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MUS 390: European Art Music I: Advanced Searching in WestCat

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Music

Introduction to WestCat

Begin at the Music Library's homepage. This is your gateway to the resources and information that you will need to complete your assignments.

In the left column, click on the link to WestCatWestCat is WIU's library catalog and contains records of all of the books, scores, recordings, and audiovisual materials in the library's collection. 

The search box presents a number of options, shown in the WestCat Navigation box below:

Search and Filters

1. After you decide on the search term(s) type it in the blank. The dropdown filters along and below the search blank lets you organize your search more effectively.

2. You can narrow your search by focusing the search scope on particular library collection or group of items, like the items in the Curriculum library collection, the library map holding, or all the information available in I-Share.

3.You can filter results by the type of item. You can search for all item types at once, or search individually for books, journals, audio, or other resources.

4.You can adjust how the search looks for the terms. You can see if the term (or terms) is contained anywhere in the item information, whether the in information starts with a term, or whether two or more terms show up together as a phrase.

5. You can also tell the search where to look in the item information, in the title, for the author name, by the subject, or anywhere at all!


Search Results

The Results List

1. The search results are displayed in a list like web search results. The catalog results give information that helps you find out more about an item and where to get it, no matter if it is physical or digital or what type of material it is.The title of the item is listed, along with author information and details. It can contain publishing information, like the date, and publisher name. Finally, alongside each result is an visual icon that shows the format of the item, like audio, video, book, or journal article.

2. The results screen has other features to improve the search experience. On the left of the screen there are various facets, specific ways and places that you can tell the system to search and organize the information like by subject, date range, the type of material, the library location, and item availability.



Modifying Results

The facet features on the sidebar are intended to help the user refine the results list by filtering out specific features of the items.

This allows you to find just materials on a specific subject area assigned to the item. You can also the facets to filter all the things created by a specific author, find out if an item is available, and where the library and shelf location is so you can go get it.

Because information has many features a single item can have many types of facets. This means you have more power to search and sort information which makes the search process smoother and more effective.

One facet feature is the type of resources available. Some time you will need something other than print for an assignment, this feature will tell what types the library has.

Here the resource type options from a search for “Stephen Sondheim”. The search for the composer’s work locates items in different media types, audio, books, and scores (and more, like videos).

Facet sidebar: Resource Type options opened for search “stephen sondheim”

Material Types

There are three libraries  on the WIU Macomb campus, the Curriculum Library, Malpass Library, and the Music Library. All these libraries may have an item you need at one time or another. But the libraries are some distance apart. So, it helps to know which one to go to. Once you use the the resource type facet to locate the item in the form you want, you can quickly locate which library you need to go to.

Facet  sidebar: WIU Libraries options open for search "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets".


Full Item Display

The Full Display

When you find an item, you want in the result, click the title to open the display the full record.

1. The Full Display shows additional information about the item including a link to the digital version of the content if available online,

2. The is also a section to which libraries have the item (sometimes more than one), and guide you to the location of physical items in the library.

3. To help you organize content there are tools on the side to help create and manage citations, email item details, print content, and create a permanent link to the item record.



What If WIU Doesn't Have It?

If WIU does not have an item in its collection, we may still be able to acquire it for you through Interlibrary Loan.

  1. Check WestCat
  2. Check I-Share
  3. Check WorldCat

You can find information about how to use I-Share and WorldCat below.


If you can't find an item through WestCat, your next step should be the I-Share catalog, which searches multiple libraries in the Illinois system.

  1. Log in to I-Share using your Ecom and password..
  2. Search for the item(s).
  3. When you have found your item, scroll down to the list of libraries that have the item and click "Request Item."
  4. A pop-up window will prompt you to select a pick-up location. It will default to the correct location for WIU. (All requests must be picked up at Malpass; we cannot receive them at the Music Library).
  5. Submit your request!

I-Share requests usually arrive within a week. You will receive an email when your item is ready to be picked up!

Watch the Video Clip to see how to search for and request an item using I-Share or Click Here for more details.


If you can't find an item through WestCat or I-Share, all hope is not lost! Items can be requested from libraries outside of Illinois through WorldCat.

  1. Find the item you need in the WorldCat catalog.
  2. Click on "Request this item through WIU ILL."
  3. If you are not already, you will be prompted to log in to your ecom account.
  4. Select request type "Loan of a Book or Media Item."
  5. Scroll down to "My address and contact information" and select campus location Macomb in the drop down menu.
  6. Click "Submit Request."

Like I-Share, items requested through ILL must be picked up at Malpass; we cannot receive them at the Music Library.

Books and scores requested through ILL usually take 5-14 days to arrive, depending on availability and delivery methods. Articles requested through ILL can arrive in 3-10 days, depending on whether the file is received in an electronic format or photocopied and mailed. You will receive an email when your item is available online or to be picked up.