In order to locate a book in any of the University Libraries, you need to search WorldCat Local or Minerva. Both catalogs can be accessed in any of the Libraries or from outside the Libraries at any computer with a web browser.
- WorldCat Local is a "world catalog" that includes books, articles, videos, and other materials held by UofL Libraries and many other local, national, and international libraries.
- Minerva is the official UofL catalog (the electronic equivalent of the traditional card catalog) and only includes books and other materials held by UofL Libraries.
Searching WorldCat Local
To search WorldCat Local, simply enter your search terms in the Quick Search box on the library homepage or go to http://uofl.worldcat.org. To search by title, author, or other fields, go to Advanced Search.
The location of an item appears in green on the results list. Items owned by UofL are labeled University of Louisville Libraries and will generally appear at the top of the results list. Items owned by non-UofL libraries are labeled WorldCat Libraries and can be requested through InterLibrary Loan. Click the item's title for more information, including Call Number, Location, and Status.
For more information, see the video and tip sheets on our WorldCat Local guide.
To search Minerva, select the UofL Catalog tab on the library homepage or go to http://minerva.louisville.edu. You can search in various ways, including by keyword, author, title, official subject heading, or journal title.
For more information, see our Brief Guide to Minerva.
Items in WorldCat Local and Minerva will have information to help you choose and locate materials. Each item record will list copies of the title at UofL, including the Location, Call Number, and Status (availability to be checked out). Always be sure to look carefully at the location. This will tell you in which library the book is located, as well as the specific location within that library. It will also tell you if the book is Non-Circulating, which means it cannot be checked out of the library. If the status of the book says "Not Checked Out," note the location and then use the call number to locate the book.
The University Libraries use two major call number classification systems to arrange materials on the shelves: Library of Congress (LC) and National Library of Medicine (NLM).
- Library of Congress numbers are letter-number combinations that place books on the shelves in a general subject arrangement (see Library of Congress Subject Classifications ). This system is used by all of the libraries, except the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library. Each library has its own shelving arrangement, but the Ekstrom Library is probably the most complex. When the location given for a book is "Ekstrom Library Book Stacks (3rd or 4th floor)," it will be located on the south side of either the 3rd or 4th floor (to your left off the elevators). Books with call numbers beginning with A – N are on the 3rd floor, and those beginning with P – Z are on the 4th floor. When looking for books on the shelf by call number, read the call numbers line by line – first alphabetically, then numerically, then both.
- The NLM classification system is used only in the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library. It is modeled after LC, and the call numbers look the same. NLM uses specific starting letters that LC does not. These range from QS to QZ and all Ws. Books in Kornhauser Library are located on the west side of the entrance level (2nd floor).