How To Browse the Shelves Virtually

Most people enjoy browsing shelves in a library, letting their eyes wander from title to title and author to author until a book compels them to pick it up. What propels us to choose one book over another? The eye-catching cover? The intriguing title? Our familiarity with the author?

Shelf browsing has a certain appeal, but because the pandemic, it’s become more challenging to incorporate this type of discovery into your research process.

The new library catalog has a Virtual Browse Feature that can help you capture that feeling of serendipity again. This feature lets you “browse” our print books as if they were on the shelf, allowing you to locate nearby books with similar topics in the library’s collection.

How To Browse the Shelves Virtually

  1. Search for a book or topic in the library catalog search bar on the library homepage.
Typing a topic into the search bar on the Brookens Library homepage

2. Click on the title of a book to be taken to its record page. Note: The Virtual Browse feature is only available for print books; electronic books cannot be browsed in this way. Make sure to choose a book that says it is “Available at Brookens Library.”

Showing the search results for a catalog search

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the “Virtual Browse” section. Scroll left or right with the arrows to see the books that are on the shelf nearby. Click on a book to be taken to its record page to request that book for easy pick up with our Grab-and-Go service.

Arrow pointing to the Virtual Browsing shelf in an online book record in the library catalog

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