Advanced Library Catalog Use


Not many students are aware that a library catalog exists for Palmer Secondary! It’s a shame too because it is a wonderful source for authoritative and informative materials that can help you with your assignments. The catalog should be the first place you look online when you begin your research.

Click on the catalog logo above and follow the steps below on how to use it to your advantage.

Basic Search


Welcome to the elusive catalog homepage! Don’t worry, you won’t need a login to use the catalog. However, you will need to know what you are searching for. This is where knowing what keywords to use or even the title/author comes in handy.

To start off a simple search, type in the topic you are researching. Let’s say you need to write an essay about Canadian poets and you can’t think of one off the top of your head. Instead of starting off with Google, check out your library resources first.

Type in “Canadian poetry” in the search bar will pull up results for everything that has to do with Canadian poetry. From there, you can discover a range of Canadian poets which you can then conduct further research on.


If you are interested in a book from the list, you can check to see if the item is available from the status of the item located to the far right of the title. You’ll see “1 of 1 available” which indicates that the item is on the shelves. The call # tells you where to find the book. Remember that your Library Technician or Teacher Librarian are always glad to help you.


Clicking on the book title will bring you to the Title Details page. This page gives you the publication information as well as where you can find copies of the book. Local copies show items that are in the Palmer Library, whereas Off-site copies will show items from other schools. If you’re really interested in seeing which other schools may have the title, click on the Copies tab on the top right.


On this page, you can see a more detailed record that includes the call number, barcode, status, and the location of the item.

It’s very easy to use the catalog and you should get used to relying on it instead of wandering through the Non-Fiction shelves looking for your subject. Next, you’ll be learning how to use the Power Search.

Power Search

The Power Search is an even handier tool for when you have a specific topic in mind. Again, you’ll need to have a set of keywords in order to conduct your search effectively.


You will notice it looks ten times more complicated than the basic search, but this will, in fact, make your research a lot easier. You’ll also see “AND,” “OR,” as well as “NOT” indicated under the search bar. Here’s how to use them properly:


  • Narrows your results
  • Tells the database to use all of your keywords


  • Broadens your results
  • Tells the database to use any of your keywords


  • Excludes words from your search
  • Tells the database to take out certain keywords


In the image shown above, the user is looking for library materials that are about American poets only. Therefore, the search should show: American AND poet NOT Canadian.