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Dear Circ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Finding things in the Library Catalog

gelatin silver print
  Photo by Unidentified Artist
Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
Smithsonian Institution
Dear Circ,

On New Year's Eve I decided that in 2018 I want to: gain muscle, lose weight, spend less money, stop eating sugar, learn to play bridge, cut back on fat, plan for retirement, watch my cholesterol, be calmer, cut back on salt, start running, start jogging, start walking, eat more vegetables, learn to lift weights, start yoga, go gluten-free, learn to meditate, cut my carbs, go paleo, get out of debt, go organic, learn car maintenance, do my taxes early - not on April 14th, learn to cook, be more organized, laugh more, worry less, learn to crochet, learn to read faster, learn to speak Icelandic, learn to bake, fix my dripping faucet (it's driving me crazy!), be more efficient, be kinder, improve my career skills, spend quality time with my kids, learn to bowl, save money, travel to Greece, be more thoughtful, be less obsessive, work on my "people skills", spend more time with my mom (she's a lot like the dripping faucet!), communicate better, be more assertive, learn to set achievable goals, be less shy, participate in my community theater, sing with a choir, learn to play the tuba, put some romance back in my marriage, learn to scuba, budget better, plan better, learn about fine wine, learn to barbecue, plant a garden, make some new friends, improve my lawn, and just generally be better than I am....

It's now January 17th, and I haven't done a thing! Can you help?

Improving Irving

Dear Irv,

Boy, howdy, that's some list! Well, we can't do it for you, but maybe we can help in the information and inspiration department. After all, sometimes what's holding us back is not knowing how to get started. And that usually means doing some homework - a little research on the goal you've decided to tackle. So here are some ways to find what you're interested in. First, go to our catalog. On the last tab below the search box, you see a topic called "New Year ~ New Leaf!" Just click on that topic, and you'll see a selection of books provided by Adult Services that may help you tackle some of your goals.  We also have a display in the library right now, that you can browse in person.

The next thing you can do is search the catalog. In the search box, the box that says "type here to search", just type in your topic.  For example, type in "debt", click on "search" or hit enter on your keyboard, and see what happens.  Now, you have something to look at.  Try looking at the first item,   described as "Adult Fic." which is short for Adult Fiction. That might be fun to read, but maybe not what you want.  So now what do you do?

Well, now you have choices.  You can do a new search, for example, put "get out of debt" in the search box. Or you can play with the filters found on the left hand side of the results box.  The filters are the words with the arrowheads next to them.  For example, try clicking on "Collection", and then look over the choices that drop down.  Click on "ADULT NON-FICTION."  Notice that the original first item is gone now.  Your search now only contains Adult non-fiction items.  Feel like you're getting warmer?  Try another filter, click on "Subject" and this time, choose "Finance, Personal."  Yes, you can combine filters to get closer to what you want.

And here's one last search tip.  It's now 2 a.m., you're tired and you don't have time to examine the selections in your search to make your choices.  What to do, what to do?  Save your search!  More about that next time!


Dear Readers,
Are you wondering about the image above? No, this person is not "Dear Circ" and is not employed by the Roselle Public Library. Nor is he a patron of ours. The person above is a famous author, sometimes known as the "father of self-improvement." His best selling book originally published in 1936, "How to Make Friends and Influence People" is still widely read today.  Place your mouse cursor on the photo for the name of the author. Left click the image for an enlargement. For more information about this author, go here and here. For items to check out, try our catalog.

Do you have questions about the Roselle Public Library? Want advice about how to manage your account? How to find things? Want to know more about what we can offer you? Or worse, are you just lost in library jargon, and not even sure what to ask? Here's our forum for how to get the most from us, your local library. You can submit questions online to Dear Circ, or, as always, in person, or by phone (630-529-1641). Posted questions will be anonymous. Responses reflect the policies and programs of the Roselle Public Library, and may have no relevance to the policies, services, and procedures at any other library.

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