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Introduction to the Library for AS1001 -03 Miriam Belmaker: How to Search Encore

How to Search Encore

Encore is the catalog of The University of Tulsa Libraries (including McFarlin Library, the Mabee Legal Information Center in the Law School, and the University School Library).  Search Encore to find out what materials McFarlin Library has that are relevant to your research topic.  The Encore database includes most of the materials availalble from McFarlin:

  • Books
  • Movies
  • Many journals, magazines and newspapers
  • Research databases
  • Special Collections
  • . . . and more

Encore is easy to use.  You will find links to it throughout the library's website or go to  The main Encore search box looks like this:

Encore search box

Remind you of something?

Encore is designed to be a "Google-like" interface to the library's collections. Just as you use Google to search for things on the web, you use Encore to search for things in McFarlin Library.  Just type in a word or phrase that describes what you're looking for.  Encore will then display a list of all the items in the library that match your search.  For example, a search for library materials on the topic of "global warming" brings up this screen:

Encore initial results screen

The information in the red boxes provide a brief description of items available from the library.  In the example above, they are all books.  But you'll also find movies, audio recordings, maps, e-books and other materials as well. 

Notice the orange boxes in each description.  These highlight location information for the book.  The first two are in McFarlin Library, but the third is in the Mabee Legal Information Center ("Law Library") which is located in the Law School in John Rogers Hall.  (Always check to be sure you're in the correct library!) 

After the library location, you'll a strange assortment of letters and numbers.  This is the "call number".  Each item in the library has one of these unique numbers.  It's like the address of the book in the library.  Once you learn how the call numbers are arranged, you'll be able to find the exact item you want out of all the hundreds of thousands of items in the library -- in just a couple of minutes!  Until you feel more comfortable using the call numbers, it's a good idea to ask a librarian at one of the service desks for assistance in tracking down the item you need. 

Finally, the word "Available" indicates that the item has not been borrowed by another person and should be on the shelf.  If instead of "Available" it said "Due" on a particular date, then you would know that the item had already been checked out by someone else.  If that happens, just ask the librarians at the Check Out Desk on the Main Level to "hold" it for you and they will contact you as soon as the item is returned to the library so that you can come in and borrow it yourself.

Finally, the list of links highlighted in the green box provide you with ways of narrowing down the results list that you retrieved in your search.  For example, if you

Clicking on the title of any item in your list brings up more information on it.  For example:

Encore bib screen

Pay particular attention to a couple of things.  "Contents" lists the chapter headings in the book.  This may help you decide if it's really relevant to your research interests.  Also look at "Subject".  These are "subject headings", which are standardized or uniform terms that librarians use to describe the contents of materials in the library's collections.  They are hyperlinked so clicking on the link will bring up a list of all the other items in the library on that same subject.  It's a quick way of pulling together everything McFarlin has on your research topic.