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Tools for Research in Library & Information Studies : Library Catalog

An introduction to resources and research techniques for Library & Information Studies.

Introduction to the library catalog

The library catalog is UW's online public access catalog (OPAC). Although it's not as intuitive as a Google search, it's basic search functionality is straight-forward. 

Accessing your library account

You can check your library account and renew materials online through the library catalog.

To see your account:

1. From the library home page at

  • Select "My Accounts" in the upper right hand corner.
  • Select "Library Account"
  • Enter your net-id and password in the text boxes and push the login button.
  • You should now see a display of all items associated with your library record.
  • To renew items, click the "renew" box to the right of the desired item.

Placing a request

The library catalog can be used to place holds and send materials to different libraries. To place a request:

  • Perform a search for your material in the library catalog.
  • At the item record, select "Place a Request" from  the top right side of the page.
  • Enter your net-id and password. 
  • Select a pickup location.
  • Click "Submit Request."

Performing a UW System Search

By default, the UW System Search allows you to search for materials throughout every UW library. This is useful for finding materials that are either checked out or not available through UW-Madison libraries. 

To conduct a UW-Madison only search: 

From the library home page at

  • Perform a search through the catalog.
  • On the results screen, select "Limit to UW Resources".

Useful LIS Subject Headings for the library catalog

Academic libraries   Geographic information systems   Libraries and people with disabilities   Library science as a profession
Acquisitions (Libraries)   Information behavior   Library administration   Library science--Periodicals
Archives   Information commons   Library architecture   Library science--Research
Archival resources   Information dissemination   Library catalogs and users   Library science--Technological innovations
Bibliography   Information literacy   Library circulation and loans   Library surveys
Book selection   Information management   Library cooperation   Library use studies
Books   Information networks   Library education   Medical informatics
Cataloging   Information organization   Library employees   Metadata
Censorship   Information policy   Library finance   Nonbook materials
Children's libraries   Information resources   Library fittings and supplies   Online social networks
Classification   Information resources management   Library information networks   Privacy, right of
Collection development (Libraries)   Information science   Library legislation   Prohibited books
Comparative librarianship   Information storage and retrieval systems   Library materials   Public libraries
Copyright   Institution libraries   Library of Congress   Public services (Libraries)
Corporate libraries   Instructional materials centers   Library orientation   School libraries
Database design   Internet   Library outreach programs   Semantic Web
Digital libraries   Internet access for library users   Library personnel management   Social media
Documentation   International librarianship   Library planning   Special libraries
Electronic books   Librarians   Library rules and regulations   Web archives
Electronic journals   Libraries and minorities   Library schools and training   Web site development
Fair use (Copyright)   Libraries and sexual minorities   Library science    

Search the library catalog