Coming to a library near you…

New to Cambridge this autumn – iDiscover.

So, you’ve been away for the summer, you come back to university, and what do you find? Your friendly catalogue of choice, LibrarySearch, has vanished and there’s a brand new catalogue iDiscover instead. iDiscover has been introduced across the UL, to affiliate and faculty libraries, and to college libraries. It’s replacing LibrarySearch, though our old friend, Newton, will still be available until August 2017.

Why the change? Well, the system that librarians use behind the scenes – Voyager – is now 14 years old and is due to retire next year. In preparation for this a new front end has been introduced for readers, hence iDiscover.

Perhaps you’ve never wondered (why should you?) how catalogue records end up on the system. Some are imported from elsewhere usually from other libraries or suppliers; some catalogue records, including many of the music ones, are freshly written by UL Music staff. Here, for example, is a record written by me as it appears on Voyager –

Here's one I prepared earlier.A record on Voyager.

Here’s one I prepared earlier. A record on Voyager.
Click on photo to see more.

The blue background, incidentally, is my personal preference – blue for bibliographic records (those are the ones that give you all the information about the item) and orange for holdings (those are the records that tell you where to find the book). Both of which have to be completed before a reader can find what they need.

Here’s the record as it would look on iDiscover with added information about where it can be found –


An iDiscover record. Click to see the bigger picture.

The benefits of iDiscover include a one-stop-shop whether you’re looking for books, e-books, journals or articles. There’s also a handy tool that enables you to pin all your favourites together, you can even organize them using labels. You can also search outside of iDiscover, perhaps to track down that elusive book that you need to order via Inter-Library Loans.

iDiscover is very much an evolving system, so there will be regular updates to make it more responsive to user needs.  Cambridge LibGuides has got lots of hints and tips about iDiscover.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to have a look at LibGuides too. There’s a wealth of information about our collections on the Music pages, an easy to navigate A-Z of databases including the current trial ones, and a fun page on Audio-Visual resources. Cambridge LibGuides are not just about collections either – there’s advice on Mendeley, Zotero, and other referencing management software. One of my favourite pages (yes, I am a copyright nerd) is about plagiarism. There’s even a handy plagiarism quiz.

lit card catsFor music researchers it’s important to remember that a large proportion of music is still not on the online catalogue, so get to know the card catalogues in the Anderson Room.

Confused? – There will be a 1A Library skills session “Negotiating the Music Maze” on finding music in our many catalogues on the 13th and 20th October, both at 11 am in Lecture Room 2 at the Music Faculty. For graduates there will be tours, including a peek behind the scenes. And don’t be afraid to ask your friendly music librarians for advice.

Most of all – have a good term! We look forward to welcoming you to the Anderson Room and the Pendlebury Library.


About mj263

Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library. Wide musical interests. Often to be found stuck in a composer's archive, or enthusing about antiquarian music.
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3 Responses to Coming to a library near you…

  1. Pingback: Smile please! The new term has started… | MusiCB3 Blog

  2. Pingback: What did Voyager do for us? | MusiCB3 Blog

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