Everyone knows what a book is. There are some variations on the terminology used to describe particular kinds of books. A Treatise is generally a methodical survey of a large topic. A Monograph is generally a methodical examination of a topic which is subset of a larger topic. Treatises and Monographs may appear in single or multiple-volume works.
Most books found in libraries are organized on shelves against a classification system. There are Two Major Classification Systems for general libraries, the Dewey Decimal System, and the Library of Congress system. Some libraries utilize the Superintendent of Document’s Classification System (SuDoc) for Government Publications. The point of each classification system is to organize related materials together so they can be shelved and retrieved efficiently. The Library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is the tool used to find books.
The Library Catalog (VuFind) has a more structured approach to searching and we use the Library Catalog link to search for books (and other materials) since we find it to be better suited for Law Library Searching. Be assured that you will find all the books contained in all DePaul University Libraries. There is a less structured, more free form Catalog called WorldCat Local that is available to you as well (at the General DePaul Library's Web page at library.depaul.edu). However, for our purposes in this LibGuide we will be using the Library Catalog (VuFind).
The OPAC content is accessible in a variety of ways. The most common types of searches are by Author, Title, and Subject, as well as Keyword search, Numerical search (standard numbers, call number), Material type, and Others.
Subjects are controlled vocabulary,as provided by the Library of Congress. This is not unlike using a key number on Westlaw to find similar cases. Many online catalogs hyperlink subjects listed in a bibliographic record to make a subject search possible directly from a search result. For a detailed look at the Library of Congress Classification system, see http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco.html . For a detailed look at the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification Scheme, see http://fdlp.gov/cataloging/856-sudoc-classification-scheme?showall=1 .
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WorldCat is a database & catalog (not to be confused with "WorldCat Local") that contains over 2 billion records from libraries around the world.
This database is searchable for books, serials, media, and other catalogued items held in libraries. Libraries tend to make WorldCat available to their affiliates, but not to the general public.
For DePaul College of Law, the database is available through the A-Z database list available through the Law Libraries Web Page & DePaul’s General Libraries web page.