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LOLA’S Contents Access Service

December 08, 2009

When you use an online catalog to find materials for a research and writing assignment, do you usually start with a keyword search? Many library patrons do!  

 A keyword search may miss some relevant items, though, as it often only searches the most common information, like titles and descriptions, but not useful areas like the tables of contents. To counteract this, Biddle’s online catalog, LOLA, uses “contents notes” to help enrich the results that you find when you do a keyword search, by offering you access to the tables of contents of many English and foreign-language titles in the catalog. 
Contents notes can be especially helpful for edited volumes. They allow your search to find edited volumes based on the authors or titles of chapters in books, not only the book’s main author and title. Often these notes will allow you to explore other works by a chapter’s author through hyperlinks.
Contents notes also allow for more flexible indexing in the catalog and, as a result, make it easier for you to find just the right book or other material for your research project.   You can find the authors and titles in contents by searching those very options, or as keywords. 
For more information, please see Judy Vaughan-Sterling’s (Principal Catalog Librarian) detailed handout on how to search using contents notes is available here.