Tips on Searching the Library Catalog
Librarian's Corner




The ORU library catalog, or WebOPAC (Web Online Public Access Catalog), is used to identify and locate books, some periodicals, and other materials in the ORU library. You can search for materials in a variety of ways using different fields. For example, you can search for an exact title, subject heading, subject keywords, series title, or author. You can also search for reserve materials or search items by the call number. For assistance inquire at the reference desk or contact a Reference Librarian.

Access the ORU Library Catalog (WebOPAC) is available on computers located throughout the library and in the dorms (via the Internet). For access via the Internet, go to the ORU Home page > Academics > Library > Library Catalogs > ORU Catalog > WebPAC.

Tips for Searching
  • Author Search For an author search you must enter the last name first. Then, try using only the first letter of the author’s first name.
  • Capitalization – You can use uppercase or lowercase letters.
  • Punctuation – You do not need to use punctuation in your search term.
  • Search Terms/Subject Headings/Keywords – If you do not find sufficient information or would like to search related terms, refer to the Library of Congress Subject Headings for additional headings. This four-volume set is located on the book shelves across from the Reference Desk.
  • Sort List - When there is a list of titles you can sort the list by title, author, date, etc. Just click on the title heading bar, author heading bar, or date heading bar at the top of the list. You cannot sort subject headings.
  • Typing/Spelling Avoid Frustration. . . type and spell correctly.
    The computer can only answer what you type in, so it is very important for you to type and spell correctly. If you intend to type in a keyword such as "censorship," but misspell or accidentally type in "cencorship" then the computer will give you a message that there are no results for that word. You will be frustrated and think that there is nothing here on the subject chosen.
  • Word Order – Important in: Exact Title, Author, Subject Heading List, and Number searches. (A number search allows you to search for books and materials by the call number or barcode number.)

How to Search the Library Catalog (IPAC)

Use the following chart to assist in your search.

(You do not need to use capitalization.)
Title Browse
Search the exact title.


Gone With the Wind

If no results are returned:
  • Check spelling
  • Try a title keyword search
  • Try using only first part of title
Title Words
Search one or more keywords that may be in the title. Example:

gone wind

If no results are returned:
  • Check spelling
  • Use 2 or 3 basic keywords
Subject List
Search a subject.



If no results are returned:
  • Type only the first part of the subject heading
  • Choose broader terms
  • Do a Subject Keyword search
  • Check spelling
Subject Words
Search keywords, topics, subjects, or names.


literature and morals
Luther Martin
Martin Luther
Teresa of Avila
Avila Teresa

Word order IS NOT important.
If no results are returned:
  • Choose a broader term
  • Check spelling
Author List
Type the author’s last name then first name or initial.


Luther Martin
Luther M
Teresa of Avila Saint

Word order IS important.
You must enter the last name first.

You can omit punctuation.
If no results are returned:
  • Try using only the first initial or last name only then browse author names.
Series List
Search any series title. If you only know the first part of the series title you can still do a this search. Example:

Word Biblical

The word commentaries will not work because it is not a "series title."

Word order IS important.
The first word typed is searched.

If no results are returned:
  • Check spelling
  • Did you use the correct search line?
  • Are other text search bars cleared?