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Searching with Compass: FAQs

Questions & Answers

Common questions about researching items through the Library Catalog and requesting them.

Where is the Library Catalog located? 


How do I find articles from a particular journal title? 

  • Type in the name of the journal (enclosed in quotation marks, if you are confident that you know the complete title) and click search. Among other results, you should see at the top of the search results list entries of electronic and in-print records for the journal title, if the journal is owned by the library. When you see that a journal has "Online Access Available," click through to the database where we can access the journal, and it will normally have a method to search through the articles of that journal.  
  • You can also bypass the Compass catalog for known periodicals and search instead for the journal in BrowZine


The location of the item is "Hampden." What is this and how do I get the item?

  • "Hampden Stacks" or "Hampden Library" is the name of the off-campus storage facility that the library uses for its off-peak demand collections. To have the book retrieved from storage and sent to the Main Library at the Anderson Academic Commons (or any of the other libraries at DU), please utilize the "Request It" link found within the "Find in Library" box on a Compass record. (If you do not see a Request link, please sign in to Compass with the "Sign In" button at the top right of the page.) After you confirm the details of your request, the book will then be delivered to the library circulation desk, often with next-day service, and you will receive an email at your DU email address when the item is ready to be picked up.


How do I find books by a particular author?


  • Bypass the main Compass search box and instead click on Advanced Search for more search options. Utilize the drop-down menu to the left of the first search box and select "Author/creator." Then type in the author's last name, a comma, and then the author's first name. For example: Steinbeck, John. Click search to discover books and other items credited to that author. 


How do I find books by a particular title?

  • Following the same method described above, utilize the Advanced Search drop-down menu to select "Title." Then type in the book's title and click search.
  • Title searches can also be completed in the main Compass search tool by enclosing your title in quotation marks, which will prioritize results matching the exact query entered into Compass.


How can I do a more advanced search?

  • Following the same method described above for author searches, utilize the Advanced Search drop-down menu to select your preferred parameter. The Advanced Search is particularly useful for searching the library catalog by ISBN (for books) and ISSN (for journals and periodicals).


How do I search for physical course reserves?

  • The main Compass search box is set by default to a "Search All" mode, but this can be changed before you submit a query to "Course Reserves."
  • After following the first step, to search for a particular course, type in the course name or the course number in the search box.  For example, MUAC 3521 (the course number) can be used to search, or Topics in World Music (the course name) can also be used.
  • To search with a professor's name, please use the professor's last name, a comma, and the professor's first name.  For example, Morelli, Sarah will provide results for Professor Sarah Morelli. 
  • Electronic reserves can be accessed through your Canvas course tools: look either for the Legano module or ARES, our legacy system for managing electronic reserves.