Recommended by US! Website and Catalog Tip of the Week #18

Whenever you do a search in the catalog, you will probably come across a pair of boxes breaking your list of results after the third item. It will say Recommended by PCPL and might contain two separate segments: Blog Posts and Online Resources. Sometimes, you might also see an Events column. These are links specifically related to your search, that we believe might be useful or of interest if your catalog search brings up certain results. Some of these are general, and some are more specific. On the back-side of the website, this is called “Feature In Catalog”, but we just consider it yet another recommendation for finding what you’re looking for.

screenshot of Recommended by PCPL boxes in catalog search
This row of boxes appears in most catalog searches with three or more results

How We Feature

When we select specific things to feature in those boxes, we have different methods of doing so. One of the most common is to feature it based on a subject heading that will show up in a search. These subject headings are how books and other items are organized in search queries. Some items have one or two subject headings, while others might have several that the original publishers and catalogers felt were pertinent.

Screenshot of the search bar with a subject search for beauty and the beast
There are thousands of subject headings for books and other media.

You might notice a few items that don't seem to be related -- that's because we're bringing up content that's related to any of the items in your search results. For example, if you search for "minecraft," you'll get the correct link to play Minecraft at the library -- but also, because a few things in those search results are categorized as Mystery, you'll get a few Mystery links. Sorry! Who knows what interesting stuff you might find, though!

Other times, we might relate a blog post, resource, event, or other pertinent link by using related call numbers. For example, if your search yields anything with a call number beginning in DVD, you’ll get information about other places to find movies online. Similarly, if a staff member has written a blog post about a certain subject, or we have regular events related to something specific, that related call number (usually just the first three or six numbers, which designates a topic, but occasionally a more specific call number going all the way down) might be added as an impetus to feature.

What We Feature

We feature a lot of different content, but you only see things related to what you are searching. You might have seen the link to InstantFlix a million times, but maybe you haven’t seen the link to some great Summer Romance novels. Do a few random searches and see what you find!

Movie Links: As mentioned, any search that yields a call number ending in DVD will give you All The Links for other places to find movies. You might find something on InstantFlix or the PBS Streaming Video Collection that you didn’t see in the catalog, or just find another place to look for the next time. Or maybe you’ve done a search for research that yields subject headings that have related content.

Related Events: Sometimes, there will be three columns, or you might see a box for Blog Posts and a box for Events instead of the Online Resources box. If this box comes up, you’ve probably searched for something that yields results linked to one of our regular ongoing events. Maybe you’ve done a catalog search about computer games. Did you know many of our libraries have regular times where they host Minecraft? Or maybe you did a search for kids’ books about building. This little box would link you to information about regular Lego Club meetings at certain libraries.

Genre Guides: These are more general subjects, so you might see these more often than you would something like Minecraft. Say you did a search for Lee Child or Walter Moseley; you would find an Online Resource link to the Mystery & Thriller Genre Guide page. We have them for most popular topics and lots of less popular ones, so they will show up from time to time.

Other Stuff: There are all kinds of things in those boxes, so don’t just scroll past! You might find Staff Spotlights with insight about books and other items that might have appeared in your results list; you might find related book and author lists that are somehow related, even if your search didn’t include them.

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

What do you want to know? Any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see in future installments!

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