Need Something from the Library? Here’s What to Do.

Options in a virtual browser of booksThere’s an easier and more streamlined way to access materials in Pitt’s libraries.

For the first time in 20 years, the University Library System (ULS) catalog called PittCat has been totally revamped. Instead of separate systems, ULS, Pitt Law’s Barco Law Library and the Health Sciences Library now all share one cloud-based catalog.

A woman in an orange top“Users can do both the advanced search and generalized search within the same interface,” said Rachel Rubin, associate university librarian for research and learning. “It’s very user-friendly, easy to drill down, more intuitive and easy to save things between sessions. Doing research and managing what you are finding is a lot more seamless.”

The new virtual shelf-browse feature allows patrons to have the actual experience browsing the stacks. A graphic appears showing what would be next to your selection on an actual library shelf. “People like browsing,” said Rubin. “It’s how they find related information.”

She says the new PittCat is consistent with the experience people have searching the web in general. It’s easy to save, print or download an item or to request an Interlibrary Loan. And a search history button allows you to easily retrace your steps.

Training sessions are scheduled for faculty, staff and students and are listed on the library events calendar.

Three ways to get materials

For now, Rubin says there are three methods to obtain materials from the Pitt libraries.

In-person. This will resume when the libraries open. Most of them, aside from the music library on the Pittsburgh campus, open today, Monday, Aug. 24.

No-contact pickup. After you make your selection in PittCat and choose the location of the pickup, write “no-contact pickup” in the comments field and then expect to get an email to help you make those arrangements. Travel to the library at a pre-arranged time and pick up your selections at a table outside Hillman Library. At some departmental libraries, you may have to enter the building in which the library is housed.

Ship it. Under this system, you may request any print book within ULS be mailed to you at a U.S. address. This will be available for the entire fall semester.

One more good news update: Most books have a loan period of the entire academic year for faculty, staff and students.

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