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Using OPAC and the Dewey Decimal System A PowerPoint Tutorial • Have you ever visited the Media Center and felt like you didn’t know how or where to look for information? • OPAC ( Online Public Access Catalog) is an easy way to find resources and where they’re located. OPAC is our electronic catalog. It helps you find books and other materials located in the media center. Step 1: Open the electronic catalog by double-clicking the OPAC icon located on the computer’s desktop. Next, let’s review some OPAC search terms: * author, title, keyword, subject, and bookbag * “Author” and “Title” are used when you know that specific information. For example, you would type in Rowling, J.K. and click on “author” if you wanted to see which of her books were in the library. And if you just wanted to see if your media center had Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you could type in that name and title. “Keyword” is probably the most often used search term. Use keyword when you need information on a general topic. For example, if you’re looking for books on tropical rainforests, you would type in that term and then hit “keyword”. “Subject” is helpful to use when you’re looking for information about a specific person. For example, if you wanted to get print resources on Martin Luther King, you would type in his name and then hit “subject” in order to retrieve the Dewey numbers of where to locate books about him. “Bookbag” is a good way to store a list of books as you search OPAC. Look at the screen below. As books were found that looked interesting, we clicked on “add to bookbag” at the bottom of the OPAC screen. When you find a title you’re interested in, double-click on it and the computer will give you some information about that title. Call Number: This is the book’s address and tells you where to find it on the shelf using the Dewey Decimal system. This book’s call number is 574.5 and its status is available, which means it is not checked out to another student. So, you’ve decided this is the book for you! Where do you find it? First, write down the call number. Call Number: This is the book’s address and tells you where to find it on the shelf using the Dewey Decimal system. This book’s call number is 574.5 and its status is available, which means it is not checked out to another student. Where is 574.5 ? Libraries are organized in areas. The books you usually read are in the “Everyone” section. These books do not use numbers. Letters of the author’s last name are used to find these books. So, 574.5 is NOT here. Another section of the library you’ve used is the reference section. This is where the encyclopedias and other references are. So, 574.5 is NOT here. When you’ve found books about famous people like George Washington or Martin Luther King, you found these in the Biography section. So, 574.5 is NOT in this section either. Look for the signs! Remember your decimals! 574.5 is between 500 and 600. 500 525 550 575 600 Here is the section you are looking for: Where is 574.5 ? This huge library has a whole section just for the numbers 560619! 574.5 is here. Do you think you could find it? Let’s go over the steps one more time: • Write down the call number. • Go to the appropriate section of the library. • Remember your decimals. • Locate your book.
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