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Searching for Information

HOW TO SEARCH FOR INFORMATION

 

1.  BEGIN WITH A GENERAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OR REFERENCE SOURCE.

       Consult a general encyclopedia in our reference collection, or one of the online encyclopedias found in the 
       Databases section of WEBCAT.

       These will provide an overview of your topic and provide background information to get you started.  

       Note:  When using print resources, always use index volumes to look up your topic.
       The index will guide you to all the possible links, as well as provide you with other key words for a detailed search.
 
       Once you have a general idea about your topic, don't forget to consult specialized reference resources.

For example:  
  • Science References in the 500s - 600s of the Reference Collection;
  • Art References are in the 700s;
  • Literature References are in the 800s;
  • Geography / Biography / History are in the 900s.
  •  

2.  USE WEBCAT TO SEARCH for print and non-print resources found in the library collection.

 WEBCAT is the automated system will allow you to conduct searches by:  
  • General Keyword
  • Author Keyword
  • Title Keyword
  • Subject Keyword
  • ◦Series Keyword
The automated system will indicate in which collection the item is located.  (i.e. REF, PB, FICTION, Non-Fiction, etc.)
 
The system will also indicate whether the item is on the shelf or checked out to someone.
 
Once you've found the item you want, write down the title of the item, and the complete Call Number
(i.e. both the Dewey number and the letters.)
 

Example:        
                     REF   
                     971 
                     CAN
 

 
           Note: The Dewey Decimal Classification system categorizes resources 
                      by subject, so there will be many resources sharing the same 
                      Dewey number.
 
 

3.  LOCATE THE RESOURCE ON THE SHELVES

Use the directional signs on the ends of the stacks to locate the resource on the shelves.
If you are having difficulty finding what you need, please ask a librarian.

 

4.  SEARCH V.P.L. (The Vancouver Public Library) catalogue for more resources.

 

5.  For CURRENT INFORMATION, consult the various databases available through WEBCAT.

  • CPI-Q (The Canadian Periodical Index) is an online index to magazines, periodicals and journals.
    The User IDs and passwords for the databases are found in your student agenda books.
 

6.  And remember to conduct an extensive Internet Search.

     Remember to pick websites that are reputable and reliable sources. 
     For full details on evaluating resources visit the library's How To guide on  Website Evaluation,
     or look at the ABC's of Internet Evaluation checklist.