You are here

Finding books: Library Catalogue search guide

Using the Library Catalogue

You can use the SFU Library Catalogue to find books, articles, films, government documents, journals, newspapers, maps, and other media in the Library's collection.

To search only for books, you can:

  • Use Basic search, and limit your results to books (if necessary) under the heading Resource Type, or
  • Limit your search from the start using Advanced search, or
  • Use Browse search to find your book by exact title, author, or subject.

Find books using Basic search

To find books (print or ebooks) whether you are searching by keywords, author, title, or subject, start by typing what you are looking for into the Catalogue search box

atwood handmaid's tale

Your results will include book reviews, articles, and other resources as well as books.

Refine or limit your results

To see only books, you can limit or refine your results:

  • on a larger screen (desktop or tablet), use the options on the left side of your screen
  • on a small screen (phone), look for the filter icon.

Under the heading Resource Type, Books is selected.

Limit to print books or ebooks

Once you limit your results to books only, you will see both ebooks and printed books. 

  • To limit to print only, under Availability select "Available in the Library"
  • To limit to ebooks (online) only, under Availability select "Full Text Online"

Under Active Filters "books" is selected; under Availability options are shown for "Full text online" and "Available in the Library"

Using multiple limiters

Advanced tip: If you select limiters from within different categories, such as "Resource type=Book" and "Library=Fraser", the Catalogue will look for items that contain both of those limiters (books that are at the Fraser Library).

Resource type: Books, and Library: Fraser Library (Surrey)

Find books using Advanced search

Advanced Search allows you to combine different search functions and limiters at the same time, for example:

  • the first word(s) of a title, plus resource type (e.g. books)
  • keyword, author, and publication date
  • author and subject heading(s)
  • title and author
  • author and language

title starts with handmaid's tale, resource type books

Once you have your search results, you can Refine or limit them to just the types of materials you want.

To switch between Advanced and Basic search, click on the option you want at the top of your screen (desktop or tablet), or look for an "adjust"-type icon (phone).

Browse search or Advanced search? 

  • Browse search shows you a list of search terms (authors, titles, subjects, call numbers), and does not include articles or chapters. 
  • Advanced search allows you to combine multiple search terms including keywords, and does include articles and chapters. 

Find books using Browse search

Use Browse Search for specific search terms (like subject headings, author search, or call numbers).

Click Browse Search at the top of the Catalogue (if you are using a desktop computer), then select the type of search you want to do from the drop-down menu: Subject, author, title, or Library of Congress call number.

This will take you to a list of specific search terms in alphabetical order. Use the up/down arrows to browse previous and subsequent search terms.

NOTE: Browse Search works for materials in the Library collections including books, but does NOT search articles, chapters, entries in encyclopedias, etc.

browse search is highlighted at the top of a page

On a desktop computer, look for Browse search at the top of your screen.

Mobile phone view, with highlighted ellipses at the top of screen

Don't see the Browse search? On a mobile device or smaller screen, click on the ellipses (...) to see this option.

Author browse (to search by author's name)

For works by a specific author (and not about an author) in the Library's collection, especially for books, use author browse. 

Tip: Author browse isn't just for books. You can also use it to search for other types of creators and other types of works in the Library's collection, such as composers for music, and directors for films -- although not for authors of individual articles. Corporations and organisations can also be authors (for instance for reports). 

Start with the author's last name to get a list of search terms, e.g.:

- Atwood, Mae
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 -
- Atwood, Michael E

or

- Anderson, W. M. (Wendy M)
- Anderson, Wes, 1969 -
- Anderson Whymark Hugo

browse by author: atwood margaret

NOTE: Browse search works for materials in the Library collections including books, media, and journal titles, but does not search articles, chapters, entries in encyclopedias, etc.

Subject browse (to search by subject heading)

Once you have a specific subject term you can find works about that topic in the Library's collections, as well as a list of related subjects, e.g.:

- Serial Murderers British Columbia
- Serial Murderers California Biography
- Serial Murderers California Case Studies
- Serial Murderers California Los Angeles Biography

You can also use Subject browse to find works about authors in the Library's collections, or about specific works or topics within their work, e.g.:

- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 -
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 - -- Bibliography
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 - -- Blind Assassin
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 - -- Bodily Harm
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 - -- Cat's eye
- Atwood, Margaret, 1939 - -- Characters -- Women

browse by subject: atwood, margaret

NOTE: Browse search works for materials in the Library collections including books, media, and journal titles, but does not search articles, chapters, entries in encyclopedias, etc.

Title browse (to search by title)

Type your title (or just the beginning of your title). This will take you to a list of titles of books and other materials in the Library's collection (but not journal articles), for example:

- Handmaidens of the Lord: Pentecostal women preachers and traditional religion
- The handmaid's tale
- Hand-me-down music 
- The hand-me-down PC handbook

NOTE: Browse search works for materials in the Library collections including books, media, and journal titles, but does not search articles, chapters, entries in encyclopedias, etc.

Call number browse (to search by call number)

If you have an SFU Library call number, you can browse by Library of Congress call numbers for books and other materials in the Library's collection, which will take you to a list like this:

PR 9318 O272 S85 2001        Still in the dream time   Derek Robinson 1956 -
PR 9318 O2723 B56 2006     Blood sports                     Eden Robinson
PR 9318 O2723 M66 2000     Monkey beach                  Eden Robinson
PR 9318 O2723 T7 1996        Traplines                           Eden Robinson

browse by Library of Congress call number: PR 9318 )272 S85 2001

Find other resource types or formats (maps, films, newspaper articles, etc.)

Looking specifically for films, newspaper articles, maps, conference proceedings, or other resource types?

  • Use Basic search, and limit your results to the format you want under the heading Resource Type, or
  • Limit your search from the start using Advanced search (available for some, but not all, resource types)

Note that Browse search includes books, but does not include articles, encyclopedia entries, book chapters, reviews, etc.

Questions and help

For more help, ask a Librarian.