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Using the catalog

The library catalog gives you access to resources available at all Wayne State University libraries. You can use the library catalog to:
  • Find books, music, films, ebooks, scholarly journals, theses, and more
  • Access ebooks and other electronic resources online
  • Request materials
While online journals are available through the catalog, users are not able to search for specific articles using the catalog. If you're trying to find articles, we recommend:
  • Starting with Quicksearch on the library homepage
  • Using Summon to search all article databases available to Wayne State affiliates
  • Selecting a specific database you'd like to search from our list of article databases

Keyword searches

Keywords are the words or phrases you use to search for information for your assignment. They represent the key ideas in your research topic.

Customizing your Keyword search

Asterisk

Replacing a word ending with an asterisk (known as truncation) allows different forms of a word to be searched for simultaneously.

    Example: searching human* will return words that begin with human, like humans, humanity, etc.

Question Mark

Replacing a single letter in a word with a question mark (known as a wildcard) allows different forms of a word to be searched for simultaneously.

    Example: searching wom?n will return results for woman and women

AND, OR, AND NOT

Words like AND, OR, and AND NOT (known as Boolean Operators) can be used to apply limits to search results.

AND returns sources containing all search terms. It narrows your results.

    Example: searching health AND insurance will return sources containing both "health" and "insurance"

OR returns sources containing any search terms. It broadens your results, and is best used with related terms.

    Example: searching children OR juveniles will return sources containing either "children" or "juveniles"

AND NOT excludes sources containing the search terms. It narrows your results.

    Example: searching Washington AND NOT DC will return sources without "DC" if you want articles about the state, not the capital

Near

Inserting the word "near" (known as proximity) can specify words close to each other, in any order. Example: searching California near university will return sources where "California" and "university" appear close together in the text

Title searches

When searching for known titles, be sure to omit initial articles such as "A", "An", or "The." This is because the library catalog ignores these initial articles when using a title search.

Example: The Sun Also Rises The Catcher in the Rye A Tale of two cities

NOTE: Keyword searches do not omit these articles. If you are unsure of a title it is often helpful to try a keyword search.

Author searches

When searching for a specific author, you must type the last name first. If you know the author’s first name, include it after the last name: Last Name, First Name. Example: Smith, John  

Item not checked in?

Try MelCat If an item isn't checked in, you can use your WSU library account to search other libraries in Michigan, and request items for delivery to your library within days. You may search the MelCat Catalog directly at mel.org, or select the MelCat button from within the WSU Library Catalog.

How to use MelCat

  • Find an item in MelCat catalog
  • Click the Get this for Me link
  • Select Wayne State University, or another library you use, from the pull-down list of member libraries
  • Login with your WSU AccessID and password
  • Select a Pick-up location for the book to be delivered to
When the book is ready to be picked up, you will be notified at the e-mail address that you specified in your library account. Depending on location, MelCat requests may take over 3 business days for delivery. You may also monitor the progress of MelCat requests by logging into your library account.

Try WorldCat

If an item isn't available through MelCat, you can use your WSU library accoutn to search libraries worldwide for delivery through Interlibrary Loan. Delivery may take over a week. You may search the WorldCat Catalog directly at worldcat.org, or select the WorldCat button from within the WSU Library Catalog.

How to use WorldCat/ILL

  • Find a book in WorldCat catalog
  • Click the Request Item via Interlibrary Loan button
  • Login with your WSU AccessID and password
  • Enter any required information into Book Request form
  • Click Submit Request button
When the book is ready to be picked up, you will be notified at the e-mail address that you specified in your library account. Depending on location, WorldCat/ILL requests may take over a week for delivery. You may also monitor the progress of WorldCat/ILL requests by logging into your library account, or clicking Interlibrary Loan below the search bar on the library homepage.  

My Library Account

Students, faculty, staff, and other library users can log into their library accounts online to:
  • Renew items
  • View due dates for items currently checked out
  • View the status of library requests
  • View current fines or fees
  • Suggest Books for Purchase

How to login

You may login to your library account by clicking the Login button on the library homepage or library catalog homepage.
  • Wayne State University affiliates must login with their access ID and password.
  • WSU library card holders without access IDs must log in with their last name and the number on their OneCard or library card.