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Graduate Studies Research

Library Catalogs

The following three videos (approximately 18 minutes total) define library catalogs and give you an overview of how to search the library catalogs available to you at UMass Boston. 


  • Library of Congress call numbers: Most academic libraries organize books in a library using the Library of Congress classification system (as opposed to the Dewey Decimal classification system, which is primarily used in public libraries). The structure of a call number helps you identify the subject area in which a book is classified as well as the location of that book in a library.
  • Boston Library Consortium (BLC): UMass Boston is a member of the Boston Library Consortium, which means you can visit other area libraries to use their resources in person. You will need to request a BLC card from the Healey Library circulation desk. 
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL): ILL allows you to request books and articles, for free, from other libraries. You will need your last name and library barcode in order to log into your ILL account. We have a research guide with more information and instructions about submitting interlibrary loan requests.

Library Catalog Practice

Practice Task: Using the UMBrella, try the following 3 different searches, and make a note of how many results were returned with each search:

  • Health care disparities
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Health disparities
Which search had the greatest number of results?
Health care disparities: 0 votes (0%)
Healthcare disparities: 1 votes (16.67%)
Health disparities: 5 votes (83.33%)
Total Votes: 6


Practice Task: Using the advanced search screen in WorldCat, locate a book by Harvey and Housel about health care disparities in LGBT populations.

Does Healey Library own this book in print or ebook format?
Print: 1 votes (14.29%)
E-book: 6 votes (85.71%)
Total Votes: 7


Which of the following is NOT a subject term listed on the item's record in WorldCat?
Gays -- Medical care -- United States: 1 votes (16.67%)
Healthcare Disparities: 1 votes (16.67%)
Healthcare Inequality -- United States: 3 votes (50%)
Health Services for Transgender Persons: 1 votes (16.67%)
Total Votes: 6
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