Finding Children's Literature
on Specific Subjects using OCLC WorldCat

This guide describes how to use OCLC WorldCat to locate children's books on specific topics.

Getting Started

Start at the Library home page ( Go to: Research -- Local & Other Libraries -- WorldCat link.

Defining Your Search

Go down the WorldCat search screen to "Subtype Limits." Click the gray buttons next to each option to open a drop-down list of choices. Change "Any Audience" to "Juvenile" and "Any Content" to "Fiction." Your results will now include only children's and young adult fiction titles.

In the "Limit Type To" area, click the box next to "Books."

You can limit by language and by year as well. For example, if you only want books in English published between 1995 and 2000, type "1995-2000" in the "Limit To Year" box, then open the drop-down list in the "Language" box and select "English."

In the "Search For" area, click in the first empty box and type in the subject you're looking for. (Examples: learning disabilities; friendship; brothers and sisters.) Next, click on the gray button next to the box that says "Keyword" and go down the list of options until you see "Subject." Click on "Subject" to select it.

Click the "Search" button to perform the search.

Understanding Your Results

Titles in the result list are displayed in order by the number of libraries that own the book, from most to least.

You can sort the result list by title, year of publication, etc. Use the "Sort" button on the left side of the gray bar just above your result list. (If your result list is too large, however, you will not be able to sort it.)

Books at the Gannett-Tripp Library are indicated by a small icon of a book and a building and the words "ELMIRA COL." If you do not see the icon and the words, the GTL probably does not have the book. (Just to be sure, though, you should check the Library catalog.)

If your search turns up few or no results, try broadening your search by using "Keyword" instead of "Subject."

Getting a Copy of the Book You Want

If our library has the book, you can click on "Search the Catalog at Elmira College Library" in WorldCat and see the book's call number and availability.

The Southern Tier Library System has many children's books, especially at the Steele Memorial Library and the Horseheads Library. Elmira College students can get library cards and borrow materials from the Steele Library – just present your college ID card at the front desk. Search their catalog from the link on the "Local & Other Libraries" web page.

Marking and Printing Records

You can print your results one at a time by using the browser's "Print" function, or you can select ("mark") up to 100 records to be printed or e-mailed. To do this:

  1. Click in the checkbox at the beginning of each record. A check mark will appear.
  2. When you're done selecting records, click on the "Marked Records" button that appears in the toolbar above your results list.
  3. Click the "Detailed" link at the top of the marked list.
  4. Click on the "Print" button that appears in the gray bar above your results list.
  5. Use the browser's "Print" function to print the marked list.
  6. Clear the marked list to prevent the records from being printed out again.

Important - Be sure to use the navigation tools provided in the bar above the results list, NOT the browser buttons. The "back" button of the browser will erase all your marked records.

Remember, you can always ask us for help! Call the Research Help Desk at x 1864 (off-campus 607-735-1864), e-mail us at, or stop by in person.

Last updated 02-15-05