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Library Catalog: Subject Search

This guide will introduce you to the library catalog, what they are, how they came to be, how they have changed, and how to use them to perform basic and advanced searches by title, author, subject heading, and keywords that search every record area.

About Subject Searching

Subject searching is an efficient way to search for items in a specific category when you're not sure what an item may be called in a category.

Subject headings are a set of terms or phrases (known as controlled vocabulary) that classify materials.  Essentially they identify and pull together under a common umbrella.

Subject Searching

Follow these instructions when searching for Subjects. 

How to do a Subject Search

Step 1) Go to the Library Catalog    

1. Click to select "Subject" under the Search By field.

2. Enter your topic in the from field and click "Search" 

Quick Subject Search

Step 2) Here's the results for the Subject Search: Marijuana Laws.


1. Subject headings closest to your search term will be returned. Select a specific subject heading to display the titles for that heading.

2. The titles will be displayed. Click the one you would like to view. 

In the description you can see the item's call number and see if it's available. 

The Subject Search has informational tags such as:

Note: Explains and clarifies what is meant and what is not meant in the definition of the term and in its use a subject heading.

See Also: Will give alternate terms for the subject you searched

Subject Search Results

Step 3) Finding similar items when you have located one on your topics already.


1. The item description will display information about the item such as Authuor(s), Title, and more.

2. Click on a similar subject term in this list to view a list of items that have been assigned that similar subject heading.


subject search results