The Five College Catalog and Discovery Search are two tools that allow you to view print books and e-books available to you through the Five Colleges.
Both tools can be accessed from the UMass Amherst Libraries homepage by changing the dropdown selection to the left of the search bar or by clicking the links below.
The Five College catalog primarily contains books and DVDs. Discovery Search returns resources of other format types, however; you can narrow your results to just books or DVDs using the limiters on the left-hand side of the page. Both search tools also allow you to limit your results to e-books. Compared to the Five College Catalog, Discovery Search offers more powerful keyword searching and a more intuitive interface.
Under most circumstances, you would be able to request that books at the other colleges be sent to the Du Bois Library for you to pick up. For now you will need to stick to e-books until the Libraries determines whether access to print books will be possible in the weeks to come. As your librarian, I will pass along updates about the options available to you as I learn more.
E-Books with a location marked AC, HC, MH, SC and not UM or FC are not available to UMass students. Normally, you would be able to access these by using a computer in the library of the college that has access to the e-book. If there is an e-book that is important to your research but we do not have access to, please send me an email and I will do what I can to purchase it.
WorldCat allows you to search the catalogs of almost 18,000 libraries in North America and beyond for books, DVDs, and more. Under normal circumstances, you would be able to submit interlibrary loan requests for print books that you find using this tool (see the side box "Interlibrary Loan")
Catalogers, who create the records found in library catalogs, use a tagging system called subject headings to describe what each book is about. This system relies on a controlled vocabulary so that even when authors use different terms (ex. Czech cinema vs. Czech film) to describe the same or similar topics, all books on that topic can be easily found.
Next time you find a book that’s well-suited to your research in the Five College Catalog, Discovery Search, or WorldCat, take a look at the subject headings on the record. Click on one of these and it will show you all other books that have been assigned the same subject heading.