Library Catalog-AHSL

Open in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

Why use the Library Catalog?

The Library Catalog allows you to search the collections of the University of Arizona  libraries, including those of AHSL, to find and access:

  • Books (print & electronic)
  • Journals (print & electronic)
  • Videos/Films (various formats)
  • Models/Kits, etc.

This tutorial will guide you in exploring the Library Catalog's many features.



Use the arrows below to navigate through the tutorial.

Locate the Library Catalog

From the AHSL website in the screen to the right, use the Search & Find tab in the navigation bar and select Library Catalog from the menu. It's almost always best to search the UA-wide catalog.


You may also use the searchbox, set to the Catalog tab, to do quick searches, but in this exercise we want the full search screen. 




Searching by topic

1 of 5

This is the Catalog's full search screen, which defaults to keyword searching.

Sample keyword search:

Enter cardiovascular disease into the searchbox. 

Click the Submit button.

sample keyword search

The Catalog displays the first screen of your results, sorted by relevance. You may choose to sort them by date or title by clicking on either word.



Searching by topic

2 of 5

Browse the brief records and click on one or two titles to display the full record. Look where your keywords appear in red.  

Click the Return to Browse button to go back to the results list.

Searching by topic

3 of 5

Just like Google, you can make your search more precise by placing quotes around your keywords to search as a phrase. The keywords inside the quotes will now be next to each other and in the same field.

At the top of the screen add quotes before and after the keywords "cardiovascular disease"

Click Search.

keyword search for cardiovascular disease with quotes


Searching by topic

4 of 5Add additional keywords to focus your search.

Click on the Modify Search button. 

Add the terms treatment or therapy to the search in the second box.

Click Submit.

Multiple keywords search

The keywords in each box are searched separately, then the results are combined with an And, which narrows your search. 

Searching by topic

5 of 5

Subject Headings

Click on a brief record in your result list to open the full record. Notice the subject headings that have been assigned and click on one. You will be shown an alphabetical list of nearby subject headings. Find and click on the same subject heading or find another to get all items in the Catalog with that subject heading.


Cardiovascular Diseases -- drug therapy

Subject headings link to more


By reviewing subject headings in your search results you can find more terms to add to your keyword search.


Limiting Your Search

1 of 2

To further define your search, add one or more limits. You can limit by collection, such as:

  • AHSL, Sci-Eng Libraries
  • Electronic Resources
  • Journals (Print & Electronic)

Also limit by language, location, format, publisher, publication date, and available items (not checked out).


Limiting Your Search

2 of 2

Click on the Start Over button.

Sample search with limits:

 "cardiovascular disease"

Select the following limits:

  • Limit to: View AHSL, Sci-Eng Libraries
  • Language: English
  • Year: After 2008 and Before 2014

Using limits



Get the Full Text

Browse through the brief records and notice that many of the most current items are Internet Resources and available electronically.

Choose any title of interest by clicking on it to open the full record. Often the chapter headings of an electronic book (ebook) are listed in the contents.

Click on Find on the Web (or similar wording) to access the full text. 

Find on Web to access fulltext.


Alert: Ebooks are purchased or licensed from a number of publishers, so  procedures to access the full text will vary a bit.



Searching for a Known Item

Return to the Catalog, then press the Start Over button. 

To find a known item, search by author and/or title. 

Sample citation:

Bendok, Bernard R. Hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. Thieme Medical, 2012.

Click on Title at the top of the screen.

Copy the title from the citation above and paste it into the searchbox.

Press Search.

title search example


One item is found that is IN LIBRARY on the 3rd floor of the Health Sciences Library. 


Tip: Click on Send via Text Message to send the call number, location & title of the item as a text to your phone (your Library Account must be set up with Text Alerts)




Search by Author:

Click on Start Over.

Click on Author at the top of the screen.

Search for James E. Dalen (remember, use last name first, i.e. Dalen, James E.)

author search example

To sort results by year, click on Limit/Sort button and click Sort by Year.





Search for a Journal Title

Click on Start Over, then on Journal Title at the top of the screen.

Type: Bioinformatics

journal title search example

Both print and electronic journals are searched. Choose the one in which Bioinformatics is the full title of the journal.

There are three sources for the full text. Choose the source where you can access articles from the current year.

Click on it & find the latest issue available of the journal, note the date.

Choosing the fulltext link



Wildcards & Truncation

1 of 2

Use truncation to search variations of keywords.

An asterisk (*) matches an unlimited number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. The * wildcard may only appear after at least two characters.


therap* finds therapy, therapies, therapist, therapeutic

A question mark (?) replaces a single character within a word. The question mark must be preceded by at least three characters.


wom?n finds woman or women

Wildcards & Truncation

2 of 2

Hit the browser's back button until you're back in the Catalog, then click on Start Over.

Sample search on preventing childhood obesity:

 obesity AND child* AND prevent*

Example of truncation searching.


child* retrieves child, children, childhood

prevent* retrieves prevent, prevents, preventing, prevention

My Library Account

Click on My Account at the very top right corner of the Catalog screen and login with your UA NetID and password. View any item that you have checked out. You may also renew items from your Library Account.

Click on Sign Up for Text Alerts to have library notices sent to your cellphone.

When reviewing search results, click on "Request this Item" to have the item pulled from the shelf and delivered to AHSL or another library for pickup. You must be logged into My Account to complete the request. You will be notified by text or email when the item is available for pickup. 

Click on Log Out to end your webauth session.


You can now effectively find print and electronic materials in the Library Catalog by topic as well as by their authors and titles. And you can access the electronic resources to get to the full text.

If you need additional assistance, please contact the AHSL Librarian in your college.

Please close the browser to end the session.

Thanks for using this tutorial!

Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.

What did you think of this tutorial?