Catalog Search vs. List

Let the catalog do the work when it can.  For example, a search for “sphinx” returns a manageable number of results. The subject heading vocabulary is meaningful and generally known.  A search for “millard fillmore” will do the same.

Use Lists to help you tailor catalog results for your imagined user. There are patterns you see while talking to your readers – what are the things people often have trouble finding on their own? These are great topics for a List.  Here are some examples for the types of topics that make great lists:

  • When a search returns an overwhelming number of results. For example, a search for “Ancient Egypt” or “Abraham Lincoln” returns so many results that a list could be very helpful. Lists like:

CRRL Kids: Lincoln in the Library

Multcolib Homework Center Picks: Ancient Egypt

  •  When a subject heading is not familiar to many users. For example, if you are looking for picture books that support non-stereotypical gender roles, the subject heading “sex roles” is not language most people use. Patrons have difficulty finding these books using the catalog on their own.

Lawrence Kid Picks: Children’s Books Challenging Gender Stereotypes (Grades K-3)

  • When a topic doesn’t have a subject heading to pull like things together easily.

Cinderella around the World

  • When we all contribute based on our experience.

IndyPL Librarian Picks: Picture Books for Kids in Puppy Love

  • When a topic is something that requires your experience or expertise or is just something you are passionate about.

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Multcolib Recommends: Dogs in Picture Books and Beginning Readers

EPL Picks – Audiobooks – Road Trip, Mysteries to Go

IF YOU LIKED…Charlotte’s Web