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Introduction of Opac

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  • July 13, 2013
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Introduction to the OPAC
You will be using the OPAC to find information and resources throughout your GSLIS career. If you have any questions on this section or would like to arrange for a more advanced workshop, please contact Linda Watkins, GSLIS Librarian at 617-521-2824 or by email at linda.watkins@simmons.edu. OPACs

OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalog. It is also known as the catalog, PAC, WebPAC, library catalog, and online catalog. OPACs generally contain records of all the items that a library catalogs, such as: books (print and/or electronic); journals (print and/or electronic); databases; maps; manuscript collections; etc. An OPAC is public (anyone can use it), and it allows the patron to search the library's collection, check course reserves, and check one's own library records -- from any computer connected to the internet. There are many different Integrated Library Systems (ILS) or system vendors, which offer slightly different OPAC interfaces. Simmons uses Millennium, which is produced by Innovative Interfaces Inc. (Triple I). Once you have mastered the basic skills and become comfortable with field searching and advanced features in Millennium, you will be able to adapt easily to other OPAC interfaces that you might encounter. Millennium is widely used by academic libraries in the U.S. The interface is user-friendly in that it is not case sensitive, it does not require punctuation, and indefinite and definite articles are ignored at the beginning of titles. The Basics of Searching

Certain search techniques are standard to all OPAC interfaces, although their presentation may vary slightly from vendor to vendor. Two common techniques are described below: Boolean Operators and Truncation. Boolean Operators

Database and online searching, including OPAC keyword searches, make use of Boolean logic, which uses three basic operators: AND is used to narrow the results to only those records that contain both search terms: e.g. (online catalog...