This is the "Basic Search" page of the "How Do I Use the Library Catalog? (MERLIN)" guide.
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How Do I Use the Library Catalog? (MERLIN)   Tags: books, catalog, merlin, mobius, renew, reserves, searching  

How to use local and statewide library catalogs to search for materials, place requests, check on the status of your account and more.
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015 URL: Print Guide

Basic Search Print Page

How to search the Library Catalog

The library catalog for all of the libraries in the University of Missouri system (MERLIN) tells you what items the libraries own.

Search the University Libraries' collections at This searches all of the libraries at UMKC: Miller Nichols Library, Health Sciences Library, Dental Library, and Law Library.

screen shot of the initial search screen for MERLIN

From here, you have several search options:

  1. Type some search terms or a phrase into the main search box and click 'search.' (This is called a Keyword search.)
    • This search will look for those words anywhere in the record.
    • More words will result in fewer results.
    • This search may take a few seconds, because the catalog looks everywhere for your words.
  2. Click any of the other types of searches using the radio buttons:
    • AUTHOR: Looks for works by a specific author, organization, composer, artist, etc.
      • Type the author's LAST NAME first (for example: Bronte, Emily).
    • TITLE: Looks for a specific work (book, movie, music recording, etc.).
    • JOURNAL TITLE: Looks for a specific journal, magazine, or newspaper.

To look for items by ISSN, ISBN, Library of Congress call number (used at Miller Nichols Library), National Library of Medicine call number (used at the Dental and Health Sciences Libraries), OCLC Number, or other numbers, use the number tab.

If you get too many results, try the Advanced Search option to combine or exclude terms and limit your results by year, location, material type, etc. 

You can also try the subject tab, which looks for all items on a specific topic.  For this search, your search terms need to match pre-assigned subjects (either Library of Congress Subject Headings or Medical Subject Headings). Try entering a word to describe your person (last name first), place, topic or event to get a list of the designated subjects. Then, click a subject heading to bring up a list of items (try searching Kansas City as an example). If you can't find a subject, do a keyword search from the MERLIN homepage to get started.  When you find an item of interest, check its record to see the subjects assigned.

If you don't find what you need, try expanding your search to other schools in Missouri.  See Requesting Books for instructions on how to search those other schools.


UMKC Library Catalog


Enter search terms in this box to search the Library Catalog.



Sort by Date

When you search by Title or Subject:

  1. Click the blue "Limit/Sort Search" button at the top of the screen
  2. Select the checkbox at the bottom next to "Sort Results by Year"
  3. Click submit.


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