Getting Started with EUREKA

EUREKA is the online catalog for books at the Sac State Library. Whenever you need to find a book, EUREKA is the tool to use.

From the Simple Search screen, EUREKA can be searched by:

AUTHOR
TITLE
SUBJECT
KEYWORD

Here is the SIMPLE SEARCH screen for EUREKA.

EUREKA, the CSUS Online Library Catalog screenshot

Each search methods of these has its advantages. Obviously if you know the TITLE or AUTHOR then searching those catagories makes the most sense and you can get your information fast! However, when you just have a topic or an idea, but don't know a specific author or title, you will need to begin searching by SUBJECT or KEYWORD.

KEYWORD searching is the easiest searching to do. Simply type in the words you want to look for and the system will find them anywhere in the record. It is also stupid searching! It's stupid because it does not care about the context of the words, nor where they appear in the record. If I do a KEYWORD search for Snakes in EUREKA, the first book has nothing to do with the subject. It comes up because the word Snakes appears in the record.

A keyword search in EUREKA for snakes, which yields both relevant and non-relevant search results.

SUBJECT searching uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). The headings are part of what is called a controlled vocabulary. Think of it as a uniform way of describing what a book is primarily about. All of the books at the CSUS library have subject headings. Because SUBJECT HEADINGS get at the content of the book, rather than looking for the word, it is a more precise searching method.

The easiest way to find a subject heading is to search by KEYWORD and then find the SUBJECT headings on the bottom of the page. For example if I continue my search from above and find a record relevant to snakes then I'll click on the title and look at the record. Here is an example. The official Library of Congress Subject Headings for this book are:

Poisonous Snakes -- Congresses
Snakes -- Congresses

A relevant search result in EUREKA on snakes. On this record I can use SUBJECT to find other books on that topic.

If I were to click on Poisonous Snakes -- Congresses I would see this:

A Subject search results screen in EUREKA for Poisonous Snakes -- Congresses. It shows that there are 2 books on that exact subject.

All I do to view the two books on that exact subject is to click on the bold link.

Reading a EUREKA record

Now that you've found a record in the catalog what do you do next? If we use the record we found with the search Snakes from above:

A relevant search result in EUREKA on snakes. On this record I can use SUBJECT to find other books on that topic.

We see some important information. First, at the top of the record, we see the TITLE, AUTHOR or EDITOR and PUBLISHER. This is the basic citation information and vital if you want to cite your sources correctly.

Next, in a box we see LOCATION, CALL NO. and STATUS. The location tells you what floor to go to, the call number is the address for the book. If you think you can simply write down the floor number and find the book think again! There are over 1,000,000 book titles at the Sac State Library so you'll be searching for a long time. The STATUS tells you if the book is available to be checked out, if it's due, or if it's a library-use only book. Library-use only books cannot be checked out of the Library and must be used in-house. So this book is available on the 4th Floor, the North Side of the building. The call number is QL 666 .O69 B565 2000. After you pull it off the shelf take it to the Circulation Desk in the main lobby and check it out with your OneCard.     

Make your search better with Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators are terms that limit or expand your search. The following table demonstrates boolean operators in action.

AND Limits search by added word or phrase ex: family and divorce
OR Expands search by searching for both words or phrases ex: nutrition or diet
AND NOT Limits search by excluding second word or phrase ex: family and not divorce

Try using And to limit your search results. Search Smarter!

Now What?

Once you get a Book then simply take it to the Circulation Desk (http://library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=25) with your OneCard and check it out for 3 weeks. If you need that book longer you can renew your books online anytime. To do this you need a library PIN number, which IS NOT YOUR SACLINK. Follow this link to set up a library PIN http://library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=171.

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