Catalog Records That Say “Please Check Shelf”

With the permission of Michael Waldman, I’m publishing here the email that he shared internally today.

There was a recent change in how Aleph handles records that have an Item Status of “Missing” and “Lost”. In the past, in the Catalog, the record was displayed as “Lost”. This was a status that Circulation would add after extensive searching. However at this time many items that were “Missing” (i.e., not fully searched) have been changed to “Lost”.

At this time however, these records are showing “Please check shelf”. I encourage you to send me any such record that you encounter for further investigation, but it is likely that the book is not available (or immediately available) and the patron should be directed to another resource.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

New Books Search Options in the Search Bar

Today, the search bar features a new set of options for book searches. If you want to find print and ebooks at the same time, use the first option, “Books (print + ebooks).” Searches run from this option will go to OneSearch, where all of our print and ebooks records can be found. If you want to limit your search to just print books, you’ll want to use the second option, “Books (print).” The second option sends search queries to the catalog, which no longer includes records for most of our ebook collections.

New search bar menu options

Over the coming months, we’ll be running usability tests and conducting other forms of user research to assess how this change is being received by our students and faculty. If you receive feedback from our users, please pass it along to Michael Waldman or me.

How to Browse for a Book Title in OneSearch

A speedy way to find a specific book in the catalog is to do a “Title begins with…” search:

Browsing titles in the catalog

The results look like this:

Results of title browse

You can do the same kind of thing in OneSearch by going to the “BROWSE” option at the top of the screen and using the “Browse by title” mode:

Title browsing in OneSearch

Here’s one caveat about title browsing: in OneSearch, the books you find will be almost exclusively print books. What you are browsing in OneSearch are just the records that we’ve carried over from the catalog. In OneSearch, we represent our ebook titles not from catalog records but instead from records in ebook collections that Ex Libris (the vendor behind OneSearch) gets directly from the vendors of the ebook platforms we subscribe to (such as Ebook Central from ProQuest). In another post, I’ll describe the best way to find a specific ebook.

Library Catalog and SFX Down for Maintenance on August 2 [SEE UPDATE}

The library catalog and the SFX service (which powers the “Find it @ CUNY” button in our databases and the “View Now” button in OneSearch) will be down from 8 am to 12:30 pm on Wednesday, August 2. Here are some workarounds:

To find books and other items we have listed in the catalog

  • Use OneSearch (select “Books + Articles + Videos” in the yellow search box) but be aware that real time availability of items won’t be working

To find the full text of an article found in OneSearch

  • Use  the “Journals” section option in the yellow search box

To find the full text of an ebook found in OneSearch

  • Look at the details of the record in OneSearch to see what platform the book is on, then go to the databases page to get a direct link to that ebook platform

UPDATE 31 July 2017: CUNY has cancelled this maintenance work. All systems will be working.

Selected Library Systems Down on April 10

On Monday, April 10, between 9 am and 2 pm, CUNY CIS will be doing maintenance on servers that will directly impact a number of key library systems.

Systems that will be affected

SFX: The Find It! button in our databases and the View Now button in OneSearch will not be able to connect you to full text.

Library catalog: You won’t be able to connect to the catalog at all.

OneSearch: The “View Now” button will not be able to connect to full text. Although you will be able to use OneSearch as as a replacement for the library catalog to find records, you will not be able to get real-time information on availability (i.e., you won’t be able to know if an item is checked out), to renew loans, or to request items.

These systems, which are locally hosted or hosted on vendor servers, will not be affected: Remote access to databases, interlibrary loan, LibGuides, study room reservations.


Books: Run your search in OneSearch (select “Books + Articles + Videos” in the search bar) but remember that real-time availability info will not be working.

Articles: Use a specific library database for subject searches or use the Journals search system for known-item searches.

As soon as the system is back up, look for an email on CULIBS and a blog post here.

Planned Maintenance on January 25 Will Affect OneSearch, Catalog, and SFX

Between 8:30 am and 11:30 am on Monday, January 25, a number of key library systems will be down or have limited functionality as planned maintenance work is done on local servers:

  • the library catalog will be completely down
  • SFX, which powers the “Find it @ CUNY” button in databases, will be completely down
  • OneSearch will still be searchable, but you won’t be able to:
    • get live availability data for books we own
    • place holds or requests for books we own
    • check your library account
    • link to the full text of articles (because this functionality is powered by SFX, which will be down entirely)