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Life Hack: Library Research: Find Books

Searching the Catalog

How to Find Books

The books in Fogler Library and throughout the University of Maine system are cataloged in our online catalog called URSUS. You can access URSUS by visiting ursus.maine.edu , or clicking the “Catalog” button on the library homepage.

Step 1: Beginning your Search

To begin your search, identify what type of information you already have. Do you know the title, the author, or what the book is about? 

To search by title, select “Title” from the drop-down menu, type in the title, and then select the location where you’d like to find the item. If you want only books held at the Orono campus, select “University of Maine catalog” from the list. If you are interested in looking at the full Maine system and can wait a few days for the book to be delivered from another campus, leave the search to “Search Entire URSUS Catalog.”

Click “Submit.”

To search by author, select “Author” from the drop-down menu, and type in the name of the author in the format “Last Name, First Name.” Then, select the location where you’d like to find the item. If you want only books held at the Orono campus, select “University of Maine catalog” from the list. If you are interested in looking at the full Maine system and can wait a few days for the book to be delivered from another campus, leave the search to “Search Entire URSUS Catalog.”

Click “Submit.”

To search by keyword, select “Keyword” from the drop-down menu, type in the keyword you would like to search for, and then select the location where you’d like to find the item. If you want only books held at the Orono campus, select “University of Maine catalog” from the list. If you are interested in looking at the full Maine system and can wait a few days for the book to be delivered from another campus, leave the search to “Search Entire URSUS Catalog.”

Click “Submit.”

To search by ISBN, Call Number, or Government Document Number, select “Number Search” below the search boxes on the URSUS home page.  From the drop-down menu, select the type of number you have, type in the number, and then select the location where you’d like to find the item. If you want only books held at the Orono campus, select “University of Maine catalog” from the list. If you are interested in looking at the full Maine system and can wait a few days for the book to be delivered from another campus, leave the search to “Search Entire URSUS Catalog.”

Click “Submit.”

To search for a journal, select “Journal Title” below the search boxes on the URSUS home page.  Type in the name of the journal you are looking for.

Click “Submit.”

To search by Library of Congress Subject Heading, select “LC Subject” below the search boxes on the URSUS home page.  Identify what the subject heading is by visiting the Library of Congress subject list and searching their list. Type in the subject, then select the location where you’d like to find the item. If you want only books held at the Orono campus, select “University of Maine catalog” from the list. If you are interested in looking at the full Maine system and can wait a few days for the book to be delivered from another campus, leave the search to “Search Entire URSUS Catalog.”

Click “Submit.”

Step 2: Search Results

Now that you have entered a search, you should have a list of results. If not, go back to your search and try a broader query. 

If your list includes items that you’re interested in, click on the title and view the result. 

In the example below, the text is an e-book, so you will access the book by clicking “UM Orono Access” under the “Connect to” heading. There may be multiple campus options, so select the campus where you are a student, faculty, or staff member. 

In the example below, the text is a physical book, so you will access the book by finding the call number of the book for your campus. In this example, the book is held at two different campuses, so note the call number associated with “UM Orono Stacks.” Under status, this book is listed as “Available,” so it is available for you to check out. It could also indicate the date when it is expected back in the library, or indicate that it may only be available for use within the library.

If your list is too long, and you’re having trouble finding the item you’re looking for, click “Limit/Sort Search” above the search bar. This will bring you to a screen that allows you to limit your search by several measures. For example, limit it to items in English, the type of material you’re hoping to find (such as a book, audiobook, etc.), author’s name, and when it was published.

Step 3: Finding Items That Aren’t at UMaine

If you are finding items held at other Universities in the state, but cannot find a copy here at Fogler Library, you can request the item to be delivered to Fogler. To do so, click “Request” above the search bar on the item’s record page, and enter your information and pick-up location. You can also do this if the Fogler Library copy is unavailable or currently checked out.

If you are having trouble finding the item you want in URSUS, you can expand your search to another state-wide catalog called MaineCat. To do so, click “Search MaineCat” on the right side of your screen (see example above). If you find the item in MaineCat, you can request the item to be delivered to UMaine in the same way as you do within URSUS.

If the book you need is not available through URSUS or MaineCat, you can request it to be found through InterLibrary Loan (ILL).

 

Step 4: Finding Items on the Shelf

Check out our page all about finding items on the shelf and using the Library of Congress call numbers.

Check the Fogler Library Floor Maps to identify where to find your book in the library.

 

Tips and Tricks

Citing items from the catalog: When viewing the record of an item you’re interested in, there will typically be a button on the side that says “Cite this Item.” Click the link, and view several different citation formats for this item. You can copy and paste these citations into your records.

Saving or Sharing Links: Do you want to save the URL for the record you found? To do so, click “Permanent Link” at the bottom of the record, and then copy/paste the URL. If you do not click “Permanent Link” first, the URL will be a temporary URL that is linked to your specific search, and will not work in the future.

Browsing Similar Items: If you’d like to see what books are next to the book you’ve found on the shelf, click the call number. This will bring you to a list of books that surround this item on the shelf. As these are shelved by subject, you will find other items that are about the same topic, just like if you were physically looking at the book on the shelf.

Find Items on the Same Subject or By the Same Author: At the bottom of each record is additional information about the item. This includes each subject that the book is about, the author, the title, the ISBN, and a physical description of the item. To find more books on the subject, click the subject. To find more books by the author, click the author’s name. To find more items with the same title, click the title. Each clickable link is bold and in blue.

Identifying the type of item: If you’re not sure which items come in which formats, take a look at the left side of the search results. Each item is accompanied by an icon that identifies the type of material, such as book, e-book, streaming video, etc.

For more information about the terms, vocabulary, or locations mentioned in this tutorial, check out our glossary.

 

Quick Tip

Image result for booksNot sure where to start? Want some recommendations for books, subjects, or databases? Looking for some basic background information?

Check out the library's research guide for your subject. 

Troubleshooting

Having trouble finding a book or journal? Contact us!

Email

Phone: (207) 581-1673

Chat: During Reference hours, click "Have a Question?" at the bottom of any library webpage

In-Person: Visit the Help Desk on the first floor of Fogler Library

Text: Text the word BEAR to 66746, then send your question

You can also set up a reference appointment with your subject librarian. To find out who it is and how to contact them, visit our list of Subject Specialists.

Video Tutorials

 

 

5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

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