the desk looking for a specific title, there are two different ways to check to see if we have it.

1.  You can search for the item in PRIMO.  Using the Books + Media option is most librarians' preferred route, because it is a little easier to see what we have, and it offers us the option to easily move into MeLCat or WorldCat and show the patron that we can order something for them if we don't have it.

General Tips

1.  When getting information about the item from the patron, keep in mind that there might be errors, such as a misspelled author name or an incorrect title.  If you are having trouble finding the item, double check this information online to make sure that it is accurate.

2.  Make sure the patron is always aware about when a book is electronic vs in print.

3.  Always make a note of all three pieces of necessary information for finding an item: Location, Call Number AND Availability.  There's nothing more frustrating than to walk all the way to the 4th floor without realizing a books is already checked out. 


PRIMO Searching Tips

1.  IMPORTANT - There is one particular quirk with searching PRIMO.  If the title starts with "A" or "The", leave this off the title when you search it.  Another thing that can "break" a search is colons ":".  It is simpler to leave them out of the title.

2. If you have the title of the book, the most straightforward way is to do a Title search by changing the dropdown box to Books + Media and then doing a Title search, and typing in the beginning of the title (don't usually need the whole thing)

3.  Another option if you have both title and author is to do an Advanced Search to include both pieces of information.


Having trouble locating an item? Double check the record again to make sure you have the location correct and that it isn't currently checked out. If you are seeing a gap where the book should be, it may be missing or on a reshelving cart. Ask to check the reshelving cart in circulation and if not there, assist the patron in filling out a missing item request.

Finding Items on the Shelf

OK, time to put all of that Call Number drilling to practice!  A Freshman (or Senior) has stopped by the desk and needs help locating the following items.  Please locate all 12 of these items for the student.  (Hint: these will be in many different locations throughout the library.  Ask if you don't know what one is!)  Inside the front cover of each you will find a note with a word on it.  Please leave the note in the book, but write down the word that you found (here's a handout, if you would like an easy way to keep track).  All of the words will add up to a quote.  Please email your mentor the complete quote, once you have located all 12 items!

#1.  Dell'Olio, Jeanine. Models of Teaching: Connecting Student Learning with Standards

#2.  The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 1

#3.  Schneier, Bruce. Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

#4.  Arthus-Bertrand, Yann. The Earth from the Air

#5.  Lambert, Joseph. Physical Organic Chemistry Through Solved Problems

#6.  Whisky Romeo Zulu

#7.  Marco Enrico Bossi. Selected Organ Works

#8.  Amazon Alphabet

#9.  Greenleaf, Robert. On Becoming a Servant Leader

#10.  Zimmerli's Commentary on Ezekiel

#11.  Short Story Criticism, vol. 50

#12.  CD of Frühlingsrauschen, by Christian Sinding