Searching NC Cardinal

Welcome to NC Cardinal! This guide will provide some helpful hints for using the NC Cardinal Online Public Access Catalog, or (OPAC).

When you first access the catalog, you will see this screen:

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The easiest way to search for materials on NC Cardinal is to type keywords into the Search box on the left side of the screen. For example, if you are looking for materials on dogs, you would click in the box next to “Search”, type in “dogs”, and then click “Search.” It’s as easy as that! We’ll look at the results in a moment, but first, let’s look at the other options under basic search.

Next to “Type:” you will find several other options for searching for NC Cardinal materials. You can search by any of the following criteria:

Keyword—finds the terms you enter anywhere in the entire record for an item, including title, author, subject, and other information.
Title—finds the terms you enter in the title of an item.
Author—finds the terms you enter in the author of an item.
Subject—finds the terms you enter in the subject of an item
Series—finds the terms you enter in the title of a multi-part series.

You can also limit your search by format: Books, Large Print, Audiobooks, Video, Music, or Electronic Resources. These options can be selected next to “Format:”.

Finally, next to “Library:” you can choose to limit your search to within your local branch, within the Iredell County Public Library system, or within the entire NC Cardinal Consortium. Note: The Iredell County Pubic Library will automatically be searched first. If you don't find the book you are searching for in our library, select NC Cardinal from the list of libraries. This will expand your search to all twenty-seven library systems in NC Cardinal.

Search Select Library

The NC Cardinal catalog is forgiving about plurals and alternate verb endings, so if you enter dogs, it will also find items with dog.

You can exclude a term (NOT) using - (minus). For example, vacations –Britain will search for materials on vacations, but not Britain.

You can search for an exact phrase using double quotes. For example, “Harry Potter” will find only items with the exact phrase, not with the terms Harry or Potter alone.

You can form more complex searches using the Advance Search features.

After hitting Search, you will be taken to a screen with results in the following format:

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As you can see, each search results displays the title and (if applicable) the author of the item. At the top right are options to place a hold and add to a list; we’ll discuss these options more later. Underneath the title and author is an icon showing what kind of material the item is, and some additional bibliographic information about the book.

Under this is a table showing copies of the book and their current status. Under library you will see the Library that owns the book. Shelving location and call number describe where the book is kept within the Library; consult with Library staff for more information on shelving locations and call numbers. Finally, the catalog lists the current status of each copy.

Every search result page will also have a sidebar on the left that gives you the option to further limit the search by a number of options, including author, subject, series, and other limiters.
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Clicking on a title will bring you to that title’s record. The same information will be displayed on this screen, but with additional options to print or email the record. You will also find, next to each call number, the option to text the call number to your phone to assist with searching for the book’s physical location.

For more help on using NC Cardinal, see Online Catalog Help.