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Research Help: WorldCat Discovery

Online Services

Call Numbers

Call numbers are the "address" for the Library item.  Use the call number and the range signs on the ends of shelves to assist in locating the item in the Library. McGovern Library uses the LIbrary of Congress Classification System for call numbers. The LC system uses both letters and numbers to designate the subject of the book in order to place it with other books on the same subject. When you find the item with the specific call number you are looking for it's a good idea to look at the books on either side of it. Chances are those books will be on the same or a similar subject.

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Searching the Catalog

To see if McGovern Library owns a specific title you will need to use WorldCat Discovery, the library's online catalog. The catalog contains records for all materials that DWU owns in its collection. This includes books, DVDs and Blu-Rays, music CDs, children's books, audiobooks, and even electronic books. The record for each item includes

  • title
  • author
  • publication information
  • location
  • availability
  • subject headings (* see below for more info)
  • often times a summary and/or table of content

WorldCat Discovery is accessible from any device with an Internet connection.

* Subject headings are the focus of the item, whether it is a book, article, or even an image. Subject headings are a specific language called a “controlled vocabulary.” Subject heading searching is a more specific way to search compared to keywords searching and will help narrow down your results list.

In the "Description" portion of a catalog record the "Subjects" of item. If you see a subject that you like you can click on it and run a new search of that subject.

Here are some examples of subject headings vs keyword terms:

Subject headings



  • McGovern, George S. 1922-2012.


  • George McGovern
  • Academic achievement


  • students getting good grades
  • Brain Concussion therapy


  • concussion treatment
  • Psychology, Pathological


  • abnormal psychology
  • World War (1939-1945)


  • world war 2


WorldCat Discovery Tutorials

This video demonstrates how to perform a few basic searches in WorldCat Discovery.

This video demonstrates how to use the Advanced Search feature in WorldCat Discovery

Locations in the Library

When you find an item in the library catalog the "Availability/Holdings" portion of the record with let you know where the item is located and if it is currently available or checked out. The location and call number are shown. If an item is currently checked out Availability column will display the due date rather than the word "Available."


Browsing the Collection

Some people prefer browsing through the collection to find books. If you know the outline of the Library of Congress call number system you can browse for books on a certain subject.

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Contact us: McGovern Library | Ph. 605.995.2618 | Fax 605.995.2893 | 1200 W. University Ave, Mitchell, SD 57301