A Closer Look at Stuff in the Catalog: Tip of the Week #17

When you go into a catalog record for an item, there’s lots of information. Sometimes, you don’t want all the extra stuff, as long as you can click the button to check something out or put it on hold. But what if you find something and you want more related content? Say you find a great book about pirates, and you want more similar books? You can find all kinds of things without even leaving the page.

The first thing that will make your search experience greater is scrolling down the page. All the extras you might want (including comments and reviews about the item you’re already on) are below the Details.

Let's take a look at Americanah, a book club favorite by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for an example. Here's the top of its record in the catalog, where you can see the basics: availability, title, author, the green Place a Hold button on the right, and so on:

Now, scroll down a little to see the Opinion section:

Here is where you will find any comments from library staff, whether it’s an annotation from a list they created, a link to a blog they’ve written, or a full comment review of the item. And that’s just staff from our library! For example, you can see that this book's included in a Desert Island Ebooks list -- you can click on the blue linked text to explore any lists that pique your curiosity. Similarly, if you see a snippet from a comment or blog post, you'll be able to click to read the full text on another page.

On the right, under Explore Further, is where you’ll find even more cool links. Here is where the book or movie you’re looking at might have been featured in a list or a blog post, either at Pima County Public Library or one of the other library systems that uses our platform (that’s a lot!). These could be lists by staff or regular users like yourself (did you know you can make your own lists, opens a new window?). Just be forewarned: not every item on a list from another library will be available here; but you can always Suggest a Purchase or request an Interlibrary Loan, opens a new window for something we don’t have.

Anytime a Pima County Public Library staff member writes a new blog post and includes the catalog item in it, it will appear for you in two places on that item’s record: under Opinion where it says “From Library Staff”, and on the right sidebar below Blog Posts. Lists will appear doubly the same way for us. If you happen to go into the catalog of another library that uses the same platform and view the same item, you’ll only see those blogs and lists under Explore Further—but anything created by our staff will still be under Staff Lists, no matter whose library catalog you might find yourself exploring.

This is one of the library’s most browsable features. Take advantage of it; you never know what you might discover!

P.S. If you keep looking at the rest of the page (about Americanah, or anything else in our catalog!), you'll find all kinds of good stuff! Professional reviews, comments, quotes, summaries, age suitability, similar titles, and more. What's most helpful to you?

Questions? Call Infoline at 520 791 4010, or contact Ask A Librarian!

And if you haven’t, check out our previous tips of the week, opens a new window!