Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Using the Z39.50 Search Feature to Add Catalog Records

One way to add a new catalog record to your library is to search the Library of Congress z39.50 database of over 14 million records (or one of the other available z39.50 databases) and copy it into your collection.
Steps to search for a record:
  1. On the Catalog page, click on the New Record link.
  2. Select the database you want to search.
  3. Enter an ISBN, or Title and Author last name and click the Search button.
    Note: If you have a bar code scanner, you may be able to scan in the ISBN bar code number usually found on the back cover of books.
  4. If matching records are found, click on the divot to the left of each title to see the ISBN, author and publication information to make sure you select the correct record.
  5. If you want to add a record to your collection, simply click on the title.
  6. The record is added to your collection and displayed with other recently added records.
  7. Click on the pencil icon to the right of the title to edit the record. You'll want to do this to add copies and other local holding information.
  8. Click the Add a New Record link to return to the New Record page and continue adding records.

General Database Information
  • The Library of Congress catalog does not include records for every book published – only those that they have added to their catalog.  Also, not all of their records contain an ISBN.  Sometimes you will get better results if you search by Title.
  • Most books published before 1971 are not in the Library of Congress catalog.
  • Many, if not most, of the books published by Scholastic are not included in the Library of Congress catalog.
  • Many users have reported getting better results when searching the OhioLINK Central Catalog.  If you’re having trouble finding records in the Library of Congress catalog, try using the OhioLINK catalog for some searches to see if you get better results.
  • Occasionally one of the databases may be unavailable (offline). This becomes evident when you do several searches and get no results.  When this happens, try searching one of the other databases for your titles and then you can try the original database again the next time you are adding records.

Searching Tips
  • When searching by ISBN, do not include hyphens.
  • You don’t have to enter the entire title or author when searching.
  • If the title contains very common words, enter the title and the author’s last name.  This will speed up the search.
  • Enter author names with last name then first name.  Punctuation is not necessary.
  • It’s best not to search by author alone.  Searching by author and title will provide faster results.