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Using the Catalog

What is the Library Catalog?

The Library Catalog is the primary gateway to the Library's physical and digital collections. Using the Catalog, you can quickly search many of the Library's collections all at once.

Catalog searches will return all kinds of items (see the sidebar to the right). Results will include items in the Library as well as items in our digital collections that are available anytime, anywhere, using the same COD sign on credentials used to access MyAccess, Blackboard, and COD email (District members use your Library card number and password). Searches can also be expanded to search beyond COD to include items held by I-Share libraries throughout Illinois and our lending partners throughout the United States.

Begin by doing a simple keyword search from the Library homepage or directly in the Library catalog. You can also use the advanced search screen to do more precise field searches.

What the Catalog Searches

Choose Your Scope

Screenshot showing the available search slots in the Library catalogAs you begin to enter your search terms, available search scopes will appear. You can stick with "Available Online" or choose another scope.

Here's what each scope searches:

  • Library Catalog: Physical and online items in the COD Library collection
  • Available Online: E-books and streaming media available online
  • All I-Share Libraries: Books available from I-Share libraries
  • Search Everything: Items in the COD Library, I-Share, and article databases
  • Course Reserves: COD course reserves
  • Libraries Worldwide: Books available from lending partners throughout the US

Limiting Your Results

Your initial catalog search is likely to return a large number of results. If you need to, you can use what are called "filters" to narrow your searches and get more precise results. You'll see available search filters on the right-hand side of the results screen. While there are many filters to choose from, these are some of the most useful:

Changing the Order of Results

Results sort options

You can change the order in which your search results are listed. By default, items are ranked by "Relevance" so results that best match your keywords are listed first. But it can also be useful to sort your results by publication date or alphabetically by title or author name.

Results Type

Limit by resource type

You can also filter your search results to only show certain types of resources such as only books, videos, or articles. All available options will be listed under the "Resource Type" heading.

COD Library Locations

Limit to locations in the Library

You can use this option to limit your results to certain locations in the COD Library. For instance, if you're looking for career guides, you could filter your results to only show books in our Career & College Information Center.


Narrow your subjects

Subject filters allow you to focus on specific subjects assigned to your search results. These subject headings let you focus more precisely on certain topics within your search results.

Active Filters

Active filters

Your "Active filters" are shown at the top of the filters column on your search results screen. You can eliminate any of the filters you've applied by clicking the "X" next to the filter.

The lock icon indicates that your filters will be applied to all of your ongoing searches. You can turn off all of your filters by clicking the lock icon. You can eliminate all of your filters by clicking the "Reset filters" link.

More Learning

Requesting Items

Local Requests

COD Library users can request items owned by the COD Library to be held for pickup at the main Circulation Desk.


COD Students, Faculty, and Staff may borrow items from I-Share libraries when those items are not available at the COD Library. I-Share is a consortium of over 90 academic libraries throughout Illinois that give our students, faculty, and staff access to over 38 million items held by member libraries.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan is a free service for COD Library card holders. Use Interlibrary Loan to request books and articles not held by the COD Library.

COD students, faculty, administrators and staff members, should only request items through Interlibrary loan if items are not available through I-Share.

Call Number Searches

Physical items in Library collections are organized using the Library of Congress Classification system. If you're looking for a specific call number or or even want to search a general call number area, just search for the call number using our basic search boxes on the Library homepage or in the Library catalog

Screenshot of a call number search in the Library catalog's basic search interface

Course Reserves

The Library catalog can be used to search for course reserves.

  • Click on the "Course Reserves" link on the Library home page or at the top of the Library Catalog.
  • Or, change the Library Catalog search scope to "Course Reserves."
  • You can search by textbook/item name, instructor name, class name, or course code.
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  • Last Updated: Nov 3, 2022 9:57 AM
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