University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Virtual Library Shelf & the UW Catalog

The Virtual Library Shelf

You knew it was coming—a virtual way to browse the library stacks by using the virtual shelf feature in the UW catalog.  Here's how to browse the shelf from your computer: 

Enter your search terms in the catalog: For example, in a basic search you can search by title, keyword or subject.  In the example below I searched by title for, "Human rights approaches to climate change: challenges and opportunities." One quick way to locate more subjects is to select the Browse by link above the record title.

However, if you want to browse the shelf, select the catalog record for that title and scroll to the images of books beneath, "Items Related by Call Number."  This is the virtual shelf.  If you select the image of a book, it will take you to that catalog record.  If you select "browse more," you can broaden your subject search.

 Tips for better search results when you use the UW Library Catalog

Tip 1. Basic Search.  If you are looking for a known item, use the drop down menu to limit your search to a keyword, title, or subject. You can also connect terms by typing AND in all caps between your search terms.  For example, connect Lincoln AND abolitionists to view all 69 results with both these words in the title.

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Tip 2. Advanced Search.  Use the catalog advance search menu to combine terms.  For example:  If you can't locate a specific edition of a text, enter the edition number as a keyword in Advanced Search, then combine it with an author and a word from the title.  This is a good strategy if you can't recall the exact name of the title.

Tip 3.  Build your own search.  Another way to combine terms is to build a search.  In the example below, after you have found books with "evidence" as a subject, scroll down the screen to locate & select additional subjects, places, (Wisconsin) and locations (Law Library) to refine your search.

Tip 4. Browsing for subjects.   After locating one book on topic, browse the subjects box on the left-side of the screen, you'll need to scroll to find this box, and select a topic.  For example the subject, "civil rights."

Tip 5. Borrow.  Here is a final tip: If you can't locate the book in our catalog, select Worldcat, search for your title in that database, then select, "Get Through Interlibrary Loan."

Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on March 1, 2018

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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