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LiONiL: Library Instruction Online for Information Literacy

Module 2: Finding Books and Other Materials in the Library

Searching by subject

A subject search is based on a pre-selected list of subject terms or headings that describe what an item is about. The Kraemer Library Catalog uses Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Subject Search

Subject search has both advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of.

key information Advantages of Subject Search

  • Identifies all materials in the collection with that subject heading.
  • Displays subdivisions of a subject heading which can help you narrow your search results.

key information Disadvantages of Subject Search

  • Does not allow you to combine terms.
  • Determining a proper subject heading is not always intuitive.