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Online Catalog (OPAC): A Guide to Use  

Tips on Using the Online Catalog and an Introduction to the Library of Congress Classification System
Last Updated: Jun 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Using the Online Catalog at the Suffolk University Libraries


A Library Catalog or OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) is just another database.  But it is a specific database that identifies and helps provide access to the collected materials of a particular library.  In the case of Sawyer Library's OPAC, sometimes called "Archer" (in honor of the University's founder), the database actually identifies materials not only at Sawyer Library, but also at the other Suffolk University Libraries.  Materials can be identified that are found at Sawyer Library, the Law Library, the University Archives, the NESAD Library, our Madrid Campus, Suffolk materials at Dean and Cape Cod Community Colleges, and even materials at some departmental collections throughout the University.

This guide will provide a few tips on using the catalog effectively.  And it will also provide a short introduction to the Library of Congress (LC)Classification System.  The LC system is almost universally used in U.S. academic libraries.  But it may be unfamiliar to international students or those used to smaller public and high school libraries that still utilize the "Dewey Decimal" (all number) classification system.


Search the Online Catalog


Access the Online Catalog on Your SmartPhone or Mobile Device


Check WorldCat to Find Things in Other Libraries

WorldCat will search for books and journal titles in non-Suffolk libraries:


Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

Be aware that you cannot check out items at MOST area libraries. If you reside in Massachusetts, you can get a card at Boston Public Library and check out items in their General collection. Current Suffolk students and faculty can also check out items at libraries belonging to the Fenway Library Consortium. Click this link for more on those affiliated libraries.

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