Searching The Public Access Catalog To Find Books.
ANNOUNCEMENT: CW/MARS PLANs TO LAUNCH A LIBRARY PUBLIC ACCESS CATALOG (PAC) SYSTEM sometime in the upcoming months. Our old CW/MARS online Public Access Catalog (PAC) template is changing.
The new system will look very different and will be called the Evergreen system. The good news is that all Central and Western items will be in ONE catalog! Patrons won't have to change catalogs to request an item from the alternate region. Searching will be more intuitive and user friendly. The bad news is that there may be delays initially. Please watch for additional announcements on the Libary's main page.
Using The Current Public Access Catalog
To find books, click here to enter the BCC Online Public Access Catalog, the online catalog listing all of the books in our collection.
A Public Access Catalog provides a record of every item in the collection of a library, and where on the shelf that item is located. As we are part of the CW/MARS system, you can also look at the Online Public Access Catalogs of a number of academic and most public libraries throughout central and western Massachusetts. Click here for a brochure on how to use the PAC and how to set up your own account in the system with a PIN. A PIN will allow you to order books from libraries to be sent to your academic library. This is called placing a hold. Patrons are encouraged to place holds for any book that is housed in a member library in the Western and Central regions of the State. You will also be able to track your circulation activity and see which books you have out, including those that might have fines, as well as the status of any holds you have already requested. You can even pay for your fines with a credit card once you have created a PIN. In order to borrow books in our library, or order books from other libraries and have them sent to the BCC library, you will need a BCC library card. Remember that you can not order a book with your BCC card and have it sent to a public library. You must pick up your book at an academic library. This rule is set by the CW/MARS system.
Searching the Public Access Catalog And Placing A Hold On (ordering) A Book:
You can search by Author and/or Title, as well as by a Keyword Search. Keyword Searching is an excellent way to locate materials in which you know the topic or main idea but not the formal Subject Heading. For instance, if you are interested in finding books on the Iraq War, you might want to use the following keywords in your search: Iraq War, Fallujay, George W. Bush, Baghdad or Saddam Hussein. Next, you can choose to combine these terms with either and, or or and not, in order to make your search more specific. For instance, you can type the following into the find box: Iraq War and George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. This will produce a list of books about George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein and the Iraq War.
In the Keyword Search, (also known as the simple keyword search) you can chose to sort your returns by their publication date or their relevancy. The more specific your search, the fewer results will be rendered, but the better those results will be. Here's another example of a search. If you are interested in the great Hartford circus fire you can type the following in the search box: Circus and Fire. This will take you to two books on the Barnum and Bailey Circus fire in Hartford, CT.
Placing A Hold For A Book That Is Not In The BCC Collection
While we have only two books on the the circus fire in Hartford in our collection, you can go to the scroll bar to the right of your search box, and scroll down to "All Western Massachusetts" if you would like to see other books in the western region.
If you have your own account in the system and would like to order a book, you can do this by requesting a hold on it. First you will need to create a PIN, which is very simple.
Creating A Pin
In order to place a hold on books in Western Massachusetts, you need to create a PIN. To do this, follow the following directions:
1. Click the term Login on the top of the page.
2. Now Type in your Library Card Number, the number above the barcode located on the back of your BCC library card. Leave the Pin Box blank, and press Submit. This will take you to another template which allows you to create your PIN with any combination of letters of four to thirty characters.
For more information on creating a PIN, see the back of the PAC brochure, or contact us at 413 - 236 - 2150.
Searching beyond Western Massachusetts to place a hold on a book. (Order a book yourself.)
The Virtual Catalog and WorldCAT
In addition to BCC's Jonathan Edwards Library, and the CW/MARS catalogs, you can also search the Virtual Catalog, a state-wide catalog of libraries in all regions. The Virtual Catalog includes the holdings of some of the University of Massachusetts campuses, as well as those of State Colleges such as Salem State and Westfield State College. To access the Virtual Catalog site, click here. You should use the Virtual Catalog only after a search has failed to yield results through the CW/MARS collections.
The Virtual Catalog is a very valuable resource. Let's say you are interested in everything you can find on 19th century whaling or the Salem witchtrials. There are many more books in the Eastern region of Massachusetts than in the Berkshires on both of these subjects. The Virtual Catalog can be very helpful in locating and ordering such resources.
You can search another catalog from our site, actually the largest catalog of books in the world, the WorldCAT. While you can not order books on your own, you can give us the citation for books held in collections outside of Massachusetts that you find in WorldCat and we can order them for you through our InterLibrary Loan Service or ILL. Through ILL, you can obtain books and magazine and journal articles from libraries all over the United States. In order for us to order an ILL for you, we will need a complete citation of your request, including the author's name, the book title, (or journal name and article title), and the date of publication. (In the case of articles, we will need the specific pages of the article.). ILL requests will need to be placed through our Library Assistant, Bobbie Kuhlman. You can get to WorldCAT from our main electronic catalog page, or from clicking here.
What can you find in WorldCAT? You can find citations for books, as well as articles, housed in libraries from BCC and Yale to the Cymru National Library of Wales and the National Library of New Zealand. Many, although not all of the resources can be ordered through InterLibrary Loan at no cost. (If there is a fee, we will always tell you in advance.)
If you have any questions about search techinques or if you would like to book an information session for your class contact Karen Carreras-Hubbard at extension 2153. If you have any questions about InterLibrary Loan, contact Bobbie Kuhlman at extension 2154.
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