Friday, January 12, 2007

Database Use Tip: Using the Online Catalog to Search for Videos

Yes, Virginia. The Sawyer Library DOES own videos. While not a large collection, we do have a small assortment of VHS and DVD videos that correspond to curriculum needs here at Suffolk. We will not have the latest Hollywood blockbusters. And with our limited budget and space for videos, we do not even attempt to collect the types of movies you are likely to find in your local video store. Our collection is mostly documentaries, course support selections, or adaptations of literary works (like BBC productions of Shakespeare plays) that might help a student understand what they are reading in class.

But how do you FIND if the library owns a video on a particular subject? The best way is to use the Library Catalog, which is sometimes referred to as the OPAC, or by its name, "Archer."

First, do a Keyword Search on a word or phrase that relates to the topic you are interested in.

For example, if we do a keyword search for ancient rome, we'll get over 100 hits, but these are almost entirely books and e-books. But when we look at the top of the screen (as seen below), we note that there is a blue button that allows us to "Modify Search."

If we click that option, we can "Limit" our search to a particular "Material Type," in this case, a VIDEO,

We would then click the blue "Submit" button, and we would have one result, a 4-part DVD set on the History of Ancient Rome, produced in 2003.

Use this same "limiting" technique to find, say, only e-books on a particular topic. And you can also limit your results by date, language, or in various other ways. Just use such methods sparingly, as you might eliminate search results you are actually interested in!

Videos can be checked out, or used in the library in one of the VHS/DVD players in the group study rooms.

[FIND the Library's online catalog on several locations on our webpages. It is the top option under "SEARCH FOR BOOKS E-BOOKS & JOURNALS" on the upper left of the library homepage. On the upper right of the homepage there is also a quick search box for the catalog.]

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